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How and Where to apply for a Schengen Visa?

Do you need a visa?

First, check if you need a visa to enter the Schengen Area? You can find this if you click Do I need a VISA?

Fill the Visa Application Form!

Download the application form and fill it in cautiously and honestly. The application form has the same format no matter which country’s visa it is that the applicant is applying for.

Bear in mind that:
  • One shall download the latest form of the application since that is the only form accepted.
  • The application form can be filled in either by handwriting or by typing into it. The applicant has to sign the form in the corresponding gaps.
  • Careful not to leave any columns blank. If the applicant feels that there are columns that don’t correspond to his/her matter, fill them with NA (No Answer)
  • If the applicant is a minor, the parents have to submit a written consent and also sign in the corresponding column of the application form
  • In case the applicant is filling the form by hand, using black color is recommended.

Tip: Learn How to Fill-in the Schengen Visa Application Form!

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Passport and Photos

  • Your passport must be valid for three months after the expiry date of the visa you are applying for. The passport must have at least two blank pages.
  • One photo is to be attached. The photo must be recently taken. Learn more about Schengen Visa Photo Requirements.

Schengen Travel Insurance

In order for you to get a Schengen visa, you will need a travel visa insurance to cover the costs of repatriation and emergency medical expenses while in the Schengen Area. Coverage of insurance has to be at least 30,000 EUR (approx. 50,000 USD) and valid in all the Schengen States. The insurance policy from MAWISTA meets the requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa. The insurance certificate must be presented to authorities at the time when applying for the visa. If your visa is refused, ask the Embassy or Consulate to provide you with a document proving their refusal in order to cancel your travel insurance policy and get your money back!

Flight Itinerary and Proof of Accommodation

Where should you apply for a Schengen Visa?

It is true that once issued a Schengen visa, one is eligible to travel within the whole Schengen zone being that the visa Schengen bureaucracy is the same in every Schengen country, however, there are some predetermined rules and regulations due to where/which embassy/consulate must the applicant apply in for a Schengen visa in order to be traveling to their desired Schengen destination.

  • In cases where the applicant will be travelling to one and only one Schengen country, the applicant has to apply at the appropriate embassy/consulate of the certain country.
  • If the applicant is planning to visit two or more Schengen countries, it is highly recommended to be applying for the visa at the embassy/consulate of the country you will be residing in for most of the travelling days, referred to as the main destination.
  • In case there is no main destination, but just a random visit to several Schengen countries, the applicant has to apply for the visa at the embassy/consulate of the first Schengen country he/she will enter according to the itinerary.

Once it’s determined in which embassy/consulate one will apply in, the applicant will apply to the embassy/consulate of that country that has jurisdiction of over at your place of residence.

When is it that one has to apply?

Unfortunately, there is no fixed answer to this particular question due to different time-frame policies of the embassies/consulates in different parts of the world. Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended to apply for a Schengen visa around six weeks prior to one’s departure, in order to make your trip as planned.

Although it takes no more than 72 hours for processing a visa in general, there are times when this process takes quite much longer, from 14 up to 21 days in some countries concerning some citizens.

In some embassies, you are able to walk in at any time and submit the documentation meanwhile in some other you MUST make an appointment prior. If you are planning to travel on a short-term, the appointment must be made no more than 6 weeks in advance. This rule doesn’t apply to the applicants who are applying for a long-term visa.

What happens if there is no embassy/consulate of the certain Schengen country in the applicant’s place of residence?

In some third world countries, there might not be an embassy/consulate of the particular Schengen country you need the visa issued from. Nevertheless, that doesn’t pose any problems since these cases there are embassy/consulate representatives of the country that represents the interests of the country in the matter as well as their own which are responsible for issuing the applicant the required visa.

In case the applicant is denied the visa due to inability to provide the necessary documentation or proof that he/she meets the standards to be travelling in a Schengen zone there is a possibility to apply again at the embassy/consulate of their desired destination in a neighboring country.

Can I apply for a Schengen visa in a country where I am not a resident?

Yes. If you must apply for a Schengen visa in a country where you are not a resident, the justification why you are applying from that country will suffice.

The applicant must attend the designated meeting in person when handing the application form and the attached documentation. At the consulate, the applicant shall not be accompanied unless he/she is a minor, of sensitive health or not able to perform any locomotive activity. In case the applicant is not able to speak English or the language of the Schengen country whose consulate he/she is applying in a company is recommended.
If you fail to attend the embassy/consulate appointment without a prior notice of 48 hours the request will be cancelled and you will have to undergo the procedure once again.

Beware!

Even when the applicant offers all the required Schengen visa information and documents in the format wanted, the consulate/embassy might decide to reject their application – if such applicant doesn’t fulfil all the requirements to get the Visa.

Otherwise said, submitting all the necessary Schengen visa documents can only assure the applicant that their visa application is received by the respective consulate/embassy, and that such application will be kept into further consideration until the final decision is taken, and by any chance does not mean that candidate will be certainly approved such a visa.

For that reason, applicants are highly suggested not to rush into paying a non-repayable travel plan, before they receive the final decision from the embassy / consulate on their Schengen visa application.

What do I do if I urge to extend the Schengen visa?

In a case of any trustworthy reasons, personal, occupational, medical or otherwise, the applicant has to turn to the corresponding institutions in the Schengen country of residence and apply for an extension of the Schengen visa. The extended Schengen visa will give the applicant the right to visit the same Schengen territory as the original visa issued. A visa extension may not result in the duration of stay exceeding 90 days.

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