Things to Keep in Mind when Travelling to a Schengen Country
As many as 10 million Indians travel to Europe every year and the number is only increasing every day. With increasing Indian tourism in Europe, India is one of the most important countries for them. And if you are planning to visit any of the European countries, you need a Schengen Visa. Schengen visas have made travelling to European countries so much easier for travelers as they are no longer required to obtain multiple tourist visas to visit different countries. Currently, there are 26 member states that need Schengen Visa to travel.
Alphabetically, the list of Schengen states is
Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Different Types of Schengen Visa
For tourism purposes, you will need to apply for a short-term Schengen tourist visa. You can opt fora single-entry or multiple-entry visa depending upon your travel needs. The validity of a multiple entry visa is up to 3 months. Given that you can visit multiple countries with one visa, you should apply to the embassy/consulate of the country where you are planning to stay for the longest period.
The list of documents required for Schengen visa is not very different from what you would need for any other visa. In addition to filled application forms, you will need passport size photos, passport, the purpose of visit letter, flight tickets, travel insurance, etc. Depending upon the country you are visiting, there might be some addition/changes to the list of documents.
Visa Fees and Acceptance
Getting a Schengen tourist visa is not very difficult for Indian travelers. If all your documents are correct, chances are high that you will be given a visa within 2 working weeks. The visa fee for the same is around INR 6000. However, if for some reason your visa is denied, all your documents including passport will be duly returned to you.
Importance of Travel Insurance While Travelling to Schengen Country
Anyone applying for Schengen visa must have a valid travel insurance, without which their visa will not be approved. And not just any insurance, you need to have an adequate travel medical insurance policy that fulfils certain requirements. The travel insurance:
- Must be valid for up to 3 months or 6 months, depending upon your visa duration
- Must cover your stay or transit in the Schengen area during that period
- Must cover you in all the Schengen countries
- Must have minimum coverage amount of up to EUR 30,000 with zero deductibles
In addition to the above features, the travel insurance must pay for your loss of baggage, loss of important documents like passports, etc, medical emergency, the return of mortal remains in case of death, and medical evacuations.
In addition, it is also required that you include a letter from your insurance company mentioning that they are ready to meet the following requirements once your visa is approved. Most insurance companies know about this and they have a standard template they follow while providing such a letter to the insured.
Note that although the minimum coverage amount for your travel insurance is EUR 30,000, it is recommended to get it for a higher value. When you are travelling to multiple European countries, you might be subjected to various unforeseen risks, and hence it makes sense to have as much coverage as you can afford to. Check up on add-on covers as well, if you suffer from preexisting diseases or are planning to participate in adventure sports.