Looking to step out of the daily mundane life? Then traveling is the best bet! Whether with family, friends, or even when you take a solo trip, traveling to new places enriches our life with happy moments, beautiful memories and we learn invaluable life lessons. If you have shortlisted Schengen as your next travel destination, then here is a quick view of everything you should know about traveling to this largest free travel area in the world.
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What is a Schengen visa?
Constituting 26 countries, Schengen is a zone in the European Union that has no border controls and they adhere to common visa policy. So an individual can travel within the Schengen member countries freely, without the need for a visa.
So a Schengen visa is a short-trip visa that allows an individual to enter any member of the Schengen zone for a vacation, business, or visiting someone for up to 90 days, which stays valid for 6 months. However, if you are planning to move to the Schengen zone to study, work or settle there permanently, then you must apply for a national visa of that European country and this Schengen Visa wouldn’t stand well.
Schengen Area Countries, Countries Allowed
There are a total of 26 countries that fall under this zone and these are –
- Czech Republic
Schengen attracts a lot of tourists from across the globe each year, and there are selected countries whose citizens have the privilege to enter the Schengen zone as a tourist, transit, or business without obtaining the Schengen area. However, India doesn’t fall under this category, so apply for the Schengen visa for Indian passport holders if they want to travel to any one or more of the countries that belong to this area.
What is the process of a Schengen visa from India?
If you are wondering how to apply for a Schengen visa from India? Then let us tell you the process is fairly easy.
- Log on to the website of the Schengen Embassy and download the visa application.
- Carefully fill it out with appropriate details, and then sign it.
- Ensure to have collected all the essential documents listed above that need to be submitted along with your visa application.
- For the submittals, the policy varies based on the number of countries you are planning to travel to within the zone.
- If you are intending to travel to a single country, then file your application at the embassy/consulate/visa center of that country.
- If you are visiting more than two countries then file your application at the embassy/consulate/visa center of the country where you intend to stay for more days.
- If the stay for the number of days is the same for 2 countries then file your application at the embassy/consulate/visa center of the country you will travel to first.
- Pay the visa processing fee.
- Now, book an appointment for the visa interview.
- Attend the interview and wait for the response to your submitted application.
Also Read – 4 Best Tips for Solo Travelers
Documents Required to Apply
As a rule, if you wish to visit more than one country in the Schengen area, then you should obtain the Schengen visa and should mention one particular country as the primary destination.
When you apply for a short-term visa there are certain mandate documents that you need to furnish as part of the visa application process. Here is the list that will help you get things in place.
- Duly filled and signed visa application form individually by each applicant traveling.
- A valid Indian passport, not older than 10 years, and should be valid for at least for the next 3 months from the date of travel.
- A travel itinerary that details the dates of entry and exit from the Schengen zone with complete flight details.
- Two most recent passport size photographs, taken within the last 3 months, as per the visa photo requirement the size requirements are 35x45mm and it should clearly show your face with no bright background.
- Proof of accommodation like a hotel booking or invitation letter from the host or any kind of rental agreement that details the place of stay during the trip.
- Proof of financial means like your bank statement for the last 3 months or a sponsorship letter if someone else is funding your trip.
- An international travel insurance policy that shows that you have the apt travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros, that covers you in case of any unforeseen medical emergencies while you are traveling the Schengen countries.
- Proof of paid visa fee.
Along with the above documents, based on your employment status you may be required to furnish additional documents.
- If you are an employed professional you will have to submit an employment contract, leave permission letter, tax returns, and current bank statement for the last 6 months.
- If you are self-employed you will have to furnish your business license, company bank statement for the last 6 months, and tax returns
- If you are a student, then the documents required are the valid course enrolment proof, along with a no-objection certificate from your college/university.
- If you are a minor then a duly signed letter from your guardian will be deemed
- For retired people, their pension statement of the latest 6 months.
Travel Insurance to Apply for the Visa
To obtain a Schengen visa for Indian passport holders, having an international travel insurance policy is a must because it is one of the mandated parts of the visa application process. An applicant should have health insurance otherwise called a medical policy with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros.
So if your current health insurance doesn’t extend its benefits outside India, then getting travel insurance from a trusted company like Godigit makes perfect sense. Travel insurance will provide blanketed protection against several unforeseen events in a foreign land like:
- Your travel insurance policy will come in handy when you fall sick, meet with an accident, or need any other medical assistance while you are traveling.
- In case if you lose your passport or if it gets stolen, you can rely on the travel insurance company to help you procure a new one.
- In case if your check-in luggage is lost, travel insurance will compensate for the loss of possessions.
Listed above are a few of the many benefits travel insurance extends to its insurer, so that you enjoy your trip carefree from stress and other unwanted tensions.