Schengen Visa for Indian passport holders
Currently the visa processing for schengen countries are operated by vfs-global. An individual or an agent needs to submit all its document to vfs and they hand it over to the consulate on your behalf. The key is to get an appointment at the vfs without which they don’t entertain. Based on my personal experience, I would suggest to get the appointment at least 2 months before the travel date, as sometimes due to holiday seasons and lots of tourist rush, it becomes difficult getting one.
Visa Processing flow
- Getting an appointment at vfs-global by providing your passport details. http://vfsfrance.co.in/scheduleanappointment.html.
- Latest photo as per the schengen specifications – http://vfs-france.co.in/photospec.html
- Gathering all the docs required by the consulate for your visa processing.
- Visiting vfs-global on the day and time mentioned on the appointment receipt.
- Submission of all docs along with original passport and payment by cash (they don’t accept card).
- Tracking your passport at http://vfs-france.co.in/FranceVisaIndia/trackyourapplication.html with the reference number provided.
- Once the process is completed, visiting vfs for stamped passport collection.
- Having an awesome trip.
Its a fairly simple process but negligence on part of documents submission and supported funds could result in visa rejection too.
Requirements for Visa submission in French Consulate
- Signed and filled up visa application form – http://vfs-france.co.in/downloadvisaforms.html
- Photo as per the latest schengen specifications – http://vfs-france.co.in/photospec.html
- Passport with a validity of over 3 months
- Covering letter – It mentions your intent of travel along with your staying details and funds support. Here is my covering letter dated 10th April 2015
- Leave sanction letter from your employer. Make sure its in the company’s letter head duly signed.
- Travel tickets along with complete stay details (hotel bookings etc)
- Salary slips of last 3 months along with Income tax returns of last 3 years.
- 3 months Bank statement with sufficient funds. You can also present 2-3 statements along with credit card details or travel card information. France consulate calculate on the basis of 120 Euros per day.
- Travel insurance from the listed Indian companies . Initially I got mine from an US based insurance company which was not on the list, and while submission they asked me to take it again from the listed company. VFS has many travel desks which gives you instant insurance at the spot. Finally I got it again from ICICI Lombard. The insured amount must be over 30000 Euros – http://vfs-france.co.in/pdf/travel_insurance_280215.pdf
- Any additional documents such as marriage certificates (in case spouse is sponsoring the trip), Euro trains/bus tickets etc can be useful further.
Visa Processing duration
Ideally it takes from 2-7 working days. I got mine in 2 days including the documents submission at vfs. But sometimes when inadequate or confusing data are provided, consulate calls the individual for F-2-F interview for further clarifications. In case of which the processing time may increase over 7 days also.