Visitor (Tourist) Visa for Europe



Visitor Visa For Europe

About Schengen States

The Schengen Area is a region of 29 European countries that have abolished their internal borders to allow the unrestricted movement of people. It covers a vast area of 4,718,084 km2 and is home to over 448 million citizens. Most EU countries are within the Schengen Area except Ireland and Cyprus. Additionally, several non-EU countries like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein are integral members despite their non-EU status. Fact: Schengen Area is the largest visa-free zone in the world.

Which Are the Schengen Area Countries?

The 29 Schengen countries are Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

What Documents Are Needed to Apply for a Schengen Visa?

The following list of documents are required for any short-term Schengen visa application:

  • Visa application form. Fully completed and signed.
  • Two recently taken photos must be attached. Both photos must be taken within the last three months, according to the visa photo requirements. You can easily get a Schengen visa-compliant photo online at com
  • A valid passport. Not older than 10 years, and it should be valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area. Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
  • Round trip reservation or itinerary. It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area. You can use the visa consultation services like this one. These guys can handle most of your visa requirements, such as flight itineraries and hotel reservations, along with free consultation over email.
  • Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency such as illnesses, accidents, and even repatriation in case of death. The Insurance policy can easily be purchased online from Europ Assistance.
  • Proof of accommodation. A document that shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen. This can be one of the following:
    • A hotel/hostel booking.
    • A rental agreement.
    • A letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
  • Proof of financial means. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen. This can be one of the following:
    • Bank account statement – that shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
    • Sponsorship Letter – by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. For this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.
    • A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.  €80 for adults and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.
  • For employees:
    • Employment contract.
    • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months.
    • Leave permission from the employer.
    • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
  • For the self-employed:
    • A copy of your business license.
    • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months.
    • Income Tax Return (ITR).
  • For retirees:
    • Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
  • If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:
    • A confirmation of Employment letter, no older than three months, from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company and the starting date.
    • Spouse’s valid passport.
    • An official marriage certificate.

What Documents Are Required for Schengen Visa for Minors?

The parents / legal guardians of minors applying for a Schengen visa must submit some extra documents for the underage applicant:

  • The minor’s birth certificate.
  • Application form signed by both parents.
  • Family court order – in cases where only one parent has full custody of the child.
  • Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
  • A notarized parental authorization – signed by both parents/guardians if the minor will be traveling alone.

Schengen Visa Photograph Requirements & Specifications

When you apply for a visa to Europe, photos are among the vital requirements for completing your application. No matter what visa type you apply for, you will always be required to submit two photos alongside the other documents.

What Is the Difference Between a Tourist and a Visitor Visa?

The difference between a Schengen tourist visa and a Schengen visitor visa is the purpose of the visit. For example, you apply for a visitor visa to visit a family member or a close friend who lives in the Schengen Area, while you apply for a tourist visa for tourism or leisure purposes.

Usually, a visitor visa requires an invitation letter from the person you are visiting in the Schengen Area, while this is not a requirement for a tourist visa.

Complete & Download the Visa Application Form

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility for a Tourist short-stay visa to Europe and determined where to submit your application, you should complete the visa application form.

You have two options for this: you can either download the standard Schengen visa application form, fill in all the required information, print it out, and sign it, or you can visit the official websites of the Schengen member countries and fill it out directly online through their systems.

For example, if you’re applying for a Tourist visa for Germany, you can complete the visa application on the official Videx website of the Auswärtiges Amt.

Schedule Your Tourist Visa Appointment

After determining where to apply for the Tourist Schengen visa and filling out the visa application form, the next step is to schedule an appointment. Usually, you can do this online through the embassy, consulate, or visa application center’s website. Keep in mind that certain embassies may only accept appointments made through their official website.

Available slots depend on the EU/Schengen embassy/consulate and the time of year. Based on our experience, we strongly suggest that you inquire about appointments at least three weeks before you plan to travel.

Schengen Visa Photo Requirements

The photograph specifications for any short-term Schengen visa application are:

  • Two identical photos. Not older than six months.
  • Photo size: 35x45mm.
  • In color. No black and white
  • The head should take 70-80% of the photo.
  • Light-colored background. Light grey is suggested. No patterns.
  • The applicant should be looking straight at the camera.
  • Neutral facial expression. No smile and mouth closed
  • Avoid uniforms or colors matching the background.

Schengen states have gone a step further and specified in detail all of the photograph requirements for a Europe visa.