Europe is the World’s second-smallest continent – 10,180,000 km² covering approximately 6.7% of the Earth’s land and 2% of the Earth’s surface .
It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Ural mountains in Russia mark the eastern extreme.
The southern regions are higher and include the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Carpathian mountain ranges.
The longest river in Europe is the Volga (2,850 km) in Russia.
The highest mountain is Elbrus (5,642 m) in Russia.
List Of Countries
|Albania||Andorra (Principality of)|
|Belgium (EU)||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Bulgaria (EU)||Croatia (EU)|
|Czech Republic (EU)||Cyprus (EU)|
|Denmark (EU)||Estonia (EU)|
|Finland (EU)||France (EU)|
|Greece (EU)||Hungary (EU)|
|Iceland Note: Geologically located in Europe and North America. (Official Candidate of EU.)||Ireland (EU)|
|Italy (EU)||Kazakhstan Note: Geologically located in Europe and Asia|
|Lithuania (EU)||Luxembourg (EU)|
|Monaco||Montenegro (Official Candidate of EU.)|
|Poland (EU)||Portugal (EU)|
|Republic of Macedonia (Official Candidate of EU.)||Romania (EU)|
|Russia||Serbia (Official Candidate of EU.)|
|Slovakia (EU)||Slovenia (EU)|
|Spain (EU)||Sweden (EU)|
|Switzerland||Turkey Note: Geologically located in Europe and Asia. (Official Candidate of EU.)|
|Ukraine||United Kingdom (Leaving EU in March 2019)|
Regions & Seasons
Europe can be broadly divided into three regions as shown on the map left.
Europe can also be divided according to European Union member states and non-member states as shown on the map right.
Europe lies entirely in the Northern hemisphere and has four distinct seasons
|Spring||March, April, May|
|Summer||June, July, August|
|Autumn||September, October, November|
|Winter||December, January, February|
The climate of Europe can be broadly divided into five different climate types:
Deciduous forest – Four distinct seasons with warm summers and cold, wet winters. The trees shed their leaves in autumn.
Coniferous forest – Also known as Taiga, cold and dry with snowy winters and warmer summers.
Mediterranean – Warm to high temperatures with rainfall in the autumn and winter months.
Grassland – Hot summers and cold winters with above average rainfall.
Tundra – This area is characterised by a layer of permafrost (soil that has remained below freezing for at least two years. Winters are very cold, summers are warm and there is little rainfall.
Schengen Area – World’s largest passport-free zone
Named after “the Schengen Agreement” signifies a zone where 26 different European nations, acknowledged the abolishment of their internal borders with other member nations, for the free and unrestricted movement of people, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening common judicial system and police cooperation.
List of Schengen Area Countries
The 26 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, 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.
Through Schengen zone, borders between European countries are only existent on maps, as to over 400 million nationals of 26 member countries the freedom of traveling passport check and border control free within and outside the area is guaranteed, as within a single country, since every country share the common travel and movement rights.
LIST OF SCHENGEN COUNTRIES
|Czech Republic – LINK http://www.vfsglobal.com/czechrepublic/india/|
How To Apply
How to Apply
You will have to follow a step-by-step guideline to apply for a Schengen visa in India.
In order to apply for a Schengen visa from India you must follow these steps:
- Figure out which Schengen visa type you need. There are different Schengen visa types depending on your purpose of traveling from India to Europe.
- Find out where you need to apply for a Schengen visa in India. Pay attention to the embassy / consulate / VAC of which country you need to apply at, as well as under the jurisdiction of which you fall.
- Decide when to apply for a Schengen visa in India. The earliest time you can lodge your Schengen visa application in India is 3 months before your planned trip while the latest time to file your visa application is at least 15 working days before you intend to travel to Europe.
- Collect the required Schengen visa documents for Indian citizens.
- Appoint an interview at a visa application center in India. Depending on the country, you may make an appointment online, through phone, or in person. Below in this article, you can find more information for each EU embassy/consulate located in India.
- Attend the interview on the day of your appointment. Show up on time and try not to be nervous. Remember that the interview is a crucial part of your visa application.
- Pay the visa fee. All Schengen states have fixed and synchronized visa fees. For more information check Schengen visa fees for Indian citizens.
- Wait for the processing of your visa. After the interview, you will have to wait for at most 15 days, for a response on your application.
The following list of documents are required for any short-term Schengen visa application:
- Visa application form. Fully completed and signed.
- Two recently taken photos must be attached. Both photos must be taken within the last three months, according to the visa photo requirements.
- A valid passport. Not older than 10 years and it should be valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area. Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
- Round trip reservation or itinerary. It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area. You can use the visa consultation services like this one. These guys can handle most of your visa requirements such as flight itineraries, hotel reservations along with free consultation over email.
- Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in case of death. The Insurance policy can easily be purchased online from AXA Schengen or Europ Assistance.
- Proof of accommodation. A document that shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen. This can be one of the following:
- A hotel/hostel booking.
- A rental agreement.
- A letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
- Proof of financial means. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen. This can be one of the following:
- Bank account statement – that shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
- Sponsorship Letter – by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. In order for this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.
- A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.
- Proof of paid visa fee. €80 for adults and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.
Documents Required According to Applicant’s Employment Status:
- For employees:
- Employment contract.
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Leave permission from the employer.
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
- For the self-employed:
- A copy of your business license.
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Income Tax Return (ITR).
- For students:
- Proof of enrollment.
- No objection letter from School or University.
- For retirees:
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
- If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:
- Confirmation of Employment letter, no older than three months, from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date.
- Spouse’s valid passport.
- An official marriage certificate.
Documents Required for Minors:
- The minor’s birth certificate.
- Application form signed by both parents.
- Family court order – in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID / passport of both parents.
- A notarized parental authorization signed by both parents / guardians if the minor will be travelling alone.
Where To Apply?
Where To Apply?
Where to Submit an 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.
If you have already submitted an application for a visa at Visa Application Centre you can track your application
The time required to process Visa Applications is upto 15calendar days under normal circumstances. Collection process Please ensure you bring your receipt with you, which is issued to you on the day of your appointment.
In case a Representative or Travel Agent is coming to collect the passports/documents he/she needs to carry the original receipt, Photo Id of himself/herself, applicant’s passport photocopy and an authority letter from the applicant.
Schedule An Appointment
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
All applicants are required to book an appointment online to submit their visa application at the Joint Schengen visa application center.
Important: As part of the visa application procedure, from 2nd November 2015 applicants will need to provide Biometric fingerprint data along with a digital photograph. If you have temporary injuries on your fingers, applicants are advised to wait until the injuries have healed before you book your appointment. Henna on fingertips may also mean we are unable to get a clear scanned image and should be removed or allowed to fade before your appointment date.Before you make an appointment you should carefully read the visa application process available on the website to submit your visa application and supporting documents at the visa application center.
If you have missed your appointment on the scheduled day, the system will not allow you to reschedule or cancel and you will require to book a new appointment after 24 hours.
Please make sure you arrive at the visa application center 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. Applicants are not allowed to be accompanied inside the visa application center. The only exceptions to this are those accompanying children under 18 years-of-age or applicants who need special assistance for health reasons or disability.
If you are part of a family or group, each member of the family or group must make an individual appointment. For example, if you are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children you must make 4 individual appointments.
Most of the countries give you the chance to book an appointment online. On the other hand, in others you will need to book the appointment in person, at the embassy or consulate of your destination country.
Schengen Visa Fees
When applying for a Schengen visa there is a non-refundable mandatory visa fee every applicant must pay.
The Schengen visa costs vary depending on the type of visa and age of the applicant as well as some other exceptions stated below in the text. The Schengen visa fee can be paid in the designated consulate/embassy via cash, debit or credit card. However, some consulates may not allow you to pay by credit card.
|Schengen Visa Category||Fee in EUR||Fee in USD*|
|Child between 6-12 years of age||40€||45$|
|Child younger than 6 years of age||Free||Free|
The applicable visa fee in USD (US Dollar) is as per the current exchange rate. It is subject to change without notice.
Despite the fact that these fees are static and unchangeable until the Schengen members decide otherwise altogether, there are some categories exempt from paying this amount.
The visa fees may also be waived for participants aged 25 years or less in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events, organized by non-profit organizations. The decision will be made case by case according to the relevance of the event.
Again, in case the visa is denied there is no refund of the money paid.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa obtained by any of the Schengen Area member countries allows free movement to its holder within the whole Schengen Zone, up to its validity and timeframe.
Which countries take part in the Schengen Agreement?
There are 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement: 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.
When issued a visa, for how long can I reside in the Schengen Zone?
According to the type of visa issued by the certain embassy/consulate of any Schengen country there are different restrictions that apply to the particular visa in accordance to the nature of travelling and other relevant circumstances. However, the most common type of visa issued to the travelers can reach the maximum of 90 days in every six month period starting from the date of entry.
On which occasion am I allowed to apply for a Schengen visa?
Every person is allowed to apply for a Schengen visa as long as they can get all the required documentation in order and possess the financial means to maintain themselves during their stay to the Schengen area.
What type of a Schengen visa do I need?
Depending on the purpose/nature of your travel there are three major types of Schengen visa issued by the designated Embassy/Consulate.
- The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six-month period starting from the date of entry.
- The Limited territorial validity visa allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa.
- The national visa is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries.
What is the difference between Airport transit visa and Transit visa?
While the Airport Transit Visa allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Country Area the Transit visa which allows its holder to transit within no more than 5 days through more than one Schengen country by car, coach or plane on the way to a non-Schengen country.
What is the difference between a single-entry and a multiple-entry Schengen visa?
Single-entry visa allows its holder to enter a Schengen Area only once for the certain period of time. Once you leave the Schengen Area you entered the visa validity expires, even if the time period allowed to stay in the Schengen Area is not over yet, while Multiple-entry visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as pleased.
What is a Limited territorial validity visa?
Limited territorial validity is a document that allows one to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned in the itinerary when applying for the visa. Apart from these Schengen countries, this specific visa is invalid to any other Schengen country not specified prior.
What is a National visa?
The national visa can be of a single entry, granted to the people who are in need of residing in the Schengen country for a certain period of time and for a sole purpose after which they shall return to their country. On the other hand a multi-entry national visa is also granted for certain individuals, allowing its holder to travel in and out of this Schengen country as he/she pleases and also travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.
Where do I apply for the Schengen visa?
In cases where the applicant will be traveling to one and only one Schengen country, the applicant has to apply at the appropriate embassy/consulate of the designated country.
If I am travelling to more than one Schengen country, at which embassy do I apply for a Schengen Visa?
If the applicant is planning to visit two or more Schengen countries, it is highly recommended to be applying for the visa in the embassy/consulate of the country you will be residing in for most of the traveling days, referred to as the main destination.
What is a flight itinerary for Visa application?
Flight itinerary is a confirmed document which can be verified online about the schedule of a given flight.
What steps do I follow when pursuing a Schengen visa?
Every person who wishes to apply for a visa in order to visit a Schengen member country is obliged to apply in person, gather all the mandatory documents and first and foremost according to the rules and regulations, make an appointment in advance. The person that will be applying for a visa has to make sure he/she holds a valid passport apropos a passport that has been issued no longer than ten years ago and has a period of six months until its expiration date.
What documents are required when applying for a Schengen visa?
When applying for a Schengen visa, there is a need to collect a list of documents that are required for any short-term Schengen visa application. The list of these documents can be found on this article: Documents Required when Applying for a Schengen Visa.
Where can I get the application form for the Schengen visa?
The application form can be downloaded from this page. The application form has the same format no matter which country’s visa it is that the applicant wants to apply for.
How do I fill the application form for the Schengen visa?
The application form can be filled in either by handwriting or by typing into it. Careful not to leave any columns blank. If the applicant feels that there are columns that don’t correspond to his/her matter, fill them with NA (No Answer).
Do I have to hand the documentation personally at the embassy/consulate?
Yes. When applying for the visa you should bear in mind that you have to personally hand the required documents once you’ve made an appointment at the embassy/consulate.
Do I have to make an appointment at the Embassy/Consulate or I can show up whenever I desire?
This depends on the embassy/consulate you are applying to yet commonly it is necessary to make an appointment prior via phone/email. However, in order to be sure the applicant must contact the designated embassy/consulate and ask for further information.
What do they commonly ask in the interview for the Schengen Visa?
During the interview you will be asked personal questions about your whereabouts, the intended trip and other travel details. Make sure your answers are firm and correct.
Is it normal for the embassy/consulate to require additional documents beside the ones that are mandatory?
Yes. Apart from all the mandatory documents when applying for a Schengen visa, depending on the type of visa you are seeking there are several additional documents that can be required by the embassy/consulate.
Do I buy the plane ticket before or after they issue the visa?
After. One must have a copy of the reservation of the return ticket for the time intended to be travelling. It is not recommendable to buy the ticket before getting the visa, if not necessary.
If someone is expecting me in the Schengen country, how do I document that to the Embassy/Consulate?
If you are applying for a Schengen visa to visiting friends or relatives living in the Schengen Area, there are some additional documents you need to attach in order to prove it such as:
- The formal invitation by the relative/friend residing in a Schengen country.
- If the applicant declares that he/she will be covering all the travel expenses, proof of one’s financial status is requested otherwise if the relative/friend is to cover the applicants’ expenses, a formal document issued by the competent authorities to a resident of a Schengen country (the friend/relative in this case) is to be submitted.
- If the applicant will be covering the expenses on his/her own, the relatives/friend’s name, and copy the address of their passport will suffice. In case that the friend/relative is not a citizen of this Schengen country, the copy of the residency permit will also be required.
How much money do I have to own in order to get the Schengen visa?
Only enough to cover the expenses made during the trip as in, accommodation and everyday costs for the days being.
Do I have to send copies of previous visas when applying for a Schengen visa?
Yes, in case you have any.
How much time does it take to get a response when applying for a Schengen visa?
Although it takes no more than 24-48 hours for processing a visa in general, there are times when this process takes quite much longer, from 14 up to 21 days in some countries concerning some citizens.
Can I apply for a Schengen visa in a country where I am not a resident?
Yes. If you must apply for a Schengen visa in a country where you are not a resident, the justification why you are applying from that country will suffice.
What do I do if I urge to extend the Schengen visa?
In case of any trustworthy reasons, personal, occupational, medical or otherwise, the applicant has to turn to the corresponding institutions in the Schengen country of residence and apply for an extension of the Schengen visa.
For more information please read the article about Extending your Schengen visa.
Do I need additional documents to reside more than 90 days in a Schengen country?
Yes. Depending on the nature of your travel, there are several other documents one has to attach in order to obtain a long-stay visa aka National visa “D”.
What documents do I need to attach if I am self-employed, when applying for a Schengen visa?
In case the applicant is the owner of the company he/she is working for, the business registration, tax returns and the latest bank statement is to be attached.
Can I get a Schengen visa if I am of minor age?
Yes. Both parents/guardians have to sign the application form. In case they are divorced/separated, and they share custody of the child again, both of the parents have to sign. In caste only one of the parents has custody of the child, that parent will sign the application form.
Are there any additional documents requested as a minor in obtaining a Schengen visa procedure?
Yes, as following:
- A birth certificate of the child
- The application form signed by both parents/guardians or the one that has custody over the child in case of a divorce.
- A family court if only one parent shares have full custody
- If a child is travelling alone, a notarized parental authorization, signed by both parents or a guardian.
In case my Schengen visa application is denied, will I get my money back?
No. There is a non-refundable administration fee when applying for a visa.
Where do I pay for the Schengen visa?
The Schengen visa fee can be paid in the designated consulate/embassy via cash, debit or credit card.
Is the Schengen visa fee the same for adults and for children?
No. Children between the ages of 6-12 pay only 35 euros, while children under the age of 6 are not required to pay anything.
Where do I purchase travel insurance?
Travelers purchase an individual travel visa insurance policy for the days planned to spend in a Schengen territory at the rightful insurance/travel agency. The insurance policy can be purchased either online or conventionally depending on the chosen company
Does everybody need travel insurance?
Anyone travelling temporarily to a Schengen area from a country that is subject to visa requirements, be it an individual visitor or group visitors, tourists, or business travellers has to be insured for the time being in the Schengen area.
Should I bring my medical file with me if I am travelling to a foreign country?
In case you have a preexisting health condition it is highly recommendable.
If I am travelling on vacation, and get hurt while engaging in an extreme sport of any kind, will insurance pay for my medical bills?
No, commonly this case is one of the limitations. However, if you choose to pay extra there can be an arrangement.