If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you might know that Schengen visa is the only visa that lets you travel to more than one European country without having multiple visas. While applying for the Schengen visa, you’ll be required to arrange for a Schengen visa interview, regardless of which Schengen country you plan to visit.
A Schengen visa is a common visa for 26 European countries that have signed the Schengen agreement to remove all the internal border restrictions. It allows you to travel to any Schengen country with a single Schengen visa. Hence the procedures of obtaining a Schengen visa, especially the Schengen visa interview, is a bit stricter than most other visa application procedures.
A Schengen visa interview is not merely a meeting to hand over your documents. It is intended for a communication between the applicant and the diplomatic office. You’ll be expected to answer all the queries that the Immigration Officer representing the diplomatic office has. It is for the Embassy to ensure that you are an eligible applicant. Also, it is good to know that, in order to make sure that the candidate is worth a Schengen visa, the questions can be even personal and not strictly regarding the documents you provide.
If you’re even a little bit confused about your scheduled Schengen visa interview, here is all the information you need to prepare for a Schengen visa interview:
How to schedule a Schengen visa interview?
To get yourself a Schengen visa, you have to, first, collect some important documents and proofs. Here are some important tips regarding the documents that need to be collected:
1. You need to fill out an application form for the visa. You can obtain the form online or from the concerned Embassy/Diplomatic office. Make sure that all the blanks are filled with correct information.
2. Along with the application form, you need to attach mandatory documents like your original passport, passport sized photos, flight tickets, covering letter, travel medical insurance, and accommodation details.
3. Although mandatory requirements for all the Schengen visas are the same, you’ll be asked to submit additional documents along with the application form. Since every Schengen country requires different supporting documents, make sure you’ve read the instructions carefully and gather all the additional certificates. The most commonly asked additional documents are proof of financial subsistence, permanent address details, marriage certificate if married, birth certificate, and a no objection letter from the employer.
4. Double-check if you meet all the requirements and make sure that all the certificates you provide are authentic. If you fail to present the valid documents, there are high chances that your visa gets delayed or even refused.
5. When you’ve completed all the paperwork, arrange all the documents in order, starting with the application form as the first document. Enclose all the certificates in an envelope and write down your name, address and contact phone number on the top of the envelope.
6. Once you’re done with the documentation, you can submit the visa application fee online directly or even via money orders. Obtain the details about the visa fee for the country you’re planning to visit by checking out our website or the website of the Embassy of that country.
7. You need to book an appointment for the visa interview after paying the fee. We recommend that you make the appointment for the interview at least 15 days prior to your departure. This is because, there are chances that the document verification could take more than 15 days. You can even apply 12 weeks before your travel, giving ample time for revisions or re-applying in case the previous one is rejected.
8. Go through all the documents thoroughly before you submit, as most of the questions at the interview can be focused on your documents. Ensure that you’re aware of all the details that you’ve provided, including the important dates.
How to prepare for the visa interview?
It is the Schengen visa interview that ultimately decides whether you get a Schengen visa or not. So if you’ve finalized your trip, prepare well for the interview. Study the details that you’ve provided and give your best at the interview. Since the interviewers are representatives of the diplomatic office, they have the authority to reject your visa application if they find that you uncooperative. They are trained to detect hesitation and unwillingness to reply. So, it is important to be gentle, calm, composed, and relaxed while answering.
You have nothing to worry about if you have provided all the requirements with complete honesty. The easiest way to attend an interview is by treating it as a regular conversation. However, you need to ensure that you provide the answers to all the questions asked, regardless of how personal or off-topic it may seem.
Be confident. Act candid by having a smile on your face and being courteous. Be honest with the interviewer even if you don’t know how to answer certain questions, as they are just doing their job by tracing the illegal applications.
Give precise and appropriate answers truthfully to the best of your knowledge. Consider all the questions positive and don’t reply with more information than what is necessary. Stick to your point and give the interviewer a satisfactory answer to all the questions.
Commonly made mistakes during a Schengen visa interview
The Schengen visa interview is one of the most important procedures in the Schengen visa application procedures. So, giving the interview board a good impression by presenting yourself properly during the interview is extremely important. There are some mistakes that must be avoided at any cost during the visa interview, so that it does not get your visa rejected or delayed. Here are some of them:
1. Arriving Late: While registering for the interview, the venue, date, and time will be given by the consulate or the embassy. If you fail to reach the office on time, it will give the interviewer a bad impression. So, try to reach at least 30 minutes prior to the interview.
2. Incorrect answers: Another important factor that decides whether you get your visa approved is your knowledge of the information you provide. You must be prepared to answer all the questions genuinely. Giving inappropriate answers is also not advisable. Try not to skip questions.
3. Giving bogus information: In case you don’t know the answer to a particular question, we recommend that you reply frankly that you don’t know. It’s better to pass the question than bluffing about something that you don’t know. Lying about your proofs or personal data is not preferable since the diplomatic office has sources to enquire about your complete history.
4. Bad dressing: Since the first impression is the best impression, you must be dressed well and look decent while appearing for the interview. Also, keep an eye contact with the interviewers during the meeting to show that you’re confident. Try not to be nervous while answering the questions.
5. Invalid documents: Providing invalid documents as well as unnecessary information must be avoided. Likewise, try to provide all the required documents without failure.
6. Arguing: Another important thing to avoid is arguing with the officials. Whatever the question be or however provoking it may seem, arguing with the officers will make the procedures tough.
Generally, the questions you need to expect the most would be regarding the countries you plan to visit, details about family friends living in a Schengen country (if any), the purpose of your visit, information about your family, or details about your marriage. So, it is all a matter of how genuinely you provide the answers for these questions.
We understand that the Schengen visa interview could be a little nerve-racking. However, you don’t have to worry anymore, as we’re here to help you out! In case you need any assistance regarding preparing for the interview or selecting your package for the flight reservation or hotel reservation for visa, you can always contact us. Our representatives will get in touch with you soon! You can also find more details about the Tourist Schengen visa here.