Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa?

You should first check if you really need a visa for the country you’re travelling to. In case you do, you have to apply at the appropriate embassy or consulate of the country you will be travelling to.

If you are planning to visit two or more Schengen countries, you should apply for the visa in the embassy or consulate of the country you will be residing in for most of the travelling days. This will be your main destination.

In case there is no main destination but just a random visit to several Schengen countries, you need to apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the first Schengen country you will enter.

The Schengen visa application and the accompanying documents are submitted in your country of residence.

They may also be submitted in the country where the applicant does not have permanent residence. In that case, the reason for applying in another country should be stated.

When applying for a Schengen visa, you should:

  • Check the working hours of the corresponding embassy or consulate;
  • Check if you need to make an appointment for applying for the visa;
  • Check the duration of the Schengen visa procedure and try to apply sufficiently in advance;
  • Browse the website of the corresponding diplomatic office to find out which documents you need to submit along with the your visa application;
  • Keep in mind that another set of rules applies for the submission of documents for getting a long-term visa.

Applying for a visa is only the first step – it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would actually be granted or issued. All diplomatic offices have the discretionary right to reject the applications that are considered unacceptable.

Your application may be rejected for any of the following reasons:

  • Incomplete documentation. This is one of the most frequent reasons, so make sure you have found out which documents are required and if copies should be submitted along with the originals.
    • No confirmation of the flight reservation
    • No confirmation of the hotel accommodation
    • Inadequate explanation of the purpose of your travel to a Schengen country
    • Incongruence of the documents supplied with your planned travel dates
    • No invitation letter from the host
    • No invitation letter in case of a business travel
    • No certificate of employment
    • Uncertified personal documents such as the birth or marriage certificate
    • Inadequate documents in case of child adoption from a non-Schengen country
    • No certificate of guardianship
    • No parental consent for the travel of a minor
    • Inadequately completed visa application form
    • No signature on the visa application form
  • Damaged passport
  • Expired passport or insufficient number of empty pages in the passport
  • Forged travel document
  • Criminal record
  • No Schengen travel insurance
  • Record of prior infringement of any of the Schengen rules during the previous visits to the Schengen area

The Schengen visa application procedure may be only a formality. On the other hand, you may also be invited for an interview, in which case you will be required to answer the official’s questions. We recommend that you answer briefly and truthfully. You may be asked about:

  • Your marital status
  • Your family situation
  • Your and/or your spouse’s occupation
  • The purpose of your travel
  • The planned duration of your visit to the Schengen area
  • Your firm, in case you own one
  • Your income
  • Having adequate funds at your disposal during your stay abroad
  • Your travel health insurance coverage
  • Your previous visits to the Schengen area
  • In case of a private visit:
    • The occupation of your host in the Schengen country of destination
    • Family relations with your host in the Schengen country of destination
    • Status of your hosts in the Schengen country of destination

If you’re travelling to a Schengen country in order to get married or to visit your spouse who is the resident or the citizen of this country, you may be asked a number of very detailed and private questions. Additional questions may be posed if so requested by the authorities of the Schengen country of destination. All travels for the purpose of family reunion are treated specially, and the visa issued in such cases may entitle the holder to permanent residence in the country of destination.

Schengen Related Legal Texts Adopted Within the EU Law are:

Schengen Borders Code (Regulation (EC) No 562/2006)

This Code governs the movement across the borders of the Schengen area countries and the harmonisation of the criteria for crossing the outside borders of the Schengen area by the citizens of other countries.

Visa Code (Regulation (EC) No 810/2009)

This Code defines the procedures for issuing short-stay visas and the airport transit visas.

Local Border Traffic Regime (Regulation (EC) 1931/2006)

The regulations governing the bilateral border agreements.