How long does it take to get a Schengen Visa?
If you’re traveling to the Schengen Area of European countries you’ll need to get a Schengen Visa before your trip. However, it can be difficult to know how far in advance you will need to apply to allow for your Schengen Visa’s processing time. To help, we’ve created a timeline of the steps in the visa application process.
When should I apply for my Schengen Visa?
Rule changes have expanded your window to apply for a Schengen Visa to six months before you plan to travel. Yet, the recommended time to apply is at least three to four weeks before your trip. If you are applying to a country that deals with a particularly large number of applications, like France or Germany, you may want to apply slightly earlier to allow extra days for your Schengen Visa’s processing time.
It is also a good idea to allow for a longer Schengen Visa processing time at busy times of the year and over the European summer holiday period (July to August).
You can apply for your Schengen Visa by filling in a Schengen Visa application form, and booking an appointment at a consulate, embassy or visa application center.
What is the Schengen Visa processing time?
You will have to wait at least 15 days for your Schengen Visa to be processed, though the processing time will depend on your case. In specific cases, embassies can take 30 days to process a visa, and the Schengen Visa processing time could even be as long as 60 days in extraordinary circumstances.
In general, if you believe your visa application is more complex, for example, if you have been required to submit a significant number of supporting documents for officials to verify in relation to your work or study, then you should perhaps allow for a longer processing time for your Schengen Visa.
This is also true if you are applying as a family or friendship group for several visas. More applications mean more documentation for officials to deal with and more of a chance that one of your visa applications will be slightly delayed.
How can I speed up my Schengen Visa processing time?
Unfortunately, there’s no way of speeding up the process beyond the 15-day Schengen Visa processing time. However, you may be able to avoid delays by ensuring your visa application is clearly filled in, concise, and easily explainable alongside your supporting documents. This will help ensure there are no unnecessary delays.
The documentation you will need to provide includes; a fully completed and signed visa application form, two recently taken passport photographs, a valid passport with more than three months left until it expires, older passports with past visas on them if you possess them, as well as an itinerary of your trip - including dates, flight numbers, hotel reservations, or proof of accommodation. You will also need to submit proof you have paid a visa application fee of €80 and prove that you have travel and medical insurance covering you for medical costs up to €30,000.
How can AXA help me obtain my Schengen Visa?
AXA offers several travel and medical insurance policies that meet the criteria for applying for a Schengen Visa, all of which are refundable if your visa is refused, and which come with an instantly available insurance certificate to put in your Schengen Visa application - speeding up the time it takes to put together your application.
We provide low-cost Schengen Visa travel insurance that meets the €30,000 minimum coverage you need to obtain your visa.
We also offer our more comprehensive Europe Travel insurance that will cover medical expenses up to €100,000 from €1.50 per day of your trip.
Multi-Trip insurance is also available to customers planning to travel in and out of the Schengen Area on multiple occasions - perfect for those traveling on business regularly.
With all of these products, you will receive a refund if you do not receive your Schengen Visa.
More information on Schengen visa
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Schengen Visa processing time
I’ve waited 15 days, should I be worried my visa application has been rejected?
No. Sometimes your visa will just take longer to process. If you are waiting longer than expected - beyond the recommended three-week period - it may be worth contacting the embassy, consulate, or visa application center via email or phone.
Are there ways I can track my Schengen Visa application?
Yes. Some embassies, consulates or visa application services provide an online tracking service.
If my visa application is delayed beyond my departure date, what are my rights?
You will not be able to travel, as there is no guaranteed Schengen Visa processing time.