Are you looking forward to visiting Schengen-member countries to participate in events related to culture? Then you can consider applying for the Schengen cultural visa. The Schengen cultural visa is specific to allowing individuals to enter the Schengen territories without obstruction. You will be able to carry out different cultural activities, get to know the cultural beliefs and heritage of the visiting country, as well as participate in their festivals and cultural activities.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about the Schengen cultural visa, the eligibility criteria, the requirements, the application fee, and how to apply for the Schengen cultural visa. Keep reading!.
What is Schengen cultural visa?
The Schengen cultural visa is a unique visa that permits individuals to enter the Schengen area to participate in events related to culture, religion, or sport. Once you have this visa, you can remain in the European countries for up to 90 days and freely move around the member countries without impediment or internal border checks.
Where to apply for the Schengen cultural visa
To apply for the Schengen cultural visa, you should visit the consulate or embassy of the country you are traveling to. Also, you can utilize the visa application center that is affiliated with the consulate of the Schengen country you’re visiting. It is important that you complete your application not less than 15 days from the day you plan to leave, and not earlier than 6 months from the day you intend to travel.
So, after registration, your Schengen cultural visa should be ready in about two weeks from the day you processed it. However, in rare cases, it can take as long as 60 days before consideration.
Eligibility for Schengen Cultural Visa
Basically, to be eligible for the Schengen cultural visa, you must be a citizen of a third country that is without visa-free access to Schengen zone areas. Likewise, you must have valid documents, and proof of entering the Schengen area for cultural, sports, filmmaking, or related purposes.
Requirements for Schengen cultural visa
To be eligible for the Schengen cultural visa, you must prepare the following documents for submission and validation.
- A travel document or valid passport. Note that your passport must have been issued not more than 10 years, having at least two full blank pages for visa stamping and an additional spare page. Likewise, it must be valid for not less than three months after you exit the Schengen country.
- A cover letter that explains the cultural purpose of your visit.
- An identity card or other form of identification.
- You must provide a perfectly shot passport photo with a blank background. Your photo must be recently taken with all your facial features appearing, then glue it to your application. On the other hand, if you staple your photograph to your application, it will not be accepted.
- A Schengen cultural visa application form that is perfectly filled out, bearing your signature.
- Importantly, you must include your itinerary or round-trip reservation. Ensure to include the flight number and dates that specify your exit and entry from the Schengen area.
- A travel insurance policy that covers your travel health for the whole Schengen region.
- Proof of accommodation, which could be in form of a rental agreement, hotel bookings, or a letter of invitation from a host.
- Statement of bank accounts that satisfies that you will be able to take care of yourself during your trip.
- In case of sponsorship, you should provide a sponsorship letter from an individual or firm that confirms that they will support you financially throughout your trip. However, you can combine the statement of your account and the sponsorship letter for your application.
- Your flight reservation proof that specifies your flight number, including your entry and exit date into your arriving country.
Specific Document Requirements for Participants in a Cultural Event
If you are obtaining the Schengen cultural visa to participate in a cultural event, you must obtain the following documents
#1. Letter from the Schengen country hosting the Cultural Association
Basically, this letter must include the information and contact details of the cultural association of the Schengen country hosting the program. Likewise, it must demonstrate the extent of cooperation with the association in your own country.
#2. Letter from the Cultural Association in your country
Also, you must obtain a letter from the association in your home country, including contact details and confirmation of your membership in the Association.
Specific Document Requirements for Film-Making Staff
If you are a filmmaking staff wanting to obtain the Schengen cultural visa, you must obtain the following documents for your application.
#1. Letter from the Film-Maker
A letter from the filmmaker, including information on the film subject, film title, and location where the recordings will take place.
#2. Letter with Film-Making crew names
This letter must contain your name as part of the staff or member of the crew needed for the production of the film.
#3. Proof of authorization to shoot the film
This is an important document that you can obtain from your filmmaking agency or producer. With this letter, the embassy or consulate you visit will be able to obtain information about the authority given for the making of the film.
#4. Certificate of Registration of the Candidate as a Film Maker Staff
This certificate is an important document issued by the Ministry of Culture to confirm you as a competent candidate, and a filmmaking staff.
Application fee for Schengen cultural Visa
Without a doubt, to apply for the Schengen cultural visa, you must pay a non-refundable application fee. This fee is not fixed for every applicant, however, it differs with age and type of visa. There are some exceptions to some sets of people as well.
You can check below for the cost of obtaining a Schengen cultural visa.
- Adult: 80€
- Child (between 6-12 years of age): 40€
- Child (younger than 6 years of age): Free
- Holders of diplomatic, official, or service passports traveling for official purposes: Free Free
- A family member of an EU/EEA national Free Free
- Pupils, students, and accompanying teachers during a school trip:Free
- Researchers traveling to perform scientific research: Free
- Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia: 35€
So, payment for the Schengen cultural visa can be made in the embassy or designated consulate through credit card, debit card, or cash. However, some consulates may not accept payment by credit card.
How to apply for a Schengen cultural visa
Having known the requirements and costs of applying for the Schengen cultural visa, here are the steps on how to apply for the visa below.
Step one: Check where you need to apply
The first step to applying for a Schengen cultural visa is to check where you need to apply. if you are planning to visit only one Schengen country or multiple countries, you can apply at the embassy, consulate, or visa application center of that country that is available in your home country.
Step two: Collect the required documents
The next step to applying for a Schengen cultural visa is to collect and prepare all the necessary and required documents that are important for your application. Getting the document ready, on time, before the interview day will help you have an itch-free application process.
Step three: Fill in the application form
Without a doubt, you can access the visa application form online. Ensure to fill it correctly, print it, and sign it at the bottom end. Do not omit the box that says “Cultural”, “Sports” or “Religion” at the question regarding the basis of your journey.
Step four: Schedule an interview
Basically, your interview can be in person or online. Either of these options will depend on your home country.
Step five: Attend the visa appointment
Attending a visa appointment very late is not permitted. Hence, you must show up on time, along with the documents you need for your application.
Step six: Pay the application fee
The payment of your visa application fee is an important process for your visa application. The Schengen cultural visa fee for an adult is about 80€. However, if you will be paying through a third-party service, you might have to pay more.
Upon successful application and payment of your visa fee, you can await the outcome of your application. Luckily, if the embassy approves your visa, you will be granted the Schengen cultural visa affixed to your passport.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cultural visa?
Basically, a cultural visa is a type of visa that allows people to travel to a foreign country to engage in cultural activities, such as studying the language, attending art classes, or participating in a music festival.
What is a Type C Schengen Visa?
The Schengen visa type C is a visa for short-term stays in the Schengen area. The visa is valid for stays of up to 90 days in any 180 days.
Can I enter Switzerland with Schengen Visa?
Yes, you can enter Switzerland with a Schengen Visa. The Schengen Visa allows you to travel to 26 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area.
Why is the UK not in Schengen?
Basically, the Schengen Agreement is a treaty that allows for passport-free travel between 26 European countries. The UK has not joined the Schengen Agreement because it wants to maintain control over its borders.
Can I stay in Europe for 6 months?
Yes, you can stay in Europe for up to 6 months without a visa. However, you will need to show a valid passport and proof of onward travel when you arrive in Europe.
Undoubtedly, with the Schengen cultural visa, you can successfully move within the Schengen area zones to explore different cultural activities.