Now that the pandemic has passed, the tourism sector has already started to get back to the way it was earlier. In fact, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, almost 235 Million people have travelled in the first half of the year 2023. Indeed, most of the crowd is towards the European sector and especially the Schengen area. Consequently, individuals from India who wish to visit Schengen visa countries must apply for a Schengen visa. So if you are planning to apply for a Schengen visa from India, then here are nine latest tips to get your Schengen visa faster in 2023.
- Start Your Schengen Visa Application Process Well In Advance
- Write A Descriptive Cover Letter
- Provide Sufficient Documents For Your Profession
- Schengen Visa Document List For Salaried Employees
- Schengen Visa Document List For Business Owners / Sole Proprietors / Company Owners / Self-Employed
- Schengen Visa Document List For Freelancers / Content Creators / Bloggers
- Schengen Visa Document List For Students
- Schengen Visa Document List For Un-employed
- Show Strong Ties With India
- Travel History Is Not The Only Deciding Factor
- Establish Strong Finances
- Plan Every Single Day Of Your Trip
- Do It All By Yourself
- Select The First Appointment Slot In The Morning
#1 Start Your Schengen Visa Application Process Well In Advance
First and foremost, for most of the Schengen countries, the Schengen visa application can be made six months in advance of your departure date. Therefore, if you’re planning to apply for a Schengen visa from India, it’s crucial to kickstart your Schengen visa application process well in advance.
By doing so, you can ensure a smooth and efficient experience. Beginning early allows ample time to gather all the necessary documents required for your Schengen visa application, including your passport, travel itinerary, and proof of financial stability.
Moreover, starting early also enables you to address any potential challenges or queries that may arise during the application process. By applying for a Schengen visa from India in a timely manner, you increase your chances of obtaining the visa without any unnecessary delays.
In India, most of the Schengen Countries have outsourced their visa application process to VFS Global. You can get to know all the details of the VFS Global Schengen visa application centre from VFS Global’s official website itself. Contrary to this, there also are a few countries that accept Schengen visa applications directly from their Embassy or Consulate. Do check for the same before applying.
#2 Write A Descriptive Cover Letter
Secondly, the cover letter of your Schengen visa application is the most important part of your application. Writing a detailed & descriptive cover letter is very crucial and important. Your cover letter is the first thing that the visa officer will tend to read, so it needs to be written in the most perfect or professional manner.
A cover letter for the Schengen visa application must always involve the following things –
- A paragraph that explains your intention & purpose for travel
- A second paragraph explaining your professional work status and your income-related details
- If a person/company/organisation is inviting you, then a third paragraph providing all the details of your invitee
- A bulleted or numbered list of all the documents that you have attached along with your application
- Last but not the least, a call to action paragraph to humbly & politely requesting to grant the visa
Now there isn’t any fixed template for a cover letter as it may vary from person to person. but if you’re looking for a detailed format that I’ve used in my previous Schengen visa applications, you can reach out to me via email. I’ll gladly provide you with the format. However, please note that there will be a small fee involved. This fee is to acknowledge the time and effort I put into my work and to support the maintenance of this blog.
#3 Provide Sufficient Documents For Your Profession
Thirdly, when applying for a Schengen visa, it is necessary and must that you provide a sufficient amount of documents related to your profession. These documents would serve as evidence of your employment, business, freelancing or educational background, depending on your specific circumstances.
Make sure to provide all the documents mentioned in the document checklist as per the country you are applying to. Some of the common & important Schengen visa documents are –
- Two recent passport-size photos of size 3.5 mm x 4.5 mm
- Personal covering letter
- Income proof / income statements
- Employment / student / professional working status letters
- Travel insurance worth EUR 30,000
- Trip itinerary
- Confirmed hotel bookings / accommodation proofs
- Reserved / confirmed return flight tickets
- Internal transfers & travel bookings within Europe, if any
- Personal stamped bank statements
- Proof of lodging
- Photocopies of your passport
- Previous Schengen visa copies, if any
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Here is the list of documents you must attach while applying for a Schengen visa from India according to your profession –
Schengen Visa Document List For Salaried Employees
- Last 2-3 years ITR Returns
- Last 3-4 pay slips
- NOC / Leave approval letter from your employer or HR
- Employment letter from your employer stating your position in the company and your tenure
Schengen Visa Document List For Business Owners / Sole Proprietors / Company Owners / Self-Employed
- All official documents proving all professional activity
- Registration certificate
Schengen Visa Document List For Freelancers / Content Creators / Bloggers
- All official documents proving all professional activity
- Fixed Deposit receipts and Mutual Fund statements under your name, if any
- Letters from your clients for your work proof
- Cover letters on your official letterheads as well
Schengen Visa Document List For Students
- Bonafide certificate from your school / college / university
- ID card copy
Schengen Visa Document List For Un-employed
- A sponsorship letter on 100 INR stamp paper of your sponsor
- All financial details of the sponsor
#4 Show Strong Ties With India
Fourth, demonstrating strong ties with India is very crucial when applying for a Schengen visa. It is important to establish and provide evidence that you have compelling reasons to return to India after your visit to the Schengen area.
Here are some of the documents that you must attach with your Schengen visa application to establish strong ties with India –
- Papers of any immovable property in India
- Employment contracts
- Bank statements
- Family ties
These documents serve to establish your rootedness in India and your intention to return home. Showing strong ties with India will enhance your credibility and assures the visa authorities that you have no intention of overstaying your visa or engaging in unauthorised activities while abroad.
#5 Travel History Is Not The Only Deciding Factor
Although travel history is an important aspect to be considered while applying for a Schengen visa, it may not be the deciding factor. Travel history does make your passport stronger and builds trust for your travels.
However, I have seen multiple people around me who have received Schengen visas on fresh passports. In short, it all depends on the authenticity of your documents. Now again, this depends from application to application. Therefore, you need to make sure to pay utmost attention to all your documents.
#6 Establish Strong Finances
Sixth on the list is to establish strong finances when applying for a Schengen visa. It is essential to demonstrate your ability to financially support yourself throughout your stay in the Schengen area. Providing evidence of stable income, such as employment contracts, pay slips, or bank statements, will show your financial stability.
By establishing strong finances, you can assure the visa authorities that you have the means to cover your expenses during your visit. Along with the above-mentioned financial documents, here are some of the documents you can attach to make your Schengen visa application stronger.
- Salary statements / income proof
- Immovable property details, if any
- Fixed Deposit receipts, if any
- Mutual Fund statements, if any
#7 Plan Every Single Day Of Your Trip
Depending on the purpose of your visit, you should try to plan every single day of your trip and prepare a day-to-day itinerary. A trip itinerary is a crucial document when you are applying for a Schengen visa from India.
Whether you’re travelling for tourism, business, or any other purpose, it is advisable to always have a well-organized itinerary outlining your activities and destinations for each day. The visa officer should get to know what exactly your plans are during the trip. Here are a few trip ideas you can include in your journey –
If you need a template for your Trip Itinerary, then please do get in touch with us over email.
#8 Do It All By Yourself
The next tip on the list is to always do the Schengen visa application process by yourself. Indeed, applying for a Schengen visa from India is a straightforward procedure that can be easily done independently. There is absolutely no need to hire an agent or pay any additional fees.
The process is designed to be user-friendly, and all the necessary information and forms are readily available on VFS Global Website or online.
Furthermore, by personally doing the Schengen visa application process, you have full control over your application, ensuring accuracy and transparency. Taking charge of the process empowers you with a better understanding of the requirements and allows you to address any queries or concerns directly.
Applying for a Schengen visa on your own is not only cost-effective but also provides a sense of accomplishment and confidence in managing your travel plans.
#9 Select The First Appointment Slot In The Morning
Lastly, always book the first-morning slot whenever you plan to book your Schengen visa appointment from VFS Global. Doing so will help you avoid all the rush coming in the next consecutive appointment slots. Usually, the Schengen visa appointments open a week or a month in advance. Therefore, keep checking the VFS Global website or the respective country’s website for appointment slots.
In conclusion, when applying for a Schengen visa from India, it is crucial to start the application process well in advance, provide sufficient documents for your profession, demonstrate strong ties with India, establish strong finances, plan every single day of your trip with a day-to-day itinerary, and handle the application process independently.
By following these tips, you can enhance your chances of a swift and quick Schengen visa application. Remember, the process is designed to be accessible, and with proper preparation and attention to detail, you can surely enjoy your Europe trip with confidence and excitement.
Please Note – All the views & tips mentioned above are from my personal experiences and do not guarantee any successful visa application. This article contains affiliate links.
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