Planning a trip to Europe soon? Or planning to apply for Poland Visa? Or a family vacation to the most beautiful and romantic cities in Europe? Or much more exciting and adventurous, planning to go on an AIESEC exchange to Poland or Europe? But not sure about how to apply for a Schengen Visa to Europe. Well, that’s why I am here writing this detailed blog to explain to you how you can apply for a Schengen Visa to Europe.
In this blog, we will also be talking specifically about how you can apply for a Schengen visa to Poland visa at the Polish Embassy or the Polish Consulate near you.
Most important, yes, the Schengen visa is free for AIESEC exchanges. Do read the blog completely to know more about the same. So, let’s get started.
Firstly, let me be completely honest. If you follow a properly structured process, gather all the relevant documents, keep your purpose of visit properly crisp, and demonstrate strong ties from your home country, almost 90% of your job is done. Everything revolves around these 3-4 things. You do not even need an agent to handle your application. Everything is pretty simple and can be easily managed by you.
If you are planning to apply for a Schengen Visa from India, then you need to apply through VFS Global. It’s an outsourcing agency to which the Polish Embassy has outsourced them as their official visa outsourcing agency in India. All the applications are processed and applied through them.
VFS Global has visa application centers in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi. Click here to know the exact address of these Visa Application Centres.
So, here’s the first step to starting your visa application for Poland –
1. Collect All The Required Documents For Your Visa Application To Poland
You can find the detailed list of documents as per your application category here. However, there’s a common list of documents that are needed for every application type –
- Cover letter – This is the most important aspect of your application. A cover letter is something that the visa officer will be reading before the screening of your application. Make sure to clearly justify your purpose for the trip, establish strong ties with your country, provide a reason to come back to your home country and explain the motive for your travel to Poland in a detailed manner.
- Application Form – You can fill out the application form and sign it digitally. Please click here to download the application form. Kindly ensure that you have filled the application form correctly with accurate information that matches exactly to your passport. You can fill the application form in block letters or normal sentence case.
- Documents Justifying Your Trip – Prepare the documents that showcase a clear objective of your travel to Poland. For example, accommodation proof, hotel bookings, detailed day-to-day travel itinerary, invitation letters, if any, etc.
- For AIESEC Exchanges, please attach the original Invitation Letter (signed and stamped by the respective local committee). Digital hard copies are also accepted with proper signatories. Also, attach your project itinerary, cover letter from your home LC, and accommodation proof.
- Documents Establish Strong Ties To Your Home Country- If you are an employed person, kindly present all the documents establishing your ties with the company. For example, salary slips, IT Returns, leave letter, family staying in your home country etc.
In case you are a student, kindly attach your student ID card copy and a bonafide certificate from your school/college/university, along with a notarised sponsorship letter from your parents/sponsor.
If you are a businessman or a freelancer, kindly attach all the documents you feel are necessary to establish your source of income, clear financial background and a reason to come back for.
- Proof Of Financial Means – Original private bank statement showing movements in the last three months, duly stamped and signed by the bank. Income tax return acknowledgement for the last two assessment years.
If you are employed – Pay slips for the last three months, employment contract and employers statement on approval for holidays.
If you are a business owner self-employed – A certificate of registration of the company, including its goods and services tax (GST) registration number for companies based in India.
Retired person – Pension statements for the last three months and/or proof of regular income generated by ownership of property or business.
Unemployed – Any other proof of regular income (e.g. if dependent on spouse: proof of spouse’s financial means and matching spouse’s details in each other’s passports or certificate of marriage in Polish or English, legalised/attested/apostilled by MEA/MFA).
Minor – Proof of financial means of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) – If parents’ names are not correctly or fully indicated in the applicant’s passport, another official document (in Polish or English) confirming the family ties (e.g. birth certificate) legalised/attested/apostilled by MEA/MFA is necessary. Please note that affidavits will not be considered official documents in this regard.
- Health/Travel Insurance – You can purchase travel insurance easily from Policy Bazar. Just make sure that it has a coverage of at least EUR 30,000 or more.
- Photographs – The dimensions of the photographs should be 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, taken on a clear white background. Kindly ensure that your ears are clearly visible in the photograph. You are asked to submit two photographs while submitting your application.
- Flight Itinerary – You have to submit reserved return flight tickets or confirmed flight tickets at your convenience. However, it’s not mandatory to submit confirmed return flight tickets.
- A Residence Proof and Additional Documents, If Required
2. Book An Appointment At Your Nearest Poland Visa Application Centre
As I said earlier, VFS Global Visa Application centres are available in most of the metro cities. Please head to their official appointment booking portal to book an appointment for document submission. You can visit this link here to visit their appointment page.
Please note that the appointments are open only from Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 2 PM. I advise you to book your slot in advance as they run out very quickly.
A Pro Tip – Do try to book the earliest slot available (8 AM) on the day you wish to submit the documents. In this way, you will not encounter much rush.
3. Submit All The Documents At The VFS Poland Visa Application Centre
Make sure you carry all the documents with you. Cross-check the documents once before you proceed with submission.
Once you reach the VFS Poland Visa Application Centre, you will be asked to take a token and wait for your turn. Your token will be announced, and all the documents will be checked and accepted by the VFS authorities (depending if whether the documents are complete).
After this, you will be asked to submit your biometrics which includes taking your fingerprints and a picture at the VFS Poland Visa Application Centre itself.
The entire process should not take more than an hour. Well, if there’s no rush, you can expect everything to be done within 30 minutes. After the completion of the biometrics, a receipt will be provided to you with the tracking number.
You can easily track your Poland Visa Application status here.
Application processing time for a Poland visa application is around 15 days. However, this completely varies from case to case. The processing time can be more or less varying from application to application.
Schengen Visa Is Free For AIESEC Exchanges
As per Article 16 and regulation M5(B) of the EU –
“The visa fee shall be waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:
Representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.”
If you are a student and your age is below 25, the 80 EUR Schengen visa fee is completely waived off. You just need to pay a VFS Global service charge of approx 1200-1500 INR (including the courier fees if you decide to opt for it).
You are literally getting the Schengen visa for almost zero fees and a wonderful chance to explore this phenomenal and magnificent paradise.
Just let the VFS representative know these details while submitting your documents, and they will waive the fees for the application.
In the end, just make sure to follow each and every step correctly, present enough, accurate and relevant documents and you are all set for your next wonderful AIESEC exchange, family vacation or relaxing holiday.
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