Been thinking of that dream tour to Europe? Traversing through the history of Athens, visiting the Colosseum at Rome, clicking a selfie at the Eiffel Tower and skiing at the Swiss Alps?
Well, you are not alone. Europe has been witnessing an increase in the number of Indian tourists in recent years with over 10 million visiting the continent in the last year alone. However, one significant fact most fail to emphasize upon is the importance of good International travel insurance. More on that later. Let’s begin with the first step of applying for a Schengen area Visa.
What is the Schengen area?
Schengen area is a region comprising 26 out of 28 European countries who have mutually agreed to remove official border controls like passports that hassle tourists traveling across their mutual borders. The countries under the Schengen area include Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Schengen area short-term tourist visa application comes in two types- Type A and Type C offering a single entry or multiple entry access. A single-entry visa means that your visa expires once you leave the Schengen area which a multiple entry visa will allow you to enter and exit the Schengen area for up to 90 days.
Documents required to apply for Schengen visa in India
The following documents are necessary to apply for your Schengen visa in India:
1) Application form
2) Two passport size photos
3) Your passport and photocopies of the previous visa
4) International travel insurance covering at least €30,000 during your stay in the Schengen area
5) Letter stating the purpose of visit
6) Copies of: your travel itinerary, hotel reservations, birth certificate, salary slip and bank statement showing a minimum of €2000 in the account during the last three months.
After this, you will have to book an appointment at a Visa application centre. You shall be expected to submit your Visa application and other documents. You have to pay a visa fee to apply for a Schengen visa in India. Again, this is hassle-free because Schengen area countries have a standard fee [€60 for adults and €35 for children (6-12 years of age)]. Visa fees are not charged for children under the age of 6.
Processing time for a Schengen visa in India
After this, your visa application goes into the process. The total time taken for this is usually around 15 working days and up to 30 working days. However, this might even go up to 60 days in some cases.
When to Apply for a Schengen visa in India?
It is expected of a tourist to submit their Schengen visa in India application by a minimum of 15 days before their travel. Also, an application can be made up to three months in advance. It is advisable to submit your applications at least a month in advance.
Also, remember that the Schengen countries emphasize on good travel insurance. They want to ensure that you would be able to handle expenses caused due to any untoward instance during your travel. So make sure that you find good travel insurance for Schengen countries before you apply for your Schengen visa in India.