The Schengen Area is a group of 26 western European countries that have abolished all border control between them. If you live within this area, you can travel between them all with no documents whatsoever. However, if you are from outside the Schengen area, you will need one simple document, which is a Schengen Visa. Below is a guide of everything you need to prepare to ensure you successfully get a Schengen visa.
Fill In The Application
First thing’s first, you need to download and fill in the application form. This form, along with two passport-sized photos of yourself and your passport, are the very first things you need to prepare. Ensure your passport is not older than 10 years old and has at least 3 months validity beyond the dates of your trip. The photos must be of good quality and show your whole face, just like your passport photos. They should be recent and be an accurate liking of yourself. The last thing you want is a bad photo; it might cause your denied access to Europe. The application form should be filled in block capital letters and with your neatest writing. Make sure every detail is filled accurately, and your signature and correct date are at the bottom of the passport.
Pay The Fees
Of course, the Schengen Visa has a fee. The Schengen visa cost is not as much as you might think, though. It is currently sitting at 80 euros for all types of visas, whether you are a tourist or hoping to work in the zone. This, we think, is a very reasonable price for a visa processing fee and have certainly seen much worse! Ensure you have the money in cash or on a debit card when you visit the consulate. Some may let you pay on a credit card, too.
Have The Correct Documents Ready
It is crucial to also have all the correct supporting information ready, alongside your passport, cash, and photos. The most important documents you will be asked for include:
- A round-trip itinerary to show that you have your travel arrangements in and out of the Schengen Area booked.
- Travel Insurance documents to prove you are covered for any health insurance needs while in the Schengen Zone. This cover must have a minimum value of €30,000.
- Proof of accommodation showing that you have accommodation booked. This could also be a letter showing that you have someone to stay with during your time in the area.
There are other types of documents required if you are entering the Schengen Area for other purposes than tourism, such as working visas, student visas, or other long-term visa applications. If you are applying for one of these, be sure to research exactly how much paperwork you need to gather.
With these documents, the money, and your passport, you should be approved for a visa right away. Just make sure everything is clear, legible, and legal when you apply, and you will not be disappointed or turned away. Most of all, have a great trip!