Spain:Schengen Visa,How To

5.31.2014 Madrid, Spain

It was my first time in any European Country.Of course,I was a little nervous. Didn't know if my documents were in place, if I was smiling a little by mistake in the photo ,if I did the right thing applying on my own.Questions like if the visa gets rejected made me have butterflies in my stomach.

To Read Previous Post on Spain : Hola From Spain

Founded in pre-historic times,Ronda in #Spain is an ideal place for lovers of history and art

That's the worst that can happen isn't it , after everything is planned.After doing my much intended research online,I came to a conclusion,the best way is to go for what Vfs Spain says. Vfs Spain is the most organized online site I have ever seen - they state everything starting from the documents required,to a detailed checklist which you need to fill up which ensures from your side that you have done what needs to be done plus list of authorized Travel insurance companies.

Talking of Travel Insurance.Yes,travel insurance is compulsory for travelling to Spain.You would ask me what exactly is that.Many of my friends have asked me from where to obtain it.I was in the same dilemma a few days back .At one point of time,I was so confused that I thought the amount of Euro 30,000 mentioned should be the amount my bank contains(Really ! And the thought that even if I earn my lifetime I wouldn't be able to have so much. It also made me think the ones who travel Europe must be super rich to be able to afford so.Or Honeymooners.But hey having heard of backpackers,I thought there must be something it says which I don't understand).Ignorant of insurance or how to obtain it after the recent rejections by non - compliant insurance agencies as per Schengen rules,I decided to give a call to Centrum - The place from where I get my currency exchanged - Usually.Its very convenient,the folks are very helpful too.They said they have two schemes one by Future Generalli and another by Reliance.They suggested me to go for Future Generalli. The amount euro 30,000 is for coverage of any mishaps ,illness etc happening during your travel,and it entails a meager amount of Rs 900 from our end , the rates depending on your days of travel and the scheme you choose.As per Spain Schengen,the scheme you choose should be valid for 15 more days than your days of travel,hence I chose the bracket 25-30 days of Future Generalli. You can also choose reliance travel insurance online which is easy to get.The next time travelers plan a visit to Europe, they will have to ensure that their travel insurance policy is valid. If not, their visa is likely to be cancelled at the last minute,so better choose from the valid ones mentioned on the website.

Another question which I had when I was applying for the Schengen Visa was how do we obtain a Single Entry or a Multiple Entry Visa?The visa granted is usually by the Consulate depending on your places of travel in Europe - you also have a option to choose in the Application Form(however the approval of Single or Multiple totally depends on the Consulate).As per rules,the country you apply for should be the country as your first port of entry or the country where you are travelling for maximum number of days.For me,Zurich was my first port of entry however I was spending the maximum number of Days in Spain.The rules are

  • It should be the Main Destination.
  • The Country related with the main purpose of travel.
  • The Country with maximum period of stay.
  • State of first entry.
A single entry visa doesn't mean that you cannot travel within several European countries.It means that once you have left the Schengen Area,you would have to reapply again for the visa to be able to enter again.Luckily I got Multiple Entry Schengen Visa,for just in case :) . Schengen visa has many benefits - with a valid Schengen Visa - you can apply for Turkey e-visa.

It takes around a week to process it from Spain Mumbai Consulate(for South Region) and three weeks for Spain Delhi Embassy(North).It usually says that keep three weeks in hand before applying for visa. Vfs helps a lot when you submit the documents suggesting what are the things which are not required to what are which are required.In fact,things are so much in order,that you wouldn't require a middle man if at all.You can also consult them by phone or by interacting them in person using the inquiry facility at the venue.However,vfs doesn't grant you visa.It is a place where you submit all your documentation.

It's interesting to be in #Spain
For Spain has influence of Romans,Jews,Arabs and Christians

Tourist Visa : This category of visa caters for people wishing to stay in Spain for a period maximum 3 months and may be applied if the person does not have a guarantor in Spain and buys a tour in a travel agency, or make a booking of tickets and hotel.

The Tourist Visa fees is 5080 + 1693(vfs charge) + 350(courier charges)

The following documentation are required for the visa,please click here for more details

  • Passport of the applicant with at least two blank pages, which should be valid for at least three months after the duration of intended stay. This document should have been issued in the last ten (10) years. Photocopy of all the pages of the present passport must be submitted./*Please note that if you have a passport which is issued for more than 10 years,you might have to apply for a new passport for the visa,some people I know have faced this issue with the current criteria of Schengen Visa*/
  • Submission of all old passports is mandatory. In case if applicant has lost old passport then he/she can submit copy of complaint lodged with Police or for any other reason of not submitting it he/she can provide a covering letter mentioning the reason for the same.
  • Original Application form for Schengen Visa duly filled in and signed by the applicant in blue ball point ink. 2 recent photographs (35-45 mm) of the applicant with white background must be attached in the application form(click here for Photo Specifications). The application form must be correctly filled, facilitating all the possible information requested in the form including postal address, email address and telephone number. /* The vfs has a photo booth and pictures can be easily taken when at venue ) */
  • "Checklist " needs to be duly filled in by the Applicant/Travel Agent/Authorized representative and needs to submitted along with the Visa Application. 
  • Sworn Declaration is mandatory to be provided along Visa Application form at the time of submission.
  • Covering letter from the applicant, explaining in detail the purpose of the visit.
  • For tourism purpose - 
  1.  Hotel bookings for the entire duration of stay. 
  2.  Travel itinerary for the entire duration of stay.
  3.  Flight Bookings
  • Photocopy of the applicant’s PAN card.
  • Original bank statements of the applicant for last three months, with the original stamp and signature of authorized signatory of the bank (Online Bank statements are not acceptable).This is a mandatory statement.
  • Personal Income tax returns for the last three years.
  • Salary slips for last six months.
  • Proof of travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros to cover any expense which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and /or emergency hospital treatment. The insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Member States. The duration of the insurance cover must include the entire period of stay and additionally fifteen days more after the proposed date of departure out of the Schengen territory.
  • Authorization form signed in original by the applicant, in favor of VFS (/* The Authorization Form is different for Mumbai and Delhi,hence check the website for more details */)
That's it about the visa process,a lot of information is available online on VFS. Visas are no longer a big deal.

The Art Of Splitting Money

I wrote it in my previous posts.I write it again.Travelling can be fairly expensive if you do not know how to manage money.So usually I split the money I convert to half - half in hard cash and half in Travel Card.Travel Card saves you from carrying all the hard cash with you - its as simple as using the debit card without incurring the extra fees which otherwise if we use the debit card abroad will have to pay in shops or taxis.However checking balance with the Travel Card at any foreign atm can be an expensive affair - they usually give you online passwords to check balance and its the best way without the extra cost.It also can be a backup plan if you run out of cash,your near and dear ones can add onto your travel card.The best way to exchange money is in the city center of a place.Not Airports any day. Either change it from here or change it there.

What I learnt,yet Again!

To be easy with my luggage.After being on move from Spain to Switzerland,my bag was so heavy that I could barely carry.What I didn't know was Europe is about long walks usually.Be it walking from the hotel to be it walking in the midnight.Also,since my ticket was to Bangalore the next day,after landing in Bombay,and since Indigo permitted 15 kgs of luggage,I almost felt like a fool.After having escaped the International Airport with 20 kgs of luggage,in India was where I got stuck.So be easy with your luggage,it helps ;)

Also,carry one set of clothes and essentials in your carry on.Just in case,if your check in luggage arrives late.Carry all your electronics with you.

Your tweets are important.Much love :)

In next blog posts I take you to my candid experience with this merryland - hope you enjoy!


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