Are you planning to spend your holidays in Europe? Then you must have heard the term “Schengen visa.”
What is Schengen Visa?
Schengen visa grants entry to the countries in the Schengen area. Schengen area includes most of the countries in the continent of Europe except for the U.K, Ireland, and a few countries that are part of the European Union. Schengen visa permits free movement within the countries that come under the Schengen area.
That is, 1 visa for 26 countries… It’s time to brush up your geography, people!!!
The validity of the Schengen visa varies from 30 to 90 days depending on the visa type. FYI, you cannot travel to the United Kingdom with a Schengen visa. For details on the U.K visa click here.Travel fact: Schengen is the name of the small village where the Schengen treaty was signed in the year 1985 by 5 countries.
When do you apply for a Schengen visa?
Choose your destination(s) at least 6 months ahead of your vacation or preferably a year ahead. This will give ample time to do research on your destinations. You can do a lot of groundwork on the favorable season to visit, activities or events happening at your chosen destination(s) accordingly letting you find a place to stay nearby. This also helps to gain your intel on the visa prerequisites. So if you plan early, the chances of things going wrong are very low. You can only apply for your visa at the earliest of 3 months and no later than 15 days before your travel date. So, if don't have the time to research, contact a visa agent near you
Read more about Factors you should pay attention while choosing your visa agent
Which type of Schengen visa should you apply for?
Before filing your visa application, know which type of visa you need. This explains your purpose of visit. It can be for pleasure, business, work, studies, visiting family or friends, sponsored sport or entertainment activities or for medical reasons.
Travel facts: In Finland, your traffic fine is calculated according to your income. So drive with caution!!!
Where can you apply for a Schengen visa?
Each Schengen country has its own visa submission regulations. This depends on your country of residence and the chosen destination(s). You may apply through the destination’s respective embassy or consulate, or a visa center to which the destination’s embassy has outsourced for visa application submission.
Most Schengen tourists choose to visit more than 2 countries on a single trip. In that case, the embassy of the destination you choose to file your visa application will depend on the duration of your stay in each Schengen country. If your duration of stay is the same in both countries, file the application at the embassy of the respective destination where you arrive first.
Travel fact: In Switzerland, it is illegal to flush the toilet after 10 PM. So think before you eat!!!
How can you apply for a Schengen visa?
Schengen visa application can be done with the assistance of a visa expediting agent or a travel agent. With their expertise in the field, you will be provided guidance in getting the right documents and they will get an appointment for the interview at the respective embassy or consulate at the earliest. If you have the time and patience, you can apply for the visa yourself either online or directly at the embassy.
You are also required to pay non-refundable registration charges for the visa.
The visa processing time can take about 15 to 30 days from the day of submission depending on your nationality.
To make your life easy, you can either approach a third-party travel Assistance Company or a travel agent.
Once you submit your basic travel documents and proof of residence, they will check your eligibility for the application. From helping you to get all the related documents to getting an appointment at the respective embassy within a week, these agents help you in every single step.
Travel fact: Germany has more donor kebab restaurants than Istanbul. Now that’s what you call “Globalization.”
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