When applying for a visa, you need to meet the entire visa requirements to stand a chance of getting your visa approved, you are expected to submit all the required documents together with your application form. This is also applicable to the Schengen visa application. You need to submit all the required documents before your Schengen visa will be approved.
If you are currently seeking a Schengen visa, here is a Schengen visa application document checklist, this checklist will provide you all the documents you need to submit and what they are needed. With this, you can navigate the Schengen visa application process easily
Obtaining a Schengen visa
The Schengen Area is a group of European countries that have abolished border controls among themselves. A Schengen visa allows you to travel freely within this area for a specific period. Whether you’re going for tourism, business, or other purposes, to get this visa, you need the right documents else your application will be out-rightly rejected for incomplete application.
Schengen Visa Application document checklist
This is the most important document on our list, every Schengen visa application starts with the official visa application form. You need to get the application form, and you can get it through many means. You can usually download it from the website of the embassy of the Schengen country you plan to visit. During your application, make sure to fill it out accurately and completely, and don’t forget to sign it.
You can’t move without your passport, your passport is your travel companion, so make sure it’s in order.
You should check the following:
- Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date.
- Also, it should have at least two blank pages for visa stamps.
- Ensure any previous Schengen visas are still valid or have expired less than three months ago.
Most Schengen countries require two recent passport-sized photos during your visa application process. Another important thing about passport photographs is that each country has its specific size and format demand, so make sure that they meet the specific size and format requirements of the country’s embassy.
Your itinerary is your travel plan, no matter the Schengen country you are seeking to visit, you need to provide a detailed travel itinerary during your visa application, your itinerary should include your flight reservations, accommodation bookings, and a rough plan of your activities during your stay.
For some Schengen countries, this is not mandatory, but in some, as a Schengen visa applicant, you are required to have travel health insurance covering a minimum of €30,000 in medical expenses. Make sure that the policy covers your entire stay and all Schengen countries you plan to visit.
Proof of financial means
Proof of funds is as mandatory as your passport; you won’t be allowed to enter any Schengen area if you can’t afford your visit. You better stay back!
You need to prove that you have enough funds to cover your expenses during your Schengen trip. Your bank statements, sponsorship letters, or a combination of these can serve as your proof.
Letter of employment (if applicable)
This is usually not required but we have seen and spoken to many travelers to said they were asked to provide this and we later found out that it is due to what they filled in their application form.
If you’re employed, and your travel is connected to your employment, you need to provide a letter from your employer stating your job position, salary, and approved leave of absence during your trip.
Invitation letter (if applicable)
Did someone invite you? If someone in the Schengen country is inviting you, they should send you an official invitation letter stating their relationship to you, the purpose of your visit, and their responsibility for your stay.
You need to provide this letter during your visa application and your application form must reflect that you are going on invitation.
When you get to where you are going, where will you stay? It matters to the visa authorities. They want to make sure you have everything figured out, don’t give them a reason to doubt your travel plans.
Include confirmation of your hotel reservations, or if you’re staying with friends or family, a letter of invitation along with their ID or residence permit.
Proof of ties to your home country
To demonstrate your intention to return to your home country, provide documents like property deeds, business ownership, or family ties. Proof of ties with your home country is very important, it assures the visa officers that you have the intention of coming back home after your visit.
Depending on the country you are visiting and the purpose of your visit, other specific requirements may be needed.
How do you find out if there are any other additional required documents? Simply, check the embassy website of the country you are traveling to, they always update their requirements if there are any changes in visa policy.
If you want to get your visa application approved fast, you must provide every necessary document required by the visa authorities.
It is one of the most important ways to avoid visa rejection. If you follow this checklist during your application and ensure that your documents are in order, you’ll increase your chances of obtaining a Schengen visa.