How to apply for Schengen Visa from India

Now, this is a very tricky question. Some people will say it is quite simple while there are many others who will say its a pain!

Well, my take is it is actually simple – its touch till you are done with all the documents. Why am I writing this post? Because we think it is simple but attimes, we dont realize we miss small things and boom! the visa gets rejected! Unable to believe my words? Well, let me tell you – so it was me and one of my friends who applied for Schengen Visa in Dec 2019. And we were very sure we were all done with the documents etc. While I got the visa, my friend’s was rejected! Yes! That is why I am writing this post.

I will keep it very very simple. I will tell you what all documents to prepare for, where to apply and how to get through the whole process and I am also gonna give you my sample documents. Good News – Right? Well, that is what I am here for. Making your life simple while planning for a travel.

So let us begin:

Where to start

So, all Schengen Visas are done through VFS. We start from identifying which country to apply the visa for. If you are travelling to many countries in Europe during your trip, then there is a need to work on which country to apply the visa from.

So, there are 2 things:

  1. Either you apply from the country of your entry point
  2. Or you apply from the country where you are going to stay for the maximum number of nights – this is the case in 90% of the cases

In our case, it was none, because were planning to visit for 4 countries and we were supposed to stay in Iceland for the longest. But there is no visa services for Iceland through VFS in Hyderabad (till Jan 2020), so we had 2 options:

  1. Either we had to travel to Delhi or Mumbai to apply the visa directly through Iceland embassy
  2. Or we could do it from Denmark embassy, which is available in Hyderabad! Good news.

Now thats what i said, you really have to figure out which embassy to apply for your travel. You can call VFS – their customer care is amazing and very helpful. They will help you for everything you need to know.

Now, lets get on to the documents. Below is the list of the most common documents required (there might be some addditional required – depends of the country you are applying for – so you might wanna cross-check the same. The information will be avialable on the VFS site of that country. Yes, VFS has a different site for every country.

Also, I would advice to apply for 3-months in advance

Booking the slot

Go to the VFS site of the country you are applying the visa from and click on ‘Book Slot’. Select the slot and confirm. Download the slot confirmation letter. You can also apply by calling them.

Apply

Now, you need to go to Denmark visa site and register yourself (with some very basic details). Once done, you can login and start filling in the information. It is all self-explanatory. While filling in the accommodation details, it is advisable to give the contact details of your hotel or where-ever you are staying. Once done, you need to do the payment of some 4,800 INR. They only accept credit cards so keep it handy.

Once done, download the application and reciept.

Documents required

Following are the documents that you would require:

If you are working somewhere:

  1. Proof of work
  2. Photo
  3. Employer letter – Attaching a sample Employer letter for Schengen Visa below
  4. Past 2 years Form 16
  5. IT Returns – 2 years
  6. Salary/Pay slip: 3 months
  7. VFS Confirmation
  8. Hotel Bookings
  9. Tickets (I actually booked my tickets beforehand)
  10. All your investments
  11. Bank statements: Last 6 months – Advisable to have at-least 2 Lakhs INR in your account
  12. Medical Insurance – very important of min 50,000 INR. I took an ICICI Lombard – its very cheap – I got it for some 800 INR.
  13. Receipt of your payment on the country’s website
  14. Application form
  15. Photocopy of your passport
  16. last but not the least, an amazingly written cover letter. Attaching the the sample cover letter for Schengen Visa below

Last step

Now, just got the VFS center in your city, reach atleast 20 mins before. You will be given a token no, just keep an eye on the called no. You just have to go to the designated counter and submit your documents.

I will suggest to opt in for SMS services-> so basically you will get messages on: once your passport has been dispatched for the embassy and also, when it is dispatched back. They will charge you some 320 INR

Also, you can opt in for the passport to be dispatched at your address for 2400 INR. Else you will have to go to the VFS center and pick it up. Now if you opt in for passport to be sent to your house – BE AVAILABLE on the tentative date (once you receive the sms – it takes 1 day), they do not hand it over to anybody else!

And give the biometrics and thats it, you are done!

Now let me also tell you the mistakes that my friend had done, because of which her visa was rejected.

Mistakes in applying for Schengen Visa

  1. Photo: It is adviseable to have it on the white backgrond – she had it on grey
  2. She did not have enough funds in her account – she was applying through sponsorship via her husband so we thought it is not required.
  3. Medical Insurance: She did not write her last name. Yes, write the perfect name – as per your passport on the medical insurance
  4. She did not mention it explicitly that her husband is sponsoring the trip.

Above are few mistakes that we could figure out.

If Schengen Visa is rejected, then what!

Now what to do if your visa is Schengen Visa is rejected. Don’t be heartbroken, don’t panic! Good news is there are options available and they are

  1. Either you can appeal against it
  2. Reapply – this is better – Just apply with the same documents – be little more vigilant this time.

Now you would be thinking what happened with my friend? So, we re-applied and we are still waiting for it to arrive. We are hoping it will happen this time (fingers crossed). I will update this space once we have some news.

Sample Documents

Sample Employer letter for Schengen Visa

Schengen Visa – Cover letter sample for employed people

Sample documents for non-employed/housewives applying for the Schengen Visa

Sponsorship Letter for Schengen Visa for Housewives or non-employed people

Schengen Visa Cover letter sample for housewives or non-employed people

So this is it! Comment below is you need any other info 🙂 Cheers and enjoy!

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