Applying Schengen Visa in Canada
When you want to travel to Europe, applying for a Schengen visa is necessary. Schengen Area signifies a zone where 26 European countries, abolished their internal borders, for the free and unrestricted movement of people, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening the common judicial system and police cooperation. As a traveler, having a Schengen visa has many benefits while traveling.
Schengen countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia , Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein.
When you want to travel to one or several of the above countries, you only need to apply for a uniform Schengen visa.
Each Schengen country has unique requirements for visa applicants. However, generally speaking, as long as the applicant can provide all the required materials and prove that applicants have enough money to cover all travel expenses for the individual or whole family, the success rate will be high for Schengen visa.
Not all Schengen visas can be used to travel anywhere in the Schengen area, so applicants must pay attention when applying for a visa. Generally, Schengen visas can be divided into three categories:
- The Uniform Schengen Visa: it stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry. According to the purpose of traveling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the two categories, “A” and “C”.
- “A” category stands for the Airport Transit Visa which allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen country Airport without entering the Schengen Area. Airport transit visa is mandatory for the citizens travelling from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state through a change of flights in a Schengen country airport.
- “C” category stands for a Short-term visa which allows its holder to reside in a Schengen Area for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity. This particular category, according to the holder’s purpose of the travel can be obtained in a form of:
- Single-entry visa, which allows its holder to enter the Schengen Area only once, within the given period of time, as mentioned in the visa sticker affixed to their passport. Once the visa holder exits the Schengen territory, he or she can no longer go back, even if they have not spend there the number of days as permitted by the embassy that issued them the visa.
- Double-entry visa, which similar to the single-entry visa explained above. The sole difference between a single-entry and a double-entry visa is that the second gives you the chance to go once more back to the Schengen territory once you have left it.
- Multiple-entry visa, which allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as many times as he or she wants, as soon as they do not violate the 90/180 rule. Based on how frequently you travel to Schengen zone, you may apply and obtain one of the following multiple-entry visa types:
- 1 year multiple-entry visa
- 3 year multiple-entry visa
- 5 year multiple-entry visa
- Limited territorial validity visas (LTV): This type of visa obtained allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa. Apart from these Schengen countries, this specific visa is invalid to any other Schengen country not specified prior. The holder of this type of visa cannot enter or transit through any other Schengen country that is not the first and final destination target. This type of visa is issued in very peculiar cases such as a humanitarian reason or under international obligation as an exception to the common USV system. This type of visa may apply for individuals who don’t possess a valid travel document yet have to travel to a Schengen area on an emergency of any kind.
- National Visas: The national visa of “D” category is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries. The national visa can be of a single entry, granted to the people who are in need of residing in the Schengen country for a certain period of time and for a sole purpose after which they shall return to their country. On the other hand a multi-entry national visa is also granted for certain individuals, allowing its holder to travel in and out of this Schengen country as he/she pleases and also travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements. In order to obtain a multi entry national visa, one must meet the certain criteria:
- An international student program will grant a visa for a period of not more than one year.
- An international student that is about to start a full course of studies in one of the Schengen countries. Again the visa is issued for a period of one year with the possibility of extending it.
- A pedagogical work at a higher institution or research center in any of the Schengen countries, regarding the person and its close family members.
- A professional who is traveling in any of the Schengen countries due to its expertise be it a sportsman, an artist or any other professional of its kind with the purpose of sharing its expertise.
- Emergency cases as a medical condition that prevents the individual leave the Schengen Area at the designated time frame.
Since applying for a Schengen visa requires an interview and providing fingerprints, it is very convenient to apply for visas of almost all countries in the visa center in China. However, Canada’s visa centers and consulates are scattered, so when applying for a Schengen visa in Canada, you must consider the applicant country. When you want to choose a country to apply for a visa, please refer to the following criteria:
- If you are going to visit only one Schengen country, file your application at the embassy/consulate/visa centre of that country
- If you are going to visit more than two Schengen countries, file your application:
- At the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the country where you will spend most days if you will be spending an unequal amount of days in each
- At the embassy/consulate/visa centre of the country where you will step first, if you will be spending an equal amount of days in each
How to Hand in
An interview is required to apply for a Schengen visa. Each Schengen member country has its own requirements for the documents required to obtain a specific type of visa. Make sure you have all your documents ready. After signing the appointment, bring all the materials to the corresponding embassy or visa center.
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, 25*45mm.
- A valid passport. Not older than 10 years and it should 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, 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 as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in case of death. The Insurance policy can easily be purchased online from AXA Schengen or 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. In order 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.
In addition, specific required documents, based on the visa applicant’s employment status are as following:
- 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 students:
- Proof of enrollment.
- No objection letter from School or University.
- For retirees:
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
- If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:
- Confirmation of Employment letter, no older than three months, from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date.
- Spouse’s valid passport.
- An official marriage certificate.
- For minors:
- 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 travelling alone.
The Schengen visa application costs include the visa fees payable at the corresponding embassy/consulate when applying:
- Adult – €80.00
- Child between 6-12 years of age – €40.00
Application is free when:
- Child younger than 6 years of age
- Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports travelling for official purposes
- A family member of an EU/EEA national
- Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip
- Researchers travelling to perform scientific research
A: Normally, the processing time for Schengen is 15 days. Each country’s embassy has different times when you can apply for an appointment. Generally, you can make an appointment 12 weeks before departure. However, French embassy can make an appointment 6 months in advance. Each Schengen country consulate has its own appointment website, where applicants can make an appointment according to their needs.
A: Travelers can stay up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry.
A: During the interview, they will ask questions about your whereabouts, travel plans and other travel information. Make sure your answers are determined and accurate.
- Global Visa Firm only charges service fees, the fees do not include government fees, translation fees, notarization fees, courier fees and other third-party fees
- The service fee is charged according to the customer’s situation. If the customer’s situation is more complicated, there may be additional fees (refer to customer evaluation)