Guide – Bank Statements For Your Schengen Visa Application
What Are The Bank Statements For Your Schengen Visa Application?
A bank statement is a document (also known as an account statement) that contains the summary of your financial transactions (bank balance, deposits, charges, withdrawals, interests earned on the account, etc.) that occurred at a certain bank during a month (most of the time it is one month, but it could be one quarter in some cases).
A bank statement is a document that provides a full overview of your account for a specific period.
Some banks can record your statements on file for at least five years, sometimes longer. A one-month statement doesn’t necessarily last from the first to last day of a calendar month.
Some banks can also track your account from the fifth day of a month to the fourth day of the following month.
Submitting the bank statements as proof of financial means is a mandatory requirement when applying for a Schengen Visa, no matter your employment status or your purpose of entry into the Area.
Some Embassies/Consulates require the statements of the last 3 months while some others require the statements of the last 6 months. Whether you are going to cover all the expenses yourself or someone else is going to pay for your trip to the Schengen Area, you have to submit the statements related to your account. Therefore, do not forget the following rules:
- If you are going to cover all the expenses by yourself you must submit the last 6 months of your bank statements
- If you have a sponsor, you will have to provide both your bank statements and the ones of your sponsor (all of them for the last 6 months) – together with your sponsorship letter and other mandatory requirements.
The main purpose of these documents is to prove that you have enough funds to support all of the expenses during your stay within Europe. They are a key element during your Schengen Visa application process.
Please note that providing bank statements from only yourself or yourself and your sponsor that cumulatively show that you do not have enough funds on your account can cost you the approval of the Schengen Visa.
These documents will show the Schengen Visa officers not only the type of transactions that occurred within your account, but also the details of those transactions (for example, the name of the person or the institution that transferred money into your account).
This is the main reason why we do not recommend you borrow money from your parents, relatives, or friends so that you can have a higher amount of “show money” (the colloquial term used to indicate the funds that you must have when you travel in order to get a Visa).
The Schengen Visa officers are experts at spotting irregularities and this can lead to the rejection of your Schengen Visa. They will also check on your account the opening date because a new account may raise suspicions.
Note: You can submit the statements corresponding to more bank accounts.
For example, you can submit the statements corresponding to your both current and savings account. Or, you can submit the statements corresponding to accounts opened in different countries (e.g., you are a Filipino citizen resident in India and submit bank statements corresponding to the accounts you hold in India and the Philippines).
You can also submit the bank statements related to a joint account (whether you opened the joint account together with a relative or a business partner).
Important: If you are self-employed, you must also submit a company bank statement for the last 6 months and a copy of your business license. This is a mandatory requirement for applicants who are running their own businesses.
Thus, there are two categories of bank statements you must submit if you’re self-employed: personal and company bank statements. Both of them are important as part of the Schengen Visa application process.
The Importance Of The Bank Statements For Your Schengen Visa
You may ask yourself why it is so important to the Embassies/Consulates that you submit the bank statements together with the rest of your documents. Below you will find the answers:
- Your bank balance (as well as the one of your sponsor – if you have one) will show the Visa officers you have enough funds to cover your basic travel expenses and other needs.
In case you are still asking yourself ”Why do I need to prove that I have enough money to spend during my trip?” the answer is: ”The Schengen Visa officers want to ensure that you won’t be a burden for the countries within the Schengen Region and you have enough financial means to support yourself in an emergency”.
- They provide strong evidence of your intentions to return to your country of residence, by showing you have current living expenses and salary operating out of your account – Bear in mind that most of the rejected Schengen Visa applicants were not able to prove that they intend to go back to their country of residence after their journey in the Schengen Region.
How To Get A Bank Statement For Your Schengen Visa Application?
There are two ways you can get the bank statements of the latest 6 months:
1. Getting the bank statements online
The online mode refers to the electronic version of your bank statements that you can get in a PDF format once you login to your account through the bank’s net banking portal or mobile banking app.
After you download the PDF file (not a screenshot), you can print it off and submit it to the Embassy/Consulate together with your other documents.
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Log into your bank account – You can do it directly from your computer or using a mobile banking app.
- Select “Statements” (“Bank Statement” or “E-Statements”) – Although every bank is different and the Internet banking portals are not identical, you should easily find the option that allows you to download your statements.
- Select the appropriate account (in case you have more than one account at the same bank) and the statement period (you can also submit statements from multiple accounts, but each one must have a 6 months minimum of statements).
- The bank should send the list of statements for the selected period on the email address corresponding to your account – or you can download it directly as a PDF if your bank Internet portal allows you to do that.
- Print off the statement (colour printing is preferred).
Remember that most of the banks allow you to access a one-month bank statement meaning that you will have to download and print off six different statements (of the latest 6 months).
2. Getting the bank statements offline
There are a few banks that do not provide the option to download or print the statements via net banking portal or mobile banking app. If your bank is one of them, you have two options:
- Send a letter or email or call to your bank and ask for your statements of the last 6 months (you should receive them by email) – this step does require a lot of verification as it is virtual.
- Visit your bank branch and request the statements you need over the counter.
Remember that you also have two options when submitting the bank statements together with all the rest of the documents for your Schengen Visa application:
- Submit the account statements you got after following one of the methods mentioned above.
- Submit the bank statements with the authorised signature of the bank (you can ask one of the representatives of your bank to sign and stamp each one of them).
Providing bank statements that have the evidence and proof of the bank with authorised signature is NOT mandatory and no Embassy/Consulate mentions that specifically.
Nevertheless, you can do that if you would like to provide additional proof to the Schengen Visa officers. This choice can also depend on the type of statements provided by your bank. On some of them it can be written on one of the top corners that the statement is “valid without the signature and the stamps of the bank” (in this case, it would be completely useless to submit them with the signature and the stamp of the bank, even when you want to bring additional proof the the Schengen Visa officers).
What Are The Key Elements Of A Bank Statement For The Schengen Visa Application?
It is easy to understand a bank statement as it contains only basic information about you and your account. The most important elements of a bank statement that you submit for your Schengen Visa application are:
● Your bank balance
In case you are asking yourself how much money you should have on your account, the answer is “it depends on your destination country”.
However, most Embassies/Consulates mention a specific amount of money that you must have in your account so that your Schengen Visa can be approved. As a general rule, we do not encourage you to show the Visa officers that you intend to travel with less than 60 EUR a day, for each day that you are going to spend within the Schengen Area. (e.g., if you are travelling for 10 days, we recommend you to have at least 600 EUR in your account, no matter your destination(s) within Europe).
For further information concerning the minimum amount of money that you must have in your account for each Schengen Country, you can check our Financial Means Test.
● The correspondence between the details on your bank statements and the ones on your other documents
If you are going to cover all of the expenses for your trip within the Schengen Area, you must provide information about you as an employee – for example, you should provide a Certificate of Employment/Employment letter and a No Objection Letter (NOC) from your employer.
If on these documents it is written that your salary is 500 EUR per month and your statements show a deposit of 2000 EUR each month, this might raise some suspicion, unless justified in your cover letter.
● The date when the account was open
If you opened your account just a few months before applying for a Schengen Visa, this can raise some red flags too.
The Schengen Visa officers can think that you opened the account just for your application process. A newly opened account will not necessarily lead to the rejection of your Visa, but can reduce your chances of approval.
We would recommend you show to the Schengen Visa officers the statements related to an account opened at least one year before applying for the Visa.
● The regularity of the transactions
The transactions on your account should be regular.
For example, if you show the Schengen Visa officers your bank statements of the last 6 months and they prove you didn’t make any transactions (such as ATM withdrawals or payments) they might think you opened the account with the purpose of having some “show money” and getting the Schengen Visa.
The statements should prove that you use your account regularly.
● The type of transactions
If someone deposits a high amount of money on your account (whether it was once or multiple times), the Schengen Visa officers could think that you borrowed money just for your Schengen Visa application process.
They need to understand clearly where your money is coming from, who is the person (or the institution) that deposits into your account and the reasons why you receive it.
Most of the time, this will just be your salary (which is covered by your employment contract and Employer NOC Letter) but other times it could be your sponsor (if the sponsor is depositing money into your account, please outline that in the Cover Letter).
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Submitting The Bank Statements For The Schengen Visa Application
● Submitting the printed screenshots of your bank statements
The Schengen Visa officers won’t accept them. You must download and print (or print directly from your account) the PDF files that contain the statements related to the transactions you made within the last 6 months.
● Submitting a bank certificate instead of a bank statement
A bank certificate is usually a one-page document that certifies that you have an account with that branch. It does not contain a summary of your financial transactions – and your transactions are exactly the details that the Schengen Visa officers are interested in.
● Submitting bank statements that prove you do not have enough funds to travel
This might be the worst mistake a Schengen Visa applicant can make. Showing to the Schengen Visa officers that you have less than 60 EUR a day to spend in the Schengen Area can lead to the rejection of your Visa (for some Embassies/Consulates also 60 EUR a day could be enough.
Also, we do not encourage you to take the risk and show them you can afford to spend only 60 EUR a day – just remember: more is better).
● Submitting your income summary account
The income summary account is a one-page document that shows only the total bank balance on your account (remember that an account statement must show the history of all your financial transactions such as deposits, charges, withdrawals, interests earned on the account, etc.).
● Submitting the bank statements in your native language
You should submit the bank statements in a language that the Schengen Visa officers know.
For example, if your bank provides statements in Arabic, the Schengen Visa officers might not understand it. Contact your bank and ask if they can provide you with the account statements in English. Otherwise, you should make a certified translation of the statements.
● Submitting bank statements that do not show the details of your transactions
For the Schengen Visa officers it is not enough to see that you made a payment or someone made a deposit into your account, but they also need to understand the details of the transactions (e.g., where or to whom you paid money, or who deposited money into your account).
● Submitting bank statements that do not prove you get the salary mentioned on your employment documents
If you pay for the trip with your own money and need to show the Schengen Visa officers that you are an employee, your bank statements must prove you receive once a month the salary mentioned on your certificate of employment, NOC letter from your employer, or your employment contract.
● Submitting only the first page of a one-month bank statement
Of course, if your bank statement has only one page, submit it as such.
But, for example, if every bank statement you download has 3 pages and you must submit 6 bank statements it means that you will have to show to the Embassy/Consulate officers a total of 18 pages (an easy way to validate is to check the ‘page count’ located at the bottom right corner of each page to ensure you have included every single one).
● Submitting bank statements that do not show consistency with your other documents
Your bank balance must show consistency with your other documents.
For example, if you submit bank statements that show you can afford to spend only 60EUR per day and your hotel reservations show you booked a 5-star hotel class with expensive amenities, this may raise some red flags.
The hotel type you choose must fit your bank balance and budget.
Also, your bank statements and Personal Income Tax Return (ITR) should show consistency and prove you pay income taxes.