Europe is known for its natural beauty and the mix of modern and medieval architecture. The biggest reason people travel to the country is for tourism. With the Schengen tourist visa, a large number of people enter the countries to enjoy the rich culture, food, music, architecture, and many more Europe has to offer.
Not everyone requires the Schengen visa. However, since India is not among the visa-exempt countries for any of the Schengen nations, all Indians nationals will require a Schengen tourist visa from India to visit the countries.
What is the Schengen Tourist Visa?
The Schengen tourist visa in an endorsement that is issued to individuals who are travelling to the region to engage in tourist activities such as leisure activities, adventure sports, sightseeing, and so on. The tourist permit is issued for a maximum stay duration of up to 90 days in a 180-day period and can be granted as a single, double, or multiple-entry types.
If you require to stay for more than 90 days, you must apply for the national visa instead.
How to Apply for Schengen Tourist Visa?
The Schengen tourist visa application is done similar to other categories of the ‘C’ type permits. Before starting an application, you must check if you are eligible to travel to the respective country as a tourist. Even though different countries have slightly varied procedures, most of the nations follow similar steps. As a result, the general application procedure can be listed as follows -
- The first and foremost step is to determine where you have to lodge your application. Depending on the country you are applying from and to, you may be able to submit the application directly at one of the embassy/consulates of the destination country situated in your home nation or at one of the visa application centres (VAC).
- You must then proceed to make your application. You should apply at least 15 days before your intended travel date, but not more than 3 months before the expected date of travel.
- Fill in the Schengen application form. The form is the same as the ones used for other types of Schengen visas. However, certain countries may provide facilities for online applications. In the form, you will have to mention that the reason for your visit is ‘tourism’.
- 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 respective diplomatic mission.
- Attend the visa appointment along with the documents for the tourist category and the fees. You must submit the application and pay the fees here. In some cases, you may be able to pay your fees online while filling the application form. As a mandatory requirement, all applicants for the Schengen visa will have to submit their biometrics at the respective centre.
Note that, in certain cases, you may also be required to attend an interview with the consular officer at the application centre/embassy/consulate.
Who should apply or eligibility for Schengen Tourist Visa?
In order to be able to apply for the tourist category, you must meet certain eligibility criteria as required for the visa. These include the following -
- You must be living in the country you are lodging the application. If you are residing in a residence permit in any foreign nation, you may apply it to the corresponding visa issuing authority in that country.
- You must possess a valid passport that meets all the embassy requirements.
- The sole purpose of your visit must be to take part in tourism and related activities.
- You must possess sufficient funds to cover all your expenses during the entire stay period in the country.
- You must apply to the diplomatic mission 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.
Document for Schengen Tourist Visa
As per the Schengen tourist visa requirements, you will have to submit the following documents for the Schengen tourist visa. It is essential that you submit only genuine documents. Providing fake documents can lead to visa rejection.
- A valid passport according to the regulations.
- A covering letter addressed to the embassy stating the details of the visit.
- Flight reservation for the round trip.
- Detailed travel itinerary.
- Proof of accommodation - hotel bookings/invitation to stay/residence bookings, etc.
- Medical travel insurance coverage up to at least 30000 Euros.
- Proof of occupation/study such as employment letter, enrollment letter, etc.
- Financial documents such as bank statements, passbook copy, etc.
Schengen Tourist Visa Photo Requirements
The photos to be submitted for the tourist visa must be of the following specifications -
- Dimensions: 35mm X 45mm
- Colour: Coloured
- Head must occupy the central position
- Must be recently captured within the last 3 months
- Background: Solid, plain white or grey
- 80% face coverage
- Neutral expression
- Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription are permitted
- Headgears are allowed only for religious reasons
- Facial hair - permitted
Processing Time of Schengen Tourist Visa
The processing time for the tourist visa is the same as the other categories. This again depends on the volume of applications at the embassy, the number of entries, the validity, and your previous travel history. Normally, your application will be processed within 15 working days. However, the tourist visa is one of the most applied categories, and as a result, this can take longer in certain cases. As a result, you must apply for the visa well in advance. However, you cannot apply more than 3 months before your intended travel date.
Schengen Tourist Visa Fees
The Schengen tourist visa cost depends on the foreign exchange rates and the age of the applicant. Normally, the application fees for an adult is 60 Euros. However, since the fee has to be paid in the currency of the home country, it can vary based on the currency rates. Apart from the application fee, there will be biometric charges, express processing charges (if any), as well any additional services charges. As a result, you must check the exact amount before starting the application.
Once you have submitted the tourist visa application, it is then processed by the embassy/consulate. If you have submitted the application at a VAC, they will then be forwarded to the respective embassy for processing. 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.
How to Check Visa Status?
The Schengen visa status tracking can depend on the country where you are lodging the application as well as on the embassy/consulate of the destination country. If you have applied at one of the VACs, you will be able to track the status using their online portal by using the application reference number and your date of birth. Certain embassies provide similar facilities as well. You can also contact your respective travel agency to have them track it for you.
When You have this Visa?
Once you have received your visa, you must keep in mind the following crucial points to ensure that you have a hassle-free journey.
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 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.
In the Schengen country -
Once you have entered the Schengen nation, you will have to keep in mind the following points -
- You must note extend your stay beyond the 90/180 rule.
- While you are on a tourist visa, you cannot take part in paid work or be employed on the payroll of a Schengen country
- Ensure that you carry a copy of your travel documents while you are travelling within the country.
- You are free to visit any other Schengen countries as well unless you have been issued with the Limited Territory Visa (LTV).