What documents are required for a Schengen Visa Application?

What is a Schengen Visa?

The Schengen Visa is a short-stay visa that allows visitors to stay in the Schengen Area of countries - which have removed almost all internal border controls - for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. The Schengen Area includes most EU countries (but not Cyprus or Ireland). It also includes some countries outside the EU - but not the UK.

These countries are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

What documents do I need for a Schengen Visa?

When applying for a Schengen Visa to travel to Europe you will have to submit some documents to match the requirements for a Schengen Visa.

How do I get a Schengen visa?

Schengen countries have created a list of the required documents you need to submit depending on your purpose of entry into the Area - and these requirements are more or less the same for each Schengen state. Here we will provide you with a checklist of the documents you need to meet the Schengen Visa requirements:

  • Fully completed and signed Schengen visa application form,
  • Two recently taken passport photographs for Schengen visa,
  • Valid passport with more than three months left until it expires, and older passports with past visas on them, if you possess them. Please ensure that the passport has 2 blank pages to affix visa
  • Itinerary of your trip. Round trip reservation or itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Schengen state. Some Schengen authorities accept the itinerary when applying for the visa but request the original airticket when visa is collected (please verify).
  • Accommodation: confirmed hotel reservation is requested (hotel vouchers are not necessarily proof of confirmed hotel booking). If applicant is staying with a relative or friend, the relevant authorities may request a proof of accommodation.
  • You will also need to submit proof you have paid a visa application fee of €80 or € 40 for those 6 to 12 years of age
  • Proof that you have travel and medical insurance covering you for medical costs up to €30,000
  • Proof of financial means such as:
    • Bank account statement showing sufficient means of subsistence. This statement shall be no older than 3 months. Min. amount required is different in each country – please verify with the relevant consular authority
    • Sponsorship Letter by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. In order for this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.

The Schengen State’s Consular offices reserve the right to request further documentation should they deem it necessary, such as:

  • Proof of employment: (e.g. letter from company stating monthly wages, continuing employment after period of leave and duration of vacation etc)
  • No objection letter
  • If applicant is a student: letter from school/college/university confirming attendance.

A personal interview with the applicant may be requested at any time

Source: European Commission

How much money must I have to visit the Schengen area?

It depends on the country. For example, to obtain your Schengen Visa for France, you will need to prove you can support yourself during your stay. Without pre-paid accommodation, you will need to show you have €120 to spend per day of your stay. With pre-booked accommodation, this falls to €65, or €32.25 if you can show you have booked lower-cost accommodation.

To obtain your Schengen visa for Spain, you will need to have no less than €100 per person and day of stay in the Schengen area. In general, if you have more than €3,000 in savings you should be fine for most circumstances and length of trip. You can also provide proof someone will sponsor you during your trip.

I’m visiting family or friends, what are the additional Schengen Visa requirements?

You should include an invitation letter from the person you plan to visit, as well as, if applicable, proof of the relationship with the person inviting you, such as a marriage or birth certificate. They must clearly state the duration, purpose, and how you propose to financially support yourself during your visit - this could include an affidavit of support promising you financial or material support.

I’m traveling as an employee of a company, what are the additional Schengen Visa requirements?

If you are an employee traveling on company business, you will also need to provide a letter from your employer describing the purpose of your visit, while those invited by a company within the Schengen Area will need to present a letter of invitation sent via email to the consulate of the country you plan to travel to. You will also need to provide an employment contract, a bank statement documenting the last six months of statements, permission from your employer, and an income tax return.

I’m traveling to Europe to study, what are the additional Schengen Visa requirements?

If you are going to the Schengen Area to study in a university or a college, you will need an acceptance letter inviting you to join the institution you plan to attend. The letter must have all the details of your stay there, including your major, the duration of your studies, how the studies will be financed, where you will stay, and contact details.

I’m traveling to Europe to attend an event, what are the additional requirements for a Schengen Visa?

You will need an invitation letter from those sponsoring you to attend the event, specifying its itinerary, location, purpose, and why your presence is required. Your sponsor will also need to provide contact details, proof of identity and documentation outlining the nature of the event.

I’m retired, what are the additional Schengen Visa requirements?

You will be asked to provide six months of pension statements, proving you can financially support yourself during your stay.

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

The parents or legal guardians of minors applying for a Schengen Visa must submit some extra documents for any underage applicant, such as the child’s birth certificate, an application signed by both parents or guardians, a family court order – in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child, certified copies of both parents’ passports, and a notarized letter of parental authorization signed by parents if the child will be traveling alone.

Related topics :

Schengen Visa requirements: Frequently asked questions

Which Schengen country is the easiest to get a visa from?

Lithuania is the easiest country to get a Schengen Visa from - with only 1.3% of short-term visa applications rejected in 2022.

What do I do if I lose a document I need to apply for my Schengen Visa?

You should seek a replacement as soon as is practical - as without it your visa could be refused.

How do I prove I have sufficient funds?

A bank statement, or equivalent official documents - is the best way of showing you have these funds.