Over 16 million applicants apply for a Schengen visa every year. The recent Schengen statistics reveal 16,155,613 applications were received in the year 2017-2019. And there was a sharp rise in the visa application in 2018-2019 by 9.6%. Various online visa services help in directing and applying for the visa process.
About 26 countries come under the Schengen area, and 62 nationals of world countries do not require a Schengen visa to travel to European countries. Malta, Belgium, and Portugal have the highest short-stay visa rejection rates. France ranks first among the favorite travel destinations, and Germany ranks second.
While it is easy to plan an itinerary to European countries, the visa process is a bit tedious to deal with. Let’s learn the process of applying for a Schengen Visa.
Out of Various Types of Schengen Visa, Which One Do You Need?
You must figure out which type of Schengen visa you need for your travel purpose. For obvious reasons, you need to be clear about your intention of travel and duration of stay. Transit Visa, Tourist Visa, and Business visa are few common visas that many apply for visiting this region.
The other types include visa for visiting family or friends, visa for culture and sports activities, visa for official visits, study visa, and visa for medical reasons. When you fill out an application form online, you need to specify which visa you are applying for, in clear terms.
Learn About Where to Apply
The destination country in Schengen regulates your visa submission in a particular fashion, in your country of residence. Depending on this procedure, you can file your Schengen visa application either at their embassy, or at one of their consulates or at an outsourced visa center.
How many Schengen countries you will be visiting and the duration of stay in each country must include in your application. The procedure for applying depends on this information.
Apply in Advance
You must find a suitable time to apply for a Schengen visa as it takes time to process the visa applications.
Follow the time-span that is allowed to apply for a Schengen Visa.
- Earliest: At least six months before you commence your planned trip.
- Latest: At most 15 working days before you plan to travel.
- Recommended: At least three weeks before your trip.
Fill out the Visa Application Form and Book an Appointment
You must download the application form online with the help of professional online visa services. Explain the details of your travel plan and give out all the personal information honestly. You must read the instructions carefully before filling the application form.
When you’re done with the application process, you must book an appointment online for further procedures. Many countries allow booking online, while for other countries, you may have to visit in person at the embassy of your destination country.
Get the documents in place and Attend the Visa Interview
You need to collate all the necessary documents for filling the online application. Your visa application form, passport, two identical photos, travel insurance, flight itinerary, proof of accommodation, and fund balance. Some of the Schengen member states have special requirements for extra documents, that depends on the country you are visiting.
You must carry all these essential documents at the time of the interview. You must be well-prepared to answer all the questions comfortably. If you reach on time, it will be an added advantage; you may get sufficient time to acclimatize before going in for the interview.
Pay Visa Fees
To process your Schengen visa application, you will have to pay a non-refundable visa fee. The visa fees are unchangeable as the member states synchronize them. Some people may enjoy reduction or exemption from visa fees depending upon their situations and categories to which they belong.