Applying for a Schengen Visa can be intimidating and nerve-wracking.
Nobody wants to go through a complex application process, submit a bunch of documents, and fill out countless forms.
And then there’s the uncertainty – Will your application be accepted, or will it be rejected for some minor detail that you missed?
The thought of all that hard work going down the drain is enough to make anyone want to change their travel plans and visit a country that does not require a travel Visa.
But can you really give up on your European travel plans without regret?
Every traveller knows that Europe is packed with incredible destinations that are just waiting to be explored, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems known only to the locals.
Whether you’re into history, culture, or just soaking up the local vibe, in Europe there truly is something for everyone.
While applying for a Schengen Visa can feel like a high-stakes game, following 5 simple rules can help you increase your chances of getting a Schengen Visa and having an amazing trip to Europe.
Table of contents:
- Plan ahead
- Get the right documents
- Prove ties to your home country
- Be consistent
- Look for help if you need it
1. Plan Ahead
Make sure you apply for your Visa well in advance of your intended travel date.
The Schengen Visa application process can be time-consuming and complex, so it’s best to start the process weeks or even months prior to your intended travel date to ensure that you have enough time to gather all the necessary documents.
Trust us, you don’t want to jeopardise your application by frantically trying to collect all the required documents in just a few days and scrambling at the last minute.
Not to mention that some Embassies have longer processing times, so planning ahead ensures that your Visa will be approved in plenty of time for your trip.
For example, if you submit your application during the European summer holiday season, you may need to wait more than 15 working days for your application to be processed (which is the standard Schengen Visa processing time).
Applicants from some countries such as the Philippines, Lebanon, and Nigeria may also need to wait more than 15 working days for a decision on their Visa application.
More information about the Schengen Visa processing times can be found here.
As a general rule, we recommend you have all your necessary documents ready 2 to 6 weeks prior to your appointment, which is the date you are required to submit your Visa application to the Embassy.
This will help you avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you have enough time to address any issues that may arise during your application process.
2. Get the Right Documents
For your Schengen Visa to be approved, it is essential to fill out the application form carefully and submit all the required documents.
You must remember that the number one reason for Schengen Visa rejection is due to missing or incorrect required documents.
That happens because many people rely on generic website information to create a list of Embassy requirements.
Unfortunately, the Internet is filled with incomplete and inaccurate information and relying on generic website information to complete your application may jeopardise your chances of getting a Schengen Visa.
Every traveller has a unique background – that’s why you should submit a set of required documents that align with your personal situation, not some generic statements.
For example, most websites recommend you submit a sponsorship letter if someone else is covering the expenses for your trip to Europe.
But, what documents should you provide in case of partial sponsorship?
Say, you have a family member in Europe who will provide you with accommodation and one family member in your home country who will pay for your flight tickets while you will take care of everything else.
Typically, this type of information is not readily available on the Internet.
Make sure you evaluate the credibility and reliability of sources before using or acting upon the information found on the Internet. Remember that submitting the exact documents based on your personal situation is one of the most important factors in your application process.
If you’re confused as to which documents are necessary, do not hesitate to request a personalised Schengen Embassy Requirements Report (SERR) that provides you with the exact documents to submit based on your unique situation.
Our Schengen Embassy Requirements Report (SERR) is designed by our Visa experts to give all applicants immediate access to a complete and customised set of Schengen Visa documents, which is essential for satisfying all Embassy requirements.
3. Prove Ties to Your Home Country
Proving ties to your home country is extremely important when applying for a Schengen Visa.
Your deep-rootedness in your country demonstrates to the Embassy officers that you have strong reasons for returning to your country of residence after your intended stay in the Schengen destination country.
Think of it like this, the Embassy officers want to make sure that you’re not going to overstay your Visa and reside illegally in Europe.
They want to see that you have roots, connections and responsibilities that will determine you to return home as promised once your trip is over.
These ties could be anything from a job that’s waiting for you back home, family members who depend on you, or a property or business that you own.
Basically, anything that binds you to your home country and shows that you have a strong reason to come back.
The stronger your ties, the more confident the Embassy officers will be in granting you a Visa.
Always remember that one of the most common Schengen Visa rejection reasons is the inability to prove the intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the Visa.
If you’re unable to prove your genuine intentions to return home, the Embassy officers may view you as a higher risk for overstaying your Visa and illegally immigrating and therefore reject your application.
Learn more about how to prove intent to return home.
4. Be Consistent
Consistency is extremely important for your Visa application because it helps you establish credibility and reliability.
Inconsistent information can raise red flags and lead the Embassy authorities to question the legitimacy of your application.
Examples of inconsistencies in your Visa application can include:
- Conflicting dates – E.g., providing different employment dates in different parts of the application. Or, your flight dates do not match your hotel booking dates.
- Contradictory information about the funds available for the trip – E.g., your bank balance and monthly income show you will be travelling on a budget, but you’ve booked a 5-star luxury hotel in one of Europe’s most expensive cities.
- Inconsistent answers to questions – E.g., the answers provided during your Schengen Visa Interview do not match the information provided in your application.
- Incomplete or conflicting employment history – E.g., providing inconsistent job titles or responsibilities in different parts of the application.
Any inconsistencies in your Visa application could make the Embassy officers believe that you are not being truthful.
This can result in a denial of your Visa, wasting valuable time and resources.
Take your time and review your application thoroughly. Make sure you carefully review and double-check the information provided in your application to ensure it is accurate, consistent, and complete.
5. Look for Help If You Need It
If you are confused, worried or stuck and the whole process of applying for a Schengen Visa feels overwhelming, remember that you don’t have to go it alone.
Using a Schengen Visa agency could be just what you need to make the application process a whole lot easier and less stressful.
A reliable Visa agency with a proven track record of successful applications has a wealth of knowledge and experience and can help you avoid any potential roadblocks.
So why do so many travellers choose to handle the Visa application process themselves without asking for help?
Many people are unable to find clear answers to their questions even after hours of searching online, but they avoid asking for help due to the high rates of immigration lawyers and attorneys.
However, not all Schengen Visa agencies and consultants have high rates.
For example, here at Visas Association, we provide expert advice free of charge.
We want every traveller to be able to apply for a Schengen Visa stress-free and visit the stunningly beautiful destinations in Europe.
That’s why we give you the opportunity to request a free, no-obligation consultation where our experts will assess your situation and provide you with advice that will be delivered straight to your inbox within 1-2 hours.
We have also dropped the price of our personalised Schengen Embassy Requirements Report (SERR) to only $7. This means you can get a complete and customised list of required documents for the price of a coffee in Europe.
As you can see, using a Schengen Visa agency doesn’t have to be expensive.
So why go it alone when you can get personalised support and guidance throughout the whole Visa application process?
By asking for help, you can ensure that your application is completed accurately and meets all the necessary requirements which will increase your chances of success.
The Bottom Line
Applying for a Schengen Visa can be a complex and challenging process, but there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of success.
By preparing a rock-solid application and proving strong ties to your home country, you can demonstrate to the Embassy officers that you are a responsible traveller who has genuine intentions to return home once your trip is over.
It is also important to ask for help and get support from a Schengen Visa agency.
These experts will provide you with tailored guidance, insider knowledge, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are submitting the exact documents that the Embassy expects based on your situation.
Ready to discover Europe’s must-see destinations and hidden gems? Don’t let your Schengen Visa application process hold you back! With our personalised support and proven success rate, you can trust Visas Association to help you secure your Visa and turn your travel dreams into reality. Contact us today and let’s start your Visa journey together!