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.

The documents required are:

  • Your Schengen Visa application form
  • A travel and medical insurance certificate - when you take out an AXA Schengen travel insurance policy, you will be given an insurance certificate. This is a personal document that you must print out and send to the consulate.
  • Your Passport. This must be valid for three months after the expiry date of the visa you are applying for.
  • Documents showing the purpose and itinerary of your visit. You must submit documents stating the purpose of your trip and your itinerary. So, you will need to inform officials of your means of transport. For example, a return air ticket, proof of transport by car, train, etc. You will also need to indicate the purpose of your trip - this might simply be proof of reservation of a tourist trip. But it might also be an invitation from one of your friends or relatives, or say, an invitation to a work conference or event.
  • Subsistence during your stay. You must demonstrate that you have the requisite financial resources to cover your needs throughout your trip. Requirements may differ from country to country in the Schengen Area , so please check with the embassies and consulates of the countries concerned.
  • You will also need to show where you plan to stay - providing documentation showing a hotel reservation, for example. In some cases, additional information may be requested by the authorities of the countries concerned. Answers to the questions as set out in the visa application form. Don’t forget to provide the proofs with the application form.
  • Schengen travel insurance To obtain a visa, you will need travel insurance to cover the costs of repatriation and emergency medical expenses worth at least €30,000. The AXA Schengen insurance policy meets the requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa. The insurance certificate must be presented at the time of delivery of the visa.

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.