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Europe Awaits: Your Definitive Guide for Schengen Visa Application

The Schengen visa allows holders to travel freely within the 26 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area. However, obtaining this visa requires careful planning, documentation, and adherence to specific requirements, especially for individuals residing in the UK under work permits.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the entire application process, from understanding the eligibility criteria and gathering the necessary documents to scheduling appointments and navigating the visa interview. Additionally, we'll provide insights into common pitfalls to avoid and tips for increasing your chances of a successful application.


Check if you Need a Schengen Visa?

You will need a visa if you are a UK resident and you are holding a passport from countries like Philippines that haven't established a visa-free arrangement with the EU or Schengen countries.


Confirm Your Eligibility to Apply from the UK

You are eligible to apply for a Schengen visa in the UK only if you are a UK legal resident. You must have a valid residence permit, such as Leave to Remain (LTR) or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), which will remain valid for at least one month after you return from the Schengen Countries.


Understand the Type of Visa You Need

If your sole plan for applying for the Schengen visa is for leisure and holidays or sightseeing only, the type of visa you should type in is a Tourist Schengen Visa. But if you are going to go to EU or Schengen countries to visit a relative you should apply for a Visitor Visa which usually requires an invitation letter from the relative you are going to visit.


Determine Where to Submit Your Visa Application

There are quite a few options:

  1. You can submit it to an embassy or consulate of the main destination country.

  2. A designated visa center authorized by the embassy of your destination country to handle visa submissions.

  3. The embassy or consulate of another Schengen state to which your destination country has delegated the responsibility for visa submissions.


Complete and Download the Application Form

The next step is to complete and download the application form which you can do two ways: you can either download the standard Schengen visa application form, fill in all the required information, print it out, and sign it, or you can visit the official websites of the Schengen member countries and fill it out directly online through their systems.



Schedule your Visa appointment

After checking where to apply for the Tourist Schengen visa and filling out the visa application form, the next thing to do is to book an appointment. Normally, you can do this online through the embassy, consulate, or visa application center’s website. Please take into account that certain embassies may only accept appointments that were made through their official website.


Available slots usually depend on the EU/Schengen embassy/consulate and the time of year. Based on our experience, we strongly recommend that you inquire about appointments at least three weeks ahead of time before you plan to travel.


Prepare the Required Documents

  1. A fully completed and signed VISA APPLICATION FORM.

  2. A VALID PASSPORT which should not be older than 10 years, and it should be valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area. Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).

  3. TWO RECENTLY TAKEN PHOTOS which must be attached. These photos must have been taken within the last three months, as per the visa photo requirements. You can obtain Schengen visa-compliant photos online at MyBiometricPhotos.com

  4. A round-trip reservation or itinerary must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.

  5. Travel insurance policy. This is a document confirming that you have health coverage for your entire visit to the Schengen territory. It must provide at least 30,000 euros in coverage for medical emergencies, including illnesses, accidents, and the possibility of repatriation in case of death.   Ensure a hassle-free Schengen tourist visa application process by selecting the right insurance plan that meets all the requirements outlined in Regulation (EU) 2009/810 of the European Parliament.

  6. Proof of accommodation. You must provide proof of your accommodation, such as hotel reservation, private accommodation, rental agreement, etc.

  7. Cover letter with detailed itinerary. You must provide a written statement detailing your travel itinerary, including the visiting dates, where you will be visiting, and how long you will be staying.

  8. Proof of financial means. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen. This can be one of the following:

  • Bank account statement—This shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement must be no older than three months.

  • Sponsorship Letter – by another person/company 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.

  • A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.

  1. Proof of paid visa fee. If you’ve already paid online after confirming your appointment, please show the receipt. Otherwise, you’ll need to make the payment during the interview.

  2. For employees:

  • Employment contract.

  • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months.

  • Leave permission from the employer.

  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.

  1. For the self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license.

  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months.

  • Income Tax Return (ITR).

  1. For students:

  1. For retirees:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months.

  1. If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:

  • A confirmation of Employment letter, no older than three months, from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company and the starting date.

  • Spouse’s valid passport.

  • An official marriage certificate.

Please note that official visa authorities hold the right to ask for any additional documents.


Attend your Appointment

Make sure you are not late for the appointment. Also, make sure you are consistent with your stories and that you have all the complete supporting documents asked. Do not give false answers or inappropriate answers. Just relax and don't show you are nervous because they will only ask things you already know like personal questions, your family background , about your travel plans, how long you are going to be travelling for and what is the purpose of your travel, or who are you travelling with .


Wait for the Response

You have to be patient while waiting for a response regarding your Tourist visa application. Visas are processed typically within 15 days, but this period may be extended on occasion. Some factors, may affect the processing time which can take from 15 to 45 days. And upon approval, the consular officer will issue a Schengen visa of a specific type and validity.


Collect your Passport

On the day of your appointment, you will be advised of how you can collect your passport after the visa has been processed. These can be done two ways:

  1. You can pick it up in person at the embassy, consulate, or visa application centre.

  2. Alternatively, they can arrange for delivery through a courier service, albeit at an additional cost.


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