Europe consists of the world’s most medically advanced countries. Be it cardiology, orthopaedics, immunology, or whatever the field, people travel to various European countries seeking medical treatment. If you are from one of the third national countries and are looking to obtain medical treatment, you will need the Schengen medical visa.
What is Schengen Medical Visa?
The Schengen medical visa is a type of the ‘C’ category permit that lets people enter the Schengen members to receive medical therapy or treatment for a duration of up to 90 days in a 180-days period. Although normally these are issued as a single-entry type, in certain cases you can apply for the double-entry or multiple-entry types as well.
Note that if you are an individual who is travelling to the Schengen region accompanying a patient seeking medical treatment, you will also have to apply for the medical visa. Also, in cases where you think the treatment can take longer than 90 days, you will have to apply for the national visa instead (D category).
How to Apply for Schengen Medical Visa?
Although the application procedure is the same as that for other categories of Schengen, the steps involved in the Schengen medical visa application can vary slightly based on the country of application as well as the destination country. However, the primary steps followed can be listed as follows -
- Before starting the application, you must ensure that you are eligible to apply for the medical visa. You must also procure all the necessary documents for it.
- You must then find out where you will have to lodge your application. Depending on the country you are applying at, and your destination country, you may be able to submit the application directly at one of the embassy/consulates situated in your home nation or through visa application centres (VAC).
- Proceed to fill in the Schengen application form. You can find the form on the website of the VAC or the Embassy/Consulate. In the form, you will have to mention that the reason for your visit as ‘medical reasons’. However, certain countries may also provide facilities for filling the application on an online portal.
- You must then book an appointment for the document and biometric submission. The appointment must be at an embassy/consulate or a VAC depending upon the specific requirements of the Schengen nation. You can book it using the online facilities provided by the embassy/consulate/VAC or by contacting them via mail or phone.
- Attend the visa appointment along with the required documents. You must submit the application and pay the fees at the centre. In some cases, you may be able to pay your fees online at the time of filling the application form. As a mandatory requirement, all applicants for the Schengen will also have to submit their biometrics at the respective appointment centre.
Who should apply or eligibility for Schengen Medical Visa?
Not everyone can or require to apply for the medical visa. As a result, you must meet the following conditions if you wish to travel on this permit -
- You must be living in the country you are lodging the application. If you are residing on a residence permit in a foreign country, you may apply it to the corresponding visa issuing authority there.
- You must possess a valid passport that meets all the requirements.
- The sole purpose of your visit must be to receive medical therapy or treatment.
- You must be able to prove your medical condition and that you require a treatment.
- You must possess sufficient funds to cover all your expenses during the entire stay period in the country. Or, you must have been sponsored by someone else who will be covering your expenses.
- If you are accompanying a patient, you must be able to show your relationship with them.
- You must apply to the embassy/consulate of a country only if -
- The country is your only travel destination, or
- The country is one of your multiple Schengen destinations, in which case you will be spending the majority of the time there, or,
- The specific country is your port of entry into the Schengen region.
Documents required for Schengen Medical Visa
The documents required for the medical visa are plenty. In fact, there are additional documents apart from the general list of Schengen documents based on the applicant’s employment and age criteria. The following are the list of documents required as per the Schengen medical visa requirements -
- A valid passport according to the regulations.
- 2 Passport size photos as per the specifications.
- Flight reservation for the round trip.
- Proof of accommodation such as hotel bookings, an invitation from a host, confirmed accommodation at the hospital/clinic, etc.
- Proof of civil status - marriage certificate, birth certificate, et.
- Medical travel insurance coverage up to at least 30000 Euros.
- Proof of occupation such as employment letter, ITR, etc.
- Financial documents such as bank statements, passbook copy, sponsorship letter, receipts of any advanced payments, etc.
- Letter from a doctor/hospital/clinic in the home country stating the patient’s need for getting medical treatment abroad.
- Confirmation of providing treatment from the hospital/clinic in the Schengen country.
- Guarantee letter confirming that the patient will be able to provide for any additional costs arising during the treatment.
- Correspondence between the sending and receiving medical doctors.
Photo Specification of Schengen Medical Visa
The photos submitted along with the application must be of the following specifications -
- Dimensions: 35mm X 45mm
- Colour: Coloured
- Head must occupy the central position
- Must be captured within the last 3 months
- Background: Solid, plain white or grey
- 80% face coverage
- Neutral expression
- Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription glasses
- Headgears - only for religious reasons
- Facial hair - permitted
Schengen Medical Visa Fee
The fees for the medical visa is the same for all the categories of the Schengen permits. The fees for an adult is 60 Euros, the fees for children are lower. However, the fees can be updated without any prior notice. Also, since the fees paid in the country of application is in the local currency, the amount you will be paying may differ based on the foreign exchange rates. Hence, it is necessary that you check the exact amount before starting the application. Now, apart from the application fee, there may be biometric charges, express processing charges (if any), and other service charges levied.
After you apply for Schengen Work Visa
Once you have successfully submitted your application, the application is then forwarded to the consular section of the embassy/consulate. Note that even if you have submitted it at a VAC, the application will be sent to the embassy/consulate for processing. The VAC has no control over the decision or the processing. This is solely in the hands of the embassy/consulate.
On the approval of the visa, you can collect your passport stamped with the visa directly from the embassy/consulate/VAC, or you can ask the VAC to deliver it to you for an additional charge. However, you will have to opt for this option during your visa appointment.
Processing time of Schengen Medical Visa
The processing time for the medical permit depends on the number of entries, the validity, your previous travel history, your requirement for medical treatment, as well as on the volume of applications at the embassy. Since the volume of applications for medical visas is lower than the tourist, they are usually processed slightly faster. In normal conditions, the application is processed within 15 working days. However, in certain extreme conditions, this may take up to 30 or even 60 days. As a result, you must apply at least 15 days in advance. Although, note that in cases where the patient’s health has deteriorated in a short period, you may be allowed to apply late.
How to check Schengen Medical Visa status
In most cases, you will be able to track your medical visa status easily. However, this again varies from country to country. If, however, you have made your application at a VAC, you will be able to do the Schengen visa status tracking by using the online facilities provided by them. In certain cases, embassies also provide similar facilities. You can also track the status of your application by contacting your travel agency to have them track it for you.
When you have Schengen Medical Visa?
Once you have received your Schengen medical business visa, you must keep in mind the following important points to ensure that you do not face any difficulties during the trip -
Before travelling -
Before you travel to the Schengen country, you must note the following -
- You must carry all your travel documents. These include the passport, visa, and the copies of the documents you have submitted during your visa application.
- You must travel to the country within 6 months or as mentioned in the visa sticker.
- Note the expiry date, validity, and the number of entries mentioned on your visa sticker.
- Consult with the doctors regarding the duration of treatment required. If you require a longer duration, you must not travel using this visa. You must apply for the national visa instead.
At the border -
Once you are at the border control at the Schengen port of entry, you must keep in mind the following -
- You may have to show your travel documents to the officers at the port of entry.
- You will be stamped with the date of entry in your passport. Your stay duration cannot be more than 90 days from this date.
In the Schengen country -
Once you have entered the Schengen nation, you will have to keep in mind the following points -
- You must strictly follow the 90/180 rule for stay.
- While you are on a medical permit, you cannot work or be employed on the payroll of a Schengen company.
- You are free to take part in tourism or other related activities provided that your medical treatment has completed and your health has improved.
- Ensure that you carry a copy of your travel documents while you are travelling within the country.
- You may be able to extend your visa in cases where you cannot travel without risking your life or in cases where you must continue to receive treatment in the country.
- You are free to visit any other Schengen countries with this as well unless you have been issued with the Limited Territory Visa (LTV).
- You must strictly abide by the immigration laws of the country as well as respect their customs and culture.