To visit a Schengen zone, you must have all the Schengen visa documents needed to apply for your visa. Without these documents, citizens from non-Schengen states will not be able to get a visa that will enable them to visit these territories. Therefore, foreign nationals who are p[planning on a short-term stay in a Schengen area will require to have certain documents.
The document checklist that you need depends on the type of Schengen visa you need. In addition, it also depends on your reason for travelling to a Schengen nation. For instance, if you are visiting a country in the region for tourism, the documents you need will be different from what a person on a medical trip needs. What this means is that you must make an enquiry to know the documents you need whenever you are applying for a Schengen visa.
To this end, this article aims at providing you with all the necessary information you need about Schengen visa documents. It will also help you to know the documents needed for all types of Schengen visas.
What a Schengen visa is
A Schengen visa is a short-term visit visa to European countries designated as a Schengen area or zone. These countries have the same border rules. This means that foreigners can enter these countries with the same visa. In addition to these countries, there are other countries outside this region that allow foreigners to visit their countries with a Schengen visa.
The Schengen countries include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Types of Schengen visa
The type of Schengen visa you need will determine the Schengen visa documents you need. Thus, when applying for a visa, you have to bear in mind the type of visa you need. This will however depend on the reason you are visiting a Schengen nation. The following are the types of Schengen visas. They include:
Uniform Schengen Visa: There are three types of USV. The type of visa you have will determine how you will enter Schengen countries. They include a single-entry visa, a double-entry visa and a multi-entry visa.
Limited Territorial Visa: This type of visa allows you to visit only the country that issues the visa. In other words, you cannot use it to visit other Schengen areas.
Recommended: Learn about other popular kinds of Schengen Visas here.
Who qualifies for a Schengen visa?
To qualify for a Schengen visa, you must meet the following requirements. You must
- be a citizen of any Non-European country.
- specify your purpose of travelling and the time frame should be justified.
- have a passport valid for up to at least 3 months after the visa application date.
- have medical insurance of a minimum of €30,000.
- provide bank statements for the last three months.
- have proof of accommodation.
- provide proof of legal entity of the company and a reference letter from your employer If you are travelling for business purposes
Major Schengen Visa Documents
First of all, the Schengen visa documents that you require will depend on your reason for travelling to Europe. Secondly, you will also have to consider the type of visa you need. All these combined together will help you to gather the necessary documents that you may need when applying for a Schengen visa.
However, there are some documents that are very necessary for all non-Schengen citizens irrespective of their reasons for travelling. They include:
- Valid passport
- Schengen visa application form
- Passport photograph
- Proof of paid Schengen visa fees
- Travel Medical Insurance
- Biometric Data
- Copies of previous visas
- Flight Itinerary
- A Schengen visa cover letter
- Proof of financial status
- Proof of accommodation
1. Valid passport
The number one requirement for a Schengen visa is a valid passport from your nation of origin. This confirms your nationality and proves that you are a good citizen. Your passport must meet the following requirements. It must:
- have at least two empty pages in order to affix a visa.
- not be older than ten years
- be valid for at least three more months after the date you plan to leave the Schengen territory.
2. Schengen visa application form
Another Schengen visa document that you have is an application form. Of course, you must fill out an online application. in this application, you must provide details about your identity including name and surname, date of birth, place, and country of birth. You will also provide information about why you are visiting a Schengen nation and the duration of your visit.
3. Passport photograph
You must also provide two copies of identical passports. These passports must be recent passports. You must as well make sure that they are of the required size. While one is pasted on the application form, the other will be submitted loose. The photo size should be 35x40mm.
4. Proof of paid Schengen visa fees
You must present your proof of payment for a Schengen visa before you can collect your Schengen visa. So, once you have paid for your visa, make sure that you keep your receipt intact.
5. Travel Medical Insurance
You must provide travel medical insurance that covers the duration of your stay in Europe. Without this, you may not be able to obtain a Schengen visa. The minimum insurance is 30,000 Euro per person.
6. Biometric Data
Another compulsory Schengen visa document is biometric data. This means that you must provide your fingerprints. This will be stored in a new Visa Information System (VIS). The following people may not provide their fingerprints. They include:
- Children younger than twelve years old.
- Persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible.
- Heads of State and members of National Governments, their accompanying spouses, and their official delegation when on an official visit.
- Persons who have previously provided their fingerprints.
7. Copies of previous visas
If you have previously been to a Schengen zone, you can bring all your travel documents as evidence. This will help facilitate the process for you. You can bring all your passports. Make sure that they are separated from each other.
8. Flight Itinerary
You will also need to provide a detailed flight plan on how you intend to move around Schengen nations. This does, not however mean that you must provide actual flight tickets. rather, you provide evidence of flight reservations and hotel bookings among others.
9. A Schengen visa cover letter
A cover letter is a Schengen visa document where you explain if full your travel plan, your intention and the duration of your stay in Schengen territory.
10. Proof of financial status
Proof of financial status is a document that shows evidence that you can financially sponsor yourself and accompanying persons in a Schengen country. This statement must be a bank statement for the past three months. It must also not be older than three days from the day you submit it.
11. Proof of accommodation
Before you can visit a Schengen area, you must provide proof of accommodation in the area. Failure to do this, you may not be able to obtain a visa. However, this varies from country to country, So, you will have to enquire from the appropriate authorities to know the requirement for the country you intend to visit.
Schengen visa documents for specific reasons
In addition to the documents mentioned above, you will need certain documents depending on your reason for vising a Schengen zone. Below are some of the Schengen visa documents for some specific reasons.
Schengen visa documents for minors
Parents of minors must provide the following documents for children between 6 and 12 years. They include:
- The minor’s birth certificate.
- Application form signed by both parents.
- Family court order – in cases where only one parent has full custody of the child.
- Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
- A notarized parental authorization signed by both parents/guardians if the minor will be travelling alone.
Schengen visa documents for an Airport Transit Visa
If you are applying for an Airport Transit visa, you will need the following documents in addition to the documents above. They include:
- A valid visa for the country of final destination.
- The flight ticket for the final country you are travelling to
Schengen visa documents for visits to relatives or friends
You also need the following Schengen visa documents when visiting a friend or relative. they include:
- Affidavit of Support
- Travel Itinerary
- Means of Subsistence
- Letter of Invitation
Schengen visa documents for a tourist visa
When applying for a tourist visa in a Schengen area, you will need the following documents. They include:
- Bank statement
- Affidavit of Support
- Travel Itinerary
Schengen visa documents for a training visa
You will also need the following documents for a training visa in a Schengen nation. They include:
- Enrollment certificate
- No objection letter
Schengen visa documents for a medical visa
The additional required documents to obtain a Schengen Medical visa are:
- A letter from a doctor/clinic/hospital in the home country of the visa candidate, that he or she needs medical treatment.
- Official confirmation of the treatment/appointment by the receiving medical institution (hospital/clinic) in the EU.
- Proof of financial means.
Minor Schengen visa documents
In addition to the major Schengen visa documents, you may still need any of the following documents. However, it will depend on your reason for visiting a Schengen country. They include:
1. Proof of student status
If you are a student visiting a Schengen nation, you can provide proof of your status as a student for your short stay in Europe. This can be a student card or a copy of the matriculation at the university. In addition, you must also provide proof of funds for the duration of your stay in the country.
2. Proof of employment
Workers travelling to a Schengen area for a short visit can submit evidence of employment like a letter from an employer or a recent payslip. This will be in addition to the bank statement.
3. Proof of self-employment
Your proof of self-employment can be a letter from a solicitor, accountant or Companies House, which confirms your status.
4. Proof of retirement
Your proof of retirement can also be used as a Schengen visa document. This can be in the form of pension statements over the last 6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much bank balance is required for a Schengen visa?
You will need a minimum balance of €3000 over the last 6 months to get a Schengen visa. This is one of the compulsory Schengen visa requirements. If you do not have this amount in your bank, you could show a family member’s/guardian’s statement instead. However, there must be an accompanying letter stating that they are sponsoring your travel and stay.
What documents are required for a Schengen visa from India?
Indians travelling to a Schengen nation must have the following documents. They include:
- Visa Application Form.
- Photo Requirements.
- Proof of Accommodation.
- Proof of Financial Means.
- Flight Itinerary.
Who is eligible for Schengen Visa?
To be eligible for a Schengen visa, you must be a citizen of any Non-European country. In addition, the purpose of travelling and the time frame should be justified. You must also have a passport valid for up to at least 3 months after the visa application date. Finally, you must have medical insurance of a minimum €30,000.
All citizens of non-Schengen nations can travel to Schengen nations with these requirements. However, you will have to know if you need a special Schengen visa document depending on your situation.