Schengen Visa Requirements - Schengen Visa Documents

To apply for any product or service, it is important to know the requirements for it. Similarly, in order to apply for a Schengen visa, it is vital that you know the necessary Schengen visa requirements; at least for the type you are applying for.

There are many requirements based on the purpose, the applicant’s employment status, age, etc. For example, the Schengen visa eligibility can vary upon the purpose of the visit. The Schengen visa fees can vary based on the age criterion, The Schengen visa documents can vary based on the purpose, age criterion, and applicant’s employment status as well. As a result, it is extremely necessary that you are familiar with the requirements for the category that suits you.

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Schengen Visa Eligibility

One of the primary things before starting any Schengen visa application is to determine if you are eligible for the particular category. In fact, it is strongly advised that if you do not meet the Schengen visa eligibility for the particular visa, you must not apply for it.

Even though there are specific eligibility requirements for the particular type of visa, there are certain general conditions that you must meet in order to be eligible to apply for a Schengen. These can be listed as follows -

  • You must be legally residing in the country you are making the application from. 
  • You must possess a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your intended travel.
  • Your primary purpose of the visit must be according to the category you are applying for. 
  • You must not be travelling to work on the payroll of a company in the Schengen nation. 
  • You must be applying to a particular Schengen country’s visa only if the specific country is - 
    • Your main Schengen destination (the majority of the travel period), or
    • Your port of entry.

What documents are required for Schengen Visa

As per the Schengen visa application requirements, the following are the list of Schengen visa documents you must submit for making an application for the short term Schengen visa. Apart from these documents, certain embassies may ask for additional documentation as per the applicant’s status and the purpose of the visit. Also, note that based on the country you are applying for, you may require certain other documents. The following are the Schengen visa documents for Indian citizens as well most nationalities - 

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  • A fully signed and filled Schengen visa application form. Based on the specific country of application and the embassy, the forms may be online or offline. 
  • A valid passport  -
    • It must contain at least 2 blank pages.
    • It should not be older than 10 years.
    • It should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended travel.
    • Old passports, if any, are to be attached.  
  • 2 passport size photos as per the Schengen visa photo requirements below - 
    • 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 
  •  Round trip flight reservations and travel itinerary - The must contain details of your entire journey such as the flight numbers, travel dates, visiting countries, etc.
  • Travel insurance - The travel medical insurance must cover a minimum of 30,000 Euros in case of any medical emergencies such as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in the case of death.
  • Proof of accommodation - Documents to show that you have a place to reside in the Schengen area. Note that if you are planning to visit multiple countries, you must show proof of accommodation for each. They can be - 
    • Hotel/Hostel bookings
    • Rental agreements
    • Letter of invitation from a host
  • Proof of financial means - Documents to show that you have sufficient funds to support your stay throughout the Schengen. They can be - 
    • Bank account statements - Bank statements of the past 3 months that show that you have a stable account along with enough funds to support the stay. 
    • Letter of sponsorship - Letter from your sponsor stating that they will be financing your stay in the Schengen. It must be supported by the bank account statements of the sponsor. 
  • Receipt of payment of the visa fees.

Note that all the documents on the above Schengen visa document list must be translated into English or the Official Language of the respective destination.

Schengen Visa requirements according to applicant status

The above-mentioned documents were the general list of documents as per the Schengen visa requirements. However, according to the applicant’s status, there is additional documentation necessary.  The sections below will discuss these.

What are the documents required based on the applicant’s employment status?

Additional documents based on the employment status required to make a Schengen visa application are as follows -

  • Employed - 
    • Employment contract
    • Bank statement for the past 6 months 
    • Letter granting leave, from the employer
    • ITR (Income Tax Returns) form or Certificate of Income Tax
  • Self-employed - 
    • Copy of the business license
    • Company bank statements for the past 6 months
    • ITR form
  • Student -
    • Proof of admission
    • Letter granting permission to leave for the travel
  • Retired -
    • Pension Statements of the past 6 Months
    • Copy of Retirement Letter/relieving Letter
  • Unemployed and married to an EU citizen -
    • Confirmation of Employment Letter from the EU Citizen’s Employer
    • Valid Passport of the Spouse
    • Official Marriage Certificate

What documents are required for Schengen Visa for Minors?

If the applicant is a minor (under 18), their parents/legal guardian will have to submit certain additional Schengen visa documents as mentioned below -

  • Birth Certificate of the Minor.
  • Application form signed by both the Parents/Guardian.
  • Court Order – in cases where only one parent has full custody over the minor.
  • Copy of the Passports and IDs of both the parents.
  • Notarized authorization signed by both the parents/guardian if the minor will be travelling alone.

Documents required according to Schengen Visa Type

Along with the above-mentioned Schengen visa document list, based on the exact purpose of the visit, there are Schengen visa supporting documents one must submit while making the Schengen visa application. Ensure that you submit only the correct information and genuine documents. Submitting fake documents can lead to an automatic visa rejection.

Schengen Airport Transit Visa Requirements

If your purpose of the visit is to pass through a Schengen airport on transit, you will be applying for the Schengen airport transit visa. As per the Schengen transit visa requirements, you will have to submit the following additional documents - 

  • A Valid visa (if required ) for the final travelling destination
  • Flight tickets for the onward journey

Schengen Family Visa Requirements

If your purpose of travel is to visit your family/friends living in the Schengen nation, you must apply for the family/friends visit visa.  As per the Schengen visa requirements, in order to apply for the Schengen family visa, you must possess the following additional documents -

  • Affidavit of Support - Original ‘Official affidavit of support’ signed by the relative/friend living in the Schengen nation. (If the applicant is unable to provide proof of funds or does not have the funds) 
  • Travel itinerary - Written by the applicant stating the details of the visit such as the duration of stay, the purpose of the visit, etc.
  • Letter of invitation - Letter inviting the applicant to visit them in the Schengen country along with the details of the host. If the applicant is supporting the stay, a copy of the passport of the host along with their details is sufficient. 
  • Residence permit of invitee - If the host is not a citizen of the Schengen nation.
  • Means of subsistence - If the applicant is covering the expenses, proof of financial status. If the host will be covering the expenses, a formal document issued to the host by the authorities in the country.

Schengen Tourist Visa Requirements

The most common type of the Schengen visa, the Schengen tourist visa is issued for people travelling to the member countries to take part in tourist-related activities such as sightseeing, adventure sports, leisure activities, etc. As per the Schengen tourist visa requirements, the following documents are to be submitted as supporting documents - 

  • Means of subsistence- Bank statements of the past 6 months or other documents to prove the possession of sufficient funds. 
  • Affidavit of Support - Original ‘Official affidavit of support’ signed by the relative/friend living in the Schengen nation. (If the applicant is unable to provide proof of funds or does not have the funds). Ensure to carry the original copy of this. 
  •  Travel itinerary - Detailed travel plan that is written by the applicant stating the details of the visit such as the duration of stay, the purpose of the visit, the accommodation, etc.

Schengen Business Visa Requirements

If the purpose of your visit is to attend business meetings, conferences, trade fairs, contract signing, or any other business-related activities, you can apply for the Schengen business visa. Along with the general Schengen visa documents, as per the Schengen business visa requirements, you must submit the following Schengen business visa documents to support your application - 

  • Means of subsistence- Bank statements of the past 6 months or other documents to prove the possession of sufficient funds. 
  • Sponsorship letter - Letter stating that the applicant has been sponsored by another person and that they will provide for the funds for the trip (attached with the bank statements of the sponsor).
  • Letter From Employer - Stating about the purpose and details of the applicant’s travel. 
  • Invitation letter - A letter from a company in the Schengen area inviting the applicant to perform business in the country. Or entry tickets to trade fairs, conferences, etc.

Schengen Medical Visa Requirements

In cases where a patient is travelling to the Schengen countries for medical treatment, they will require a Schengen medical visa. As per the Schengen visa requirements, the following are the list of additional documents you would have to submit for the application - 

  • Letter from a doctor in the home country stating that the patient needs medical attention.
  • Official confirmation of treatment from the medical institution in the Schengen country. 
  • Proof of financial means - bank statements/letter from sponsor/Proof of advance payments/Note from the Ministry of Health in the home country (if being sponsored by the government).

Schengen Student Visa Requirements

For studies and other academic activities that last for a duration of fewer than 90 days, you will have to apply for the Schengen visa for students. If you require to study for a longer duration, you will have to apply for the national student visa. Along with the general Schengen visa documents, you will also have to submit a certain set of supporting documents as per the Schengen visa requirements. The following are the list of documents in the Schengen visa checklist for the student category -

  • 2 completely filled application form.
  • Letter of acceptance into the educational institution in the Schengen country.
  • Proof of financial means.

Schengen Visa Fees

The Schengen visa fee has to be paid to the embassy for the particular visa. The exact Schengen visa cost depends on the type of visa and the age of the applicant. The fees are mentioned in Euros. As a result, while applying from a particular country, it can also vary upon the foreign exchange rates of the home currency. For example, while applying from India, the fees can change upon the exchange rates between the INR and the Euro.

Apart from these, the embassy of the particular Schengen country has the authority to update the fees without any prior announcement. As a result, you must check the exact amount before starting the application. Along with the application fee, there will be additional biometric charges, delivery charges (if any), as well as any other service charges for the application.