Schengen Visa Interview Guide: Top 30 Questions And Answers
What Is A Schengen Visa Interview?
A Schengen Visa interview is a face-to-face meeting with the Embassy/Consulate officers during which every Visa applicant must answer a set of questions concerning their application, trip purpose, and the personal situation that they have in their countries of residence.
The Schengen Visa interview questions are a mandatory step in your Schengen Visa application process.
Setting up an interview with the Embassy/Consulate officers means booking a Visa appointment.
During this appointment, you will also be required to submit your documents, provide your biometric data (your fingerprints must be registered), and pay the Visa application fee via cash, debit, or credit card.
If you have any doubt concerning the steps that you must follow in order to book your appointment (and hold the interview) please check our guide: “ Book a Schengen Visa Embassy & Consulate Appointment.”
Since some Embassies/Consulates have chosen to outsource the Schengen Visa application process to Visa outsourcing companies (companies working on behalf of Embassies and Consulates that are transferring the obligation of delivering administrative services to third parties), some applicants may hold the interview with the representatives of these companies.
However, some Embassies/Consulates that have outsourced the Visa application keep holding interviews with applicants themselves – meaning that the applicants submit their documents through the outsourcing company, but they still need to book a Schengen Visa appointment to hold the interview with the Visa officers.
Important – If you are part of a group that you will be travelling with, each one of you must book an individual Schengen Visa interview. Nearly in all of the situations, Visa applicants must not be accompanied during the interview except for:
- A parent accompanying a minor or a Visa applicant with special needs or disability
- A relative or spouse accompanying a Visa applicant older than 79 years of age (e.g., a child accompanying the elderly mother or father who is applying for a Schengen Visa)
The importance Of The Schengen Visa Interview Questions
For the Schengen Visa officers, a face-to-face interview is extremely important because they want to ensure that:
● You are who you say you are
Schengen Visa officers must see you during a face-to-face meeting so that they can be sure that no one is applying for a Schengen Visa in a fake name or persona.
In other words, the interview has the purpose of protecting people from identity theft.
● You provided genuine information about you as a Visa applicant
Even though your application contains all the required documents, Schengen Visa officers must be sure that the information that you provided is genuine before issuing a Visa to you.
They are trained to spot misinformation by analysing both verbal and nonverbal communication with an applicant. This is the main reason why they would never approve your Visa before setting up a face-to-face meeting with you.
● You intend to return to your country of residence
For the Schengen Visa officers it is highly important to ensure that you intend to return to your country of residence and you will not overstay your welcome in the Schengen Area.
Their duty is to prevent illegal migration in the Schengen Region. Even if you submitted documents showing that you have a fixed job and strong family bonds in your country they may ask you additional questions concerning the purpose of your trip and the ties you have in your country of residence.
30 Most Common Schengen Visa Interview Questions & How To Answer Them
We strongly recommend you read all the tips and guidelines listed in this article, as they can help you make a good impression during the interview and get your Schengen Visa approved.
1. Are you a tourist/Why do you want to travel to the Schengen Area/Why do you want a Schengen Visa?
Be honest with the interviewer concerning the purpose of your trip and try to give a detailed answer. For example, do not say “I want a Schengen Visa to visit Italy”.
Visa officers can check a supporting document to see that you travel for tourism purposes. Therefore, you may want to explain the reason why you want to visit the Schengen Area.
For example: “I would like to visit Italy because I have always been interested in their history and culture and it would make me very happy visiting the most important tourist attractions in Rome, Florence, and Naples”.
However, if you give this type of answer you can expect questions such as: “What are the tourist attractions that you would like to visit? And where in your day-to-day travel itinerary does it show this?”.
Thus, make sure you have clear ideas concerning your travel itinerary.
2. Do you have travel medical insurance for your Visa application?
Show the Visa officer interviewer that you have adequate travel medical insurance that covers at least 30,000 EUR and is valid for each day that you plan to spend within the Schengen Region.
3. Are you married? If yes, what does your wife/husband do?
They may ask you this to ensure that you have family ties in your country of residence and you have strong reasons to return home from the Schengen Region.
If you are married, just give them some basic details about the job that your spouse has. Also, it is important for them to know that your husband or wife has a respectable profession that can strengthen the economic situation you have in your country of residence, as it provides reasons as to why you will return.
This is why you must pay attention to the way you answer these questions.
For example, if your husband or wife is currently unemployed, do not simply answer “My wife/husband does not work”. Mention the degree they have in a specific field and some details about his/her previous job.
For example: “My husband/wife is specialised in English translation. He/she is an authorised English translator and for the moment is seeking new work opportunities” or “My husband/wife worked for years as a sales agent and now is seeking new career opportunities”.
4. For how long have you been married?
Make sure you remember your marriage details (not only for how long you have been married but also your marriage date).
Also, if you are married you may want to submit a copy of your marriage certificate to prove that you have ties in your country of residence. This means that the Schengen Visa officers can easily check to see if the information you provide is accurate.
5. Do you have a financée?
In case you are not married, Visa officers may still want to know if you are involved in any kind of relationship that can strengthen the ties you have in your country of residence. Just answer with yes or no.
If you are involved in a relationship, they may ask you additional questions concerning your partner (for example, questions concerning his/her profession and income, why they are not travelling with you, etc).
6. What is your educational qualification?
Just mention the highest degree that you received from a school or university.
For example, “I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and I graduated from university in 2014.”
It is not necessary to mention the lower level schools/educational institutions that you attended previously.
However, if you have more qualifications you can mention each of them. For example: “I have a bachelor’s degree in Economics and I attended a 1-year accounting course”.
7. What properties do you have in your country?
Name all the assets that you own in your country of residence (for example, a house or a car).
If you do not own assets but intend to buy a property you can mention it, as long as your intentions are genuine.
For example: “For the moment, I don’t own any property but I am currently saving money so that I can get a bank loan to buy a car/a house/another property”.
If you give this answer, you can expect them to request further details concerning the property that you want to buy: “What kind of house would you like to buy?” or “How much money can you borrow from the bank?”.
This all relates to the Visa officers ensuring you have strong intentions to return to your country of residence.
8. What would you do if your Schengen Visa application got rejected?
Schengen Visa officers want to hear that you have commitments in your country of residence and for you, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if your application got rejected.
For example, you can answer: “I would be very sorry about that and I wouldn’t like to cancel my travel plans. But if my application got rejected, I would return to work despite the approved leave of absence from my employer. Then, next time I can take some weeks off from work, I will submit a new application.”
If they ask you this question, do not show signs of anxiety or worries. For example, do not answer: “Why would you reject my Visa? Is there anything wrong with my application?”
9. How much will this journey cost you?
For sure you already have an overall idea concerning the amount of money that you will spend during your trip.
Remember that your answer must show consistency with your bank statements and other documents that you submit as proof of financial means.
Tell the interviewer the total amount of money that you will be spending on your trip and then elaborate on a detailed answer.
For example: “I am expecting to spend approximately 3500 EUR for my trip. My flight reservations and insurance cost 1200 EUR and I will pay 800 EUR for 7 nights at the hotel. I have a 150 EUR budget limit for each day that I plan to spend in Greece. Also, I included in the overall price the cost of the insurance and the money I have spent to get some documents for my application as well as the Visa fee”.
10. Is this your first time in the Schengen Area?
Just answer with yes or no.
If you traveled to the Schengen Region previously, for sure they will ask you some questions concerning your other trip(s) to Europe.
For example: “When did you travel to the Schengen Area?”, “Which Schengen countries did you visit?”, “What was the purpose of your trip?”, etc.
11. What do you usually do in your country?
Tell them more about your daily activities and routine. You can include your hobbies as well. Do not forget to mention how often you see your relatives.
For example: “In the morning, I go out for a jog before getting dressed and going to work. Usually, I arrive home around 6 pm. In the evening, I like going out with some good friends except for Monday evening, when I attend an Arabic course that hopefully will improve my professional achievements. Twice a week, I visit my parents and my sister.”
12. Do you have relatives in your country of residence?
Tell them more about your relatives and do not forget to mention if there is any relative with whom you have a strong relationship.
You can include your parents, siblings, cousins, or any other relative. Try to give a complete answer, but be concise (if you have a big family, the interviewer does not want to hear a half-an-hour story about each member of your family).
For example: “I have a strong relationship with my parents, who I usually visit at the end of the week and help with grocery shopping. My brother is my best friend even though we can only speak on the phone because we both have work commitments. My parents and my brother are my closest relatives, but I also have three cousins and an aunt living in another city. Usually, I visit them once every two months.”
Also, if you have relatives you should be ready to answer more questions about them: “What are your parents/siblings/other relatives doing for a living?”, “Do your siblings have children?”, “What is your parents/siblings/other relatives income?”, “Do any of them live in the Schengen Region?”, etc. Answer these questions honestly. It is not a problem if you do not know the exact income of your sister’s husband or other specific details concerning your relatives.
As long as you’re transparent, the Visa officers will appreciate it.
For example, you can answer: “My sister’s husband works for a telecommunications company and I guess he gets around $1,500 monthly but I have never asked how much money he gets monthly”, or “My brother is an engineer and he works for a software company but I don’t know the exact name of his position within the company”.
It is not necessary to call all of your relatives before your Schengen Visa interview, ask them specific questions concerning their work and income, and memorise the answers.
13. What do you know about the country that you plan to visit?
Make sure you know some details about the places that you are planning to visit. However, try to give simple answers. Do not memorise the information you find on the Internet.
For example, do not say: “I know that France is located in Western Europe, is a unitary semi-presidential republic, it has an area of 640,679 km2 and during the Iron Age was inhabited by the Gauls, a collection of Celtic tribes.”
A more appropriate answer would be: “I know that France offers a lot of attractions and has some of the world’s largest and most renowned museums, such as the Louvre, Musée d-Orsay, and Centre Georges Pompidou. French cuisine is famous all over the world. I know that some of the most popular French dishes are confit de canard and Tarte Tatin that I am eager to try once I arrive in Paris. Also, the country has a very rich culture. For example, my favourite French writers are Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre and my favourite French singer is Patrick Bruel.”
Give them an honest answer. For sure you do not want the interviewer asking you what is your favourite novel written by Albert Camus if you have never read his books.
14. What does your company do? What are your job responsibilities?
Just make an accurate description of your job/your duties and talk about your company.
Try to answer in the same way you would answer if you had a job interview and the recruiter asked you to talk about your current position and employment details.
15. Do you have children?
Answer with yes or no. If you have children, make sure you remember their exact birth dates, especially because you might want to submit copies of their birth certificates in order to prove that you have strong ties in your country of residence.
The Visa officers can check if the information you provided is accurate.
Also, they can ask you additional questions concerning your children, according to their age. For example: “Who takes care of them?”, “Does your family have enough money to take care of your children while you are travelling (for younger families)?”, “Are they married (for older families)?”, “Do they have children?”, “What do they do?”, etc.
16. Do you have family members or friends living in the Schengen Area?
Answer with yes or no. Bear in mind that if you have a parent, relative, or friend in the Schengen Area, you should declare it when applying for your Visa.
For example, when you fill out the Schengen Visa form you are requested to mention if you have any relatives living in a Schengen Country. Also, if you intend to visit them (even if they do not provide you with accommodation), you should submit an invitation letter which is not mandatory, but it can strengthen your application.
Therefore, if you answer: “Yes, I have relatives living in the Schengen Area” make sure that your answer is the same as the information you provided when you filled out the Visa form.
If you answer: “Yes, I have friends living in the Schengen Area and I plan to visit them” but you didn’t submit an invitation letter (even if it is not mandatory as long as they do not provide you with accommodation) for sure the interviewer will ask you why didn’t you submit an invitation letter from your friends.
Also, you will have to answer additional questions concerning your relatives and friends who are living in the Schengen Area: “What do they do?”, “Do you have a tight relationship?”, “How did you meet your friends?”, etc.
17. Do you pay income tax?
You can prove that you pay income tax, especially because submitting your Personal Income Tax Return is mandatory for almost all Embassies/Consulates. In an ideal scenario, you should show the Visa officers that you are a responsible citizen who pays taxes.
However, if for any reason you didn’t pay your taxes just be honest. Schengen Visa officers are not tax agents and they just want to ensure that you have genuine intentions to return to your country of residence.
Explain to them the reason why you didn’t pay your taxes.
For example: “This year I didn’t pay taxes because I needed extra money to help my elderly parents with grocery shopping/my son wanted to attend an English course.” Show them that the ties you have in your country of residence remain strong, even though you are not the most upstanding citizen.
18. Are you travelling with someone else?
Answer with yes or no. If you plan to travel with someone else, make sure you know some details about this person and the background of their trip (e.g., trip purpose, professional background, etc.).
Also, you will have to explain the relationship you have with the person that you will be travelling with.
19. Do you have any relation with a person involved in terrorist activities?
In case they ask you this question, consider it as an ordinary question (just like the other ones).
Do not imagine that the Visa officers have suspicions that you actually have a relationship with someone involved in terrorist activities. Just answer without hesitation.
20. Why did you choose to study at this University?
You might hear this question in cases where you are a student.
However, Visa officers are free to ask you this question even if you are currently graduated and employed and no longer a student, especially if your profession is not related to your field of study. Answer them by highlighting your interest in a specific field of study and the reasons why you choose a specific College/University and specialisation.
21. How do we know that you will return back?
Highlight the reasons why you would never permanently leave your country of residence.
Start with the most important reasons. For example: “First, I would never leave my son. The relationship I have with my family is extremely important and I strongly believe that we must stay close. Family is my core value. Secondly, I have no reason to leave my current job that is stable enough and gives me the chance to take care of my family. Thirdly, I love travelling and discovering new cultures, but I would never choose to live in a foreign country that has different rules and laws and where people speak a language that I don’t speak.”
This question is extremely common, so be sure you know how you are going to be answering it before you step into your interview.
Especially if you are travelling over to Europe to visit your husband/wife or fiance or child, as the first assumption from the interviewer is that you will not return. So, in your answer, include the reasons why you won’t stay beyond your Visa’s duration, similar to the examples mentioned above.
For example, if you are travelling to Europe to visit your spouse or a relative, explain to the Visa officers the reasons why you wouldn’t stay beyond your Visa by using logical arguments, such as: “I have no reason to stay illegally in Europe and be a burden for my spouse/relative since I have achieved economic independence in my country of residence and I have a stable job and a family”, “I would never leave here my elderly parents that I must take care of”, or “Even if I could stay legally in Europe I wouldn’t do this because my spouse/relative cannot afford to maintain me and I would never find a job in a country where I don’t speak the language”.
No matter what your answer is, you should use your logical reasoning in order to prove that you do not intend to stay illegally in Europe.
Do not give the officers answers such as: “I promise I will return”, “I will return back to my country because I do not want to stay in Europe”, or “I will return back because I love my country”. These answers do not bring any proof of your intentions to return back from the Schengen Area.
22. How much do you earn?
Tell them your monthly income, as indicated on all of your employment documents/other documents that show your means of subsistence in your country of residence.
If you are a student and unemployed, tell them what is your source of income (for example, your parents).
Do not forget to mention any other source of income (such as money from rental property).
According to your answer, they may also ask you who is supporting your trip. If you are going to cover all of the expenses for your trip to the Schengen Region by yourself, just mention it. Otherwise, give them some details about your sponsor: who is he/she, what is his/her professional background, what is his/her income, what type of relationship you have with your sponsor, etc.
23. Why do you require a Visa for such a long duration?
This question is in regards to applicants who are planning to stay for more than one month within the Schengen Region, but also applicants who are requesting a long-term Visa.
No matter the duration of your journey, just tell them the reason why you need to spend more time in Europe.
For example, you can tell them that you need more time to visit the countries properly or that you have worked hard for one year and deserve a longer vacation.
24. Are you aware of which countries your Visa covers and which it doesn’t? Do you know what the validity of your Visa will be?
We highly recommend you learn more about the Schengen Region before attending the interview.
Learn about the countries that are included in the Schengen Area and the non-Schengen countries you are allowed to enter with a Schengen Visa. Also, learn some basic information about the Schengen Visa (types of Visa, the maximum duration of stay, the validity of the Visa, the difference between the duration of stay and Visa validity, how the “90/180 rule” works).
We recommend you read our blog posts and memorise relevant information concerning the Schengen Area and the Schengen Visa policy.
25. Why do you think that we should grant you a Schengen Visa?
The way you answer this question is extremely important.
Even during a job interview, the question “Why do you believe that you should get this job?” is extremely important. You can tell them that travelling to the Schengen Region would be a great opportunity for you to learn more about Europe and enrich your life with more culture (in case you travel for tourism purposes, but obviously, the answer depends on the purpose of your trip).
Also, do not forget to mention that you have the financial resources to undertake the trip.
However, try not to appear overconfident. You should point out that the Schengen Visa would be an opportunity for you and not something that you deserve and they must grant you at any cost.
26. Once you arrive in the Schengen Area, are you going to seek employment?
“No” is the answer that Visa officers want to hear from you.
Tell them that you understand the limitations of every type of Visa and you have no intention to abandon your family, your job, and/or your properties to seek illegal employment in one of the Schengen countries.
27. Who lives with you now and what do they do?
Schengen Visa officers are interested to know if you have a tight relationship with someone living with you no matter who this person is.
For example, you can live with your parents, a partner, or a friend. If this is applicable to you, give them details concerning the nature of the relationship you have with the person you live with, for how long they have been living with you, and the source of their income.
28. I don’t think that you will come back. What do you have to say about this?
With this question, the Embassy/Consulate officials are trying to put applicants on the spot.
Do not get scared and do not show signs of anxiety. The answer you should give them depends mostly on your personal situation.
However, it is important to highlight that you would never abandon your family or your properties to live illegally in Europe. For example, you can answer without hesitation: “If I don’t come back, it means that I would abandon my children and I have no intention to do this.”
29. How will you travel from one place to another?
The answer to this question is important as it can prove to the Visa officers that you are a genuine tourist that considered various options to travel from one city to another or from one Schengen country to another.
Do not tell them only the means of transport you have chosen (e.g. train or car), but also the reason why you have chosen that means of transport. For example: “I will be travelling from Switzerland to Italy by train because it is cheaper than travelling by plane. However, once I arrive in Italy, I plan to rent a car and visit some famous tourist destinations. For me, renting a car to visit Italy is the most affordable option.”
30. Did you reserve or book your flight?
Give them more details about your flight.
Tell them if you hold flight bookings or flight reservations, as well as your travel dates.
If you have submitted flight reservations, tell them that the company allowed you to hold your seat for a specific period of time and if they grant you a Visa you will pay immediately 100% upfront for your tickets.
Common Mistakes To Avoid During The Schengen Visa Interview
During the Schengen Visa interview questions, make sure you avoid making the following mistakes:
● Memorise your answers
Do not respond to the questions of the interviewer as if you memorised the answers. Try to be spontaneous.
Learning some information about Europe and the Schengen Visa is important, but do not show them that you have learned by heart the answers to the most common questions (especially because if they ask you a question that you are not prepared for, you might face a mental block and not be able to answer it).
● Knowing too many details about your family and friends
Do not call your family and friends and ask them to give you all the details about them that you actually do not know.
Providing accurate and relevant information about them is important, but if you start talking about your family and show the Embassy officers that you remember the exact date when your brother got married 15 years ago, you can raise suspicions as they may believe that you are giving pre-prepared answers.
They are aware that even if you have a close relationship with your family, sometimes you cannot remember specific dates and details. If you say “My brother got married 15 years ago in October” sounds more natural and spontaneous than “My brother got married on October 20, 2005.”
● Not building a well-articulated speech
When you answer a question, try to build a short but well-articulated speech.
Do not answer just “Yes” and “No” and then expect them to ask you another question.
For example, if they ask you why you want to visit Italy, do not answer “Because it is a nice country” or “Because Italian people are nice.”
Give them a complete answer that proves you are a determined person who knows how to justify choices. Poor communication can affect your application in a negative way.
● Inappropriate appearance
You should dress for the Schengen Visa interview in the same way as you would dress for a job interview.
All Visa applicants must have an extremely professional appearance and show the officers that they have a sense of consideration for the event.
Avoid sunglasses, shorts, t-shirts, too much makeup, sneakers, and any kind of informal outfit.
Also, pay attention to your body posture during the interview and the rules of nonverbal communication (for example, do not avoid eye contact and do not keep your arms closed – this would show that you don’t feel confident enough).
Even if you have an anxious personality, do your best to stay relaxed and avoid showing them that you are nervous.
Otherwise, the officers might believe that you have something to hide or conceal.
Try to overcome your nervousness by thinking that the interviewers are just normal people who want to learn more about you and to ensure that you are trustworthy and can be granted a Visa.
● Arriving to your interview late
Never arrive to the appointment late, always aim to arrive 30-45 minutes before your appointment, this ensures that if you have issues with traffic or trouble finding the Embassy/Consulate/Visa Center, there is still enough time to arrive prior to your interview.
Being late can cause your Schengen Visa interview to be rescheduled which would be an extreme inconvenience, or at worst the officer could refuse or reject your entire visa application.