One of my popular posts to date is the one where I talked about how to apply for a Schengen visa from Dubai. Since I posted it, I have been receiving numerous emails and comments on a daily basis asking for more information about this procedure. I have been replying to each and every single comments during the first few months however, I noticed that the questions have become repetitive and if only the readers will read the post and comments thoroughly then they wouldn’t have to ask me those questions anymore. I realized though that it might be difficult for anyone to read through all of it so I’m compiling all the Frequently Asked Questions About Schengen Visa Application on this post.
Before going through it, please be advised that THE INFORMATION ON THIS POST IS BASED SOLELY ON MY PREVIOUS SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION EXPERIENCES. EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES MAY CHANGE THEIR PROCEDURE AT ANY TIME SO IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO CONTACT THE CONSULATE/EMBASSIES DIRECTLY TO GET ACCURATE INFORMATION.
Is there a specific amount to have in my bank account or salary bracket requirements before I can apply for a Schengen visa?
There is no specific amount nor a salary bracket requirements. The only thing that you will have to consider is that the amount of money that you have in your bank account should be able to sustain your travel to the Schengen state for the whole duration of your stay. So the longer your stay is, the higher the amount they require.
What I normally do is, I get the bank statement as soon as my salary is deposited to my account. That way, I will have a big amount in my account to show them.
I didn’t do it though on my first Schengen visa application. I applied for it when I have just completed my 6th month in Dubai and with my company. I only had AED3000 in my account then and I have applied for a visa valid for 7 days. Surprisingly, I still got the visa. So I guess it all really depends if the amount you have in your account will be able to support you for the whole duration of your stay.
Do I need to open a separate bank account for visa application or the account where my salary is deposited is enough?
I always show my account where my salary is being deposited plainly because I don’t have any other bank accounts. So I would say, there’s no need for you to open a separate one since the embassies would also want to see the in and out activity of your account.
How many months of bank statement is required?
Depending on the embassy’s requirement. Some embassies require only 3 months while some require 6 months statement. So you have to double check on their requirements list.
I am going to visit someone I know in the Schengen state, is it easier for me to get a visa if I will show that they are going to sponsor me for the whole trip or is it better if I apply for it myself?
I have not applied for a Schengen visa this way so I have no idea if it will make it easier or not. I also do not have any information on how to apply for a visa this way so you will have to contact VFS or the embassy directly for the proper procedure.
HOWEVER, if you are married to someone whose passport belongs to a Schengen state then I will say that it is easier. I have recently applied for a Greek Schengen visa after marrying The Greek Mister and the documents they required was much less for me, I didn’t have to pay for a fee and they gave me a one year valid visa.
Do I need to purchase my ticket or a dummy ticket will suffice?
This is ricky question as now, it all depends on the requirements of the country you’re applying for. During those times when I myself was applying for Schengen visas, all countries required a confirmed TICKET and not just a booking. But now, I have heard from friends that they only required a flight BOOKING. So you have to check the requirements stated by the embassy you’re applying your visa for if they require a ticket or a booking.
If they require a ticket, I suggest you buy a real confirmed ticket and not use a dummy one. Embassies randomly check if these tickets are real. Someone made a comment of his experience when he applied for an Italian visa. He bought a confirmed Emirates ticket and as soon as he got his Italian visa, he cancelled the Emirates ticket and refunded it so that he can buy a cheaper flight. The next day, he got a call from the Italian consulate that they need to see him and when he went there, they told him that they need to cancel his visa since he cancelled his Emirates ticket.
Now I’m not sure if he’s telling the truth but I definitely wouldn’t want to be the one to witness it myself and say, Yes, it’s true. I don’t see the point though of lying about it or making up such story so I believe him.
If I apply for a visa validity for a week, are they only going to give me a visa valid for only 7 days or there will be some allowances?
The visas I got are always just valid for the duration of my stay. I have observed though that if the applicant is married, they automatically get a 6 months valid visa. I’m not very sure if this is still the case though.
Can you recommend a good travel agency to process my visa?
I don’t use travel agencies to process my visas since the only thing that they will do to help you is to collect all the documents from you. That’s it. You will still have to personally bring the documents to VFS or the embassy since they will require your fingerprints and photo to be taken. So if you’re going to use a travel agency to help you, you’ll be paying them just to make sure that you have all the documents completed when you can do it yourself. So I don’t know why would anyone even do that.
If I apply for a German visa and I didn’t mention that I’m also going to some other countries during my stay, will it be a problem?
Once you have the Schengen visa, you can move around the Schengen states so it doesn’t matter where you’re going after AS LONG AS, your first point of entry will be the country where you applied your Schengen visa from.
If for example you have a German visa and your first point of entry is another country say for example you flew into Paris, the immigration in Paris MIGHT ask for your itinerary to see if you really are going to Germany after. In this case, you will have to prove that you are in fact going to Germany and that you are in fact going to stay there longer. Remember the Schengen visa rule? You can apply for your Schengen visa to the country where you’ll be entering first or you’ll be staying the longest.
The above example happened to a client of mine who had a German visa with him but he was going to Paris and not at all going to Germany. When he arrived in Paris, the immigration officer asked him to show his onward journey (hotels and flights/trains booked). When he couldn’t provide anything, he was asked to take the same flight that he flew in back to Dubai.
How long does it normally take to get the visa?
Normally, they say that it will be 14 days although I normally get my visa within a week. HOWEVER, during the summer holidays or the peak season like the Eid holidays, it can take even a month to get so you have to plan your holidays and visa processing accordingly. You can apply for your visa as early as 3 months before your departure which is what I normally do to avoid any delays.
Can I postpone my trip after I get the visa?
I have never done this before so I don’t know if you can. However, speaking out of common sense, I think you won’t be able to since the visas are only valid for specific dates – unless you got a 6-month valid visa which will then allow you to travel anytime within that 6 months period.
Can I use a hotel booking using booking.com?
I’ve never done that so I’m not sure if it’s valid.
I received this message “A decision on your Visa application reference number:……. has been made by the Consulate General Your application has been received at the Joint Visa Application Centre and is ready for collection.” Does it mean my visa is granted or denied?
There’s only one way to find out, go and get your passport. Everyone receives that message whether it’s denied or granted.
Where can I get a travel insurance and how much does it cost?
If you’re in Dubai, I only get my travel insurance from DNATA. A 5-day valid travel insurance is around AED100 (not sure if it’s still the same). I normally don’t pay anything more than AED200 whenever I buy a travel insurance from them. Make sure that you mention that you’re going to use it for Schengen visa application though since they do have a lot of options for travel insurance.
If you’re not from Dubai, you can ask any travel agencies if they have it. Normally, big travel agencies will have some sort of travel insurance with them as well.
My visa has been rejected, how do I make an appeal?
I’m not sure how to do this so you may want to ask VFS directly or the embassy.
Do I need to travel around first so I can get stamps from different countries in my passport before I apply for a Schengen visa?
It sure of course will help you get a better chance to have the visa but no, it’s not required.
I’m a housewife and I’m traveling with my husband. Is it ok for me to present his bank statement for the two of us?
Of course it is, but then you have to make sure that the balance amount in the bank account can support the two of you for the whole duration of your stay. I normally get a bank statement as soon as my salary is deposited, that way I have a big amount in it. 🙂
What country gives Schengen visas the easiest?
No such thing, I think it all depends on the documents you’re going to submit. I’ve applied to a lot of embassies and it’s been the same so far.
Do I need to have an itinerary or just a flight and hotel booking is enough?
Flight and hotel booking is enough but make sure that you have ALL the documents for the whole duration of your stay. If you are staying for 2 weeks, then you must show all of the hotel bookings you’ve done for the whole 2 weeks. If you’re going to transfer from one city to another, you must also be able to show how you’re going to do this – by train, flight or boat.
Can I apply for a Schengen visa from Dubai if I’m not holding a UAE residence visa?
No, you have to apply for a Schengen visa from where you’re residing.
My UAE residence visa is expiring next month, can I apply for Schengen visa with it?
No, most embassies require at least 3 or 6 months validity of your UAE residence visa. Along with your passport.
If I apply for my Schengen visa here in the UAE and travel from a different country to go to Europe, will the visa be valid?
As soon as you have the Schengen visa, you can travel from anywhere you want.
More than the above clarifications, the best advice I can give anyone is to have all the required documents ready and in order. Be truthful with your application and if you get rejected, don’t fret since you can always reapply anyway. Should you have any other questions other than the above, I suggest for you to contact the embassy or consulate directly. Good luck!