The Schengen visa is the most common visa for Europe passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries. It is a short-stay visa that enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
Starting January 2020, travelers in need of a Schengen Visa will need to pay a higher visa fee after the European Union Council gave the final nod to an updated Schengen Visa code. According to the EU Council, the Schengen visa fees will increase from 60 euros to 80 euros. The new code also permits applications to be submitted for a maximum of 6 months, and no later than 15 days before the trip. In addition, the EU intends to introduce a harmonized approach to the issuing of multiple entry visas to regular travelers with a positive visa history for a period, which increases gradually from 1 to 5 years.
Documents needed when applying for a Schengen Visa
- Fully completed and signed Visa application form.
- Two recently taken photos (taken within the last three months)
- Valid passport for at least three months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area.
- Round trip reservation or itinerary that includes dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
- Travel insurance policy. You will need a travel insurance when applying for a Schengen Visa in the Philippines.
- Proof of accommodation that shows where you will be staying throughout your stay in Schengen. It can be a hotel booking, a rental agreement, or a letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
- Proof of financial means showing you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen. It can be a Bank account statement or sponsorship letter by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen.
Specific required documents, based on the applicant’s employment status:
- Certificate of Employment
- Current bank statement for the latest six months.
- Leave permission from the employer.
- Income Tax Return form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
- A copy of the business license.
- Bank statement for six months.
- Income Tax Return.
- Proof of enrollment.
- No objection letter from School or University.
Schengen Tourist Visa Application
- Find out where you need to apply. If you’re visiting just one Schengen country, apply at their embassy. But if you’re visiting multiple countries, apply at the embassy where you will be staying the longest.
- Figure out when is the right and most favorable time to apply for a Schengen visa. The earliest is 6 months before your trip and the latest you can file a visa is 15 working days before your travel.
- Fill out the visa application form. You can download the application form and fill it correctly and honestly.
- Gather the required documents needed for a Tourist Schengen Visa.
- Arrange an appointment at the embassy of your destination country. You can make the appointment online or in-person at the embassy, consulate, or visa center.
- Pay the tourist visa fee.
- Wait for the result of your visa application.
If your Schengen visa gets rejected or denied, read the reason why didn’t they grant you a visa and try to fulfill it the next time you apply, or if you think that your application was correct, and the decision on its refusal was a mistake, you can always appeal the visa rejection. On the other hand, if the decision has been taken justly, reapply by trying to avoid or correct the mistakes made in the previous application.