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Schengen Visa Requirements – Documents for Schengen Visa Application

Schengen visa requirements should be strictly followed when submitting the documents for Schengen visa application.

There are a certain common set of documents for any Schengen visa application.  There are additional documents, depending upon the purpose of your trip to the Schengen area, to be submitted, if necessary.

Common Documents for Schengen Visa Application

The following documents are required for any short-term stay Schengen visa application:

  • Application form.

  • A separate form for each applicant is required.

  • Two recently taken photographs
  • Glue one passport to the application form.

  • Valid passport.
    • The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended duration of stay in the Schengen area.
    • The passport must have at least two blank pages.
    • Overall passport validity must be 10 years or less.
    • Passports must not contain any illegible data.
    • Each person must have their own passport, even for minors.
    • No visas will be issued on additional pages of a passport.
    • If you are in the US on Advance Parole and can’t get a national passport from your country of citizenship, that can be accepted instead.
    • If any of your old passports have Schengen visa, you need to carry them as well.

  • Schengen Visa Travel Insurance

  • Enclose the “Visa Letter” or the “Confirmation of Coverage Letter”. Do not enclose other unnecessary documents, such as ID card, policy wording, purchase receipt, email confirmation, etc.

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Proof of financial means

  • Round-trip reservation or flight itinerary

  • Proof that you have paid Schengen visa application fees

  • Evidence of legal residence in the country you are applying from

  • Some consulate officers may optionally ask for the following documents:
    • Proof of social ties with the home country
    • Proof of the professional status of the applicant, such as a work contract, attestation of leave, etc.

  • Even though there is not an exact list of documents that can assure your intentions to return to your residence country at the end of your trip to the Schengen area, some of the documents listed below may help:
    • Employment letter, pay stubs, proof of social security contribution, or provident fund deposits may help prove the employment
    • Title or deed that can serve as the proof of real estate property ownership in residence country
    • Marriage certificate or other evidence that shows the family ties evidence in residence country
    • Roundtrip flight reservation or itinerary for the duration of trip with travel dates and flight numbers. You may only need the itinerary when applying for the visa, but you may need to show the actual tickets when collecting the visa.

  • Applying from the US
    • If you are non-US citizen applying from the US,  proof of legal status, such as an original valid U.S. permanent resident card or a valid U.S. visa (type A, B, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, O, R), and one copy.
    • If your U.S. Permanent Resident Card/U.S. visa has expired, a Schengen visa can’t be issued until you renew it first.
    • If you are on student visa (F visa), Form I-20.
    • If you are on exchange visitor visa (J visa), Form DS-2019.
    • Holders of B1/B2 visa, re-entry permit, or a refugee travel document can’t apply for a long-term visa.
    • B1/B2 visa holders in the U.S. applying for a short stay visa are subject to a heavier and longer procedure.

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Additional Documents – Employment Status

Based on the employment status, the following additional documents should be submitted:

  • Employees
    • Employment letter on the company letter head that, at the minimum, specifies the employee’s name, job title, salary, and the employment start date It should also specify that a vacation has been granted for the duration of the Schengen trip.
    • Personal bank statements for the past six months.
    • Income tax return, or at least the proof that the income tax was withheld from the salary.
    • Additional documents, such as salary slips (pay stubs) may be required.

  • Self-employed
    • Proof of business license, such as registration of the company
    • Company’s bank statements for the past six months.
    • Income tax return of the company and personal.
    • Additional documents, such as company memorandum, partnership deeds, ownership records, etc. may be required.

  • Students

  • Retirees
    • Proof of retirement funds, such as 401 (K), provident fund, pension, or other income statements for the past six months.

  • Unemployed and Married to an EU Citizen
    • Marriage certificate
    • Valid passport of the spouse.
    • Employment verification letter of the spouse that includes the employee’s name, job title, salary, and the employment start date.

Additional Documents – Minors

When the parents or legal guardians are applying for the Schengen visa for a minor (a dependent child under the age of 18 years), the following additional documents should be submitted:

  • A birth certificate of the minor.
  • Application form must be signed by both parents.
  • Family court order, if only one parent has full custody over the minor.
  • Copies of the ID (such as passport) for both parents.
  • If a minor will be traveling alone, a notarized parental authorization signed by both parents or guardians.
  • Death certificate of parent, in case one or both of the parents have passed away.
  • If the minor will be traveling with one parent, a formal document from other parents that he/she has no objection traveling with the one parent.

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Schengen Visa Type Specific Documents

In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents. It is possible that the consular officer may exempt the applicant from submitting all or part of the required documents if he/she is convinced that the applicant is acting in good faith and enough information is provided to ascertain that fact.

Apart from the original documents mentioned below, it is wise to carry one extra photocopy of everything.

Apart from the standard documents required for any Schengen visa application, there are additional documents required based on the category of Schengen visa applied for and the employment status, as listed below:

  • Airport Transit Visa
    • A valid visa for the country of final destination (if required)
    • Confirmed airline ticket to final destination

  • Transit Visa
    • A valid visa for the country of final destination (if required)
    • Confirmed airline ticket to final destination
    • A letter from the inviting shipping company in the Schengen country in which the seafarer will disembark.
    • Original and photocopy of Seaman’s book.
    • Employment contract with the navigation company or ship in order to board the ship.

  • Tourism or Visiting Family/Friends
    • If self-paying, a proof of financial status, such as bank statements, preferably for the last six months.
    • If a relative or friend whom you are visiting is paying for your trip, they need to sign an “Official Affidavit of Support” (called “Verpflichtungserklärung” in German) at the corresponding office in their place of residence.  Your friend or relative would need to send that document to you, and you would need to send that original document when applying for Schengen visa.
    • A detailed itinerary with hotel bookings.
    • Letter from the applicant, explaining the purpose of stay on letterhead with a complete personal address.
    • If you will be traveling with a tour agency, a letter from your tour organizer.

    • Visiting Family/Friends
      • An invitation letter by a resident of a Schengen country.

      • If you are paying yourself, provide your relative’s/friend’s name, address, and a copy of his/her passport.

      • A copy of the residence permit if your relative/friend is not a citizen of the Schengen country.

      • Embassy/consulate shall afford “every facility for obtaining any necessary visas” to persons who don’t have the nationality of a Schengen Country, but who have a family member living in a Schengen country, who has such nationality.

      • Proof of familial relationship.

  • Training Visa
    • Student cards or certificates for the courses attended. 
    • A certificate of enrollment at a teaching institute for the purposes of attending vocational or theoretical courses in the framework of basic and further training.
    • No objection letter or NOC from the educational institution where the applicant is currently enrolled, if applicable.

  • Business Visa
    • Cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit in detail

    • Company/organization’s brief profile

    • Current bank statement and one copy (should bear the name and designation of the officer who signed the statement) – original

    • Employment letter staying the applicant’s designation and the exact purpose of travel, including an itinerary within the Schengen countries.

    • A letter of invitation from the business partner in a particular Schengen country, which should also be faxed to the consulate.

    • This letter should be an invitation to attend meetings, conferences, or events connected with the trade, industry, or work.

    • A statement must be made either in the employment letter or invitation letter from the business partner in a particular Schengen country regarding who will bear all the accumulating expenses during the applicant’s stay in Schengen territory.

    • If attending, entry tickets for fairs and congresses.

    • Other documents that show the existence of trade relations or relations for work purposes between two companies

    • Correspondence with the company(s)/organization(s)/institution(s) in the Schengen zone; previous records (if any).

    • Letters of Credit(L/c)/Import, Export Bill (if any) – certified copy.

    • Valid Certificate of Membership with local Chamber of Commerce/Trade Associations (if any)

    • Certificate from the bank in respect of your authority to operate the company bank account(s), if applicable.

    • Additional documents, such as salary slips (pay stubs), correspondence, company memorandum, partnership deeds, ownership records, etc. may be required.

    • Memorandum and Article of Association in original, certified copy (registered with Joint Stock Companies) / Trade License (first issue and present renewal) / Proprietorship / Partnership documents.

  • Medical Reasons
  • Schengen visa can be applied for medical therapy or treatment in the Schengen area for a duration up to 90 days. If your treatment is expected to last longer than that, you should instead apply for a National Visa for Medical Treatment in the respective country.
    • A copy of the passport’s biometric data page.
    • A letter from a doctor / clinic / hospital in the home country of the visa applicant, indicating the he/she needs medical treatment in the specific Schengen country.
    • Official confirmation of the treatment/appointment by the receiving medical institution, such as a hospital/clinic in the Schengen area.
    • Proof of financial means that shows that the applicant has sufficient financial means to pay for the medical and other expenses for the duration of their treatment, such as
      • Bank statements
      • Letter of sponsorship and bank statement of the sponsor.
      • Proof of advance payment of the treatment or financial arrangements with the medical facilities in the Schengen area.
      • Confirmed accommodation in a medical facility in the Schengen area.
      • Correspondence between the sending medical doctor / hospital and the receiving medical doctor / hospital. 
      • A guarantee letter from the applicant that assures that the patient is capable of spending additional money in case of extra medical costs, such as if unexpected or unforeseen medical treatment costs were to arise.
      • If the government of the applicant’s home country will be covering the cost of the treatment, a note from the Ministry of Health of the applicant’s home country that declares that they are willing to cover his/her medical treatment costs will be needed.
    • A certificate from the national medical authority for the incapacity of the country to offer the appropriate medical treatment for the applicant’s condition.
    • Copies of valid Schengen visas of an accompanying parent, parents, or third person of a minor.

  • Study
    • Instead of one, submit two application forms.
    • A copy of the passport’s biometric data page.
    • Letter of acceptance at a university/college/school in a Schengen country.  It should mention your name, type of studies, length of studies, and the number of hours per week.
    • Proof of financial means should show that you have enough money to reside and pay for the university/college/school fees, books, and other expenses to sustain yourself during your entire stay in the Schengen area.
    • Proof of academic qualification, such as degree certificate, mark sheets, transcript, diploma, academic records, or attestation of the application for equivalence. 
    • In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents.

    You can’t work when you are on student Schengen visa. Some long-stay study visas may permit students to work for a limited number of hours per week. However, you can’t get a job while on student Schengen visa.

    Family members can apply for a tourist visa or a visa for visiting family members but not under any family reunion visa.

    There is no age limit for student Schengen visa.

  • Employment
    • Instead of one application form mentioned in the general requirements above, two application forms are required.
    • Employment contract or letter of intent from your future employer in Schengen territory.
    • If applying from U.S., U.S. police certificate of good conduct (available from your local police precinct).
    • In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents.

  • For Joining a Spouse Residing in Schengen Area
    • Instead of one, submit two application forms.
    • Original marriage certificate.
    • If the spouse is an EU citizen, a copy of the spouse’s passport.
    • If the spouse is not an EU citizen, but lives in a Schengen country, a copy of the spouse’s residency permit.
    • In individual cases, you may be required to provide additional documents.

  • Official Visit
    • The official invitation.
    • Purpose of journey, such as negotiations, meetings, consultations, event by intergovernmental organizations, etc.

  • Other
  • Trips for scientific, sport, cultural, political, or religious events, or other reasons:
    • Invitations
    • Entry tickets
    • Enrollments or programs stating, wherever possible, the name of the organization and the length of stay
    • If you have previously participated in festivals and ceremonies or sports competitions, proof of the same
    • Any other adequate document indicating the purpose of the visit, such as a summons, a medical appointment, or the proof of an organized trip

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