Guide – Utility Bills For Your Schengen Visa Application
What Is A Utility Bill For Your Schengen Visa Application?
A “Utility Bill for the Schengen Visa Application” is a detailed invoice, issued and paid once a month from services such as utilities (e.g., electricity, gas, water and sewage, waste, internet, telephone, and cable) that can be submitted to the Embassy/Consulate for the Schengen Visa application process.
The utility bills can be issued for both individuals and businesses.
A utility bill refers to how much a house or an office must pay for typical services like electricity, gas, water, and other additional utilities each month.
However, the Embassy/Consulate officers are not interested in the amount you consume for these utilities each month. They just need to verify that you are who you say you are and you live in the country of residence you have outlined on your application.
Thus, providing utility bills in your Schengen Visa application is a way for you to prove and validate your identity and address.
If you are planning to apply for a Schengen Visa and travel to a Schengen Country, we recommend you submit at least one utility bill.
Are The Utility Bills Mandatory For Your Schengen Visa Application?
A utility bill is not a formal document included on the list of mandatory Visa requirements (such as letter of invitation, birth certificate, Income Tax Return, travel medical insurance, application form , and much more).
Therefore, submitting a utility bill for your Schengen Visa application is optional for every Embassy/Consulate. Your utility bills are not required when applying for your Visa.
If you need a Visa and decide not to provide one of your utility bills it will not impact your chances of having your Visa and travel to the Schengen Area.
Nevertheless, we recommend you submit it because any additional proof you can provide that identifies you as who you say you are (and this is the purpose of the utility bills – bringing additional proof of your identity) helps remove any doubt in the mind of the officer reviewing your application.
You can submit only one utility bill (the most recent one you have) no matter if you choose the electricity bill, gas bill, water/sewers bill, or internet/telephone/cable bill.
Or, if you want to submit two or three different bills (for example, the electricity bill and the phone bill of the last month) to the Embassy/Consulate, you are allowed to do that – more is better. Or, you can submit your last two or three months bills.
However, since the utility bills are optional when you need to apply for a Schengen Visa, it is not necessary to submit your last six months bills (this rule is valid for other documents that are mandatory, such as your bank statements and payslips).
Just pay attention to the way you organise the documents you submit so that the Embassy/Consulate officers can easily process your application – we recommend you separate your documents into categories when you submit them.
Therefore, if you decide to submit more than one utility bill you should keep them together in your application file.
The utility bill(s) you submit must be under your name. Although you are able to provide utility bills that are not under your name (for example, you can submit utility bills under your partner’s name or parents’ name), it becomes harder for the Embassy/Consulate officers to use them as proof of your identity and address.
Important: The utility bills can be mandatory when you are applying for the Visa only if someone living in one of the Schengen States will provide you with accommodation during your stay in the Schengen Area.
In this case, you will have to submit at least one utility bill under your host’s name so that they can prove their address (but they can also provide other documents, such as a rental agreement or real estate sales certificate).
The Importance Of The Utility Bills For Your Schengen Visa Application
Even though the utility bills are not mandatory or the most important documents you have to submit when you are applying for a Schengen Visa, they can positively reflect on you and how the Embassy/Consulate reviews your case for the following reasons:
- They bring additional proof of your identity
In some countries, a bill can be used as proof of identity. Your utility bills will bring additional evidence to the Embassy/Consulate officers that you are the person who you say you are because you have a utility contract under your name for the purchase of electricity, gas, or other utility services.
- They bring additional proof of address/residence
Most utility bills will show the address of the person who has a contract with a utility provider.
Therefore, they will bring additional evidence to the Embassy/Consulate officers that you live at a specific address in your home country/country of residence.
How To Get A Utility Bill For Your Schengen Visa Application?
The utility bill is one of the easiest documents to get in order to submit it to the Embassy/Consulate for your Schengen Visa application.
There are two ways you can get a utility bill and provide it to the Embassy/Consulate officers:
- If you receive your utility bill via postal mail – Just make a copy of the last utility bill you received (it doesn’t matter if you choose the one for electricity, gas, water, waste, Internet, telephone, or cable) and submit it together with all the rest of your documents. You can also submit the original bill if you do not want to keep once you pay it.
- If you receive your utility bill via email – Print the utility bill you receive by email (or directly from your account or the online portal of the utility provider) and submit it as such to the Embassy/Consulate.
You can submit the most recent utility bill (or bills, in case you want to submit more than one) to the Embassy/Consulate whether you paid it or not.
The Embassy/Consulate officers won’t check if you paid it, but they will check if the name and address written on the bill match the information on the other documents you have provided.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Submitting A Utility Bill For Your Schengen Visa Application
There are not too many mistakes you can make when submitting one of your utility bills for the Schengen Visa application as your entry and stay on the territory of the Member States does not depend on these documents (there are more important documents required for your application process).
However, make sure you avoid making one of the following errors:
● Submitting a utility bill that shows you are in arrears
Even though the Embassy/Consulate officers are not interested in all the details mentioned on your bills (they need to verify your name, your address, and the period start date and end date of the bill and not the name of your utility provider or your charges), you should avoid submitting a bill that shows to the Embassy/Consulate officers that you are in arrears.
Showing that you have overdue payments and your fees are starting to pile up would raise concern to the Embassy/Consulate that if you do not have enough to pay for utility bills, you may not have sufficient financial means to cover your expenses for your trip.
Remember that in your application you must prove to the Embassy/Consulate that you have enough money to cover all of your expenses during your trip/journey within the Schengen Territory and if you submit a bill that shows you fell behind on the payments of your utility bill your application might raise some red flags.
● Submitting a utility bill that is not under your name
If you include a utility bill that is not under your name in your Schengen Visa application, the Embassy/Consulate officers will not be able to use the document to validate that you are who you say you are.
If the utility bills are not under your name but the address on the bills matches the address on your ID or other documents (for example, you live with your parents and the bills are under the name of one of your parents) you can submit a utility bill in order to bring additional proof of your address/residence.
Submitting a utility bill that is not under your name is not necessarily a mistake, but it would be better to avoid it, as all the official documents you submit to the Embassy/Consulate should show consistency in your personal, travel and financial information (on all of them should be mentioned the same address and the same name – unless you didn’t change your surname after marriage, divorce or for other reasons).