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Documents Required for a Schengen Visa

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa is required for non-EU nationals who want to visit a country in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. The three types of Schengen visa cover short stays, seasonal work, and airport transits. Applications must be made at the consulate of the destination country. Where applicants intend to visit more than one Schengen country, applications must be made to the consulate of the first country of entry.

When should I apply for a Schengen visa?

You should apply for a Schengen visa as soon as possible but no earlier than 6 months and no later than 15 days before your intended trip.

Do British citizens need a Schengen visa?

Despite not being part of the Schengen zone, British citizens do not need to apply for a Schengen visa if they are intending to stay for less than 90 days in a 180-day period, regardless of if the trip is for tourism, business, short-term study or for medical treatment. For trips over 90 days, or for work, it is important to check that particular country's entry requirements.

Do Settled Status/Indefinite Leave to Remain holders need a Schengen visa?

Generally speaking, UK residents who are not British citizens will require a Schengen visa. However, the Applicant's nationality will also determine this - some countries have their own independent visa-free arrangements with countries in the Schengen zone. For example, a Canadian national who is settled in the UK will not require a Schengen visa and can instead travel using a valid passport and proof of their settled status (in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit or, from late 2024 onwards, using the UK's new eVisa system). It is important to check the rules and agreements in place before making the application.

What documents are required for a Schengen visa?

The following documents are generally required for short-stay Schengen visa applications. Additional documents may be required for those travelling with minors, for work, or as students.


Applicants will be required to submit a current, valid national passport or official travel document issued within the last 10 years. The passport or travel document must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the validity of the requested Schengen visa.

Passport-sized Photographs

Applicants must submit two passport-sized ID photographs taken against a plain white background. The photographs must be in colour and should be attached with a paper clip (not glued or stapled) to the printed VisaOnWeb application form,

Schengen Visa Application Form

The Schengen visa application form will vary depending on the consulate you are applying to. For example, the Belgian form is named "VisaOnWeb" whereas the Swiss and Spanish forms are simply named "Application for Schengen Visa". Regardless, the nature of the questions will be the same, and the completed form must be printed as part of your supporting documents.

Proof of Immigration Status

For Applicants living in the UK who are not British citizens, a Biometric Residence Permit and, for those whose expiry date is 31 December 2024, a share code for their right to work or proof of immigration status.

Health Insurance

Applicants must provide evidence of a valid health insurance policy covering medical costs for the entire duration of the trip in the country/countries visited. The minimum accepted cover is €30,000.

Proof of Return Ticket

Applicants should provide evidence of their outbound and inbound tickets. This applies to all forms of transportation, including flights, ferries and trains.

Proof of Accommodation

Applicants should provide evidence of their hotel, airbnb or other accommodation bookings for the duration of their intended stay.

Bank Statements

Applicants should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months as evidence of sufficient funds for their trip.

What is the Processing Time for Schengen visas?

Once an application has been made using the specific consulate's online form, Applicants should register on the TLSContact website and select an appropriate centre. After the application has been linked on the TLSContact, and the applicant has booked an appointment at the application centre, the application will be transferred to the consulate which should process the application within 15 days.

Screenshot of schengen visa tracking system


Contact us today if you want to make an application for a Schengen visa, if you are unsure about the supporting documents required, if you need help with booking a TLSContact appointment, or if you want advice about whether a visa is necessary.


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