The Ultimate Guide To Tourist Schengen Visa
Are you sitting at your desk surrounded by tourist brochures to Europe and multiple windows open in your browser on how to apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa? While the prospects of travelling to Europe is definitely thrilling, obtaining a tourist visa, on the other hand, can be a strenuous task, particularly if it’s your first visa ever.
However, with the right guidance, you can also get your Tourist Schengen visa approval quite easily. That’s why this article is a must-read before your visa application!
WHAT IS A TOURIST SCHENGEN VISA?
The Schengen visa was introduced after the Schengen agreement of 1985. The concept behind this was to remove border restrictions and promote free movement across European countries. Currently, there are 26 European countries that are part of this agreement. So, you can make inter-Schengen trips from any of these countries, without requiring multiple visas.
If your sole purpose is travelling and enjoying your vacation, you need to get a tourist Schengen visa for yourself. With a tourist visa, you can visit any place in the Schengen areaas well as stay for a maximum period of 3 months. Since the validity of the tourist Schengen visa expires within 90 days, you’ll have to apply again to extend your stay for more than 3 months. Also, if you hold a tourist visa, you’ll not be allowed to work or earn in any Schengen country during your tour. So, if you plan on working as well as travelling, then you may, preferably, get a job visa instead.
CHECKLIST OF TOURIST SCHENGEN VISA REQUIREMENTS
Applying for a tourist Schengen visa is a major task while planning your trip, as you need to fulfil a lot of requirements. Here is a list of all the mandatory requirements you’ll need before applying for a tourist Schengen visa.
- Visa application: The most important requirement is the filled visa application form for a tourist Schengen visa. Remember to duly sign the application form as well as provide two passport-sized photos along with the application.
- Original Passport: The passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your return journey from the Schengen area. It should also be issued within 10 years at the time you apply for the visa.
- Proof of accommodation: You need to provide the hotel reservation documents for the whole duration of your stay in the Schengen country. If you’re planning to stay at any friend’s or relative’s place, you must supplement your claim by providing an invitation letter or sponsorship proof from the host residing in the Schengen area.
- Return flight tickets: You need to provide a proof of your round-trip to the Schengen area. If you aren’t sure of the return dates, you can get a flight itinerary from your Travel agency, instead of booking the ticket. Remember that the itinerary should contain information about your flight numbers and dates.
- Travel medical insurance: You can never predict what challenges you may encounter during your trip. So, it is important to ensure the foreign embassy of the country you’re visiting, that you have enough financial aids to handle any emergencies like accidents or illness during your trip. Here, you need to provide details of your Travel Insurance, which has a coverage of at least 30,000EUR and validity in all the Schengen countries.
- Personal Covering letter: You have to provide a summary of your tour plan, including all the details such as the places you plan to visit, other Schengen countries you intend to travel, your mode of transportation in the Schengen area, and inter-Schengen flight/train tickets.
Apart from these basic documents, there are certain additional documents that will assist you in the application process. The documents like the proof of your financial subsistence, birth certificate, a marriage certificate if you’re married, ration card, and a no objection letter from your higher officials should be sufficient as the supporting document. Collecting each of these documents and attaching it to your visa application helps the embassy to ensure that you are trustworthy enough to visit their country. Remember to duly sign all the required documents and recheck for any missing information.
SHOULD YOU BOOK A FLIGHT OR HOTEL BEFORE VISA APPLICATION?
Probably not! Purchasing flight tickets and booking accommodation is equivalent to a commitment to traveling on the dates you booked for. If your visa takes longer than expected to get processed, what do you do with the confirmed flight tickets and hotel booking? A full refund of the price is extremely rare, and you end up losing thousands of dollars for no good. Instead of going through all this hassle, how about opting for a flight reservation for visa and a hotel reservation for visa application that not only offers you more convenience and flexibility, but also ensure that your purpose is served.
Visa rejection rates can be high for certain countries. Hence, most embassies accept a flight itinerary or reservation document as proof of travel on the specified dates. However, do keep in mind that if you are reserving a flight itinerary for your visa application and not actually buying a ticket, it makes good sense to disclose that to the embassy upfront. The flight reservation document helps the embassy to validate what you have mentioned in your application form. So in such cases, honesty is always the best policy. You don’t want to get rejected for forging documents or providing false information.
WHERE TO APPLY FOR THE VISA?
If your trip includes more than one Schengen country, it is the consulate, diplomatic office or the embassy of the first country of your visit where you are required to apply. Once you’ve collected all the necessary documents for your tourist Schengen visa, you can enclose them in an envelope with your address and contact phone number on the top.
We recommend submitting the visa application and the additional documents when you appear for the interview at the consulate or embassy. You can even choose to send the documents to the nearest diplomatic office via post.
We certainly understand that the stress associated with applying for the Tourist Schengen visa can be tremendous, as you don’t have a clue of whether you’ll get your visa on time or not, even after providing a copious amount of proofs and documents at the embassy, and making flight and hotel reservations up front. That is why, you can have the expert guidance from our friendly support crew through each step of your visa application, such as getting a Travel Insurance or getting a dummy flight reservation or hotel reservation for visa! All you need to do is, simply contact us and let us know your requirements.