Planning a Christmas Europe trip from India? Start the Schengen visa process already

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaSep 30, 2023 | 15:00

Planning a Christmas Europe trip from India? Start the Schengen visa process already

Travelling to Europe on Christmas can be a wonderful experience, but it does require some preparation, especially if you need a visa or other documentation. Also, don’t forget the visa waiting and processing time, which can take a lot of time too.  

But, don't worry.

We have created just the to-do list you need.

  • Before everything else, decide where you want to go, and then
  • Step 1 will be, of course, ensuring that you have your passport, which is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. If it's not, renew it as soon as possible.

Now, here comes the most important part: the Schengen visa.

  • So, depending on your nationality and the specific European countries you plan to visit, you may need a Schengen visa or other entry requirements.
  • If you're an Indian passport holder, start the process of applying for your Schengen visa now. 

  • You can apply for your visa on two sites - VFS Global and BLS. If you're applying for a Schengen visa to Spain, use BLS; otherwise, VFS is your answer. 
  • For some context, the Schengen visa gives you access to 26 European countries: Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

Once you've started filling out your form, start preparing for the document that you would require. 

  • Choose a visa application centre and book an appointment. Now this is the tricky part, where you probably have to wait the most. 
  • You need to find an appointment date for submitting your visa application along with the required documents like your booking tickets and hotel bookings. 

Pro Tip: If you are planning on travelling to any of the countries where most tourists go, book your flight tickets and the rest ONLY after you have got yourself a visa appointment date. Also, if your budget allows, go for a refundable flight. 

Booking a flight and hotels early is really important as the prices will go through the roof as December nears. 

Once you are done with this step, show up for the visa interview in the scheduled city on the scheduled date.

Wait for your visa to arrive: Once you have been to your interview, you need to track your passport and collect it when it finally arrives. This process may take up to 15-30 working days, depending on the country you are planning to visit.

Finally: There still is no guarantee that you will get a visa. The discretion lies solely with the Embassy of the destination country, and they might grant you one, or reject one. 

By starting your preparation early, you can reduce stress and re-apply or appeal your case if your visa is rejected. 

Last updated: September 30, 2023 | 15:00
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