What is the Schengen Area?
Schengen area refers to a group of 26 European countries that have abolished the border control between them, thus eliminating the need to have a passport to enter these countries. The areas share a common visa policy and function under a single jurisdiction for international travel.
Who Needs a Schengen Tourist Visa?
While Schengen is considered as one of the largest visa-free zones where a lot of nationalities have the privilege to enter these countries without the need for a visa, however, there are a handful of countries citizens, that still need a valid Schengen visa to enter any Schengen area countries, Indians fall into this category. So, those who are planning a trip to any member of Schengen countries need to apply for a Schengen visa from India.
List of Mandatory Documents Required for Schengen Tourist Visa Application
Schengen tourist visa, which is also called a short-term visa, allows you to travel and stay in Schengen area countries for a maximum period of 90 days within 6 months period for the sole purpose of a pleasure trip.
Some mandatory documents are required to fulfil the Schengen tourist visa application, let’s take a look at these.
- Visa application form: The visa application form can be easily downloaded online from the official website, and it needs to be duly filled by each applicant travelling.
- Valid passport: You need to have a valid Indian passport that is not older than 10 years. Ensure that the passport has at least 3 months validity from the travel date and has at least 2 blank pages.
- Round trip itinerary: You should be able to furnish documents that clearly state the dates of entry and exit from Schengen countries, along with flight details like flight numbers.
- Hotel reservations: You need to submit proof of stays like hotel reservations that detail the complete address and contact details. If your trip is being organized by a travel agency, then you must submit a letter from the tour organizer with all the stay details.
- Recent passport size photograph: You have to submit two recent passport size photographs, not older than 6 months that meet the size requirement of 35x45mm and it should clearly show your face with a neutral expression taken with a bright monotone background.
- Travel health insurance: Your Schengen visa application process makes it mandatory to have a travel insurance plan in place that clearly shows that you have purchased a health insurance policy that covers medical emergencies with a minimum of 30,000 euros.
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- Financial Proof: You also need to furnish documents that supplement your financial ability to take this trip. You can submit either:
- A bank statement for the last 3 months that clearly shows your end statement balance.
- an affidavit of support in the form of a sponsorship letter if someone else is financing your trip.
- Employment status proof: Documents confirming your employment status should also be furnished.
- If you are employed by a company then you have to submit a leave permission letter, your ITR, and your employment contract.
- For those who are self-employed then you have to submit a copy of your business license, ITR, and company’s current bank statement for the last 6 months.
- If you are a student, you have you submit valid proof of your college course enrollment and a no-objection certificate from the college or university.
- For retired people, the pension statement for the last 6 months holds good.
- For minors: If you are a minor who is taking this trip, then you should submit a copy of your birth certificate, or proof of adoption or custody certificate in case your parents are divorced / death certificate of parent
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Schengen Visa Application Requirements
Based on the number of Schengen countries you wish to travel to, the submission is regulated.
- If you have planned a trip to only one Schengen area country, then you need to file your duly filled application at the embassy/consulate/visa centre of that country.
- If you are planning to visit more than two Schengen area countries for an unequal number of days, then you need to file your duly filled application at the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the country where you are spending the most number of days.
- In the event where you are planning to visit more than two Schengen area countries for an equal number of days, then file your duly filled application at the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the country where you are arriving first.