Nothing can be more disappointing than having your European trip planned but waiting till the last minute for your Schengen visa to arrive. But wait, this is about to change. With the new Schengen visa rules that came into effect at the beginning of this month, you can now apply for the Schengen visa six months in advance.
The Schengen visa has often been termed as the hardest to get. So, the provision to let you apply for the visa six months in advance will help you know the fate of your application and plan your trip accordingly. Among the other changes introduced earlier this month, the fees for the visa have been increased to 80 Euros. Apart from this multiple entry visa will now be issued to regular travelers who have a positive visa history.
The changes in the Schengen however does not mean you will get your visa easily. There could be many reasons why your Schengen visa could be rejected. You will have to follow the application process meticulously to succeed in getting your visa.
Applying for a Schengen visa
Decide on the visa type you want to apply for
There are many categories of Schengen visas available, you will have to decide between the uniform Schengen visa, single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry visas. The visa type will depend on the purpose of your travel.
Find out where you must submit your application
Before you submit your application, find out the location where you will have to do it. This can be either an embassy or consulate or a visa center. If you are planning to visit more than one country in the Schengen list, you must file your application at the embassy or consulate of the country where you are going to spend the most days. If you are spending an equal amount of time in all the countries, then you should submit your application at the embassy or consulate of the country that you will visit first.
Decide when you want to apply
With the application time extended to six months before your proposed trip, you can apply before six months but not later than 15 working days before your date of journey. The ideal time to apply for your application will be three weeks before your trip.
Submit the required documents
Ensure that you submit the required documents along with your application form. This will include:
Attend the visa interview
Once you have submitted your application, you will be called for a visa interview. Ensure that you show up on time for your appointment. In the interview you will be asked questions about you trip and about details of your travel. Ensure that your responses are correct and in tandem with the facts in your application form and the documents that you submitted. The interview can be between 10 to 15 minutes.
Wait for the processing of the visa
The Schengen visa is usually processed within 15 days, but it can sometimes take up to 45 days. So, the sooner you apply for the visa, the better.
If your visa application is rejected, find out the reason for this so that you can take care of it the next time you submit your application. You also have the choice to appeal against the visa rejection if you feel that it was a mistake.
Applying for the Schengen visa under the changed rules can work to your advantage if you can make the best use of it.