Are you Travelling to Europe as a Tourist? Here’s all you need to know about Schengen tourist visa
If you are travelling to Europe, a tourist Schengen visa allows third party native to visit the Schengen area for a maximum duration of 90 days within a 6 months of time period, under the objective of travelling to Europe.
Who needs a Tourist Schengen visa when travelling to Europe for tourism purposes?
Those who are non-European natives keen to travel to Europe as a tourist might be required to apply for a short-term Schengen visa under the tourist category.
If your nationality is on the list of countries that require a Schengen visa for short stay, you should apply for a Schengen tourist visa.
What Documents do you Require to apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa?
When applying for a tourist Schengen visa, you will need to submit the following documents:
Visa application form. Fill in the correct information, print and sign at the end.
Two recent photos. Taken within the last 3 months according to Schengen visa photo criteria.
Valid passport. Be under the age of 10 and be valid for at least 3 months from the intended date of stay under the Schengen Agreement. You will need at least 2 blank pages to apply your visa seal.
Round trip booking or itinerary. A document showing the dates and flight numbers of your entry into and exit from the Schengen area. Find out how to book flights for your tourist visa application.
Travel medical insurance. Proof of health insurance covering medical emergencies of at least EUR 30,000 for the entire duration of your stay. Insurance policies can be easily purchased online from Europ Assistance.
Proof of accommodation. Evidence showing where to stay in the Schengen area. This could be:
- Hotel/hostel reservations. With your name, full address, phone and email, you are in the Schengen area.
- Rent agreement. If you rent an apartment, you will be in the countryside.
- A letter from the tour operator. If you travel with a travel agency.
- Proof of financial means. Proof that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself during your stay in the Schengen area. This could be:
- Bank account statement
- Sponsor letter. When others financially sponsor your trip to the Schengen area. It is also often referred to as an affidavit of support.
- A combination of both.
- Proof of Employment Status:
If employed –
- Employment contract,
- Employer paid vacation
- Income tax refund
For self-employed –
- Copy of business licence
- Company bank statements for the last 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
For students –
- Certificate of Registration &
- No objection letter from University
Itinerary of travel. Description of travel to Europe, purpose of travel, places to visit in Europe, time frame and personal information.
- Birth certificate/adoption certificate/custody certificate if parents are divorced/parents’ death certificate
- Declaration of consent from parents, including copies of passports of parents/legal guardians
Where do I submit my application for a Tourist Schengen visa?
A tourist Schengen visa application must be submitted to the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the main destination in the Schengen area.
The main destination means:
- If you are visiting only one Schengen country, please submit your application to that country’s embassy/consulate/visa centre.
- If you are visiting more than one Schengen country, please submit your application to the country’s embassy/consulate/visa centre :
- Wherein you will spend more days
- Wherein you get first as you plan to spend the same number of days on each.
Be aware of how the authorities of your major travel destinations regulate the issuance of visas in your country. In large countries, visa issuance is regulated by jurisdiction. Apply at the embassy, consulate or visa office of the destination country that has jurisdiction over the area where you live.
How to Apply for a Schengen visa as a Tourist?
To successfully complete your Schengen Tourist Visa application, follow these steps:
- Make sure you qualify for a tourist Schengen visa. There are several types of Schengen visas, so you need to check if you need this one
- Please check where to apply
- Find out when is the best time to apply for a tourist visa
- Collect the documents required for a tourist Schengen visa
- Please make an appointment with the embassy of the destination country This appointment may need to be made online or in person at the embassy/consulate/visa centre
- Attend a visa interview
- Pay the tourist visa fee
- Wait for a reply to your visa application.
When should I apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa?
Applications for a tourist Schengen visa must be submitted at least 15 days before the intended date of travel to the Schengen area. You can submit your application here at the latest. A Schengen tourist visa, on the other hand, can be applied for up to three months before travel.
How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Visa?
We recommend applying for a Schengen tourist visa at least two weeks before your planned trip. The embassy/consulate will then respond within 10 business days (or less than usual), which is the time it takes to process all the paperwork and traveller’s application. Depending on the circumstances, the process may take up to two months if there is an anomaly in an individual case or if there is an unusual political climate underway.
For How Long is the Visa Valid?
Tourist visas are generally valid for stays of up to 90 days. If you travel frequently and not just in one Schengen country, we recommend that you fill in the ‘Multiple Entries’ blank on the application form. This allows you to enter and leave the Schengen area for the period indicated on the visa issued to you.
Can I Extend my Tourist Schengen Visa?
A tourist Schengen visa can only be extended in very specific cases, such as:
- Late entry
- Humanitarian reasons
- Force majeure
- Important personal reasons
However, please note that it is highly unlikely that your Schengen visa will be extended. To obtain a tourist visa extension for any of the above reasons, you need very strong arguments for your application.