Schengen Visa application for Indian Citizens
Schengen visas allow its holders to enter and travel within countries of the Schengen area, which includes most countries in the European Union and other European countries such as Norway and Switzerland.
Table of contents
- Schengen visa types
- The Schengen visa application process for Indian citizens
- Schengen visa photo online generator
In most cases, for whatever travel purpose, Indian citizens need a valid visa to enter the Schengen area. This article will explain the essential information on Schengen visa application for Indian citizens.
Schengen visa types
When talking about the Schengen visa, we generally refer to the visa that grants you access to travel within the Schengen area. Therefore, this article will cover information on this kind of visa, not other kinds that may be available in individual Schengen member countries.
Based on the main purpose of your entry to the Schengen area, here are the types of Schengen visas available:
- Transit visa
- Tourism visa
- Visa for family visits or visiting friends
- Business visa
- Visa for culture and sports activities
- Visa for official visits
- Study visa
- Visa for medical reasons
You will need to show the purpose of your travel on your visa application form. The supplemental documents you need for your application also depend on the travel purpose and type of visa you’re applying for.
The Schengen visa application process for Indian citizens
In short, these are the main steps of a Schengen visa application for Indians:
Plan your application based on your travel itinerary
When to apply for a visa
Before applying, make sure you are applying on the appropriate time to allow enough time for the visa application center, consular, or embassy to process your application.
The earliest time you can apply for a Schengen visa is six months before your planned departure to a Schengen country. Generally, the latest you can apply is fifteen days before your planned travel.
Where to apply for your Schengen visa in India
As the Schengen visa covers multiple countries, you would need to determine which country is your “destination country”.
- If you are traveling to one country and nowhere else in the Schengen area, then that country is your destination country.
- If you are traveling to two or more countries, there are two cases:
- If you plan to spend the same amount of days in all countries, then your “destination country” is the first country of the Schengen area you plan to enter.
- If you plan to spend different amount of days in each country you’re going to visit, then the country you plan to spend most days in will be your “destination country”.
Based on this information, proceed to find out how this country takes visa applications. They may accept applications in their embassy, consulate, or visa application centers.
If the destination country does not have an embassy or consulate in India, or is (currently) not in the capacity to accept applications, apply to the embassy or consulate of another country that "represents" that country in accepting visa applications. For example, Indian citizens looking to enter Iceland by the Schengen visa must apply via the Danish embassy.
Fill your application form and documents
Get your Schengen visa application form online, based on the destination country determined in the previous step. Then, fill it out completely and honestly.
Documents needed for Schengen visa application for Indian citizens
Besides the application form, these are the documents you need to apply for a Schengen visa:
- Your valid Indian passport, valid for at least three months after your departure from the Schengen area;
- Two visa application photos fulfilling Schengen requirements;
- Valid travel insurance that covers your stay and activities in the Schengen area;
- Letter stating your travel purpose and itinerary;
- Proof of booked transportation from India and back;
- Proof of booked accommodation during your travels in the Schengen area;
- Proof of civil status;
- Proof of your financial ability to support yourself during your travels.
Schengen visa photo requirements
Besides making sure that all your forms and documents are complete and clear, your photo needs to fulfill these requirements to be accepted:
- Your photo must not be older than six months;
- Your Schengen visa application photo size must be 35x45 mm;
- Your photo must be in color;
- The photo’s background has to be light and plain, for example light grey;
- Your head should occupy 70-80% of the photo;
- Keep the expression in the photo neutral and look straight into the camera;
- Religious headwear like the hijab is allowed, but must not obscure facial features;
- Do not retouch the photo or wear makeup in a way that alters facial features;
Here is an example Schengen visa photo:
In general, the photo must be of good quality, so decent lighting and contrast are also a must.
Need help making sure your Schengen visa photo is up to par? Read to the bottom of this article!
Book an appointment
Depending on the destination country and the place in which you plan to apply your visa, you may be able to book your visa appointment online. Visit their website or contact them for the exact information.
Attend your appointment and interview
Make sure to show up on time to your appointment.
In the interview, you will be asked questions related to your planned trip, as well as some of your personal details to make sure that you are traveling to Europe based on the purpose you wrote on the form and can support yourself during your trip.
So don’t be surprised if the consular employee asks you about your job, or even marriage status: it’s to confirm that you have ties to your home country that implies that you will come back home and not stay in Europe.
Pay the Schengen visa fee
The Schengen visa fee is €80 per person. The amount in Indian Rupees usually depends on the consular rate at the moment of application, so make sure to ask before paying.
Different embassies/consulates and application centers may have different visa payment methods. In general, you must have your passport with you during payment to confirm your identity.
Wait for your visa decision
Now all that’s left is to wait whether your visa will be accepted. If it is, make sure to pay attention that everything is according to your travel plans and the dates on your visa. In case of your rejection, read the reason for rejection, or, if you think the rejection was a mistake, you may appeal the rejection.
Schengen visa photo online generator
As we mentioned above, your photo must fulfill Schengen visa requirements. To make your visa application easier and not waste time on details, we recommend you trust the subtle business of Schengen visa application photos to the professionals.
You can simply upload your portrait or selfie to the tool below, and Visafoto will edit your photo based on the requirements, from the big details like background color and size, down to the subtler ones like head tilt, contrast, and head proportion.
Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport, or ID.
Follow the dress code and posing rules in your photo. Make sure you take your photo in decent lighting.
You will have two types of photos: a digital one for electronic applications and another one suitable for printing.
Here they are:
Visafoto will give you two files: one digital photo for electronic applications and one template filled with four photos ready to be printed. Both files will 100% fit the Schengen visa photo requirements. However, should you have any questions about your photo result, contact us!