As a traveler we all have a dream to visit Europe some day & we save a lot of money for that because to travel in Europe is so expensive. We could get a bunk bed in a backpacker hostel in INDIA on an average 350/- but in Europe its always greater than 900/- per bunk & average price is 1200/-. So in Europe everything is expensive from food to stay & transportation. As like other travelers i also wanted to visit Europe. It was my dream to visit Europe one day.
If you want to explore any country in Europe then most of the countries who is part of EU (European Union) provide a specific type of visa called ‘Schengen Visa’ . After getting Schengen Visa you can travel freely any of these 26 countries. But for some countries who is not a part of Schengen like Ukraine , you have to get separate visa for them.
If you are planning to visit multiple countries in a single journey in Europe then you have to apply from the country where you gonna spent most number of days of your journey (Higher number of days stay in a country). Suppose, in your itinerary there are 2-3 countries in which you gonna stay equal number of day then you have to apply to the country embassy in which you gonna enter first.
In INDIA, VFS & BLS looking over the applications for Schengen visa to country specific. For example if you want to apply for germany then you have to apply from VFS & if you want to apply for Spain then you should have to submit your application at BLS.
Now I comes to my Schengen Visa Application to which i applied from Denmark Embassy to visit Iceland.
It’s October 2015 , when i saved a good amount of money for my lifetime first international trip. I desperately wanted to visit Europe because for us being as an Indians, European/western culture always attract us & their architecture is mind blowing as always. So i just started to research over European country to choose from where i should start my International journey. While researching for Europe, i just got stuck over a beautiful picture. The picture showing green lights in a dark sky. It’s looks awesome. After some googling i get to know that these lights called ‘Northern Lights’ ( Aurora Borealis) & its visible in those all countries which is near to Northern pole like Iceland, Norway, Sweden & some other countries in winter time when Nights are longer than day time.
So i immediate finalize my location , ie: Iceland. I found many more interesting places & activities to do in Iceland like Chasing Northern Lights, Exploring Ice caves, Blue lagoon , Black beach , Crashed plane site etc. I added Netherlands, Belgium & France with this 15 days itinerary in which 7 Nights In Iceland, 3 Night in Amsterdam, 2 night in Brussels & 3 Nights in Paris. I did a lot of research ,day night & finally after one month i was ready with my itinerary.
In Schengen Visa, You have to provide day by day itinerary & all confirmed bookings. So it was necessary to do proper research even for how you gonna move between the cities, what will be the mode of transport etc etc.
Here i am listing what basic documents you required for Schengen Visa application whether the requirement got changed by the country to which you want to apply.
- Confirmed Return Air tickets Itinerary
- Confirmed Accommodation for every night
- Visa Application form
- Covering letter mentioning your purpose of visit
- Detailed Itinerary
- 3/6 months bank statement
- ITR for last 3 years
- Salary slips
- Appointment & NOC letter from company where you are working
- Travel Insurance with minimum coverage of 30,000 Euro.
So as i gonna spend most of my time in Iceland so i had to apply from Iceland but in INDIA there is no Iceland embassy so all the application for the Iceland looking after by Denmark embassy.
So for the application submission , i made an account at VFS website & took an appointment for the document submissions. I reached at VFS centre in Delhi on proposed date, i got a token number. I gave my documents to the lady at the counter,she checked my all documents as per the list & requirement by the embassy , made a file & give me a slip to make the payment at the cash counter & gave the room number for the bio metric verification. I paid Visa+VFS service charge approx 6500/- INR. It will take 1 hour to complete the process. After the submission you will get a file reference number & you can check the status of your file at VFS website.
After 3 days, i received a call from Denmark embassy they asked basic questions about me like what you do right now, why you select iceland for your visit etc etc. It was good at my side. After 2 days, i again received a call from the embassy ,they asked to come to the embassy on a specific date with all my documents. I reached Denmark embassy at 9 AM. I got token no. 3. You have to submit your mobile phone & everything as security gate,only documents allowed.
It was a small room with 3 window. i could saw a visitor girl, she suppose to go to Denmark for study & called for interview by embassy. There was a danish guy at other side of glass window with a computer,micro phone. I was very nervous & waiting for my turn. I was not so good in english as well. After half an hour at another window , an indian guy came & announce my name on speaker. I just went to his counter. He checked every document i submitted. Then my interview got start:
- What is your complete name.
- Where are you working
- What is your annual income
- Who all in your family
- What every person do in your family
- Is any of blood relative living outside of INDIA
- Where all you been outside of INDIA
- Why you want to visit Iceland
- There are many other countries but why Iceland
- What things attract you in iceland
- And one last question i think it was the reason why they refused my application ( Check last sentence of this blog).
So at the final he tooks the print out of my reply over his question and asked me to sign on that paper.
I was happy after interview as i didn’t knew that what gonna happen. I was true at my side. I really want to explore Europe but Schengen countries are vehry strict. They just thought what would happen if anybody visit their country & never come back.
So after interview , i used to check VFS website at 10 times per hour just to check status of my application & finally after 3 days i saw ‘ Decision was taken,collect your passport’.
I was very happy & very nervous at the same time. I reached VFS Passport collection counter ,gave them my payment receipt. They gave me an envelope. I just opened it, i found my passport inside with some letters. I Checked my passport & its all empty. I checked documents but i didn’t get anything. I was so confused. I just went to the same counter & ask them to please check where is my Visa & they said ,’Sir, Your visa got refused. This is your refusal Stamp’. I was shocked to hear this. I didn’t expect that this could happen with me. I provide every single document as required. I had everything then why so. I was totally in shocked condition. I reached my office back. My colleague asked me ,’Raman, What happen with your Visa?’. I just replied accordingly. In Night , when i was alone, i realized , Raman, Your Dream got broken . You are not going Europe now. I was totally broken at the same time.
I loss approx 30,000 INR for the cancellation of flight tickets & other expanses like visa fee, insurance fee. I already bought a DSLR specially for my upcoming trip to Europe. But all efforts got wasted.
It happens in life when many things you can’t achieve so easily. Failure is best teacher in the world. I just said myself ,’ When you didn’t get your passport on your first attempt than how could you be so positive about your Visa’.
I discuss this point with many travelers & travel agents, i got some points from them:
- Its hard to get Schengen Visa without any travel history
- Its hard for a young & single solo boy/girl
- You have to show bank balance minimum 5 Lacs
- You have to write your cover letter strongly
So that’s all my personal experience. If you think its helpful share it. If you have any query comment it.
Raman, You are Saying that you are a traveler but you never been to even any of Asian Country ????????