After planning the trip to Europe, getting a Schengen visa seemed to be the biggest hurdle to start with. Schengen visa permits unlimited travelling and movement inside the Schengen area (i.e., 26 countries). In the process, I came to know about the detailed list of documents one has to produce in order to get the visa. The most crucial things which the embassy wanted to know were:
a. Whether I will come back to my country after the trip
b. Whether I have sufficient money for the trip and I will not take refuge in their country (actually I saw a few hippies begging on the streets of Prague with the hoarding “give me some money I am broke, I want to go back home!”).
We filled up all the necessary documents, did hundreds of Xerox and filled up the application form with a covering letter stating the purpose of our visit.
After filling all the documents and forms, I had to book an appointment at VFS office in Kolkata. On the day of interview I went at the stipulated time and deposited all the documents. The lady in the counter inquired about the purpose of my visit, asked about my job and family background. The payment of the fees was followed by biometrics where I had to give the fingerprints. A photograph was also clicked. After all the necessary formalities I got a tracking number with the receipt and came back home. At day 12, the Passport was delivered at my doorstep. It was not a very big hassle for me, but I heard about people being called for face to face interviews in the Embassy at Delhi or their visa being cancelled for improper documentation.
How to select the country for which you need to apply the visa:
a. The entry point where you are entering the Schengen area
b. The country where you are spending the maximum number of days
I applied for Hungary as I had to spent maximum time in Hungary. You can select accordingly.
Here is the list of documents you need to provide:
1. Passport (with 10 year validity) with at least 6 months validity from the date of departure. Please note that the passport booklet should have a minimum of 2 blank pages for official use.
2. Old Passport booklet if any
3. Passport size photographs (of 35 X 45 mm with white Background on matt finish paper & 80% face area). Please make sure your teeth are not visible. If you are using eye lens, wear transparent/white colored lens while getting the picture clicked. Embassies usually reject photographs of subjects wearing colored lenses.
4. Cover letter from the ‘main applicant’ or the person incurring journey expenses explaining the reason of travel.
5. Visa applications form, duly filled and signed by traveler(s).
6. Authorization letter signed
7. Personal bank statement (in original) from last 6 months to till date with balance at least equal to or more than your tour will cost. Bank statement should have signature and stamp of the bank staff. (Provide the bank account which has regular transactions for the last six months rather than dump some money in a bank account and show it to them)
8. Self-attested copies of personal Income Tax Returns of last 3 years. (if not form 16 for last 3 years)
9. Leave Letter/No-Objection Certificate from the employer.
10. 3 Months’ Salary Slips (atleast). Provide 6 months’ salary slips if you plan to travel to Spain.
11. Traveler(s) who is doctor by profession needs to provide copy of medical practice certificate and a copy of doctor degree
12. For self-employed:Sole Proprietors: Need to submit your letter of request for issuance of visa on your company letter head and a xerox copy of company registration certificate.Owner of a Pvt. Ltd. Company: Need to submit your letter of request for issuance of visa on your company letter head and a copy of the memorandum of article.
a. Form-16 FOR LAST 3 YEARS (becomes mandatory if no ITR)
b. Copy of your PAN card (mandatory for Spain)
c. Copy of your company ID card and latest Business Card- This helps in case the consulate/embassy of the destination country wishes to establish contact with the customer(s). Xerox copy of your in-use credit card and its statement of one month. This will help the embassy officials establish your financial condition.
d. Xerox copy of your fixed deposits, PPF account or property papers (if any) & other investments- This is recommended in case the liquidity is a constraint in the personal bank statement or if the transactions history is not sound enough to attain visa clearance.
a. NOC from girls parents with signature ID proof. Married couples need to either have the names endorsed on the passports or else provide Marriage Certificate
b. Wedding Cards + Marriage Affidavit
c. 10 clear Photographs of the Engagement
If you are working in an institution you need to take a NOC (with leave application).
If you are working in a government institution, you may be asked regarding the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) form and an E-police verification form. These are only applicable for white Indian passport holders going abroad on government expenses (IFS officers, people from ministry). These are not applicable for common people with blue Indian passport going on self-sponsored trips.
Link to VFS India website: Click here
Charges- Visa fees-4750 INR, VFS charges- around 1300 INR, Postal delivery- 399 INR per passport. The actual amount fluctuates with currency changes. Overall we paid 13000 for 2 people.
If you need the application format and the documents to apply comment below or drop me a mail at
Czech Republic blogs- Click here
Austria blogs- Click here