A lot of people travel in and out of Europe for a variety of reasons. So if you’re raring to go and are planning a visit to any European country soon, consider getting yourself a Schengen Tourist Visa first. Here we share some information on how you can apply for a tourist visa for countries in the Schengen region.
Applying for a Schengen Visa is important for those who plan to visit countries in Europe that are under the Schengen agreement. If you have this kind of visa, you can easily move from one European country to another, given that these countries belong to the Schengen region at the time of your travel.
Examples of countries which are currently part of the Schengen region are: Denmark, Austria, Finland, France, Estonia, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Norway, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Aside from the aforementioned official list, there are also other countries that do not require their own visa to allow entry for tourists who have a multiple-entry Schengen visa. These countries include Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Hercegovina, Cyprus, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, and Romania. In addition, there are also select destinations such as Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City which share an open border with the Schengen region. Meaning, the only way to get into these countries is passing through other countries in the Schengen region area. There are around 39 countries which you can enter with a multiple Schengen tourist visa which pretty much makes it one of the more powerful visas to possess.
A Guide to Getting a Schengen Tourist Visa in Singapore
So if you’re looking at a possible trip to any country in Europe In the near future, then consider applying for a Schengen visa. Of course, you first need to know if your destination is within the Schengen area so as to make sure that you have the required visa for entry.
There are various embassies of Schengen countries in Singapore, and you need to book an appointment first before you start processing your visa. You can simply go online to check the websites of any Schengen nation you wish to go to and book an appointment. The Schengen visa costs 60 Euros and is payable to its Singaporean dollar equivalent which is roughly around SGD 90-95.
Requirements/Documents You Need to Secure
Here are the general requirements in applying for a Schengen visa:
1. Schengen Visa Application Form.
After you have booked an appointment, you need to secure a Schengen visa application form. This is uniform across all Schengen embassies in Singapore, but make sure that you have the most updated form.
Bring your current passport and prepare photocopies of the identification page/s. Your passport has to be valid for three months after your stay in a Schengen country and there has to be at least two blank pages in it.
3. Passport-size Photo/s
Remember to attach a passport photo on your application form. The photo should be recent and clearly showing the face, forehead, ears and the hairline. It must be in white background.
4. Singapore Identity Card (IC)
Another important document to bring is any valid Singapore IC, this can be a work permit, an employment pass or a permanent resident (PR) card. If you are to present a PR card, it must be accompanied by a re-entry permit. Remember to bring photocopies of your Singapore IC.
5. Flight booking Info
You must also be able to provide info of your flight. Most Schengen countries are quite accommodating when asking for your flight booking. It doesn’t have to be a confirmed flight booking, but they also consider those who have only made flight reservations and those in the waitlist.
6. Hotel Reservation and Travel Itinerary
For this requirement, cancellable bookings are allowed so long as it covers your entire stay in the Schengen country you’re visiting. If you are getting a multiple entry Schengen visa, you need to show documents that you are to leave the Schengen country, too. You can present hotel bookings in other non-Schengen countries. Basically, anything enough to serve as proof of your intention in the Schengen country such as a travel itinerary will do.
7. Proof of Funds
You need to provide proof of your financial capacity in order to file for a Schengen visa. Your recent bank statements for three consecutive months will serve as a valid document.
8. Medical Insurance
All Schengen visa bearers need to have a medical insurance policy worth of at least EUR 30,000 which should cover medical, emergency, hospital expenses as well as repatriation.
9. Employment Letter
Finally, aside from your good financial standing, you must be able to present a letter of employment indicating the company you currently work for, your job title, roles, salary and leave approval from your company’s HR Dept for your intended travel.
You will need to secure these documents and submit them during your appointment date. Afterwards, wait for a few days (sometimes weeks depending on the country of application) for the result whether it’s approved or denied.
Other Important Tips
When applying for a Schengen Visa, always keep in mind to have all the necessary documents ready as most Schengen country embassies are quite methodical about the process. So providing all the documents needed on time and as efficiently as possible will get you through most of the work needed.
Also, while this is not an outright requirement, but just for the sake of processing your visa, your bank account should at least have EU 65 per day, as this is the estimated daily budget that you would need to go around during your stay inany Schengen country.
Having visas from other developed countries such as the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada would be of help when processing your Schengen visa since acquiring any of these documents would also entail undergoing tight evaluation of your current standing in your country so this gives more confidence to the consul when deciding to approve your Schengen visa.
Finally, take note that most Schengen embassies don’t usually issue visas that are valid any longer than your intended stay in the country you will be visiting. However, you get more leeway when you file for your second or succeeding visas. This is basically taken on the account of your good records with the embassies and capacity for longer travels.
In Singapore, processing time usually takes about 5-7 working days. Visa processing time may vary for other countries and may take between 10-15 business days.