Europe has quite a reputation for being home to several sporting events every year including football, cricket, tennis, and so on. The Schengen sports visa lets the sports persons participate in these spectacular events by travelling to the country. Europe being home to several cultural and religious events as well as several popular film destinations, the Schengen sports visa from India lets Indian nationals participate in these as well.
What is Schengen Sports Visa?
The Schengen sports visa, also known as the cultural/sports/religious and film crew visa, it lets individuals travel to the different Schengen countries to participate in sporting events, cultural events, religious events, or even as a part of a film crew. The permit can grant a stay of up to 90 days in a 180-day period. However, quite often, the validity of the visa is only given according to the duration of the event you will be attending. This can be as short as 2 weeks, and even be as long as 3 months.
Note that if you are simply travelling to attend the above-mentioned events rather than participating, you must apply for the normal tourist visa instead.
How to Apply Schengen Sports Visa?
Even though there are multiple purposes for this visa, the method of applying for the cultural/religious/sports permit is the same as applying for other categories of the Schengen. In fact, they all use the same application form. Now, before you start your Schengen sports visa application, you must ensure that you are eligible to travel to the country as a participant of these events or as a part of the film crew. The general steps involved are mentioned as the following -
- The first step is to determine where you have to lodge your application. Depending on the country you are lodging the application and your destination country, you may be able to submit the application directly in person at one of the embassy/consulates situated in your home country or at one of the visa application centres (VAC).
- You can then proceed to make your application. It is recommended that you apply a month in advance. You should apply at least 15 days before your intended travel date, but you cannot make the application more than 3 months before the expected date of travel.
- Fill in the Schengen application form. In the form, you will have to mention that the reason for your visit as ‘cultural’ or ‘sports’ in cases where you are attending those events. If you are a part of a film crew, or you are travelling to participate in a religious event, you must select ‘others’ and mention your specific purpose. In the case of certain countries, you also use the online application portals to fill the form.
- You must then proceed to book an appointment for your document and biometric submission. The appointment must be at an embassy/consulate or a VAC depending upon the specific requirements of the embassy. You can book a slot using the online facilities provided by the embassy/consulate/VAC or by contacting them directly.
- Attend the visa appointment along with the documents for the respective category and the fees. You must submit the application and pay the fees here as well. In some instances, you may be able to pay your fees online while filling the application form.
- As a mandatory requirement, all applicants for any type of the Schengen visa will also have to submit their biometrics at the respective appointment centre.
Note that, you may also be required to attend an interview with the consular officer at the application centre/embassy/consulate on the same date or at a later date and location.
Who should Apply or Eligibility for Schengen Student Visa?
To be able to travel to the Schengen region on the sports permit, you must meet the following conditions -
- You must be living in the country you are lodging the application. If you are residing on a residence permit in a foreign nation, you may apply it to the corresponding visa issuing authority.
- You must possess a valid passport that meets all the requirements.
- The main purpose of your visit must be to participate in the cultural/sporting/religious events or to be a part of a film crew.
- You must possess sufficient funds to cover all your expenses during the entire stay period in the country.
- 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 Sports Visa
As per the Schengen sports visa requirements for Indian citizens, the following documents must be submitted along with your application -
- A valid passport according to the regulations.
- 2 photos.
- A personal covering letter addressed to the respective embassy stating the reasons and details of the visit.
- Flight reservation for the round trip.
- Proof of civil status - marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, etc.
- Proof of accommodation - hotel bookings/invitation to stay/rent agreements, etc.
- Medical travel insurance coverage up to at least 30000 Euros.
- Proof of occupation/study such as employment letter, enrollment letter, NOC, etc.
- Financial documents such as bank statements, passbook copy, etc.
Cultural/Sports/Religious Events -
- Event information - Entry tickets, enrolment conditions, program schedule, invitation letters, etc providing detailed information about the participating event.
- Evidence of previous performances - Documents or other proof showing your history of having taken part in previous competitions, such as winner certificates, world rankings, etc.
Film Crew -
- Letter from the film company stating the name and synopsis of the film, including the shooting locations.
- List of crew members.
- Letter from the filmmaking agency in the Schengen country confirming the details of the visit.
- Certificate of registration of the applicant as a filmmaker staff.
Photo Specification of Schengen Sports Visa
The photos provided for the application must be in accordance with 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 Sports Visa Fee
The fees for the Schengen sports visa depends on the foreign exchange rates and the age of the applicant. The embassy also has the authority to update the fees without any prior notice. Normally, the application fees for an adult is 60 Euros. However, since the fee has to be paid in the local currency, it can vary based on the foreign exchange rates. Apart from the application fee, there may be biometric charges, delivery charges (if any), as well any additional services charges. As a result, you must check the exact amount before making the application.
After you apply for Schengen Sports Visa
Once you have submitted the application, it is then forwarded to the consular section of the embassy or consulate for processing. If you have submitted the application at a VAC, they will then be sent to the respective embassy/consulate for processing (as per the jurisdiction). Note that the VAC has no influence over the processing of the application. They are in charge of only the administrative part of the application.
Once your visa has been approved, you can collect it directly from the respective VAC or embassy/consulate, or you can have the VAC deliver it to you for an additional charge.
Processing Time of Schengen Sports Visa
The processing time for the sports/cultural/religious and film crew visa depends on the volume of applications at the respective embassy, the number of entries, the validity, authenticity of your documents, and your previous travel history. Normally, your application will be processed within 15 working days. However, this can take longer up to 30 or even 90 days in certain extreme cases. As a result, you must apply for the visa well in advance.
How to check Schengen Sports Visa Status?
Normally, there will be multiple ways in which you can check the status of a Schengen sports visa according to the countries involved. If you have applied at one of the VACs, you will be able to perform the Schengen visa status tracking using their online portal by using the application reference number and your date of birth. Certain country’s embassies provide similar facilities as well. You can also contact a travel agency you have applied through to have them track it for you.
When You have Schengen Student Visa?
Once you have received the passport with the visa, you must keep in mind the following key points to ensure that you have a pleasant and stress-free travelling experience -
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 copy of the documents you have submitted during your visa application.
- You must travel to the country within 6 months of the visa issuance or as mentioned in the visa sticker.
- Note the expiry date, validity, and the number of entries mentioned on your visa sticker.
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 or it must not be longer than the validity.
In the Schengen country -
Once you have entered the Schengen nation, you will have to keep in mind the following points -
- You must not extend your stay beyond the 90/180 rule. However, since the Schengen sports visa validity is generally short, you must not exceed the validity period either.
- While you are on this permit, you cannot take part in any paid work on the payroll of a Schengen company.
- You are free to take part in tourism or other related activities.
- Ensure that you carry a copy of your travel documents while you are travelling across the country.
- You are free to visit any other Schengen countries 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.