How To Get Schengen Visa from India

By Deepak Kannan on Oct 18, 2016
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It is that time of the year to go on a long travel leaving all your sorrows behind and what's more a better place to visit, than Europe. If you are one amongst the 10,000 other passionate travelers from India who are planning to take a trip to Europe then you should be knowing about Schengen visa. To make your planning easier and your trip to Europe comfortable we have put together all the necessary information and tips that you should know about Schengen visa and a practical guide on how and where to apply for Schengen visa from India.

What is Schengen visa and why is it necessary? 

Based on the Schengen agreement between 26 countries, the requirement of a passport for visiting the 26 countries in the Schengen area is abolished, allowing the citizens to move freely between different countries and the entire Schengen area functions as a single country without any boundaries. So in order to visit any of these countries listed under the Schengen area you need to apply for a Schengen visa. For more information read the ultimate Schengen Visa Guide.

Schengen countries:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

Process of applying for a Schengen visa from India

Before jumping on how and where to apply for a Schengen visa from India first understand which country in the Schengen area you should address your application to. 
If you are planning to visit and stay in only one European country then base your visa application on the same country. If you are planning to visit multiple countries within Europe then base your visa on the country where you will be staying for the longest. Couldn't find the country with the longest stay duration? Then, in that case, simply apply for a visa for the country through which you will be entering first (don't consider layovers). 
To apply for a Schengen visa from India, you should find out the respective countries' embassy. To make your job easier use Vfsglobal and search for the respective countries' name in the 'Need information on the visas/permits' section.
Step 1: Search for Schengen visa application form and check for its price.  
Step 2: Download the visa application of the country by making an online payment.
Step 3: Study the document requirements and keep them handy. Most countries require the same documents to be submitted but it is always good to be sure.
Step 4: Look for the embassy location of the country of your interest and visit them in direct or just courier your documents over as listed on the website. In case you have any doubts, clarify them with the embassy. 

Documents for a Schengen Visa Application from India

1. Schengen Visa Application

Edit the visa application right away on your computer or take a printout of the application and fill it up with a black/blue pen. Make 2-3 copies of the unfilled visa application for safety. 

2. Cover Letter and IT 

The first thing that you should be ready with, is a cover letter that has a strong claim to your purpose of visit. Along with your cover letter submit copies of your IT returns 3 years), bank statement containing the details of the last 6 months of transaction, receipt of the cash in hand (in euros) - this can be bought by exchanging your Indian currency in a foreign exchange centre and salary slips. Basically, the amount that you show in your account should be sufficient enough to cover all your expenses mentioned in the itinerary. And in case, you're showing the documents of some else in your family who will cover all of your expenses, then that person should definitely accompany you during your travel. If else, make the suitable transaction to your account to avoid further confusion.

3. Itinerary and Booking Proof 

You have to submit a proof of your itinerary which includes your hotel booking confirmation, air tickets (to and fro), and internal transfer details. This is to ensure that you stay only for a few days in the country and that you will return back. If you are planning to stay in any of your relatives or friends place, ask them for a Proof of accommodation (which can be got from a government office near their residence), copies of their driving license, passport and a valid id.

4. No Objection Certificate (NOC)

If you are working in a firm, make sure that you get a No Objection Certificate from your employer, including the number of days you will be off from the work, for legitimate reasons.

5. Photographs

Keep at least 6-10 passport size photographs with you and these photos should be recently taken and for the requirements kindly verify it with the concerned embassy. Basically, your photographs should be of a solid background with you properly groomed and for your visa application, you will be asked to submit 4-6 passport size photographs normally.

6. Passport

You have to submit your passport which should at least have two empty pages to fill in your visa and should be valid for a minimum of 3 months from your planned stay in Europe. 

7. Travel Insurance

Before traveling to Europe, it is vital that you take a travel insurance with a Schengen approved travel agency or a third party insurance company and submit the proof of the insurance along with the visa application.  

8. ID proof

Along with all these documents, submit copies of your id proof (including pan card, voters id, drivers license, company id and aadhar card).
Once you are done with sending all the mentioned documents to the embassy, prepare yourself for the personal interview and biometrics. The interview is just a basic formality but to make it a hassle free process memorize all the details of the documents that you have submitted for reference including the itinerary and other travel related information. And don't be brutally honest with your answers. Reply with truth but at the same time, answer in a way that will convince the interviewer. 

Frequently Asked Questions (Faqs)

When should I apply for a Schengen visa?

Schengen visa processing time in India is very swift. It takes only a 2-3 days to issue your visa from the date of the interview and the biometrics, but it is advisable to apply for the Schengen visa a 30- 45 days prior to the date of your travel. 

Can I extend my stay?

A typical Schengen visa provides you a chance to stay for a maximum of 90 days and if you want to extend your Schengen visa in case of any emergency, you can request the embassy of the country you are in and it will be extended to an additional of 90 days and not more than that. 

Does a minor need a Schengen visa?

Yes, of course, you need a Schengen visa to visit Europe regardless of the age. In case of minors, both the parents should sign the application form and children below the age of 6 can avail Schengen visa, free of cost. 

What are the documents I need to submit if I want a Schengen visa to study in Europe?

A completely filled-out visa application, letter of acceptance from the college/university in the Schengen country, proof of your financial statements, photocopies of your id proof, and passport size photographs. 

Can I travel to the UK using a Schengen visa? 

No, you cannot. You have to apply for a separate visa in case you are planning to visit the UK. 
If you have followed all the procedures listed, you are all set to go and you will receive your Schengen visa in no time but to be on the safer side, book your accommodations in hotels that are easier to cancel.
Did we miss out on any of your queries? Please let us know in the comments, we are more than happy to help. 
Traveling to Europe all alone! Read the practical tips for a safe solo trip in Europe

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