Guide To The Cover Letter For Your Schengen Visa Application
What Is A Schengen Visa Application Cover Letter?
A Schengen Visa Cover Letter (or Covering Letter) is a document written by you and addressed to the Schengen Embassy/Consulate along with the other documents you are required to submit.
The letter should provide additional information concerning the purpose of your trip and your intentions to return to your country of residence.
The letter acts as a personal introduction as it shows to the Embassy/Consulate officers a brief summary of your travel background (e.g., travel dates, employment background, etc.).
In other words, your cover letter is a summary of your Visa application.
Your Covering Letter For Schengen Visa Is The First Direct Contact Between You And The Embassy
The cover letter represents a way of communication between you and the embassy officer, in which you are explaining your reasons for your trip and why you should be accepted.
Please note that some Embassies/Consulates have chosen to outsource the Visa application process meaning that you have to submit your application through an outsourcing company such as VFS Global.
In this case, your cover letter is your only chance to communicate with the Embassy/Consulate officers and explain your details and the reason why you believe they should grant you a Visa as well as your intentions to only travel and not to overstay your Visa, as they will not be able to see you face-to-face.
This letter is not a mandatory requirement meaning that the applications that do not include it will not necessarily be rejected or delayed.
However, we strongly recommend and urge you to submit it as it does more than make a good impression on the Embassy/Consulate officers and speed up your Visa application process – Your cover letter can significantly increase your chances of success because it summarises every item you have provided.
You should submit a Visa application cover letter even if you have been invited by a partner company to the Schengen Region and you are applying for a Business Visa.
The Importance Of The Schengen Visa Cover Letter
The cover letter is an important document as it gives you the chance to introduce yourself and make your travel purpose clear.
The letter is important for your application because:
● It gives you the opportunity to provide information that your other documents cannot provide.
Most of the documents that you must submit are official documents that cannot clearly highlight your travel background.
In other words, your covering letter is the only document that can actually tell a story.
Telling a story can be a powerful communication tool because the Embassy/Consulate officers can understand who you actually are and why you should get a Visa.
● It helps the Visa officers save time and therefore speed up your application process.
Embassies/Consulates receive hundreds of applications weekly.
Sometimes, those responsible for processing them do not have time and patience to figure out the purpose of the journey and the intentions to return to the country of residence by analysing all of the documents of each single Visa applicant.
This does not mean that they do not check your documents carefully but they typically do it to determine if they show consistency. Therefore, this letter can simply make your application process easier for them.
How To Get A Schengen Visa Cover Letter
Getting most of your Visa application documents depends on bureaucracy/laws in your country of residence/other people that must write and sign your documents.
The cover letter is the only document that you must write and sign by yourself (together with the Visa Application Form and your day-to-day travel itinerary).
Once you have gathered all of your documents, you can write the letter on your computer.
We recommend you write it after you gather the rest of your documents because the letter should include a list of the documents that you are submitting for your application.
Important: If you are not familiar with this type of letter, you can download one of our templates (please select the one that is the most relevant for your situation) and fill it out following our suggestions. Please contact us for further details.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Schengen Visa Cover Letter
Even though the cover letter should not be very long and must contain only key information about you as an applicant, there are several mistakes that you should avoid making.
Also, do not forget that the cover letter does not have to be too long and the information on it must match the information on your other documents.
Not all the below errors can lead to the rejection of your application but your chances of approval may decrease.
Therefore, we strongly recommend you double-check your covering letter before submitting it so that you can be sure it does not contain one of the following mistakes:
- Not using logical arguments to explain the purpose of your trip and your intentions to return to your country of residence
Logical reasoning is a powerful tool not only for your covering letter but also during the interview with the Embassy/Consulate officers.
Make sure you know how to explain the reason as to why you travel to the Schengen Region and your intentions to return to your country of residence.
For example, “I want to visit France because I like it” or “I want to visit France because it is a nice country” are not logical reasons as to why you want to visit France (or another Schengen country).
You should be more specific. For example: “I want to visit France because I’ve been fascinated by French culture ever since I was a child”.
The same rule applies to the explanation of your intentions to return to your country of residence. Writing “I will return to my country of residence because I cannot stay in the Schengen Region” is not a logical reason as to why you will not overstay your Visa.
You can write instead: “I will return to my country on August 15 because my employer did not allow me to take more than 3 weeks off” or “I will return on September 20 because I must attend a vocational training course upon the request of my employer.”
- Providing the same information that is already outlined by your other documents
One of the purposes of your covering letter is to outline details about your trip that are not indicated by your other documents.
For example, in case of a tourist Visa application you should not write: “I will be travelling to France between October 20, 2020, and November 17, 2020, and I will stay at Hotel Lafayette in 23 Rue des Messageries, Paris.”
Of course, this information is important because it shows relevant details about your trip but the Embassy/Consulate officers can easily understand your trip details by checking your flight and hotel reservations.
As we mentioned above, you should try to tell a story in your covering letter (even though you have to maintain a professional tone).
For example, you can write: “I will be travelling to France between October 20, 2020, and November 17, 2020. I have chosen to spend almost one month in France as I strongly believe that I need time to visit the most important tourist attractions and get to know the French culture. I will stay at Hotel Lafayette in 23 Rue des Messageries because the hotel is located within walking distance of the most important places of interest in Paris.”
- Submitting a cover letter that contains spelling mistakes
Not all applicants have an excellent command of English, and the Embassy/Consulate officers won’t judge you if you make some grammar mistakes (especially because it is highly likely that English is not their native language).
But a covering letter that contains too many spelling mistakes and does not follow some specific layout rules (the way that words are set up on the page) will make the Embassy/Consulate officers believe that you do not have a sense of consideration for the event and are not respecting the application process (which is your Schengen Visa application).
Therefore, you need to pay attention to the spelling, punctuation, capitalisation, and layout of the letter.
Please read carefully the two cover letter sample paragraphs below (please note that none of them is a complete sample cover letter and you need a more detailed template/sample in order to write a cover letter for Schengen Visa application):
“Dear sir madam I would like to apply at your consulate general for a schengen visa for visit friend in Netherlands.
My name is raji anand. I will be travelling from new delhi to amsterdam between octobr 15 and November 17 My employer has already approved my vacation and leave from work for the duration of 1 months. I hold an Indian passport no xxxxxx and I have attached passport size pictures to these cover letters. please do not hesitate to contact me for more information !Thanking you in advance, Raji anand. ”
“Dear Visa Officer,
I would like to apply for a Schengen Visa upon my intention to visit the Netherlands between October 15, 2020 and November 17, 2020.
My name is Raji Anand and I am an Indian citizen. I will be travelling from New Delhi to Amsterdam to visit my close friend, John Smith, who has also provided a sponsorship letter to support my Visa application as he will be covering all of the expenses for the duration of this trip.
I have attached to this letter the following documents [List of documents].
Please do not hesitate to contact me for any questions and clarifications.
Bad spelling and writing mistakes (like the ones in the first sample) will make you seem less credible and the Embassy/Consulate officers may believe that you do not have a sense of consideration for your application process.
At the same time, attention to details such as spelling, punctuation, and capitalisation (as shown by the second sample that we provided as an example) will make the Visa officers think that you are an organised and responsible person who put effort into preparing the Visa application.
- Not presenting the list of documents you are submitting in order of priority
Show the Embassy/Consulate officers that you are an organised person.
You should mention the list of documents that you are submitting for your application in order of priority (and not randomly).
Start with the documents that are mandatory for all applicants no matter their personal situation (application form, passport, insurance, etc.) and then add the documents that are mandatory according to the purpose of your trip (e.g., hotel reservations, flight reservations, and travel itinerary – if you are applying for a tourist visa) and the documents that are mandatory according to your personal situation (e.g., employment contract, No Objection Certificate (NOC) Letter from your Employer, payslips, your bank statements, etc. – in case you are employed and you pay the expenses for your trip by yourself).
For further details concerning the Schengen Visa requirements and the order that you should keep when listing them in your covering letter, please check out this blog post.
- Submitting a Cover Letter that does not align to information and facts provided in other documents
The details and reasons outlined within your cover lettering must align to the same information and evidence you have provided in every other document you are submitting.
If you contradict or state a point in your letter that does not align to the documents you provide to the Embassy/Consulate, you could jeopardise the entire application, which may cause your Schengen Visa to be rejected.
For example, if in your cover letter, you outline that you are travelling to stay with your family who lives in Italy but you do not include an invitation letter or sponsor for accommodation letter from them, then it contradicts the information in your application.
Another example is that you say you are traveling for tourism but then you have an invitation letter from a business in your documents. Or, when your passport number and other personal details in your letter do not match the details in your other documents.