Tips to apply for schengen visa from India

What is Schengen?
The Schengen system originated as a treaty between a group of five member states in 1985. A longer, more detailed treaty was then agreed in 1990. Over the years, steadily more countries have joined Schengen.

It now applies to all 28 EU member states, with the exception of six countries: the UK and Ireland (which do not have to join it); Cyprus (which cannot join as long as the island is divided); Romania and Bulgaria (because the Schengen states don’t want to admit them yet); and Croatia (which is not yet ready to join). There are also four associated countries which apply Schengen, even though they are not part of the EU: Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
The main point of the Schengen rules is to abolish border checks between the participating countries, in order to speed up the movement of people and goods. In conjunction with this, there are standard strict rules on external border controls, and standard rules on obtaining a short-term visas, known as a ‘Schengen visa’. Once someone (from India, for instance) holds a Schengen visa, he or she can travel freely through the Schengen area for three months. Those who don’t need visas (Americans for instance) can equally travel through the Schengen area for that period. So can a non-EU citizen who lives legally in the Schengen area (say a Turkish citizen living in Berlin), and who holds a residence permit or long-stay visa.

Pre- requisites :

  1. The earliest you can file a visa application: three months before you start your planned trip.
  2. The recommended time to file a visa application: at least three weeks before your trip for local consulate. In case of remote consulate at least a month prior to your travel you need to file visa. 
  3. You need to apply visa from that country where you are staying maximum number of days
  4. You need to book your flight tickets for each hop as well as hotel bookings before you apply for visa.
  5. A travel medical insurance is required with minimum coverage of 30k Euros per person throughout schengen region.

List of Documents to carry:

1. Visa Application Appointment Letter
2. Passport Photocopy 
3. Photocopy of all stamped pages in passport.
4. Visa Application Letter
5. Cover Letter
6. Air ticket bookings all hops
7. All hotel bookings
8. IT RETURNS - 3 yrs
9. Payslip- 3 months
10. Bank statement with seal and signature- 6 months
11. Travel medical insurance 
12. Employer NOC with approved leaves and seal of company 
13. Marriage certificate
14. Photos -2  (as per visa spec)

Original docs:
1. All passports
2. Company NOC letter
3. Aadhar (not mandatory but good to have)
4.Marriage Certificate (in case you are married)

1.Gems clips
4. Folder
5. Credit n debit card
6. Cash for visa amount

Some important things not mentioned anywhere in the vfs global website:
  1. You are not supposed to staple the documents, you can however use gems clips to segregate.
  2. You are not allowed to carry any other luggage such a laptop bag inside the vfs office. Better go there with minimum belongings- folder with documents, purse etc.
  3. Take the photo only from authorised places (example- GK Vale)
  4. Courier charges within city is Rs 450 ( in case you want to get the passport couriered to your house). But you should be present at your residence with an ID card to collect the same, else it will be returned.

Tips for France VISA from VFS Global Bangalore:
  1. The address of vfs France Bangalore is mentioned no where in the internet. Once you submit the application, only then you can see it. The address is: Global Tech Park, No 11 First floor O' Shaughnessy Road, Langford Town, Next to Divyashree Chambers, Bangalore-25
  2. If you are coming to VFS by car, better to park at Garuda mall which 2.2 kms to vfs ofc. Then take an a rickshaw to vfs. There is no parking available near the VFS office.
  3. Vfs france does not accept card payment, so better to carry full cash. They do have atms inside the vfs but sometimes they are not functional.
  4. Visa processing is pretty fast. In our case, we received the stamped passport within 48 hours!
  5. As of october 2019, the cost per person for france visa came around 7K including courier charges. Kindly note the visa processing fees (1400) is not mentioned in website. 
  6. Fees Breakup: VISA Fee- Rs 4724, Processing Fee- Rs1371, Courier Charges: Rs 450, SMS Fee- Rs150, Tax-Rs 200.


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