It may be not as easy as it may seem to obtain a Schengen visa. Here are 8 tips that will help you go through the visa application process.
1. You can only apply for Schengen visa in the UK if you hold one of the following types of visas for the UK: spouse visa, unmarried partner visa (must be valid for at least one year), ancestral visa, working holiday visa (it is normally valid for 2 years), Tier 1 (HSMP), Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 (student visa), Work Permit (valid 2 – 4 years), Limited Leave to Remain in the UK, Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR). If you are coming to the UK on a visitor visa (which is normally valid for 6 months), you must apply for a Schengen visa in your HOME COUNTRY.
2. Before booking your trip make sure that your visa for the UK is valid for at least 3 months after you are coming back from your journey from a Schengen country.
3. For most Schengen visas you can submit an application within 3 months before your trip date. It is advisable to submit your application at least two weeks before your journey starts, but for some nationalities it may take between 3 and 4 weeks to process the visa application.
4. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after visa expiry date, and it must contain two blank pages for visa stamps. To get a multiple entry visa your passport must be valid for at least a year or longer from the date your journey ends.
5. If your passport was issued 10 years ago, you would need to obtain a new passport to apply for a Schengen visa. If your passport has been issued within a year, provide your old passport with the current one.
6. For most Schengen visas you can apply only after you have been in the UK for at least one month, but if you need to get a Schengen visa for Spain – you will have to wait for 6 months before you can make your first application.
7. Book appointment with the relative consulate or visa application centre well in advance. During summer time or before the bank holidays it may come to a month waiting time for an available appointment.
8. Correct documentation is key to successful visa application. You must bring your passport (s) with valid visa for the UK stamped inside the passport, photos, visa application form, employment letter (or another form of employment confirmation), pay slips, bank statements, hotel confirmation, flight confirmation, and travel insurance. If you are on a dependent visa, make sure you take your spouse passport and marriage certificate with you.