Schengen Visa Appointment – Everything You Need to Know
If you are from a country whose citizens require a visa to be able to enter and stay in any of the 26 countries in the Schengen area, you will need to apply for a visa through your local embassy or consulate. If you have already started your application, you will know that you have to submit your application and supporting documents by attending a visa appointment. Read on and find out everything you need to know about the Schengen visa appointment and how to be a success!
The 26 countries that are currently members of the Schengen agreement are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Out of this list, four Schengen countries — Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway — are not members of the European Union. So, they are officially known as the countries that are associated with the Schengen activities of the EU. This means that these countries are obliged to accept the decisions made by EU, even though they are not a part of it. Two of these non-European union members, Norway and Iceland, are members of the Nordic Passport Union.
Apart from these countries, the Schengen area also includes the Caribbean islands that belong to France and the three European micro-states — Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City. These territories and micronations maintain open or semi-open borders for visitors.
Though Ireland and the United Kingdom negotiated to be opt-outs, they still continue to follow the systematic regulations that of the Schengen area, along with other EU member states.
Why do you need an appointment?
The purpose of the appointment is for you to submit your visa application form along with the other required documents to be processed by the embassy or consulate. In addition, it gives the visa official a chance to check any information you have mentioned in your application by asking you questions to ensure they have all the necessary facts to be able to make a fair decision about your visa.
Schengen Visa Application Process
There are 5 steps to applying for a Schengen visa:
- Step 1 – Make an appointment
- Step 2 – Complete your application form
- Step 3 – Prepare your documents
- Step 4 – Attend your appointment
- Step 5 – Receive your visa
Making your appointment
In order to make your appointment, you will need to go to the website of the embassy or consulate that you dealing with and use their online booking system and choose a convenient date and time for your appointment. If they do not have an online booking system, you can phone or email them.
Here’s the rule of thumb:
- You will apply for your visa at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you are planning to visit as long as you are visiting just 1 country.
- If you plan to visit more than one Schengen country, you would apply at the embassy or consulate of the country where you will spend the most number of days.
- If you plan to visit more than one Schengen country and spend the same amount of time in each, you would apply at the embassy or consulate of the country you will enter first.
Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, Visa Reservation will make the appointment for you for a small service fee to save your time and effort! In addition to the Schengen countries, the team also supports other countries.
Booking a visa appointment using our services is pretty simple! All you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the link to schedule the visa appointment
- Submit the appointment details, visa you are applying for, embassy or consulate you need the appointment for, the country you need the appointment in and make the payment
- Receive appointment confirmation in email
What documents do you need for the appointment?
There are standard documents you have to provide which are mandatory. These include:
- Visa application form
- Valid passport
- Proof of residency
- Passport photo
- Travel itinerary
- Hotel booking
- Proof of funds
- Schengen Travel insurance
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, other required documents could be:
- Birth and/or marriage certificate
- Sponsorship evidence
- Employment contract & pay slips
- Invitation letter
- Letter from employer
- Proof of enrollment in school or university
It’s a good idea to spend time getting to know what is required for your visa application. If you submit an incomplete application, it may be rejected. There are checklists are available on the embassy’s website, so check these before you begin to prepare your documents.
What happens at the appointment?
When the day of your appointment arrives, you should go to the office of the embassy or consulate you are dealing with. There are 4 steps to your visa appointment:
- Submit your documents
- Answer any questions
- Pay the fee
- Provide bio-metric data
You should arrive early. If you miss your appointment, you will have to reschedule it and this could delay your travel plans. Make sure you remember to take all your documents. If you submit an application with missing documents and signatures, it will not be accepted and you’ll have to make a new appointment. Lastly, if you want to make a good impression, it’s important to dress the part which means don’t wear shorts and a t-shirt!
The visa officer will examine your application and they may ask you questions if they wish to clarify anything you have stated. If this happens, don’t worry about it, just answer honestly and keep calm.
- Is this your first time visiting the EU?
- What do you know about the country you are planning on visiting?
- What do you plan to do there?
- Are you meeting anyone there?
- What is your job and salary in your home country?
Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!
You will also pay the necessary fee for your visa. Most embassies allow you to pay by cash, money order, cashier’s check or credit/debit card, but you should check beforehand which payment methods are accepted. Please note, that you will pay the fee in your local currency, so if, for example, you are in the US, you’ll pay in dollars or if you are in the UK, you’ll pay in pounds sterling.
Step 4 is providing biometric data. Your photograph will be taken and a scan of your fingerprints will be recorded. If you have never applied for a Schengen visa before this data will be taken. If you have previously applied and provided this information before, it can be reused as long as it was within the last 5 years and it can be retrieved from the Visa Information System (VIS).
What happens after the visa appointment?
Once you have submitted your application, the hard work is over! All you have to do is to sit back and wait to hear from the embassy regarding the decision. It usually takes between 7-15 days for applications to be processed. Once a decision has been reached, you’ll hear from the embassy and you can collect your passport – hopefully with your new visa inside!
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.
1) How do I make a visa appointment?
Most embassies offer online booking systems, so you can easily make your appointment this way for free. However, some of them don’t, so you will have the opportunity of emailing or phoning them instead. You can also talk to Visa Reservation who can schedule the visa appointment for you for a small service fee.
2) Why does the embassy ask more questions when they have the information in front of them?
The embassy is simply trying to ascertain all the facts about the information you have stated in your application in order to make a fair decision. The best thing to do is to answer any questions put to you honestly and calmly
3) What is bio-metric data?
Biometric data is a digital photograph and a scan of your fingerprints which may need to be provided when you attend your visa appointment
4) How much is the fee?
The fee depends on what type of visa you are applying for. Generally, the Schengen short-stay visa fee is €60. You should check the website of the embassy or consulate regarding fees before you attend your appointment