What are the list of requirements for a Schengen visa application? What documents do I need to submit? And what do these documents mean? While each country and embassy may have slightly different requirements, the following is a list of standard documents you will need to provide. You should bring the original as well as at least one copy or multiple copies when applicable.

I wrote a very detailed guide with a lot of tips and tricks so bookmark it for your visa application.



General Requirements for Schengen Visa Application

Read each section carefully for tips and tricks on how to fulfill each Schengen visa requirement. Note that the list below is applicable for 90-day short-stay Schengen visa application only. If you’re moving to Europe to work or study, the list will be different!


1. Passport

Obviously you can’t apply for any kind of visa without a passport! You need a valid passport that has two blank pages for the embassy to affix the visa. It should also be at least 6 months valid after your final day in the Schengen country. For example, if you are flying back from Europe on September 30, 2017 then your passport should be valid until March 30, 2018 which is 6 months after your arrival date.

Some European embassies are fine with 3 months validity though. But the longer the passport validity, the better. For example, the German embassy requires at least 6 months validity while the French embassy requires more than 3 months validity. Important note: The remaining validity of the passport is counted from the day the applicant intends to leave the Schengen area.

If you’re applying for a new passport, make sure that you have organized getting it before scheduling your Schengen visa interview. It could mess up your application if your new passport doesn’t arrive on time before your visa interview.


2. Visa Photos

There are certain guidelines you need to follow about the visa photo. They are super strict with requirements so make sure you follow it or else they will not accept your application. Make sure to bring extra photos just in case they need more than one.

Below is a common rule for the photo:

  • Coloured photo taken against a white or neutral grey background
  • Size: 35mm x 45mm, maximum head length: 25mm
  • Head must not be tilted; look directly into the camera with a neutral expression and without smiling
  • Absolutely no eyewear and headgear in any form
  • Image must not have been altered or photoshopped
  • Image must be clear; it must not have kinks, scratches or stains

For more information, here are photo samples and specification guideline from the embassy.


Schengen Visa Application Form

Click the image to download Schengen Visa Application Form


3. Application Form

There is a standard Schengen Visa Application Form which you have to fill out completely. Some embassies allow you to do it online ready for printing while others require you to download the form and fill it out manually by hand. You have to make sure all information are correct and that all information on your other documents match what you’ve written on your application form.

For example, the date of your flight and hotel reservation should match and the length of your travel insurance should cover your entire trip. If there are information discrepancies between your application form and required documents your visa could be denied! I suggest you quadruple check everything before submitting your visa application.

Important note: The application form is completely FREE. If someone ever offers it to you for a fee, RUN!


4. Confirmed Flight Reservation

Confirmed flight reservation is basically a flight reservation that looks like a real flight ticket except it is not yet paid in full and shows your travel itinerary. It should be a return ticket with a PNR (Passenger Registration Number) or booking code. One-way or open-ended tickets are not acceptable and can lead to visa rejection. This is also sometimes called as confirmed flight itinerary, roundtrip airline reservation or dummy flight booking as well.

Embassies ONLY require flight reservation and NOT a fully paid flight ticket unless stated otherwise. Why? Because your Schengen visa might be denied so what will you do with that $1000 flight to Paris? Flush it down the toilet that’s what!

I wrote a detailed guide on how to book a flight reservation for visa application. Read it and don’t book your flights until you get your visa approved!

I get so many emails from readers who are so stupid or misinformed they buy expensive flight tickets and book hotels and tours without their visas and then come crying to me after their visa rejection telling me they have spent so much money on a flight leaving next week what will I do huhuhu. Cry me a river. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be one of them.

You can easily get a flight reservation for your visa application online. Make sure you buy one with a unique booking code which you can verify on the airline website. And make sure your flight dates and application form details match or your visa will be denied! After you get your visa approved then you can book your actual flight tickets.


Sample flight reservation. Click the image to learn how to get one for your visa application.


5. Hotel Reservation or Proof of Accommodation

This document proves where you will be staying during your visit to a Schengen country. There are different ways to show proof of lodging or accommodation depending on your reasons for visiting the Schengen zone:

a. For tourism, you must submit a confirmed hotel reservation. There are many ways to get a hotel reservation or hotel voucher. You can reserve either a hotel or hostel as proof. Yes you can definitely reserve hostels as well if you’re a budget traveller. You can reserve your hotels or hostels online via Booking.com, Hostelworld, directly via the hotel/hostel website or let a travel agency book the hotel reservation for you. Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing is to have an official confirmed hotel reservation reflecting the dates of your trip and the total cost of your accommodation. If your travel dates and reservations don’t match, your visa could be denied! 

b. For visiting family or friends, you must submit a document from your family or friends proving that they live in the area. Usually if you’re applying to visit family and friends, they can get an Official Invitation from the City Hall which also proves their address and that they are a resident in the area (please see requirement 7b below for more info about this). If they are not getting this document, you can submit a copy of their passport and residency ID/permit which usually shows their current address.

c. For business travel, you must provide a letter of invitation from the company in the Schengen country, certificate of employment as well as hotel reservations under your name.


6. Travel Insurance

The international travel insurance has 3 basic requirements:

  • covers the entire period of the person’s intended length of stay in the Schengen zone
  • must be valid for all Schengen countries
  • must have a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros

There are many travel insurance options out there that covers all the listed basic requirement above. Depending on what kind of travel insurance coverage you need and your budget, I highly recommend two companies.

Affordable and good coverage: Care Discover from Care Concept is one of the best and cheapest travel insurance that I always use for my Schengen visa application.It covers the requirements above, it’s refundable if your visa gets denied plus you can easily order it online and have it within minutes. It’s perfect for Schengen visa application. Me, my friends and family have been using it for the last 7 years or so. Best of all, it’s really affordable! For example, 10 days insurance only costs 17 euros and 30 days insurance only costs 45 euros. Click here to check full coverage and cost.

Premium and more extensive coverage: WorldNomads has a great travel insurance and accident coverage. It is highly recommended by companies like Lonely Planet, Eurail and Hostelworld. It’s definitely more expensive than Care Discover but that’s because it covers more things like missed flights, stolen electronics, lost luggage, pre-trip cancellation etc. Click here to check full coverage and cost. Or feel free to get a quote from the widget below:




7. Bank Statement or Proof of Financial Capability

This document is required to prove that you can afford a trip to Europe. It is preferably issued within the last month. The more recent, the better. There are 2 ways to do this. You are either self-funded or have a European sponsor. You need to submit different documents depending on your situation as listed below:

a. If you are self-funded, this means that you will pay your European trip on your own (wow yayamanin!), you must submit an official bank statement from the last 6 months. You can get this from your bank. Your bank statement should show sufficient amount of money to cover your expected expenses during the trip. “Sufficient amount” is debatable. You might have read other websites or blogs telling you that you need a lot of money to have your visa approved. It’s NOT true. You do not need 1 million pesos or 20,000 euros in your bank account to guarantee visa approval.

Each European embassy has a different requirement for the total amount you need for your visit. For example, German embassy requires 45 euros per day while Netherlands embassy requires 34 euros per day. Please check the embassy website for the most current daily budget requirement.

b. If you have a sponsor, you have to submit an Official Invitation Letter or an Official Sponsorship Certificate from your sponsor. It is called by different names for each embassy but it’s the same document. For example, in German embassy they call it Verpflichtungserklärung and in French embassy they call it Attestation d’accueil.

Usually your sponsor can easily apply for this document at the City Hall where he/she lives. He/She can get it within the same day for a small fee depending on the city and country. Your sponsor needs to send you the original copy before your visa interview. Send it express via FedEx or DHL so you can get it ASAP. Other embassies also require you to submit a birth certificate or marriage certificate etc to prove the identity of your sponsor.

Important note: if you have a sponsor, you DO NOT need to submit your bank statement. The sponsorship is already enough to prove your financial capability.

Can my European friend’s/boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s mother or father sponsor me? Yes that’s possible. If your European friend/lover is still a student or has no full-time job, his or her parent can be your sponsor as long as you can prove that he/she is the parent and that you have corresponded with them via email or Skype etc before.


8. Occupation or Proof of Rootedness

These documents are required to prove that you will come back and have no plans to be an illegal immigrant. This is probably one of the most important requirements for Schengen visa application. A lot of visa applicants get denied because of failing to submit the proper documents for this requirement.

There are different ways to prove this depending on your current situation. You are either employed by a company, own a business, studying as a student or you’re a minor. You need to submit different documents depending on your situation as enumerated below:

a. If you’re employed:

  • Certificate of Employment – you can get this from your HR office. It should be official with your company logo. It usually states your position in the company as well as your salary per month.
  • Income Tax Return or Pay Slips – you can get this from the tax office in your country. It is usually processed by HR as well if you work for a company. If you are new to the job and don’t have an ITR yet you can ask HR to provide you with monthly pay slips and show this as proof instead.
  • Authorised Leave of Absence – this MUST be signed by your boss or HR and should officially come from your office. I’m pretty sure your company has a template for this document as it is usually needed by employees. If not, you can create one yourself with your company logo and ask your boss to sign it. Note that the embassy can call your company to confirm your leave. And it is very important that this document is SIGNED by someone in your company to confirm that you are allowed to go on a leave. Failure to provide a signed leave of absence can lead to visa rejection.

b. If you own a business:

  • Business registration and permits – to show proof that your business exists; example documents are DTI permit, Mayor’s Permit, SEC or BIR registration etc whichever is applicable in your home country
  • Income Tax Return – to show proof of the commercial activity of your business
  • Business Financial Statements – to show proof of your business earnings and cashflow

c. If you’re a student:

  • Certificate of Enrolment – your enrolment form which you usually have if you’re a student
  • School or university certificate – you can get this from your school or university registrar
  • Letter of exemption from studies or leave of absence IF you are traveling during the school year – you can request this from your College or Registrar as well

d. If you’re a minor:

  • Certified birth certificate of the minor
  • Affidavit of Support and Consent of parents or legal guardian
  • Copy of passport of parents or legal guardian
  • Proof of economic means of parents or legal guardian

e. Additional/optional documents

Here are some additional documents you can submit which some European embassies accept as proof of rootedness

  • Copy of real estate property – title deed if relevant; this is to prove that you own a house, land or property in your home country
  • Copy of marriage certificate – this is to prove that you are married or have family ties in your home country


9. Schengen Visa Fee

The appropriate fees payable in the form preferred by the embassy at which you apply. At the time of writing, the visa fee for adults is 60 euros or converted to your local currency at the current exchange rate. This is usually paid in cash and it is not refundable even if your visa is denied. It’s like a service fee for processing your visa. Please check the embassy website for the current visa fee cost and payment method. Sample visa fees varies depending on your age:

  • Children up to 6 years no fee
  • Children from 6 to 12 years € 35
  • Applicants older than 12 years € 60


Additional Visa Requirements

As I’ve said in the beginning, the requirements for Schengen visa application is pretty standard but may have slightly different requirements.

10. Cover letter

Cover letter is one of those additional requirements. Some embassies like the French embassy requires it. A cover letter is a letter addressed to the embassy that summarises the purpose of your trip and includes the dates of your trip, the cities or countries you are visiting as well as your corresponding plans for accommodation and transportation. This should be short and concise because the visa agent does not have all the time in the world to read a novel about your travel plans. They just want to know your general travel plans and purposes for visiting.


11. Travel Itinerary

When required the embassy usually wants to see a detailed day-to-day itinerary for your entire trip. This is usually included with the cover letter as well. You can easily create a tabulated day-to-day itinerary showing the dates of travel, location and tourist spots or travel plans that day. The clearer your itinerary is, the better. Don’t make it too complicated. Not only Schengen embassies require this though.


12. Marriage contract and birth certificates

If you are traveling as a family with your spouse and/or children you need to submit these as well to show proof that you are indeed related.


Note: Check the embassy website where you are planning to apply for the most specific list of requirements.

If you have any questions, please comment below. Good luck on your visa application!

DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do YOU think?

15 Responses to “Schengen Visa Application Requirements: The Complete List” Subscribe

  1. Marjorir December 28, 2017 at 1:57 PM #

    Hello DJ Yabis! What will I do if the payslip of my sponsor is jot in English? I will be going to Poland and it says on the jnstructions that all docs should be in English, spanish

  2. Berna October 23, 2017 at 1:03 PM #

    I always read your article about applying a visa and it’s very helpful, this one is very detailed. You answer my question about the ITR because I’m very confused I’m new in my company and they can’t provide ITR yet. So now I can say that I can juat show the payslip. Then my big question is do I need the original invitation letter from my sponsor? Because he ia planning just to email it. But upon reading this., I think I need the original. Then I’m still married here and I have a son. Do you think it will help me to prove that I will come back here and no plan to stay and get married. But we ate seperated 10 years ago, on process pa ang annulment, please advise me or give some tips, I will have my inteeview soon.. And I really appreciate if you will answer and at least give me some advise.. Thank you so much for sharing this. God bless

    • DJ Yabis November 3, 2017 at 3:13 AM #

      You need the original. Yes you can show your marriage and proof you have a son.

  3. carla October 2, 2017 at 4:44 AM #

    Hi sir, You think there is a chance that my visa will get approve if the brother of my boyfriend will be the one who will invite me? because my Boyfriend don’t have stable job now. for 5 months now .. you think its ok if his brother will invite me? i dont meet his brother yet in real. thank you

    • DJ Yabis October 2, 2017 at 4:50 AM #

      Yes his brother can invite you

  4. Janet September 27, 2017 at 9:29 AM #

    omg . All of this requirements is i submit but the consulate is my visa is refuse . Only tourist .ayaw kc maniwla na bbalik ako ng pinas .
    anu ba dpt ibigay na isagot sakanila at higit sa lahat bakit hnd refunded ang visa fee once denied or refuse?

    • DJ Yabis September 28, 2017 at 12:51 PM #

      You should appeal or re-apply in another embassy if you have complete documents. It’s a processing fee so it’s not refundable.

      • janet September 28, 2017 at 11:45 PM #

        Yes . I do this appeal in consulate but we regret my appeal is considerate refuse . the same reason give in my refusing .
        Its so pathetic . Kaya pala yumayaman ang mga yan dahil kinkurakot nila at nabbgay sila ng dhlan ng hnd tama . May batas ba sa visa fee na hnd refunded?kung hnd nmn kc nila paalisin o bbgyan ng visa ang applicant san hnd na nila pinagbbyad ito . KORAKOT ANG EMBASSY OF SPAIN

        • DJ Yabis October 2, 2017 at 4:59 AM #

          just re-apply in another embassy with complete documents

          • Rl October 6, 2017 at 7:06 AM #

            Hi sir can i ask a question ?? My mom get refuse last week for getting a italy visa ?? Is it possible that she can apply anytime 🙂 shes there in dubai now

            • DJ Yabis October 9, 2017 at 2:54 AM #

              Yes she can re-apply again anytime

        • elizabeth francisco December 12, 2017 at 6:35 PM #

          haha just re-apply janet…ur not alone me too i was rejected i appealed but still rejected

    • Luoie October 12, 2017 at 5:10 PM #

      Yes so do i they refuse mine too i dont know why all my doc are completed and my sponsor tapos ung sponson sakin very closed rro mine my couzin amd my aunt..

      • Luoei October 12, 2017 at 5:21 PM #

        My chance po ba sakin kong mag gamit ng remonstrance letter kahit or kahit d mag apply ulit ng shenzen visa any advice po..

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