Schengen Visa for Indian Passport Holders and Citizens
If you are looking for information about Schengen visas for Indian passport holders, you have come to the right place. India is a respected tourist market for countries in Europe and the rest of the Schengen visa bloc. So important is this that more than 10 million Indian citizens are known to travel to Europe every year for different reasons. According to recent statistical figures and prospecting concerning this, the number is expected to get bigger by five million more, to have at least 15 million Indians traveling to Europe each year by 2020.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a type of special tourist visa that allows the holder to travel through or stay within the borders of the Schengen member countries for a short period (maximum of three months or 90 days) within a six-month period. For Indian citizens, one can make an application for a Schengen visa from an embassy of any of the member countries (you should visit the embassy or consulate of the member country in which you intend to have the mainstay). There are currently 26 states in the Schengen visa bloc.
These 26 Schengen area states include European (Union member) states that have abolished restrictions for travelers within their territorial boundaries through the Schengen agreement. In this way, travelers moving within this area do not require multiple visas for every country. The bloc acts like a single country and therefore a single Schengen visa. This agreement was signed in Schengen in Luxembourg in 1985. When looking for a Schengen visa for Indian passport holders, you need to understand the member states of the visa bloc and the requirements associated with the process of getting one.
Types of Schengen Visa for Indian Passport Holders and Issuance Frequencies
There are three types of visas that an Indian national can apply for. You need to be clear in your mind on which one you need according to your circumstances. These are;
Figure 1: Schengen Visa (Source: Schengen Visa Information)
|Type of Visa||Purpose of Travel|
|Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)||Issued to persons wishing to reside in or transit through any of the Schengen area member countries for a period not exceeding 90 days from the date of entry within the six month-period permitted. This visa can allow you single, double, or multiple entries.|
|Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)||Issued to persons wishing to travel to only the specific issuing Schengen area member country. In some cases and with prior application and permission, this visa can allow visiting other Schengen area member countries. Apart from the ones allowed, the holder is not permitted entry into the other Schengen area countries.|
|National Visas||Issued to persons wishing to reside, study or work in one of the Schengen area countries. The visa covers the specific period for the purpose of the travel after which the holder is expected to return to India.|
Figure 2: Schengen Visa Statistics for India 2017
Application for Schengen Visa for Indian Passport Holders
In order to successfully make an application for a Schengen visa as an Indian passport holder and citizen from within India, you must be conversant with the process of acquiring one, the requirements that go with the process, and the fees charged for the Schengen visa. This article will cover all there is in the process of applying for a Schengen visa as an Indian citizen.
Who Can Apply for Schengen Visa in India?
Any Indian citizen and citizens of other countries legally living in India can apply for a Schengen visa in India. Indians living in other countries but legally present in the country may also apply for a Schengen visa in India if they can provide a competent reason why they cannot do it from their primary countries of residence.
Documents Required for Indian Passport Holders
There are many documents that are supposed to be provided to the Schengen visa issuing office in the embassy of a Schengen member country in India. The documents should be provided in full and within the period required for the process to begin. These documents are as follows;
- Download and fill out the Schengen visa application form. This application form should be duly filled out and the details provided in sincerity. If you so wish, you can fill out the application form through electronic means before downloading and printing a hard copy of the same.
- Attach two passport-size photos. These passport-size photos should capture the whole face and be recently taken. The photos should be taken against a light clear background in the most professional manner. The photos should clearly show the face of the applicant from the chin to the top of the head. Additionally, the photo should be of high quality in order to allow for easy reproduction.
- Provide your government-issued travel passport together with all or any of your previously issued visa copies. The passport must have a validity of at least three months from the date of your travel from the last Schengen visa bloc country. Additionally, you should make sure that your travel passport has at least two blank pages where the visa may be attached once issued.
- Write and attach a personal cover letter. This should be a clear statement indicating your reasons for the visit and the itinerary you intend to take. It should be as elaborate as possible with clear steps and explanations.
- Take travel insurance: You should secure and provide proof of travel insurance for a Schengen visa for Indian passport holders. This can be done on the internet by visiting credible travel insurance providers in India. For a travel insurance agency or company to qualify for this purpose, it should be able to provide medical coverage of at least 30,000 Euros together with giving repatriation (evacuation) coverage.
- Provide flight reservation: You should provide a clear flight reservation itinerary with dates, flight numbers, with specific times of entry into and exits from Schengen states or states. These should be clear and as elaborate as possible. You should also make sure that the details captured here are in line with part of what is on the cover statement provided.
- Provide accommodation: You should provide proof of reserved accommodation for the entire period that you intend to stay in the Schengen country or country. The accommodation details provided should be of reputable places.
- Provide civil documents depending on your travel circumstances. These civil documents may include marriage certificates, death certificates of the dead spouse, birth certificates of children, and or any other documents that may be needed (for example affidavits) in case there is an issue that calls for such.
- Documents showing proof of financial capability that can cater for the period of stay in the Schengen country or countries. This is to ensure that you will be financially capable of supporting your stay in the country or countries you intend to visit. (these documents are usually in form of bank statements for the last six months).
There are other documents that you should provide depending on your personal circumstances and the reasons for your travel. These documents are based on the following criteria;
- If you are in formal employment, you should also provide your employment contract, the permission of leave from the employer, your current statements from the bank showing not less than six months (remember that online bank statements are not recognized here), and your Income Tax Return or your certificate of Income Tax deducted from your salary.
- If you are in self-employment, you should attach a copy of your Indian business license. Additionally, you should ensure that you have provided your business bank statements for the last six months to show your business’s financial health. You should also provide your business Income Tax Return.
- In case you are already retired and had been in formal employment, you should provide your pension statements for the last six months.
- If you are traveling from India to Schengen country as a student, you should provide proof of enrollment in a recognized institution, a letter of acceptance, and a no-objection letter from the educational institution.
- For all categories of persons, and if applicable, you should provide proof of income that is generated by a property that you own by providing bank statements for the last six months. This property may be anything that provides regular income such as rental houses and apartments.
Document Requirements for a Minor
There are also additional Requirements for the Application for Schengen Visa for a minor that includes the following where applicable;
- The minor’s birth certificate
- Visa application form was signed by the two parents.
- The family court order is if only one parent has full custody of the minor.
- Copies of passports or IDs of both parents.
- In case the minor is intending to travel alone, notarized parental authorization should be signed by both parents or guardians should be provided.
After filling, downloading, and signing the Schengen visa application form for Indian citizens, you should personally present it together with all the other required documents in the right Schengen embassy or consular (or any recognized representative) in India. Be sure to arrange them properly and ensure that you carry all of them. The best way to do this is by having a checklist of these documents as you arrange and pack them for the application process.
Schengen Visa Fees for Indian Passport Holders and Citizens
Here is detailed information on visa fees applicable to persons wishing to travel to Schengen area countries from India.
|Visa Category||Fee (in Euro)||Fee (in INR)|
|Short stay (not more than 90 days)||60||4772|
|Long stay (more than 90 days)||99||7873|
|Minors (Over 6 years and below 12 years||35||2784|
|Minors below 6 years||Free||–|
|For education/research/sports (below 25 years)||Free||–|
Other Circumstances and Requirements for Schengen Visa for Indian Passport Holders
There are other situations that will necessitate you to provide additional documents and meet particular thresholds in the process of getting a Schengen visa as an Indian national. These include the following;
- If you are looking for an airport transit or transit visa. This applies when you are making a stopover at a Schengen airport or state. For this purpose, you will need to provide the visa of the final country you are intending to travel to if it does not fall in the Schengen bloc. A plane ticket will also be needed.
- If you are visiting friends and relatives that are residents in the Schengen country, you should provide a formal invitation to the friend or relative. If the friend or relative is to cater for the finances, they should sign the official affidavit of support.
- If you are traveling for business-related activities, a letter of invitation from the partner business should also be provided.
In order to have convenient processing of Schengen visas for Indian passport holders, the application should be made at least 15 calendar days before the intended date of travel. The correct visa fees should be paid promptly and appointments honored on time. The applicant should also make sure that the application goes to the right consulate or embassy if they require entry into more than one Schengen state.
Where to Go for Schengen Visa in India
You need to be aware of the right embassy or consulate to visit in the country in order to apply for your Schengen visa in India. There are two options for the right consulate for the exercise. These are;
- The embassy of the country where you wish to make the initial or the first entry into the Schengen visa area. This is the country in which you will step first.
- The embassy of the country in which you plan to spend the greatest time of your travel. This is the embassy of the country where your main purpose of travel will be.
The two options above should be captured by the documents that you provide in your application process. The itinerary should clearly indicate and confirm your reasons for the choice of embassy that you make. Failure to do this may result in your application being returned to be submitted to the right competent Schengen visa embassy in India. You can access all the Schengen embassies and consulates in India. It is also good to engage with Schengen Flight Reservation Visa to get your visa documentation.
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