Schengen Visa

Schengen Visa

A Schengen Visa is the document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to and within the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the EU and the other 4 are part of the EFTA. Schengen area covers the majority of European countries, except for the United Kingdom and countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland soon to be part of the agreement. However, there are countries that are not part of the EU like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein yet do belong in the Schengen area and cherish the free movement policy.

The Schengen Member States
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein

Who needs a Schengen visa?

The citizens of the non-Schengen member countries are requested a mandatory Schengen Visa in order to enter the Schengen Zone. There are exceptions to this rule, however: for some countries that are not part of the Schengen Agreement yet aren’t required a visa to enter the Schengen zone.
The list of the countries that need a visa to enter the Schengen Area can be found here.

Visa Application Requirements

In order to travel to one or more of the Schengen Zone countries, as aforementioned, one needs to apply for a Schengen visa at the designated embassy/consulate. There are however, certain requirements similar to every embassy/consulate that have to be met in order to pursuit the application. A unified exemplar of the requested documents with the additional information is meticulously described and listed at Schengen Visa Application Requirements section.

Types of Schengen Visa

Regarding the nature/purpose of the travel, there are several types of a Schengen visa issued by the designated embassy/consulate.

1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)

The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry. According to the purpose of traveling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the three categories, “A”, “B” and “C”.

2. Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)

This type of visa obtained allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa. Apart from these Schengen countries, this specific visa is invalid to any other Schengen country not specified prior.

3. National Visas

The national visa of “D” category is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries. The national visa can be of a single entry, granted for the people who are in need of residing in the Schengen country for a certain period of time, or for a sole purpose after which they shall return to their country.

Schengen Visa Fee

When applying for a Schengen visa there is a non-refundable mandatory visa fee every applicant must pay. The visa costs vary depending on the type of visa and age of the applicant as well as some other exceptions stated in the text.

The regular fee (in Euro)

  • Airport transit visa  –   60.00 EUR
  • Short stay visa, less than 90 days –   60.00 EUR
  • Long stay visa, more than 90 days  –    99.00 EUR
Schengen Travel Visa Insurance

Anyone travelling temporarily to a Schengen area from a country that is subject to visa requirements,  be it an individual or group visitors, tourists, or business travelers is required to purchase travel insurance that covers the number of days he/she will be spending in the Schengen Area.
The insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage must be EUR 30,000! We recommend this one!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa obtained by any of the Schengen Area member countries allows free movement to its holder within the whole Schengen Zone regarding the European Union Schengen members as well as the EFTA Schengen members, up to its validity and timeframe.

What does EFTA stand for?

EFTA is an association of ten Fair Trade importers in nine European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). EFTA was established informally in 1987 by some of the oldest and largest Fair Trade importers. It gained formal status in 1990. EFTA is based in the Netherlands and has Dutch Articles of Association.

How does EFTA differ from EU?

While the EFTA stands for an association of ten Fair Trade importers in nine European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), the EU is a group of mostly European countries, (28 to be exact) that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official currency, the euro.

When issued a visa, for how long can I reside in the Schengen Zone?

According to the type of visa issued by the certain embassy/consulate of any Schengen country there are different restrictions that apply to the particular visa in accordance to the nature of travelling and other relevant circumstances. However, the most common type of visa issued to the travellers can reach the maximum of 90 days in every six month period starting from the date of entry.

In which occasion am I allowed to apply for a Schengen visa?

Every person is allowed to apply for a Schengen visa as long as they can get all the required documentation in order and possess the financial means to maintain themselves during their stay to the Schengen area.

What type of a Schengen visa do I need?

Depending on the purpose/nature of your travel there are three major types of Schengen visa issued by the designated Embassy/Consulate.

  • The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry.
  • The Limited territorial validity visa allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa.
  • The national visa is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries.
What is a Uniform Schengen Visa?

According to the purpose of traveling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the three categories, “A”, “B” and “C”.

  • “A” category stands for theAirport Transit Visa which allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Country Area. Airport transit visa is mandatory for the citizens travelling from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state through a change of flights in a Schengen Country airport.
  • “B” category stands for the Transit Visa which allows its holder to transit within no more than 5 days through more than one Schengen country by car, coach or plane on the way to a Non-Schengen country.
  • “C” category stands for a Short-term visa which allows its holder to reside in a Schengen Country for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity.
What is a flight itinerary for Visa application?

Flight itinerary is a confirmed document which can be verified online about the schedule of a given flight.

With effect from 2 November 2015, Indian citizens requesting a Schengen visa will have to appear in person to provide biometric data (fingerprints and digital photography). This concerns the applications for the short-term Schengen visas (max. 90 days in 180 days).
For subsequent applications within next 5 years the biometric data will be copied from the previous visa application included in the VIS.
Apart from that, there will be no change in current procedures such as visa fee or forms. However, the applicants should be aware that due to provisions of biometric data, which might cause at the beginning some disruptions, the first visit to their respective Schengen State Consulate after 2 November 2015 might take a little bit longer.Exemptions from the obligation of fingerprinting are provided for the following categories of applicants only:
• Children under 12,
• Persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible;
• Sovereigns and other senior members of a royal family, Heads of State and members of the national Governments (with their official delegations and spouses) if they travel for official purposes.
Visa Requirements
Tourist
Tourist Visa is given to those visiting for tourism or other non-business related purposes. 

  • Application form to be filled in completely and signed by the applicant
  • Two recent passport-size (35-45 mm in width) photographs in colour according to EU norms. The photographs must be: no more than 6 months old, close up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70-80% of the photograph, photographs taken with a digital camera must be high quality colour and printed on photo-quality paper.
  • The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the intended duration of stay with two blank pages in the Schengen territory. Passports valid for more than 10 years will not be accepted as the main required travel document. It is mandatory to have two blank pages opposite to each other.
  • Proof of airline reservation for a round trip e.g. reservation slip. Ticket should not be bought until a visa is guaranteed or issued
  • Proof of accommodation: hotel reservation including the name of the hotel, phone numbers and hotel booking code, guarantee of host, etc.
  • Overseas medical insurance valid for all Schengen-countries with a minimum coverage of 30,000 EURO. The insurance has to cover all risk e.g. accident, illness, etc. Insurance policies have to be submitted with an English or German translation. The policy has to clearly specify the period of validity and has to cover the date of arrival & departure has to be submitted in original along with a photocopy. Approved list of Indian Travel Insurance Companies providing Travel Medical Insurance for Schengen Visa Click Here
  • Cover letter explaining the purpose of the trip and a detailed itinerary detailing each location to be visited and duration of stay at each location
  • Valid permit to return to India e.g. valid resident or return visa for citizens of other countries residing in India (if applicable)
  • Proof of Employment.
    • Employment letter from the current organization stating the position, the tenure and contact details.
    • Income/ salary slip covering last three months.
    • No objection certification from the organization confirming the leave status.
    • If you are self-employed; a letter from your lawyer, chartered accountant/The Chamber of Commerce including income statement or income tax return for last three (3) years
  • For students, a permission letter from school/college, including phone numbers and address, confirming the leave for specified period of travel (if applicable)
  • Proof of sufficient funds
    • Original bank statements of last three (3) months including address & telephone number of the bank
    • Traveller’s Cheques etc.
    • Note: Credit cards and cash are not accepted as proof of financial means but credit card statements can be submitted as supporting document.
  • In case of a minor
    • A no objection certificate should be produced by parents in case minor is travelling alone
    • A minor accompanied by one parent should also produce a no objection certificate by the other parent attested by a notary.
  • Copy of passport, visa/s and stamps (if any)
  • Applicant can be asked for additional documents or may be called for an interview if deemed necessary by the Embassy.
  • Please make sure that Air Ticket, Invitation, Insurance and Covering Letters have matching dates. All supporting documents must be submitted together- in original and duplicate/photocopy.
  • Application form, declaration & undertaking and requisite document must be signed by the Applicant. Representative and Travel Agents must bring the above signed documents at the time of submission.
  • The submission and collection of your visa application and passport from VFS can be done either by the applicant himself/herself or through any authorized person who bears an original authorization letter signed by the applicant and a photo-ID of the authorized person.

The Embassy has implemented a change in arrangement for the collection of passport(s) from VFS Visa Application Centre. With effect from 6th February 2015, third party collection of the documents or passports will not be permitted, except in the following cases:

  • Immediate Family Member (i.e. Parents, Children, Siblings);
  • One member of a group collecting for the entire group;
  • A person collecting on behalf of Govt. officials if authorized on the Govt. letter head or department;
  • Representative of a company – Authorization letter on the letter head of the company and the official ID card.

If any of the above comes for passport collection they need to carry the following documents:-

  • Photocopy of Govt. ID card;
  • Original ICR;
  • Authorisation Letter from applicant.
  • Applicants who do not wish to collect their documents in person and whose documents cannot be collected by one of the above should select delivery mode as courier at the time of submission. The applicants are requested to mention the complete delivery address on the covering letter. In case no specific address is mentioned on the covering letter, the passport will be sent to the address mentioned on the Visa Application Form. This procedural change is to ensure the safe and secure return of documents to applicants

Note : – Applicant can be asked for additional documents or may be called for an interview if deemed necessary

Business
A Business Visa is given those who are doing business such as making sales or establishing contacts on behalf of a company outside India.

  • Application form to be filled in completely and signed by the applicant
  • Two recent passport-size (35-45 mm in width) photographs in colour according to EU norms. The photographs must be: no more than 6 months old, close up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70-80% of the photograph, photographs taken with a digital camera must be high quality colour and printed on photo-quality paper.
  • The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the intended duration of stay with two blank pages in the Schengen territory. Passports valid for more than 10 years will not be accepted as the main required travel document. It is mandatory to have two blank pages opposite to each other.
  • Proof of airline reservation for a round trip e.g. reservation slip.
  • Proof of accommodation: hotel reservation, guarantee of host company, etc.
  • Overseas medical insurance valid for all Schengen-countries with a minimum coverage of 30,000 EURO. The insurance has to cover all risk e.g. accident, illness, etc. Insurance policies have to be submitted with an English or German translation. The policy has to clearly specify the period of validity and has to cover the date of arrival & departure has to be submitted in original along with a photocopy. Approved list of Indian Travel Insurance Companies providing Travel Medical Insurance for Schengen Visa Click Here
  • Valid permit to return to India e.g. valid resident or return visa for citizens of other countries residing in India (if applicable)
  • Proof of occupation.
  • Employment letter from the current organization stating the position and the tenure.
  • Income/ salary slip covering last three months
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • If you are self-employed; a letter from your lawyer, chartered accountant/The Chamber of Commerce including income statement or income tax return for last three (3) years
  • Original letter from the company specifying reason for and duration of travel
  • Original invitation letter from the company sent directly from the Company to the Embassy, copy to be submitted with the application.
  • Electronic Statement of Guaranty by sponsor (Elektronische Verpflichtungserklärung, EVE) obtained at the Foreigners Registration Office “Fremdenpolizei”.
  • Proof of sufficient funds
    • Original bank statements of last three.
    • months including address & telephone number of the bank.
    • Traveller’s Cheques etc.
    • Note: Credit cards and cash are not accepted as proof of financial means but credit card statements can be submitted as supporting document.
  • Copy of passport, visa/s and stamps (if any)
  • Applicant can be asked for additional documents or may be called for an interview if deemed necessary
  • The Visa fee, according to Schengen regulations, is non-refundable.
  • Frequent business travellers have the option of applying for a business visa for one year validity.
  • The submission and collection of your visa application and passport from VFS can be done either by the applicant himself/herself or through any authorized person who bears an original authorization letter signed by the applicant and a photo-ID of the authorized person.
  • Application form, declaration & undertaking and requisite document must be signed by the Applicant. Representative and Travel Agents must bring the above signed documents at the time of submission.

The Embassy has implemented a change in arrangement for the collection of passport(s) from VFS Visa Application Centre. With effect from 6th February 2015, third party collection of the documents or passports will not be permitted, except in the following cases:

  • Immediate Family Member ( i.e. Parents, Children, Siblings);
  • One member of a group collecting for the entire group;
  • A person collecting on behalf of Govt. officials if authorized on the Govt. letter head or department;
  • Representative of a company – Authorization letter on the letter head of the company and the official ID card.

If any of the above comes for passport collection they need to carry the following documents:-

  • Photocopy of Govt. ID card;
  • Original ICR;
  • Authorisation Letter from applicant.
  • Applicants who do not wish to collect their documents in person and whose documents cannot be collected by one of the above should select delivery mode as courier at the time of submission. The applicants are requested to mention the complete delivery address on the covering letter. In case no specific address is mentioned on the covering letter, the passport will be sent to the address mentioned on the Visa Application Form. This procedural change is to ensure the safe and secure return of documents to applicants

Note : – Applicant can be asked for additional documents or may be called for an interview if deemed necessary

Visa Fees
 Visa Category  Visa Fee in INR
Short Term Visa  4,330/-
Long Term Visa  7,210/-
Children age 6-12 years  2,530/-
VFS Charges  1,098/-
Processing Time
Minimum 10 Workingdays