How to Apply for a Schengen Visa? Steps you Need to Know
Europe is a fairy-tale castle. You will surely get awestruck by its magnificent natural beauty, classic history, Mediterranean sunset and more. But your dream can only come true once you get a Schengen visa. Yes! You have to apply for and get this special visa to travel to the old continent. Now, if the questions are like how to get it, is the process really complicated or why it is necessary, are scorching your mind, then don't worry. We'll walk you through each step for the Schengen visa application process.
What is Schengen Visa?
It is a short-stay visa that allows foreign travelers to stay in any member country of the Schengen Zone. Till now, there are 26 European countries those who have signed the Schengen agreement. With this visa, tourists can easily travel and stay till 90 days in the European countries for tourism and business purposes. They do not need to show their passport or get a visa every time they cross the borders of Schengen countries. It is the largest free travel area in the whole world.
What are the Schengen Countries?
Below is the list of the countries that have signed the Schengen agreement:
- The Czech Republic
Who Needs Schengen Visa?
- All the citizens of third countries that have not yet signed the Schengen agreement
- A person traveling for a holiday
- Employees of the companies for business purposes
Why Schengen Visa is Necessary?
With a Schengen visa, you do not need to fall into the hitch of those cumbersome visa formalities again and again. So for a hassle-free Europe holiday, you have to get it.
Steps for Schengen Visa Application Process
Getting a Schengen visa is not easy, but looking to another side of the coin is not that hard. All you need to do is to follow the below-mentioned steps correctly:
Travel Insurance: Before applying for the visa you have to get a travel insurance plan with a minimum coverage of €30,000. With this insurance, tourists are secure and also meet medical and non-medical expenses in case of emergencies.
Online Application Form: Once you get travel insurance your second step is to fill an application form. You can easily download it from the official website or can also fill it online. You have to put all the necessary details mentioned in the form to avoid any kind of rejection.
Cover Letter: The next step is to prepare a cover letter. In this, you have to mention your purpose of the visit along with your travel itinerary that includes your flight tickets and hotel bookings. You have to attach this cover letter along with other necessary documents online.
Other Documents: You have to submit some other important documents while completing your visa process application such as your bank statement showing a minimum balance of €30,000 over the last six months, proof of civil status (birth certificates), employment contract, and ITR for last three months.
Book an Appointment: Once you have done all the online application formalities, your next step is to book an appointment for an interview. It is always recommended to book an appointment a month before to ensure the smooth process of your travel.
Visa Interview: After collating documents and booking an appointment, you have already won half the battle. Now you have to appear for a visa interview at an embassy. Don’t forget to check the list of the documents you need to carry. Appear right on time and ensure you answer them correctly.
Visa Fee: To get visa you also have to pay the fee. This you need to pay once officials have checked your documents along with application form. The amount can be paid in cash or by card. This cost is around INR 6000 and that too non-refundable.
Visa Rejection: Be prepared to face visa rejection as well. The right to issue a Schengen visa lies with the embassy. They have their criteria to check your eligibility, documents, and reasons to approve your visa. If they find everything good, they allow you, if not, they may reject it. In that case, they reject, return all your documents.
Schengen visa is your gateway to the amazing Europe trip. So get all the things done in the right way. Religare offers hassle-free travel insurance for Schengen countries with coverage against medical and non-medical emergencies that you may encounter during your journey to the Schengen zone.