Applying for a Short-Stay Schengen Visa in India
If you’re an Indian resident and you wish to travel to any of the Schengen countries, you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa. This visa allows you to visit any of the countries within the Schengen Area for a short-term stay of up to 90 days.
The following categories of people are eligible to apply for a Schengen Visa in India:
- Indian passport holders.
- Third-world nationals who require a visa to Europe and are residing in India with a permanent or temporary residence permit.
Types of Schengen Visas
Depending on the reason for your visit, you can apply for one of the following types of Schengen visas:
- Tourist Visa: For those traveling specifically for tourism.
- Visitor Visa: For those visiting family or friends in the Schengen Area.
- Business Visa: For those conducting business within the Schengen Area.
- Medical Visa: For those undergoing medical treatments in the Schengen Area.
- Student Visa: For those visiting the Schengen Area for short-term studies (less than 90 days).
- Visa for Official Visits: For those attending formal events in the Schengen Area.
- Cultural Exchange Visa: For those visiting the Schengen Area for cultural, sports, religious events, or film crew.
- Transit Visa: For those transiting through the Schengen countries towards a final destination.
Start your visa application process 4-6 weeks in advance due to appointment scheduling and processing time. Applications can be submitted up to six months in advance. Here are the steps to apply for a Schengen Visa from India:
- Identify Your Visa Type: Understand what type of visa you need based on your reason for visiting.
- Determine Where to Apply: Depending on the countries you are visiting and the number of days you are spending in each, you have to apply at the respective embassy, consulate, or visa center in India.
- Book an Appointment: Schedule an appointment for your visa application at the appropriate office.
- Prepare Your Documents: Prepare a list of required documents specific to your visa type.
- Submit Your Application: On the day of your appointment, submit your application and the required documents. You may also need to attend a visa interview and have your fingerprints taken.
- Pay the Visa Fee: Pay the required visa fee and attach your payment receipt to your application.
- Wait for the Decision: Wait for your application to be processed. If approved, you can retrieve your passport with the stamped visa.
Validity of the Visa
A Schengen visa allows a stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. However, the validity period can change depending on the embassy’s decision and your reason for visiting.
Online applications for a Schengen visa in India are currently not available. You can use the online system to set up an appointment and fill out the application form, but the application must be submitted in person at the visa office.
Reasons for Visa Denial
Your Schengen visa can be rejected for reasons like criminal record violations, missing important documents, providing false information, or insufficient financial means to support your trip.
If your application is denied, you can oppose the decision at the consular level or appeal it with a higher legal body of the corresponding Schengen country. You have 30 days to send a complaint to the embassy or consulate after receiving your rejection notice.
Applications from the UK
Indian citizens residing in the UK for more than three months with a valid UK residence permit can apply for a Schengen visa in the UK. However, non-residents, such as Indian tourists staying in the UK for three months, should apply for a Schengen visa in India.
Practice for Visa Interview