Embarking on a group or family trip to Europe is a great opportunity to explore stunning locations with some of your favourite people.
However, applying for a Schengen Visa is a key process you need to go through so that you can enjoy an awesome travel experience and create memories you’ll talk about for years.
“I am applying with a group/family. Do I need to provide a copy of every document for each member?”
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get.
People travelling together as a family or part of a group often reach out to us for assistance, as most Schengen Embassies and Consulates do not provide comprehensive information about the Schengen Visa family and group application.
If you have your heart set on being on vacation with your loved ones and sharing wonderful moments together, here’s your complete guide to applying for a Schengen Visa as a family or in a group.
Table of contents:
- Do you need to provide a copy of every document for each family or group member?
- Everything you need to know when travelling to Europe with children
1. Do You Need to Provide a Copy of Every Document for Each Family or Group Member?
If you’re asking yourself whether or not you need to submit a copy of every document for each family or group member, the short answer is yes, you do. Each application is for every individual.
It’s the same as when you’re applying for a passport. You can’t just go and fill in one form and get a passport for every single family member. Your Schengen Visa application is no different.
For example, if you’ve got a family of five (three children and two parents), you need to submit five application forms.
The key difference is that for yourself and your partner, your forms will talk about how you are going to fund your own travel. As far as your children’s applications are concerned, you need to outline that they are travelling with their family and that the trip’s sponsors are the parents.
Therefore, each family or group member has to present their own set of documents, such as:
- Schengen Visa application form
- Two recently taken photos
- Cover letter addressed to the Visa officers (for example, your minor child’s cover letter needs to outline that they will be travelling with their parents who are applying for a Schengen Visa at the same time).
- Original passport and photocopies of each page with stamp
You can find the complete list of documents you must submit with your application here.
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the Schengen Visa requirements when travelling as a family with children.
2. Everything You Need to Know When Travelling to Europe With Children
Europe may be known for its party destinations, refined bars, and high-end nightclubs, but it is also a perfect destination for families with children.
Whether you want to go on an epic Disneyland Paris vacation with kids, walk in the footsteps of Rome’s gladiators, or enjoy the seaside idyll of the Athenian Riviera, Europe is one of the best places to visit with your family.
However, before taking a trip of a lifetime with kids, you need to ensure that you and your family members have a Visa that enables you to freely travel within the Schengen Area.
For example, if you’re travelling with children, you need to provide evidence that you are going to sponsor them and cover all of the expenses during your trip to Europe.
Obviously, young children don’t have an income. They can’t prove income tax returns and probably don’t have enough money in their bank accounts, meaning that you will be the one providing for them financially.
For this reason, your bank statements must show proof that you have enough money in your bank account to cover the expenses for your children during your trip to Europe (while also writing a sponsorship letter for each of your children).
For more details about the Schengen Visa required money, please check out our financial means test. Please do note that the minimum amount you must have in your account is applicable per person per day.
So, if you’re travelling with children, make sure you include each of them when calculating the minimum amount you need in your account to apply for a Schengen Visa.
For example, if the minimum amount you need to have in your account to travel to Lithuania is €40 per day, and you travel with two children, you must have in your account at least €120 for each day you spend in the Schengen Area (€40 X 3, meaning €120).
This rule may vary according to the country you will be spending your vacation. For example, if you travel to Iceland, the minimum amount you must have in your account for stays up to 5 days is 269.60€ per person per day and 212.81€ per person per day if you apply for a Schengen Visa as a family or in a group.
Please be aware that the minimum amount you must have in your account indicated by our financial means test is approximate. Typically, the minimum amount that an applicant must have in their account is regulated on a case-by-case basis.
Also, if you travel with a minor child without the other parent accompanying you or travel with someone else’s child, you will need a letter of consent from the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to give permission for the minor to travel with you.
The parental letter of consent is a mandatory document even if the children you are travelling with are relatives or family members (e.g., niece or nephew).
For more details, please check out our guide to the Schengen Visa Parental Authorisation Letter.
Concerning the documents you must submit with your own application and the ones of your children, remember that you must provide a copy of every document for each family member (as mentioned in the first section of this post).
For example, when you go to get a copy of your income tax return, you should get another couple of copies so that you can put them in each one of your children’s applications.
You might be thinking, “We are a family travelling together. Why can’t we just submit one application for all family members?”.
That’s a great question.
So, when you apply for a Schengen Visa as a family or in a group, the Visa officers may bundle your applications together to make the whole process a little bit easier.
However, it is also possible that two different people review two different applications. For example, a Visa officer reviews your application and another Visa officer reviews your child’s application.
For this reason, you are not allowed to submit one copy of every document for all family or group members.
Here’s another key element you need to consider when applying for a Schengen Visa for your minor children.
While your application will be around documents proving your financial means (e.g., payslips, bank statements, etc.) that will be bundled in for your application and the ones of your children, other documents such as flights and accommodation are slightly different.
This means that you will need to have flight reservations in the names of each one of your children. Their flight reservations do not need to be included in your application. They just need to go into their documents and their application.
As far as the Schengen Visa interview is concerned, only one parent can accompany a minor child when attending the interview with the Visa officers (in some cases).
But as a general rule, each family member must appear unaccompanied when holding the Schengen Visa interview. This rule is valid if your children are over 12 years old.
Children under 12 years of age do not have to appear for the application interview, as highlighted on the official websites of the Embassy of Germany in Manila and the Embassy of Hungary in Baku. This is because children under 12 years do not need to give their fingerprints, which you need to provide during the Embassy appointment.
Conclusion: For opportunities to create happy memories that will last a lifetime, look no further than a family holiday in Europe and the Schengen Area.
Yes, applying for a Schengen Visa as a family or group may seem overwhelming and stressful. Still, if you know the exact steps to take to apply for you and your children, your Schengen Visa application process will be seamless and hassle-free.
Do you have questions concerning your Schengen Visa application? Or, do you want to ensure that you have all of your documents filed correctly and have the highest chance of being approved? In that case, do not hesitate to get a free consultation for yourself and each of your family members. Our Visa experts will take just a couple of hours to assess your situation and give you the next steps you need to follow to get your Schengen Visa and make the most of your family vacation!