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Schengen Visa Guide for Indian Passport Holder

Schengen Visa Guide for Indian Passport Holder

Being a frequent traveler to Europe, I have received tons of questions about getting a Schengen Visa. It’s quite expected.

Europe is a dream destination for several, and the Schengen Visa is probably the most complicated or if well known, the most easiest visa.

In this blog, I’ll try to answer the questions I have been asked the most, as promptly as I can. However, on a NOTE that I am writing based only as per my own experiences. The goal is to help other applicants/travelers to have a better picture of the process. But I encourage you to still contact us for more effortless process.

WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

  • What is a Schengen Visa?
  • What are the Schengen countries?
  • Embassy to which I lodge my visa application?
  • What are the requirements?
  • What is the application process? What are the steps?
  • Do we ought to book flights before applying for a visa?
  • Is travel insurance really necessary?
  • Where to get travel insurance?
  • Can I book hotels on my own?
  • What does a detailed itinerary look like?
  • Validity of the visa?
  • Am I able to visit countries that don’t seem to be within the itinerary I submitted?
  • If my application is approved, do I even have to stay to the itinerary I submitted?
  • Is a cover letter required?
  • Are embassies really strict?
  • Is there an interview?
  • What are the questions raise at the interview?
  • How early to  apply for a Schengen visa?
  • How soon the visa is obtained after application?
  • what proportion cash to have within the bank for  visa?

What is a Schengen Visa?

The Schengen Visa is a travel document that permits the holder to enter any of the twenty six states that includes Schengen territory.

Its like a virtually all-access pass to several countries in Europe,  within the Schengen zone and it eliminates the hassle to apply for a visa for each individual country.

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greecea

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxemborg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain
  • Switzerland
Schengen-countries

Which embassy should I lodge my visa application?

It will depend upon the aim of your trip or your overall European itinerary.

The rule is:

  • If you’re visiting only one country, apply at the embassy of that country.
  • If you’re visiting multiple countries, apply at the embassy of the main destination or the country where you will be staying the longest.

However, some countries have additional rules. It is best to counter-check with the Embassy to be completely positive.

What are the requirements?

List of requirements is right here: https://www.dreamsvoyager.com/schengen-visa/

There are little variations, though, so make sure you check with the embassy that will process your application.

Do we have to be compelled to book flights before applying for a visa?

Don’t book your flights yet. They only require a confirm flight reservations & not your actual flight booking, so don’t pay for your flights yet! Some travel agencies provide dummy tickets  (often for a fee) which you can use for schengen visa (keeping in mind the hold period time for these tickets).

DreamsVoyager is a registered accredited travel agency. You can get flight reservations, hotel reservations, and travel insurance for visa application only. click here for Bookings.

Is travel insurance really necessary?

Where to get travel insurance?

Can I book hotels on my own?

The short answer is YES.

Some embassies, just like the Spain Embassy, needs an extra 15-day coverage on the travel dates you are traveling.

Make sure you recognize these very little rules once buying travel insurance.

You can simply purchase travel insurance online. We recommend a reliable Travel and Medical Insurance fullfiling your visa criteria. 

You can book travel insurance with DreamsVoyager too! Refer the same page we created for Visa Reservations.

Yep. You can book via third-party websites, but book hotels with FREE Cancellation policy so you won’t be wasting money in case your visa gets rejected.

You can also book Hotels for schengen visa direclty here:  Visa Reservations.

What does a detailed itinerary for schengen visa look like?

We have many custom tailor made itineraries in hand.  Book with us to get a curated itinerary based on your requirements which works best for your visa.

Can I visit countries that are not in the itinerary I submitted?

Yes, as long as it is within the Schengen Zone. The itinerary prepared for schengen visa is proposed based on your current travel planning. Your travel plans may improvise later and as far as your are traveling with the schengen states, you can follow the improvised version as well and carry the booking for the same during your travel to show at immigration.

Is a cover letter required?

I extremely encourage you to supply one particularly as usually in schengen visitor visa there is very less chances of personal interview and thus you can justify the aim of your trip much better through documentation. We provide complete documentation including all types of visa letters required for schengen visa including:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Invitation Letter
  3. Sponsor Letter

Are embassies really strict?

yes, but some are more strict than others. For example, in my travel circles, the Italian embassy has more rejection rate, while the French, German and Dutch along with Asutrian embassies are known for being more forgiving and considerate. That’s just according to my own expereinces and may not be true in some cases.

Is there an Interview for Schengen Visitor Visa?

Some embassies conduct a short interview, some don’t. Usually, when third party agents (like VFS in this case) is involved, ther will no longer be an interview required most likely. But if there is a longer stay & embassy has doubts on your documentation or intention, they might call you for interview or requiring further documents. 

Some travelers are usually asked for interview at the embassy if they want more clarifications. It’s best to check with the embassy to be sure. Just answer their questions truthfully and confidently. Never lie as most of the time, they will know.

What are the questions raise at the interivew?

When one of my client applied, these were aksed:

  • What is the purpose of your trip?
  • How long is your trip?
  • How long will you stay in (country)?
  • What is your first stop?
  • What countries are you going to visit?
  • When will you leave?
  • When will you be back?
  • Will this be your first time in Europe?
  • What countries did you visit on your initial trip to Europe and for what purpose?
  • Do you know anyone in (country)?
  • Do you know anyone in any other Schengen country?
  • How are you related to them?
  • How did you meet?
  • With whom are you traveling?
  • How are you related to your companion?
  • What do you do for a living? (Expect a lot of follow up questions about your job.)
  • However long have you ever been along with your company?
  • Does your company know you’re taking this trip?
  • Do you own properties in India (home country)?

Most of the questions were about three main things:

  • The details of the trip, which means you must know your itinerary by heart.
  • Connections to anyone in Europe.
  • Job and your rootedness in home country.

Again, you have to answer every question truthfully and confidently. Note that these are just the common questions, they might still raise loads of alternative queries relavant to your background and application.

How early to apply for shcengen visa?

You can apply upto 6 months before the day of departure. While most embassies are comparitively quick, it is wise to give some time allowance just in case something doesn’t go as planned (E.g. They may ask for additional documents).A month before is even likely to be too tight for the application. 

Two months at least will provide you with enough time to secure all needed focuemnts and fix a haul if rise.

How soon visa is obtained after submitting application?

It depends a lot on the embassy or consulate you are applyng to within schengen states. The French embassy usually released visa within 1 week while other can take upto 2 weeks to even 1 month. It also depends on your case and documentation. 

How much cash to have within the bank for visa approvals?

No one really knows for sure with the minimum amount is, but bear in mind this:- you will be asked to submit flight and reservations along with day-by-day travel itineray and plan.

So here’s the thumb rule you can follow:- add the price of the flight you reserved + the cost of the accomodation + 60 Euro per day. Some embassies need 45 euro per day, some 50, some 55, to be on the safe side, use 60 euro per day per person. Of couse, that can’t be the sole quantity in your account!

How long is the validity of the visa?

Depends on the itinerary you will be submitting and the embassy where you will submit the application. It also depends on how strong and curated your documents are! 

A tourist schengen visa permits third-country nationals to enter into the shengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 6-month period, under the purpose of traveling or visiting for pleasure.

Conclusion

The Schengen visa might seem vast and complicated, but all you need to do is keep a simple checklist of up-to-date documents ready. Follow the  process mentioned above, and it will automatically seem less confusing. (Do remember to start collecting your documents well in advance of your trip. This will save you a lot of time, effort and panic).

Take a deep breath. We’re here to simplify the entire process. When you apply for for schengen visa with DreamsVoyager, we guide you through the entire process, step by step. Furthermore, we also provide you with a few tips to keep in mind when you start the Schengen visa application process.

This visa is your gateway to all your childhood dreams, to the land of stunning natural beauty, snowy mountains, shimmering blue coastlines, charming cities and more. So, let’s break down the Schengen visa and the process of obtaining one, so you can start booking your trip as soon as possible.

With DreamsVoyager you have a guide by your side. A little bit of research and planning ahead is all it takes. You can then sit back, relax and look forward to the trip of a lifetime!

For Schengen Visa professional support, contact us!

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