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How difficult is to get Schengen Visa for first time from India?

How difficult is it to get Schengen Visa for the first time?

Almost every day I receive calls from people across all over India asking me out on the fears and possibilities of applying Schengen visa for the first time. Most of the questions I get:

  • I have never been outside India before; do I have chances to get it?
  • I have only been to Asia countries like Thailand, Dubai etc., do I have chances to get it?
  • I only have ITR for current year but don’t have ITR for previous years, will that be problem?
  • My official financial are less, but I can still afford, can I get the visa?
  • My family members can sponsor my trip, will that support my visa case?
  • I am self-employed but don’t have business registrations, can I build visa case?

I can keep on going and the questions can be literally endless. Thousands of people apply for Schengen visa from India ever month and its popularity are just increasing day by day.

Visa Questions

At the same time, you will also come across many heart-broken people when they receive visa refusal decisions and their dreams of visiting Europe are shattered in a single blow. It feels so bad knowing that even you can afford, knowing that all you wanted was to just travel your dream destination and come back to you home country to share the experiences back with family and friends and even though you were simply not allowed.  

Its true its feel sad, but one has to also understand that there are literally thousands of other fake cases which are applied from India just on the pretext of going there and overstaying and that why the consulate officials are very particular about checking your documentation in the strictest yet efficient manner.

But again, in order to be efficient, one first need to understand the concept of Schengen visa.

Brief about Schengen Visa

The Schengen Visa allows you to travel 26 countries. It is now widely known to most of the people in India. The steps are pretty much straight forward, you collect all your documents as per their document’s checklist, fill your application, assemble all your documents and submit them in VFS Global center closest your city.

In addition, there are two different way to prepare your case:

  • One way is to do actual prepaid bookings (Actual flight, hotel etc.) and submit with your other financial and employment documents.
  • Second is do only do temporary hold bookings, in which the money saving is pretty solid.

The second way is acceptable in most of Schengen embassies within 26 countries but few countries may expect you give completely secured bookings. (This is something you need to double check before you apply).

Moreover, there are two different way to prepare your itinerary:

  • If your plan being actual planned already, you can pick that Itinerary.
  • Or pick an indicative itinerary based on selecting the right best fit embassy for you.

The second step I usually recommend to most of the people. Since your travel plans within Schengen can change even after getting your visa, so its not a problem explaining the same to immigration officer and he also understand that very well.

How to get Schengen visa for the first-time applicant?

Now as you have understood the basic concept, lets point out on how first timers can get their visa approval chances almost close to 100%.

  • Get your financials in place. Your ITR’s and bank statements plays a very important role in this. Your ITR’s gross income easily defines whether you can afford your trip or not. If you have ITR filed below 5-6 lacs, only plan 5 days trip. If you have 10 lacs, then a week trip. Likewise, the more you have the more no. of days you can plan. But If you are sponsoring your family trip, then you need to have more income filed in your ITR to fund their trip as well. If you are parents/family members are sponsoring, then financial should easily justify your trip.
  • You bank statement should not show sudden big cash transactions. It won’t work and would add negative to your case. Your cash flows in your bank statement should be justifiable as per your professional background.
  • You can also support your financials by adding your credit cards statements & audited balance sheets showing your immovable assets (if you are self-employed).
  • The next part is your employment documents. For people employed they should properly arrange their NOC (No Objection certificate) & last 3-6 months’ pay slips and keep in mind that all the documents should have necessary information about your position in current organization, joining dates, your entitled leaves of vacations and when will you be resuming back again. You can also attach your first and large page of your work contracts as it may also help.
  • For Self-employed, they company registration (GST certificates, if not then Shop and establishment registration or other government associations like chamber of commerce etc.) You need to also show your current bank statements as well. For Independent consultants, their contracts with the companies they are working or any other documents showing that you have professional ties back to your home country.
  • Your social ties are another important thing. If you are traveling with family then your relationship proofs, if you are visiting friends then their invitations letters along proof of your friendship such as photographs of event you have attended together etc.
  • Next comes is your documents related to travel. Your temporary flight ticket should have verifiable PNR number, your hotel vouchers should be genuine, if you can show your pre-paid vouchers of local travel plans, it will be an added benefit. You should also show a nicely designed day-by-day Itinerary which will support your vouchers and plans and will give confidence of your knowledge and Genuity to the visa officer.
  • Last but not the least, write your covering letters properly. Every visa officer reads your covering letter but at the same time they are very short on time checking every single application, so you have to make it short and precise summarizing all important points about your travel. In addition, you should also show your inter-Schengen destinations and their schedule.

Conclusion

If you are confident enough in preparing all the above documents in right professional manner then you should do the entire documentation yourself and you will definitely get your visa. But even then, I still always advise to hire a professional. The reason I say this always because when I started traveling myself, I did many such mistakes and learned from them eventually. Even though I had a keen passion of learning and understanding everything in details, I then lacked the experience in beginning which later came with time. So, if you can afford, hire a professional but find the right one who knows and have the understanding of preparing your case properly.

For professional support, we also provide Schengen visa assistance service.

Contact Us!

Everything is achievable even for the first timers if one has right understanding and knowledge to do it. Europe is full of amazing destinations and I share my best wishes for all those who are planning their trip soon to Europe. Don’t discuss much with other people, just follow the right logical mindset and go with it!

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave your comments and I will be happy to respond them as soon as possible!

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Schengen Visa Hacks & Secrets!

Schengen Visa Hacks & Secrets!

Travel smarty!

Schengen Visa hacks and serets!

Thousands  of people apply every day for Schengen visa from all over the world with a hope to visit the charms of Europe. Some get lucky while most get disappointed when the visa is rejected. And among the rejected are not just people with not good financial background, but even for those who earns top monthly income figures. But Why does it happen?

If you first wish to know the basics of applying Schengen visa, then kindly visit here. In this post, I would like to share some important facts, secrets or insights on how to get your schengen visa in smart & easy ways.

Vist First, Travel After.

Don't purchase actual flight/hotel/packages before getting your visa! Apply first your schengen visa with temporary bookings for a small additional fee. For pricing details, click on the title above.

Select countries where fully confirmed flight reservations not required.

Some countries don't require fully confirmed flight tickets, but some do. So always select those where only temporary booking and travel itinerary is required.

Book Multi-City Flight tickets for Intra-Schengen Reservations (If Required)

If for some reasons, you wish to show Intra-Schengen transportation reservation, the best trick is to show multi-city flight booking covering each flight leg including your travel cities within Schengen area. For Pricing, click on the title.

Show Personal Net worth & Assets to boost your financials.

A single page summary for your personal assets proving your home and other property as well other immovable assets. All this will definitely boost your financials.

Show Previous Travel History

If you have traveled previously to USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or even South Korea, add their visa copies and stamp copies along with your application. It will strengthen trust and confidence with visa officer against reasons to come back.

Pick Embassy, not destination.

Pick Embassy with fastest processing and approval cycle. It always varies from each embassy's individual consulate spread across different regions. So pick wisely.

Select Countries where Intra-Schengen Reservations Not required

Some countries requires Intra-Schengen transportation reservations while some don't. Select preferably those which only required travel plan and international temporary reservations.

Always Show Credit Card Copies

It Is always wise to Show credit card copies with credit limit summary. The limits automatically gets added to your required financials along with your saving accounts deposit balance. If you don't have one, apply for a free card now.

Show Foreign Exchange Endorsements.

Show Foreign currency notes or Pre-Paid cards proofs/receipts linked to your passport details. This will again add your financial expectations. You can take your family members help to arrange this (if in case your own savings account deposit balance is less)

Show Prepaid Travel Vouchers!

Pre-Paid travel vouchers such as local city tours, airport transfers etc. can also be attached along with your applications to support your intentions and boost your financials. All these vouchers sometimes come with possibility of free cancellations. Contact your travel agents or on our website to know more about this.

Schengen Visa Documentation can be both easy and difficult if you knows the facts and way to do it properly. If you wish to opt for expert services, you can check our prices and details information by click here.

For Schengen visa, documentation is the right key, the more accurate your documents are, the best case of approval you get. If you for any chance feel little less confident in preparing the above documents, we always recommend to hire a professional to prepare your case. (But obviously, finding the right professional agent/consultant also matters a lot).

For professional support, we also provide Schengen visa assistance service.

Contact Us!

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Visas

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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How difficult is to get Schengen Visa for first time from India?

Many people apply for Schengen Visa first time but not everyone get instant approvals from Embassy in India. Learn the insights on how difficult or easy it is to get Schengen visa for first timers.

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