Getting a visa for European countries has become quite tedious in the last couple of years. More so if a person plans to visit more than one country either for business or pleasure. Instead of applying for each of the country separately and going through the cumbersome process over and over again, all you need to do is obtain a Schengen visa and visit the countries of your choice!
These are the countries you can easily visit if you are able to obtain a Schengen visa!
Let’s talk a little about some requirements and precautions that you would need to take. If you plan to visit more than one country, you will have to file a visa application for the country, where you plan to spend most of your time. This would be marked as your main destination. If, however, if you don’t have a main destination in mind, you should effectively choose the country where you are landing first. It is usually advised to carry original travel documents particularly when travelling from one country to another. Visa application should be filed weeks before expected departure as process takes several days.
The Red Flag: Unfortunately, Pakistan is in the list of countries whose residents will require an airport transit visa to change an airplane. Therefore, ensure that you have confirmed all the requirements for visa from your travel agent, before you start traveling. If there is a direct flight to your primary destination, then it is likely that you may not need a transit visa. However, in case of switching airlines and a layover, you should always confirm before your travel plans start.
Requirements for a visa may slightly vary depending on the type of visa a person is looking for. Generally, the following requirements are applicable:
- Visa application form must be fully completed and no field to remain blank. Needless to say, all information given must be 100% correct. If a person has any doubts on how the application form is to be filled, consult a professional. Any wrong, contradictory or vague information can have the visa application rejected
- Valid passport validity for 6 months
- Valid CNIC
- Passport size photographs
- Description of visas taken in the last 3 months, travelled or not
- Confirmed tickets with flight details of entering and leaving Schengen area
- Travel insurance policy covering hospital and medical emergencies covering expenses up to EUR 30,000 and valid in all Schengen zones. This policy needs to be submitted with the visa application
- Confirmed hotel reservations if you are tourist for the entire stay and or complete addresses of friends or relatives where you plan to stay
- Proof of how much money you are carrying to sustain your visit
- Bank statement of the last 6 months
Visiting Friends or Relatives:
- If a person is visiting friends or relatives a formal invitation letter from a Schengen resident
- The host also needs to categorically spell if he or she is financing your visit. A letter from Schengen competent authority on their financial status will also be needed.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose and days of visit along with applicant’s job and personal profile.
- Trade license, partnership or proprietorship documents, Memorandum and Articles of Association in original and attested copy
- Bank statements for the last 6 months, or as required
- A detailed letter from the employer with specific reason of travel and complete itinerary and number of days required for the visit
- Invitation letter from host in Schengen region. Invitation also needs to be directly faxed to the corresponding consulate
- Detail of how applicant’s expenses will be covered
- Proof of hotel bookings
While the above may help you cover the Schengen visa, but a lot of times, travel to such countries requires a lot more planning and meticulously laying out your expenses as well. Always ensure that your travel insurance is up to date and you’re carrying your credit cards as a backup plan, in case of any mishap or emergencies. Experts also suggest defining your itinerary and having emergency contact details fully laid out as well before traveling!