Are you looking to apply for your child’s Schengen Visa?
Or, do you want to travel alone or with friends to Europe, but you’re still a minor?
In that case, you need additional supporting documents to submit with your Schengen Visa application.
In this post, we share everything you need to know about the Schengen Visa for minors, from required documents to useful tips and tricks.
So let’s jump right into it!
Table of contents:
- Under what conditions can a child travel to the Schengen Area?
- Documents for minors travelling to the Schengen Area
1. Under What Conditions Can a Child Travel to the Schengen Area?
Having years of experience working with Schengen Visa applicants across the globe, we’ve realised that many people get confused about the Schengen Visa type they need for their children.
Or, if minors plan on travelling alone or with friends, they believe they need a special type of Visa to enter Europe.
But the truth is, minors get the same type of Visa as adults – that is, a type-C Schengen Visa.
Type-C Schengen Visa is a short-stay Visa that enables you to spend up to 90 days over a 180 days period in the Schengen Area (the 90/180 days rule).
There are many travel purposes that make you eligible to apply for a type-C Schengen Visa, such as business, study, family visit, etc.
However, the most common reason for entry to the Schengen Area is tourism.
When you plan to visit the Schengen Area, you need to apply for the same type of Visa for yourself and your children (same if you’re a minor planning on travelling alone).
The only difference is that children between 6 and 11 years old need to pay a lower Schengen Visa fee, while children younger than 6 are exempt from paying the Visa fee.
For more details about the Schengen Visa fees for adults and minors, please check out this post.
That being said, let’s list the situations where minors are allowed to travel to the Schengen Area:
- With both parents
- With adults who are not their legal guardian
- With only one parent
However, children’s travel under conditions other than with both parents is regulated by both Schengen Area entry rules and the regulations of international careers.
Let’s examine that in more detail.
2. Documents for Minors Travelling to the Schengen Area
Ok, so now that you know under what conditions minors can travel to the Schengen Area, you need to understand the required documents for the Visa application.
First, it is important to know that children of all ages require a valid passport when travelling abroad (as indicated by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic)
Minors travelling alone, with adults who are not their legal guardians or with only one parent will need to submit extra supporting documents.
While most Schengen countries require you to submit a parental authorisation letter, there are no EU specific rules on this matter.
This means that each Schengen country decides if it requires the minor to have an official authorisation letter from their parents or guardian.
Also, some carriers (e.g., airlines, bus companies) may establish a different procedure such as demanding the presence of an accompanying person for minors under a certain age.
That’s why it is important that you check with carriers and the country you are travelling to and from before departing to understand whether or not you need a parental travel authorisation.
This is because many carriers and Schengen countries require parental authorisations and may even have their own specific forms.
Please note that if a Schengen country does not require a minor to carry a parental authorisation to enter or leave its territory, other countries they transit may require minors to present one.
You should also know that minors should submit their Visa application only accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.
They need to come in person to the Embassy and sign the application so that Visa officers can ensure they agree with their child travelling to Europe.
As a general rule, the following documents are required for a Schengen Visa application for minors:
|● Visa application form signed by both parents|
|● Two recent photos (the photos must meet the Schengen Visa photo requirements)|
|● Valid passport not older than ten years and with at least two blank pages. The passport must be valid for at least three more months beyond the minor’s departure from the Schengen Area|
|● Older passports with Schengen Visas on them (if applicable)|
|● Round-trip flight reservations or bookings|
|● Schengen Travel Insurance with a minimum of 30,000 euros coverage|
|● Proof of accommodation, such as an accommodation sponsorship letter, hotel reservations or rental agreement|
|● Means of subsistence – Typically, minors have to present a sponsorship letter as proof of financial means. The sponsorship letter must include the bank account statements of the last 6 months of the minor’s sponsor and a copy of the sponsor’s ID or passport. Some Embassies also require the minor’s sponsor to submit their recent payslips.|
|● Cover letter addressed to the Visa officers (depending on the minor’s age, the cover letter can be filled in and signed by their parents)|
|● Proof of paid Schengen Visa fee (as previously indicated, children under the age of 6 are exempt from paying the Visa fee)|
|● Certified passport copy (the certified passport copy is not a mandatory requirement for all Embassies)|
|● Original birth certificate and certified birth certificate copy (the certified birth certificate is not a mandatory requirement for all Embassies)|
|● Family court order, adoption papers or death certificate – In cases where only one parent has full custody of the minor|
|● Parental authorisation letter – Important note: If parents have joint legal custody and the minor travels with one of the parents, then it is mandatory to submit a parental authorisation letter from the other parent|
|● Certified copies of the ID/passports of the minor’s parents or legal tutors|
|● Copies of all documents|
Please note that this supporting document list is not exhaustive.
The documents you must submit depend on your personal situation and the Embassy you apply to.
For example, if you go to school, most Embassies will require you to submit a No Objection Letter (NOC) from your School confirming the absence from the lessons and stating that they have no objection towards you travelling to Europe.
Or, if the minor’s legal guardian is someone else apart from the biological parent stated in the birth certificate, it is mandatory to prove the legal guardianship by submitting a custody order.
Or, if the minor travels with a group, most Embassies will require you to submit a tour proof and a list of all group members, including the person in charge of the group.
Conclusion: Now that you know about the required documents for a minor’s Schengen Visa, the application process should be a bit easier.
Sometimes, parents travelling with children and minors travelling alone don’t know the conditions in which they can enter the Schengen Area, so they risk jeopardising their chances of visiting Europe.
That’s why it is so important to have a checklist of the document requirements while also informing yourself about carriers and destination countries’ rules on travelling with minors or minors travelling alone.
If you need a helping hand to prepare your application, the Visas Association team would be more than happy to assist you through the entire application process. All you need to do to get the right help is request your free consultation. Our Schengen Visa experts will tell you exactly what you should do next so you can have the highest chance of success.