Get your Schengen Visa: Must-know tips!

Get your Schengen Visa -Schengen Visa application - Schengen Visa requirements - Travel Europe

All decisive questions you must know before applying for a Schengen Visa

What if you are no longer a student and not yet employed?

So, when the Embassy looks at your profile, they may think “Hmm, female, single, no school, no job, where does the financial resource come from? What are strings to return home?”

Whatever the case is, you need to prove a reason to go back home if you want to get your Schengen Visa successfully. Find a job offer/ an official letter of school enrollment (if you plan to take a new course)/ an official letter of doing volunteership/internship (if you plan to do so)/ an official letter saying that you are planning to open a business (so that you must go home), etc.

Whether those plans above become true or not, no one cares because things can change and so does your plan. Just give them a right reason, that is all!

What if you're employed, but you don't have any labor contract?

The thing is, some people do not want to sign a permanent labor contract due to its restrictions, for example 12 days for annual leave, and that they can’t be flexible when it comes to travel.

In this case, you can ask for an official letter saying that: “Mr/Ms. … is currently employed by … company, from… to….” and it should also provide  the information of your salary, then signed and stamped by your employers. You always can write this letter yourself and hand it to your boss for signature because most of the time, they’re too busy to write letter for your own purpose. Here is my own Employment Certificate for your reference.

Apart from the check-list, what makes your application stronger?

Beside Schengen Visa Check-list, you need all degrees/diplomas/certificates, especially the ones from abroad.

I brought my bachelor degree from Vietnam, but they didn’t take it. They kept: diplomas + transcripts + all certificates + my recommendation letters from teacher in the US. So if you have any documents that strongly highlight your education, bring them all.

How long does it take for the visa preparation + application process?

It took me roughly 3 months for the visa preparation including: preparing an Invitation Letter from friend, going to all departments to collect official papers (multiple times! Sometimes, have to wait 3 weeks for one piece of paper); getting them translated into German, bringing those papers to get stamped; filling different application forms (accidentally write them wrongly, print out and fill in, again and again; assigning work for other staff when I’m gone; etc.

Get your Schengen visa: painful! I was jealous and felt unfair seeing my Western friends being able to travel across the world without having to go through these shits. One day, they just book a ticket and fly the next day. How simple.

I said so often to my boyfriend “It’s not fair. We can’t chose our citizenship or where to be born, …” But anyway, I can’t change anything. I just have to do what I have to do.

How much does it cost in total for preparation? (Again, BEFORE the trip!!)

It cost me around 500 euros before the trip. There are 3 phases you need to prepare money for:

  • Preparing documents (banking fee, other services fee, translation/notarization fee, photos, print/photocopy fee, gasoline, etc.)
  • Interview for the visa (visa fee, int’l insurance, flight tickets to the Embassy/Consulate for the visa interview, expense on hotel/transportation/food in HCM or HN during the interview time, etc.)
  • Preparing for the trip (if granted a visa: clothes, medicine, etc.)
  • Expense for the entire trip abroad NOT included: flight tickets, travel expenses, etc.

What if you don't have that much money?

Don’t ask from parents, just work more and harder. Work your ass off. As I said earlier, part of the reason why we should prepare for the trip many months in advance is because you will have enough time to save money. I worked 5 different jobs at the same time in 6 months (freelancer, food tour guide, manager assistant, English tutor, translator & content writer) and continue to freelance on the way.

Keep pushing yourself and find your motivation. Think about your biggest goals any time you think that your heart is gonna sink because of these hard works. Take a break and move on.

I think, nothing is gonna go down the drain if I don’t have a visa to go to Europe because after all, I train myself hard for being patient, disciplined, committed, and responsible. I become a better version of myself, and it’s worth it 🙂

Because I did everything all alone without any useful information (except the Embassy website) found on the Internet, I made mistakes. I did it again and again; hence it took longer and cost more money. Now that you have me, I hope you will not end up paying through the nose as I did.

In conclusion: Stress, frustration, anxiety, sleeplessness, powerless, fatigue, depression.. are what you may encounter during the enormous effort to get your Schengen Visa.

But as I said earlier, if your EU trip is a life-changing decision for you as it was for me, and it means much more than just traveling, if it’s for someone important who you can give up your jobs and many things to fight for, then you will find your own power and motivation to make it.

If this post doesn’t have what you’re looking for, just drop me a line. You have a friend within me!

AnhThy
AnhThy
AnhThy(Tea) started to travel at a very young age, but things get serious during her years living abroad where she was exposed to majestic nature and wonderful people from all walks of life. Apart from photography, writing becomes part of her life in which she relives all of the memories built up along the way, and in which she can become as many different characters as she always wants to be. Following her journey to discover more of the personality that comes across in her work.

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