Schengen Visa Requirements – Documents Required to Obtain a Visa to Europe –

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When applying for a visa to Europe, you will have to submit some required documents as part of the Schengen visa application process.
The Schengen States have created a list of the required documents for each purpose of entry into this territory, and these requirements are approximately the same for a stay in each of them.
In this article, you can find a checklist of the generally required documents to obtain a Schengen Visa, as well as the specific required documents for each visa type. In addition, you will also find a short brief for each requirement and its specifications.
The following list of documents are required for any short-term Schengen visa application:
The parents / legal guardians of minors applying for a Schengen visa must submit some extra documents for the underage applicant:
The embassies and consulates will check if your documents are genuine and issued by official institutions. If for some reason, the embassy or consulate suspects you provided fraudulent documents, your visa application will be rejected.
Yes, embassies and visa centres can ask you to submit additional documents not included in the checklist. This is because the document checklist is a general guideline and cannot account for individual circumstances. If this happens to you, it does not automatically mean that the embassy will reject your application; they just need an additional document to process it fully.
Apart from all the aforementioned documents, depending on the Schengen visa type you are applying for, several additional documents should be submitted as well.
Below you will find the information about all the additional documents needed for any type of Schengen visa separately.
It’s mandatory you submit your documents on the day of your Schengen visa appointment by yourself since you have to submit your biometric data. But, in case of an emergency, you cannot physically visit the embassy or visa centre; you may authorise someone else to apply on your behalf— provided you’ve already given your fingerprints for a previous Schengen visa application. In that case, you need to prepare a written authorisation signed by you or give power of attorney so that person is officially allowed to submit the documents for you. Please note that you may be required to notarise your visa application.
Most Schengen embassies will ask you to submit original copies of your documents. For your passport, you must submit the original travel document along with a photocopy, while for other documents (marriage certificate, family certificate, etc.), some embassies may also ask for certified copies.
Yes, you must submit your fingerprints at the embassy/consulate/visa centre on the day of your visa interview. Ten digital fingerprints will be required (if applicable) and stored in VIS (Schengen Visa Information System). However, you must submit your biometrics only if this is your first visa application or if five years have passed since you last submitted your fingerprints.
Note: Children under 12 do not need to submit their biometric information.
If the embassy or consulate where you apply for your Schengen visa does not specifically mention stapling your documents, please do not do so. You can use paper clips to separate or attach any additional documents, but do not staple or glue them unless specifically requested.
There is no set way how to organise your documents for your Schengen visa — all embassies have different requests. Some may ask you to arrange your documents starting from your application form and followed by your passport, while the rest are in no particular order. But, some other embassies may ask you to put your passport and identity photos first, followed by the application form. If there are no particular instructions from your application centre or embassy, make sure you have all the required documents and arrange them in a logical manner.
If you have a document issued in your native language, for example, your work contract or your medical certificate, must be in English or in one of the corresponding language of the Schengen country. Any translated documents must be legalised or certified with an Apostille stamp to be valid for submission.
If you forget important documents such as a travel insurance certificate, or photo identity, your visa may be rejected immediately. However, some embassies and visa centres may ask you to submit your application again with the complete documentation without denying your visa— this depends on the embassy and the document you forgot.
Some embassies will return your passport along with the other documents you submitted in case your Schengen visa application is denied. Other embassies may only return your passport but not the rest of the documents. Either way, if you want to re-apply for a Schengen visa, you need to assemble the required documents from the beginning, as those documents you already submitted will no longer be valid (e.g., your bank statements, travel insurance certificate, etc.).
Generally, you must submit your fingerprints again if your initial visa application is denied and you’re applying for a new visa. This means you must visit the visa centre or embassy to submit your biometric data.
You must submit a valid Schengen application with your passport. If, for any reason, you do not have a passport at the time of application, e.g., your passport expires, is lost, or is damaged, then you need to make sure you apply for a new passport in time so you can apply for your Schengen visa.
If you receive a Schengen visa, it does not automatically grant you entry into the Schengen zone. At the border, official authorities may ask you to provide additional documentation besides your visa and passport. For example, they may ask you to provide evidence that you have enough money to stay in the Schengen country. This is why most embassies recommend that you carry a copy of the initial documents you submitted for your visa.
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