Tourist Schengen Visa – Traveling to Europe for Tourism
A Tourist Schengen Visa permits third-country nationals enter into the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 6-month period, under the purpose of traveling or visiting Europe for pleasure.
Who needs a Tourist Schengen Visa When Traveling to Europe for Tourism?
Non-European citizens willing to travel to Europe for tourism purpose might be required to apply for a short-term Schengen visa under “tourist” specification.
You need to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa if your nationality is on the list of countries whose nationals need a Schengen short-stay visa.
What Documents are Required When Applying for a Tourist Schengen Visa?
When applying for a Tourist Schengen Visa, you must submit the following documents:
- Visa application form. Fully completed with correct information, printed and signed at the end.
- Two recent photos. Taken within the last three months, in compliance with the Schengen visa photo criteria.
- Valid passport. No older than ten years and with a minimum validity of three months beyond your planned stay in Schengen. It must have at least two blank pages in order to be able to affix the visa sticker.
- Roundtrip reservation or itinerary. A document that includes dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area. Find out how to get flight reservation for tourist visa application.
- Travel Health Insurance. Evidence that you have purchased health insurance that covers medical emergencies with a minimum of €30,000, for your whole period of stay. The Insurance policy can easily be purchased online from Europ Assistance or AXA Schengen.
- Proof of accommodation. Evidence that shows where you will be staying throughout your time in Schengen. This could be a:
- Hotel/hostel booking. With name, complete address, phone and e-mail, for the entire time you will be in the Schengen area.
- Rent agreement. If you have rented a place, in the country you will be staying.
- Letter of tour organizer. If you will be traveling with a tour agency.
- Proof of financial means. Evidence that shows you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay in Schengen. This could be a:
- Bank account statement.
- Sponsorship Letter. When another person will be financially sponsoring your trip to the Schengen Zone. It is also often called as an Affidavit of Support.
- A combination of both.
- Evidence of employment status.
- If employed:
- Employment contract,
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return
- If self-employed:
- A copy of your business license,
- Company’s bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
- If a student:
- Proof of enrollment &
- No Objection Letter from University
- If employed:
- Travel Itinerary. A description of your trip to Europe, your purpose of travelling, which places are you going to visit in Europe, the time frame and all the personal data.
- For Minors:
- Either birth certificate / proof of adoption / custody decree if parents are divorced / death certificate of parent
- Letter of consent from parents, including passport copies of both parents/ legal guardian
Where to Submit the Tourist Schengen Visa Application?
You will have to lodge your Tourist Schengen Visa application at the embassy / consulate / visa center of your main destination in the Schengen Area.
By main destination, we mean:
- When visiting only one Schengen state, submit your application at the embassy / consulate / visa center of that country.
- When visiting more than two Schengen states, submit your application at the embassy / consulate / visa center of the country:
- In which you will be spending more days
- In which you will step in first, since you plan to spend an equal amount of days in each.
Pay attention to how the authorities of your main destination have regulated visa submission in your country. In bigger countries, visa submission is regulated through jurisdictions. Make sure to apply at the embassy, consulate or visa center of your destination country, under the jurisdiction of which the area where you live falls.
How to Apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa?
To complete your Tourist Schengen visa application successfully, follow these steps:
- Make sure you qualify for a Tourist Schengen Visa. Due to the fact that there are several Schengen visa types, you must make sure that the visa you need is this one.
- Find out where you need to apply.
- Figure out the best time to lodge your tourist visa application.
- Collect the required documents for a Tourist Schengen Visa.
- Make an appointment at the embassy of your destination country. You may have to make this appointment online or in-person at the embassy/consulate/visa center.
- Attend the visa interview.
- Pay the tourist visa fee.
- Wait for a response on your visa application.
When to Apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa?
Submit your Tourist Schengen Visa application at least 15 calendar days prior to your planned journey to the Schengen Area. This is the latest you can file your application. On the other hand, the earliest you can apply for a Tourist visa to the Schengen Zone, is three months before your trip.
How long does it take to receive the visa?
It is advisable to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa at least 2 weeks prior to the planned trip. The Embassy Consulate will then reply in 10 working days as common (or less as usually occurs), the time taken to proceed all the documentation and the travelers request. Depending on the situation, proceeding time might take up to two months if there is something extraordinary with the individual case or any unusual political situation is on the go.
How long is the visa valid for?
Tourist visa is commonly valid for stays no more than 90 days. If you will be traveling a lot and not only in one Schengen country it’s recommendable to fill in the “multiple entry” gap in the application form. This way you will be able to enter and leave Schengen Zone as you please for the amount of time allowed on your visa issued.
Can I extend a Tourist Schengen Visa?
A Tourist Schengen visa can be extended only in some very specific occasions, as:
- Late Entry
- Humanitarian Reasons
- Force Majeure
- Important Personal Reasons
However, remember that the chances to extend your Schengen visa are very low. In order to get a tourist visa extension for any of the reasons given above, your application needs very strong arguments.