Top five tips to get a Schengen Visa

Applying for a Schengen Visa can be stressful, but there’s no need to be anxious if you follow a few simple steps.

1. Do your research

Most foreign embassies provide information on their websites regarding their Schengen Visa application and requirements. There would be nothing worse than spending time filling in an application only to have it rejected for a reason one should have known before applying. Also, check where the consulate or visa application centre local to you is - you may need to plan to travel to your appointment there. Many consulates will provide online forms and guides to help you with the application process.

2. Make a checklist of your visa requirements

Some embassies include a checklist of requirements in their Schengen Visa application form, which can be extremely useful in helping you to track the process. Not all embassies have this, but you can make your own - check you have everything you need to submit an application, at each stage.

3. Give yourself enough time

Different countries have different processing times, and you cannot apply for a standard Schengen Visa more than three months before your trip. It’s advisable to allow as long as you possibly can from application to trip, just in case there are any errors, difficulties, or struggles processing your application - either on your side or that of the authorities.

4. Be insured

One of the requirements to obtain a Schengen Visa is travel and medical insurance covering you for costs up to €30,000. AXA offers insurance that meets this requirement from as little as €0.99 per day of your trip. It is best to sort this out early, so you can proceed with other complicated elements of your application. Should your visa application be refused, you can get a full refund.

5. Look presentable and act confident on application day

Many countries require a personal visit for visa processing. It is best to dress well and smartly. A good impression can go a long way - so it’s best to treat matters like a job interview. Another tip is to have all of your documents presented in a formal and professional manner in a folder, as this will help stop any confusion over documents that could delay your application.