A Schengen visa is needed by people who are from one of the European Union member states. The Schengen Area comprises 26 European countries which have abolished all internal border controls at their respective borders.
The area mainly acts as a single administrative jurisdiction for all international travel purposes, irrespective of its country of origin. While all these countries have free movement within its territories, there are some others which have visa requirements for tourists visiting their land.
The Schengen visa is required if you wish to enter one of the Schengen countries for a holiday, business or even a tourist visit. It is generally applied by the authorities at the port of entry.
To get a Schengen visa, you have to prepare a detailed visa letter. This visa letter must mention all the details about your travel plan including your name, office address, contact number, passport, contact details and date of travel.
Along with the Schengen visa, you also need to present a EUROS visa letter which gives details of your contact details in the country concerned. The consulate may not require you to present this document, if you are not planning to travel to the EU.
The process of applying for a Schengen visa begins with the first step i.e. the submission of the visa application form. The application process needs you to complete several documentorial formalities like proof of residence, identity proof, employer or business registration and several others. You have to submit this application form along with your passport. This usually takes about 90 days.
After submitting the visa application form, it is crucial to submit necessary documents. These include proof of financial capability, employment history, residence permit and the Schengen visa fee. The Schengen visa fee is usually varies from one country to another.
In most cases, tourists have to pay the least amount. In addition to that, in order to get the Schengen visa, you should have to fulfill all the related eligibility requirements of each country, including proof of health insurance requirements.
In order to start the process of getting the visa, you must apply directly at the consulate of the country where you are going to spend the next ninety days. A preapproval may take place within three months.
Once you receive a positive response from the consulate, you can book your trip or travel arrangements for this purpose. You must apply for a Schengen visa at the earliest.
Citizens of the European Union, European Central Mediterranean countries, and citizens of Switzerland can use the Schengen visa to enter the Schengen area.
However, citizens of other EU countries are not allowed to use the Schengen visa if they do not have a passport that is valid for at least ninety days after their application has been approved. The passport should be valid and current.
Citizens of Switzerland must apply for the Schengen visa in person, except citizens of Liechtenstein who can submit their application online. If the applicant chooses to apply online, he/she should provide his/her social security number on the application form.
After submitting the visa application, the tourist must pay an administrative fee to the authorized immigration authorities. The Schengen visa application is usually processed within three months.
If the applicant does not have a printed copy of the flight itinerary, he/she should present a photo ID and/or passport to the immigration officials.
However, the applicant should not expect an immediate decision on the visa application, as decisions regarding the Schengen visa application are usually made in accordance with the level of complexity of the case.
It may take up to three months before you receive a decision about your Schengen visa.
Before traveling to Switzerland, it is best to be aware of basic travel insurance requirements. As most Schengen countries require citizens of certain countries to have a national visa in order to travel to Switzerland, tourists often find themselves with extra travel expenses awaiting them once they reach the country.
In addition to being required to have a passport that is valid for at least 90 days or until you receive your Schengen visa, tourists also need to obtain coverage for loss of luggage and other items.
Because most Schengen visa applications are approved within three months, most tourists will also need to have some sort of health insurance or travel insurance in order to avoid the possibility of being denied entry to the country. These policies may cover medical care costs, or emergency medical services while traveling to Switzerland.