The Schengen countries are some of the best that the world has, and there is no doubt in that. Getting a Schengen visa may seem like a task, but can be easy as well, provided one follows certain guidelines.
SO WHAT IS A SCHENGEN VISA?
The Schengen agreement that was signed in 1985, led the European countries to abolish their borders and thereby allowing free movement for anyone visiting the Schengen countries. This agreement permits people to not only travel but also to stay in the Schengen agreement countries, which means you don’t have to apply for multiple visas, if you are traveling to more than one Schengen country.
The visa holder is allowed to transit through or intended stay in the territory of Schengen states of a duration of not more than 90 days in any 180 periods. (Short term visa)
Or the holder of this visa can transit through international transit areas of the Schengen states. (Airport transit visa)
There are 26 Schengen countries that lie within the Schengen territory:
– Czech Republic
RULES FOR THE ISSUANCE OF SCHENGEN VISAS:
According to Schengen border rules, visas are not issued normally except for family members of EEA citizens and also only under unusual circumstances for third country nationals. For example: with the purpose of attending funeral service of a family member, where it can be proven that there was no possibility of applying the visa beforehand.
Over 126 countries require a Schengen visa to enter into any of the 26 Schengen countries.
European Union Citizens nationals are not only visa exempted but are also entitled to live in each other’s countries.
List of the countries who do not require a visa to enter into the Schengen area from the European Union countries:
– RomaniaWHERE TO SUBMIT THE VISA APPLICATION?
Schengen visa application has to be submitted at the representation of the country that is your main destination of visit. If you’re visiting any Schengen state for the same duration, the consulate is responsible for issuing the visa only for the first country of entry into the Schengen area.
For Example: If you’re intending to travel to Europe for 3 weeks and are planning to spend 2 weeks in Germany and 1 week in Hungary then you have to apply for the Schengen visa from the German consulate.
It is sometimes difficult to determine the main destination of travel. People usually intend to make several visits to different Schengen countries with approximately same length of visit. In such a case you should go to the consulate of the first country you intend to visit.
Depend on the type of Schengen visa applied, there are several additional documents that are required and needs to be attached.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA:
• One passport size photo
• Valid Passport
• Travel Health insurance
• Proof of finances
• Bank statement covering a 6-month period
• Accommodation and itinerary details
• Letter of invitation from your address in the Schengen (If required)
And in the case of a minor, there are few additional requirements requested by the corresponding institution:
• Minor’s birth certificate
• Application form needs to be signed by both the parents.
• In the case of one parent having the full custody of the child, the family court order needs to be presented.
• Certified copies of both the ID’s of the parents.
• The NOC signed by both the parents and attached, if the minor is traveling alone.
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHENGEN VISA
1. How long does it take to apply for a Schengen visa?
It generally takes about 3-4 weeks to obtain a Schengen visa. However, it is advisable to start the processing of the visa at least 45 days prior to your departure. This ensures that you have sufficient time to complete a few formalities that may be required to be done.
2. How does a multiple entry Schengen visa policy work?
A multiple Schengen visa allows you to go in and out of Schengen visa territory for as long as your Schengen visa is valid.
3. How many times can I apply for a Schengen visa (Visit/Tourist) after rejection?
Rarely a Schengen visa is rejected. However, some common reasons of rejection may include reasons like improper documentation. So when you’re applying for a second application then make sure you provide a history of the first one that you have applied. There is no restriction on the number of times you can apply for a Schengen visa. Every application is considered a new one.
SOME TIPS TO GET SCHENGEN VISA EASILY
1. Do your research well – Schengen visa applications and requirement may vary according to your nationality.
2. Checklist of your visa requirements – make a list of all that is needed to complete your visa formalities and make sure you submit all the authentic and original documents to the consulate of the Schengen country you are applying for.
3. Don’t skip the details – As per the embassies, rules may differ. For example, some may want you to paste your photo, while some may require you to staple them.
4. Provide evidence – The more, the better! Do not even think of doctored documents, chances are you may get banned, forget being issued a Schengen visa!
5. Convey that you have traveled previously – Show your previous travel documents, passports stamps, tickets and hotel bookings, so as to convey to the embassy that you are quite a reliable traveler. This is not a must, but definitely a plus point.
As we see, getting Schengen Visa successfully is no rocket science, but just a matter of following the above guidelines and wow, you are done!
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