With temperatures all over India soaring to record-breaking levels, this year could be the perfect time to head to the cooler climates of Europe and take in some of the amazing sights and sounds on offer.
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If Europe is one of the destinations on your ‘must visit’ bucket list, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to tell you all you need to know about applying for a Schengen Tourist Visa in India.
And contrary to popular belief, it really isn’t as expensive as some may think, so you won’t need to max out your Credit Cards any time soon.
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Here is a step by step guide on how to apply for a Schengen Visa, so get your Sauerkraut and your Ravioli ready and let’s get going:
The first thing you need to do before applying for a Schengen visa is to get all your documents in order. Make sure you have all the following documents as well as a set of copies in your possession before you head over for your visa interview.
Valid Passport – Make sure you have a valid passport that has been issued within the last 10 years. Your passport should also have a minimum of 3 months validity following the date of your intended return and should have a minimum of two empty pages.
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Application Form – You can download and print out the visa application and declaration forms from the VFS website of the European country that you will be entering Europe through, and fill in the relevant details. Make sure all pages are signed wherever necessary.
Passport Data Page – You will be required to carry an A4 size copy of your passport’s data page.
Travel Health Insurance – You can purchase a Travel Health Insurance policy online for the duration of your stay in Europe. This is a mandatory requirement when applying for a Schengen visa.
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Personal Covering Letter – This letter should state all your relevant personal details, your reason for visiting Europe, your entire day-to-day itinerary for the period of your stay and a brief of all the documents you have enclosed with your application.
Minors travelling on their own will be required to submit a letter of consent signed by his or her parents as well as the applicant. The minor will also have to submit the visa application form signed by his or her parents and provide a copy of the parents’ passport data pages.
Leave Letter – If you are employed, then you will be required to provide a leave letter from your company, or a no-objection certificate from your school/college if you happen to be a student.
Flight Tickets – It is mandatory to provide proof of return flight tickets.
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Accommodation Proof – It is also mandatory to provide proof of your stay in Europe whether via hotel or hostel bookings.
Proof of Finance – If you’re employed you will be required to provide your bank statement for the last 3 months, your company’s job offer letter and your Income Tax Returns. Submitting copies of your Fixed Deposits, if any, will also aid your case.
If you happen to be self-employed, then a Certificate of Proprietorship will need to be provided along with your personal bank statement for the previous 3 months showing adequate funds.
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Civil Status Proof – Depending on your civil status, you will be required to submit a copy of your marriage certificate, your child/children’s certificate of birth, ration card etc
Passport Photographs – Make sure you submit two recent passport size photographs according to Schengen biometric stipulations.
Remember, non-submission of any of the documents mentioned above could lead to the rejection of your visa application.
2) Book An Appointment
You can book your visa appointment online at the consulate nearest to you. Currently you can apply for your Schengen visa at consulates at Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. Make sure you show up on the stipulated date at the time chosen.
It is generally advisable to be present at the relevant visa processing centre at least an hour before your scheduled appointment time.
Once you have submitted your documents at the consulate, and if they are all found to be in order, then your application will be taken in for processing and you will be required to pay the necessary visa fees immediately.
Your passport with the visa will be delivered to the address mentioned by you within a maximum time period of 10 working days. Just make sure you apply for your visa at least two weeks before the date of your trip. Keep in mind that once you get your Schengen visa, you can visit any of the Schengen countries in Europe without restriction.
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There you have it! It really is quite simple. All you need to do is ensure that all your documents are in place and that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself over the duration of your trip. So, get cracking. The rolling plains of the European countryside are calling your name.
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And while you’re online, take a gander at some of our Personal Loans. You’re sure to find something will pique your interest.