How to Apply for a Schengen Visa

If you are planning a visit to a country that is part of the Schengen Area, and if you are required to hold a visa, here is what you need to know.

Download the application form and complete it.

  • This form can be filled in by hand or by typing into it. Don’t forget to sign the form.
  • Make sure you have downloaded the latest version of the form because only that version is acceptable. In case you can’t download and print it, copies are available in the corresponding diplomatic office.
  • Fill in all fields carefully.
  • The visa application forms for underage children must be signed by both parents or by a foster parent.
  • Don’t use coloured pencils. Use black or blue pen.

You will be required to apply at the appropriate embassy or consulate of the country you will be travelling to. You have to hand the required documents in person.

Passport and photos

  • Check the validity of your passport. It must be valid for minimum three months upon the expiration of the visa you’re applying for.
  • Make sure there are at least two empty pages in your passport.
  • The first issue date of your passport must not be more than 10 years ago
  • Attach a colour photo on the white background, in the required format (35x45mm); photo should not be older than 6 months

Check on the website of the corresponding diplomatic office or by phone which documents you need to enclose with the visa application.

The mandatory documents accompanying the visa application are:

  • Proof of accommodation – hotel booking confirmation or in case of accommodation with a private individual (an invitation from the person hosting you).
  • Proof that you have sufficient means at your disposal to cover your living expenses.
  • Proof of civil status - original birth certificate, original joint household certificate, original marriage certificate and/or original death certificate (if applicable).
  • Itinerary – you may be asked to provide information concerning the itinerary (e.g. planned itinerary); you should submit a flight reservation (it is not required to submit a prepaid ticket); in case you are travelling by car you should submit driver's licence.
  • Schengen Travel insurance – the insurance covering the medical expenses in case of a sudden illness, repatriation or similar. The insurance coverage must be at least EUR 30,000 and it is valid in all Schengen countries.

When should you submit your Schengen visa application?

We recommend that you apply for the Schengen visa well in advance, bearing in mind the following:

  • You should check if scheduling an appointment for the submission of applications is required or if certain dates and times are set when the diplomatic office accepts applications without making appointments.
  • Check which diplomatic office is responsible for issuing Schengen visas for your country of destination.
  • In case you plan to travel through several countries in the Schengen area, you should apply for the visa in the corresponding diplomatic office of the first country you will visit or of the country of destination.
  • In case there is no such diplomatic office in your city/ country:
    • Check where that diplomatic office is located: in some cases, it may be in a neighbouring country so you will have to travel there to submit your application and to collect your visa.
    • It is possible that the diplomatic office of another country is responsible for providing this service in accordance with a bilateral agreement

Check the visa processing and issuing times, in case your application is accepted.

Plan ahead as you may get a visa very quickly, but the procedure might also take as long as several weeks.

Useful advice:

You can apply for the Schengen visa in the country which is not your country of residence. In that case, you will also need to explain why you’re applying from that country.

In case of any trustworthy reasons, personal, medical or other, the applicant has to turn to the corresponding institutions in the Schengen country of residence and apply for an extension of the Schengen visa.

Attention: The list of required documents is changeable at any time. Bear in mind that the consular office may ask for additional required documents.