Schengen Visa

How Scoring A Schengen Visa Turned Into A Persistent Chase For Me, & My Learnings From It

A relentless pursuit won’t be sidelined by failures for it is meant to take you there!

I never really thought that my first international trip would be a 16-day remarkable trip to Europe. But did I tell you that planning a Europe trip was as easy as any other trip? Leave alone managing the finances, the most difficult part of my trip to Europe was getting that elusive Schengen Visa. The only and the biggest mistake that I did right at the beginning of my application was seeking too many counsels via multiple platforms.

Reason being, I was advised differently by people who have traveled to Europe and people who haven’t yet consider themselves as qualified counsel (travel agents). I intended to travel to Poland, and thus landed the popular theory by people who have categorized different Schengen countries as tourist-friendly & not-so-tourist-friendly, depending on the rules, time-taken to process the visa, and blah, blah…My only advice here is – Don’t listen to them!

Stick to the basics, be spot on with the documents, and don’t lose your sleep over it. Yes, it is true that document requirement varies from one Schengen country to other but there isn’t a lot of difference.

Here’s the detailed analysis of the vague and false information that you’d come across online/offline when you would be getting ready to apply at the VFS or the respective embassy of the country.

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The myth & vague information about Schengen Visa that you’d find the internet

  • Countries like France, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium issue tourist visa easily.
  • Take a dummy flight ticket & trick the consulate. Mostly on-hold ticket works!
  • Get a NOC from your parents to make your case stronger.
  • There are travel agencies that specialize in getting a rejected visa confirmed.
  • Write a detailed cover letter with proper descriptives, it increases your chances of getting a Visa.
  • Show fake hotel reservations from booking.com, hostelworld.com or any other prominent hotel booking website.
  • Don’t get money deposited (by filling up form & depositing money at a particular branch) into your account, get it transferred.

However, to increase your chances of getting a Schengen Visa you must be doing these things

  • Try to cover a few Asian countries (best bet is countries that allow Indians visa-on-arrival facility) before making up your mind for Eurotrip.
  • Get all the documents handy. Every document mentioned is equally important.
  • Try to create a shorter itinerary.
  • Make sure that your account looks as fat as it can get. The more the money in your bank, the bigger are your chances of getting a visa.
  • Let the money stay in your account for a while before you head to the embassy.
  • Plan your stay for the maximum duration in the country you are applying.
  • Tickets of local transfers and domestic flights only add value to your case.
  • If at all you can manage to travel in a group, it will only increase your chances.

Having said everything, the fact remains that European embassy is quite skeptical when it comes to granting a visa to an Asian (Indian) who is young, unmarried, hasn’t traveled anywhere outside the country before, and doesn’t have a lot of money in their account. So, the most prevalent thought among the European embassies is that the person won’t come back and will settle on their land.

Therefore, to make them believe, plan your trip with a backing of a lot of money and for a shorter duration. Maybe 7-10 days! On the contrary, couples get Schengen Visa quite easily, unless they have terrible luck riding on them. There are two ways of applying for a Schengen Visa – either apply through VFS or apply through the respective embassy. VFS charges around INR 6500 (for France Visa) which includes their processing fees, while the Visa fee at the respective embassy is slightly lesser, around INR 4545 for France Visa.

Scoring a Schengen Visa isn’t as difficult as people around have made it seem. Just do the basics right and brace yourself for the best. Europe might be just a Schengen Visa away!

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