The Schengen tourist visa is a short-term visa that allows travelers from non-EU countries to visit any of the 26 Schengen countries.
Europe, Travel

Schengen Tourist Visa Application – Requirements and Procedure

Last Updated on March 30, 2022 by Visa Journal

The Schengen tourist visa is a short-term visa that allows travelers from non-EU countries to visit any of the 26 countries for up to 90 days. The Schengen Area is a group of European countries that have abolished all passport and immigration controls at their common borders. This makes it possible to travel freely between the Schengen countries without having to show a passport or visa.

This guide will help you know the:

  • Schengen member countries 
  • Rules of visa application
  • Steps of the application process

The 26 Schengen countries

  1. Austria 2. Belgium 3. The Czech Republic 4. Denmark 5. Estonia 6. Finland 7. France 8. Germany 9. Greece 10. Hungary 11. Iceland 12. Italy 13. Latvia 14. Liechtenstein 15. Lithuania 16. Luxembourg 17. Malta 18. Netherlands 19. Norway 20. Poland 21 Portugal 22. Slovakia 23. Slovenia 24. Spain 25. Sweden and 26. Switzerland

Rules of Visa application for Schengen tourist visa

The rules are as follows:

  1. When visiting one Schengen country, file an application at the consulate/embassy/visa center of that country
  2. If you are going to visit more than two Schengen nations, you should file your visa application
  • If you will spend an unequal number of days in each Schengen country, you will visit then you will get a visa from the consulate/ embassy/visa center of the Schengen country, where you will spend the greatest number of days 
  • If you spend equal days in the Schengen countries you will visit, you will step in first in the visa center/ consulate/embassy of the Schengen nation where you will arrive first. 

Steps of the Schengen tourist visa application process

Step 1

Decide on the type of Visa that you need:

The visa you need to enter the Schengen Area depends on your purpose for visiting. Based on your purpose, you can apply from the following Schengen visa types. The purpose of a Schengen visa can be:

Step 2

Find the place to apply:

The destination country is the country where you need to give your visa application. Each destination country in Schengen has its visa application place in your country. It can be at:

  • Their embassy or consulate
  • A visa center the embassy of the Schengen country has outsourced visa submission
  • Embassy or consulate of another Schengen country where the destination country has outsourced its visa application

Step 4

Analyze the best time for visa application:

Schengen countries take time to process every visa. Thus, you need to analyze the appropriate time for applying for the visa. The recommended time for applying for a Schengen visa is:

  • The earliest time to apply for a Schengen visa is 6 months before you start the journey
  • The latest time is 15 working days before the actual journey
  • The recommended time is at least three weeks before making the journey

Step 5

Book a Schengen visa appointment:

After step 4, proceed to book an appointment. The majority of Schengen nations give you the option to book an online appointment. Others need you have to book the appointment in person at the consulate or embassy.

Step 6

Download and fill out the Schengen visa application form:

All Schengen visa application forms have a similar format. You need to download and fill out this application form. In the form, you have supposed to give

  • Personal details
  • Your background information
  • The purpose for the visit

Follow these instructions to fill out the visa form.

Step 7

Provide the required documents:

The crucial documents are either the standard documents and the visa specific documents.

The standard required documents

  • Valid passport
  • Visa application form
  • Your two identical photos
  • Proof of financial means
  • Proof of accommodation
  • A travel insurance policy.
  • Flight return itinerary or round-trip reservation with specific entry and exit date

Visa specific documents

Some Schengen states have requirements that need extra documentation. This list of documents and their specifications are not the same in every visa type.

Step 8

Attend the visa application interview:

You are then supposed to avail yourself on time at the place for an interview. Hand the documents to the visa consular and answer the interview questions.

Step 9

Pay the visa fee:

There is a non-refundable administration fee for the Schengen visa application. This Schengen visa fee is a processing fee that is static and unchangeable. Currently, the Schengen visa fee is €80 per individual.

Key information for Schengen Tourist Visa

  • Schengen visa processing takes no more than 15 days
  • Once you get the visa, understand the labels attached to the visa sticker and the period given. This is because if you overstay, there is a repercussion
  • If your visa I rejected, understand the reason and fulfill it in your application
  • If you want to remain in Schengen country longer, apply for a National Visa at the embassy of that country. The National Visa allows you to stay for 12 months