How do I apply for a Schengen Visa?

Do I need to apply for a Schengen Visa to travel to Europe?

If you’re traveling to Europe and entering the Schengen Area from a country without a visa-free travel arrangement, you’ll need to apply for a Schengen Visa application. Here is a link to a list of the countries which require a Schengen Visa.

Who needs a Schengen visa?

Where can I obtain my Schengen visa application form?

You can download here Schengen visa application forms 2023 for following countries here:

For a German visa, you have to fill in the online Germany visa application form.
Many other countries also have an online visa process that will be available to access from their government websites - or a downloadable form

To obtain your Schengen visa you must address your application to the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit. A visa application center can also help you with the process.

Will I need more than one Schengen Visa? 

You do not need a separate Schengen Visa for every country you wish to visit. If you intend to travel to several countries within the Schengen Area, you only need to apply for a visa in the country where your stay will be the longest. If you intend to stay the same length of time in each country, you must apply for your Schengen Visa at the consulate of the country you will visit first.

You can find out everything you need to know about the Schengen area here.

All the different types of schengen visas are here.

What are the required documents when applying for a Schengen Visa?

To apply for a Schengen visa you need to provide the following documents:

  • A completed and signed visa application form

  • Your passport. Its expiration date should have a minimum of three months after the date you leave the Schengen Area

  • health & travel insurance certificate: when you subscribe to an AXA Schengen insurance, your certificate will be sent to you by email immediately after your online subscription. All you need to do is print the certificate and enclose it with your application form

  • document detailing your itinerary and your travel arrangements: local authorities need to know where and how you intend to move around, so you are asked to provide proof of your means of transportation (plane, train, or bus tickets, invoices for rental cars)

  • Documents related to your subsistence: you must provide proof that your have the financial means to support yourself during your entire stay in the visited country. Requirements differ according to the Schengen Area country you are visiting, consulates and embassies will provide you with this information

  • Documents concerning your accommodation plans: with your application you are asked to give information on where you plan to stay during your visit. This can be a hotel reservation invoice, an email from a friend or relative inviting you to stay with them, etc

Additional documents or information can be asked by the consulate where you are applying.

More information on the required documents for a Schengen visa application.

Where do I submit my Schengen Visa application?

Some countries provide online visa services where you can submit an initial application, often through third-party firms that process applications. You will likely need to appear in person for a visa interview. These will be held at your nearest embassy, consulate, or visa application center and you must bring copies of your application and all supporting documents.

How long does it take to get a Schengen Visa?

The Schengen Visa processing time around the world is approximately two weeks. However, in some cases, it may take longer to process. This could be due to complications with your application and could take 30 days, or in extraordinary cases, 60 calendar days. Sometimes a delay may be nothing to do with your application. For example, delays in processing are common in the summer holiday period of July and August.

Some countries will provide a service where you can track your application - or you can contact the embassy or consulate if you have concerns.

Can you get a Schengen Visa if you are out of work?

Yes. But if you are unemployed you will need to show that you have enough money to support yourself for the duration of your trip.

Do I need a Schengen Visa to travel to the U.K. after Brexit?

Britain was never a part of the Schengen Area, but has now also left the European Union. Therefore, you will need to apply for a visa to visit the U.K. via the British embassy, consulate, or visa application service in your country

Are there any other tips I need to know when making my Schengen Visa application?

The Schengen Visa application process can be confusing and stressful if you do not know what you are doing, so we have prepared a handy guide to take you through each of the 7 steps you need to follow to apply for a Schengen Visa.


How can AXA help?

You can buy your medical and travel insurance online with AXA from as little as €22 per week. A certificate proving you are insured will be available immediately, meaning you can get on with your visa application. AXA travel insurance policies are accepted in all of the embassies and consulates of Schengen Area countries.

Related topics on Schengen visa

How long does it take to get a Schengen visa ?

How much does a Schengen visa cost ?

How to extend a Schengen visa?

How can I track my Schengen visa status?

How long is the schengen visa valid ? What happens if I overstay ? 

What are the first port of entry rules for Schengen visa ?

Which countries are the easiest to obtain a Schengen visa from?

What changes in 2022 for the new Schengen visa ?

What is ETIAS?

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about applying for a Schengen Visa

Is it easy to get a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen Visa form should be available from the website of the consulate of the country or its visa application center

Can I alter my Schengen Visa application once it has been submitted?

No. If you need to make significant changes to your application, such as changes to travel dates or the country you are applying to, you will need to submit a new application.

Can I get a refund if my visa application is rejected?

Your fee will not be refunded as it covers the processing of your application.