Top 5 Tips for a Smooth Schengen Visa Application

Europe _ map 164568338Going through the visa application process is always stressful, made worse by the possibility of having your application rejected, which generally leads to panic and anxiety. Some countries are more lax with visa applications, while others are stricter. Other factors in the ease of the application process include what passport you carry and diplomatic relations between countries.

We have collected some tips to help make your application process as simple and seamless as possible.

1. Do your research.

Most foreign embassies provide information on their websites regarding their Schengen visa application and requirements. You can find everything from application requirements to visa fees, as well as timetables for visa processing. Some countries have specific or different requirements based on your nationality, so make sure you’re aware of these things beforehand. Talking to people who have had experience in applying for the visa you want can be helpful, as well.

2. Make a checklist of requirements.

Some embassies include a checklist of requirements in their Schengen visa application form, which can be extremely helpful in keeping track of which requirements you have and which you need. Not every embassy has this, but it shouldn’t be difficult for you to make your own. This is also helpful when compiling everything for submission.

3. Give yourself enough time.

This will vary depending on where you are as well as where you are going. It’s generally best not to have to worry about deadlines being too close for comfort. Try to give yourself enough time so that if your initial application is rejected, you have enough time to re-apply and get your visa before your scheduled flight. Take note of when the visa of your host country expires, so you can get your next visa and leave before that date.

4. Have a Plan B.

Things don’t always go as planned, so it’s always a good idea to have a back-up plan. If your visa is running out and the country you’re planning on going to next has a long visa turnaround time, go to another country or try to find a way to extend your current visa.

5. Look presentable and act confident on application day.

Some countries require a personal visit for visa processing. Some embassies have a strictly-enforced dress code. Some also conduct an interview as they collect your documents. Try to look your best and make a good impression.

Posted by Jennifer Frankel

Jennifer is the International Director at International Student Insurance. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and England, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

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