Schengen tourist visa application? I can see you shaking your head already. When I was battling my way to get a Schengen tourist visa, I was surprised how easy to get one! It was a long shot to be honest, as what they say – you’ll never know until you try to. Although I had an easy pass on this one, I can’t keep your hopes up. Because I was rejected once. There are some factors that could help you get your Schengen tourist visa easily.
I hold a Philippines’ passport by the time I applied for my Schengen tourist visa, I was in Hanoi, Vietnam on a tourist visa. How I was able to do this:
I emailed the Danish Embassy in Hanoi and explained my situation. I mentioned that I am travelling indefinitely and don’t have a plan to go back to the Philippines anytime soon. I asked if I can send my Schengen tourist visa application to them and mentioned that I have a Danish citizen to host me. I’ve got a go signal and started the process immediately.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE PART OF THE SCHENGEN AREA
WHAT IF I HAVE A HOST
Alright, let’s face the truth, it’s a lot easier if you have someone who can host you. However, nowadays, many embassies are getting more strict regarding having a host. A host can be a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, a family relative, your parents, or even the parents of your partner. Having a host will give your case a massive plus point. However, not everyone is qualified to be a host.
Is your host qualified?
- Will the host only provide accommodation? – He/she has a place that he/she is legally living at the address he/she will provide
- Will the host be going to cover all your expenses whilst you are in the Schengen State? – If yes, make sure that the host has a reasonable amount of money in his/her bank account to cover for you
REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA APPLICATION
This process is applicable to most Schengen Embassy in the world. However, check to the nearest Embassy to you first before gathering your requirements and booking any flight ticket or hotel accommodation.
Must be valid at least six (6) months prior to your departure – passport must have at least two blank pages.
Application form – online
Which you can download from the embassy pr the third party companies like VFS if they are working under the embassy.
Your bank statement
It must be from the last three months, showing that the account is under your name, the transactions and the total amount you have on the bank.
You must book or reserve accommodation throughout your stay in the Schengen area. If you are going to stay at your host’s home, you must provide their address and a letter that your host is consenting on this setup.
If you are travelling outside your host’s country, you must provide a booking for these places.
Photocopy of your the first page of your passport
Make a photocopy of the data page of your passport, it will be submitted to the embassy.
You will be required to provide and submit a complete itinerary of your trip from arriving at leaving the Schengen area.
Entry and an exit flight ticket
You must provide a flight ticket in and out of the Schengen area, however, you should book a refundable ticket in case your visa will be denied.
Means of subsistence
You have to show how you will be paying for yourself during your stay, if you have a credit card, you must submit the last billing, if you have a traveller’s cheque, you must show this, if your host will be paying during your entire stay, hey must submit the needed documents to the Danish embassy.
TIP: To make your application stronger, make sure that you have your own money under your name.
Invitation ID online
If you have a host, your host must submit an application to the Danish embassy as well. After submitting, your host will receive an invitation ID, you will need this to write it on your application form.
The embassy or the third party company will take your bio-metric record during your appointment.
You must check on your embassy if you need to make an appointment, if you are going through a third party company like VFS, check as soon as you can their earliest appointment to avoid any hassle.
STEPS ON PROCESSING YOUR VISA APPLICATION
1. Your host application
Ask your host to fill out this online invitation to visa application form. The bank statement of your host will be asked to be uploaded.
>Skip Step 1 if you don’t have a host
2. Fill out the application form online here
You will be needing the invitation ID from your host. Make sure you have one ready. >>You only need an invitation ID if you have a host.
3. Pay the application fee
Remember that you need to use a credit card or a Visa/MasterCard Debit Card. Check the fee table HERE.
3. Get an appointment
Call the Danish Embassy you are applying to and find out where to book an appointment. In Hanoi, I had to go through VFS Global. Your bio-metric will be recorded and your documents will be received. If you go through VFS Global, you need to pay a processing fee.
4. You will be contacted to claim your passport and the decision letter
However, the decision cannot be discussed over the phone or through an email. You must pick up your passport in person by yourself. If a representative is going to pick up your documents on your behalf, make sure to write an authorisation letter and attach a copy of your ID.
I received a call from VFS Global exactly a week after I sent my application, normally, it will take at least 15 days to process a Schengen tourist visa application. However, it is proven that the decision time depends on every embassy.
KEYNOTES WHEN APPLYING FOR SCHENGEN TOURIST VISA
- Your Schengen visa application should be submitted NOT more than three months before the start of the intended trip. FX: Flight date is June 10, the application should be sent after March 10 (NOT BEFORE).
- Submit your application as soon as possible, non-working holidays could mess up your plan
- The visa processing fee cannot be refunded if the visa is declined/refused
I hope my own experience has been useful to you, if you have any questions, let me know on the comment section.