Schengen visa through German Embassy
In January this year I went officially on sabbatical from my day job due to personal reasons. It has been around 13 years that I have been working as a software engineer for a MNC. By end of June circumstances were such that I had to tender my resignation. Since my sabbatical along with the task of taking care of family and kids I have managed to make a small presence in the freelancing print world. My articles have been published (read them here) in some of India’s leading tabloids and magazines.
Also read: Dakshin Kannada
The shift wasn’t easy but it sure did give me time for myself and family. Few trips to Dakshin Kannada, Uttarakhand, Goa , Coorg , Kannur were also made. I was invited by travel companies, tourism boards in these travels that stoked me and also boosted my confidence. Though not grand as other well established travel bloggers I managed to take baby steps in this area. Recently I attempted a blogging contest conducted by Lufthansa Airlines in association with Indiblogger. The prize was a return ticket to Germany. The lure to travel to Europe was promising and I gave an attempt (The sheer pleasure of more) which fortunately clicked.
Also read: Zooming through Coorg
Having secured the prize I started working on my itinerary and visa. Initially Germany was all that was in the plate but later Austria Tourism happened and I added a little more to it with Czech Republic piled upon. With the itinerary having been fixed I needed to secure a Schengen visa for entry into Europe. Schengen visa gives the traveler the benefit of travelling to any/all of the 26 countries that are its member. One needn’t apply for individual visas thus saving on money and time. It is beneficial for a person like me who is interested to visit multiple countries when in the Europe zone.
Also read: Goa’s spice garden
In 2007 when I had traveled to Paris with my husband (who was on official visit) his travel desk had taken care of all the formalities required to secure a visa. This time around I decided to work on it single-handed. As my entry and exit port would be Germany I decided to apply for the visa at the German Embassy. Schengen visa requires a long list of documents that need to be submitted along with the application form. I submitted my visa application in the VFS office located at Pune.
Schengen Visa documents
Details of the documents required for a tourist Schengen visa is
- Valid Passport with at least 3 months validity and 2 blank pages
- Application Form (fill online) and Declaration signed
- Travel Health Insurance
- Personal Covering Letter
- Leave Letter if working for a company
- Invitation Letter
- Flight Ticket (to and fro)
- Accommodation proof
- Proof of financial status – ITR (3 years), pay slips and bank statement (3 months)
- Marriage certificate and birth certificate of children
- 2 Passport size photographs
You can find a user document with details on how each field needs to be filled in the online form here. The officials in the embassy are available to answer your queries either through online chat or by phone. Select the jurisdiction in the VFS web site and click on Contact Us for further details.
Also read: Solo Travel
Schengen Visa fees
The visa fees was INR 5389 without courier charges. One can avail the courier facility or opt for pick up in person. I opted for the pick up in person option which requires you to carry the receipt of the visa fees and an ID proof issued by the government.
Schengen Visa status tracking
You can track the visa process by logging onto their web site with the Tracking ID provided in the receipt.
Schengen Visa Stamping Time Duration
It took around 3 days for the passport to be stamped despite the fact that the website www.vfs-germany.co.in states their SLA is 15 days.
Despite the long list of documents required to process the Schengen visa it isn’t a herculean task and once the nitty gritties are understood it is a cake walk.
Join me on my travels and please do drop suggestions on the must visits in Germany, Austria and Czech Republic I am always looking forward to them.