Schengen Business Visa Requirements and Process
With numerous companies and industries, Europe is a popular destination for entrepreneurs from all across the globe. And this has been further aided by the creation of the Schengen area, which is the largest free travel area in the world.
Signed on 14th June 1985, the Schengen Agreement is a legal treaty that eliminated national borders to participating countries. Today, the Schengen Area is Europe’s most important borderless zone, featuring 22 European Union member countries as well as 4 non-EU countries. It is worth noting that all the member states act as a single jurisdiction for visas globally.
The Schengen Area’s 26 member states include some of the globe’s wealthiest nations and altogether is a huge market in which to trade your goods or services. However, to legally conduct any form of business in the Schengen area, you will need a valid Schengen business visa.
A Schengen business visa is a document that grants you the freedom to travel to the Schengen Area countries for business-related activities. It necessary for citizens of countries with mandatory Schengen visa requirements to travel to Europe, and who intend to travel to the Schengen Area with a single purpose of engaging in business.
So, how do you acquire a Schengen Business Visa?
Generally, the application process for a Schengen Business Visa is pretty much similar to that of a tourist visa. And this implies that you must make an application to either the embassy, consulate of that particular Schengen Area country you intend to visit, or a visa application center. And while both the documentation and other requirements will be the same, you will have to show a few documents as well as information to verify your business visit.
Where should you acquire your Schengen Business Visa?
As already explained, you will need to submit your application at the embassy or consulate or the visa application center. All these options will offer you the possibility to make your first application online before your planned in-person interview. It is worth noting that if you intend to visit at least two Schengen Area countries, you need to make an application to the country where you will spend a significant amount of time. On the other hand, if you will be spending equal amounts of time in the countries you are visiting, then your business visa application should be made to the country you’ll visit first.
Following the submission of your application, you will thereafter schedule an appointment for your visa interview. You will need to provide hard copies of the various documents that support your application.
What documents are needed when making an application for a Schengen Area Business Visa?
Below are the vital documents that you must submit when applying for a Schengen Business Visa:
A valid and fully filled and signed visa application form.
Your two most recent passport photos.
A valid passport with at least 3 months left before its expiry date.
An itinerary of your journey, including flight numbers, dates, proof of accommodation, and hotel reservations, among others. The idea is to show in detail when you plan to visit the Schengen Area country, where you intend to stay, and what you’ll be doing.
Older passports featuring past visas, if at all you have them.
What is the cost of acquiring a Schengen Business Visa?
Besides the above-described requirements, you’ll also have to show proof of visa application payment. In this regard, the fee is EUR 80 for adults and EUR 40 for children.
What other document do you need to provide when making an application for a Schengen Area business visa?
It is imperative to note that you will also show proof of your finances. And this implies that you will need to provide sufficient evidence that you have enough funds to sustain yourself while on your business trip. In this respect, you will have to provide a bank statement that is not older than 3 months or a valid letter of sponsorship if your trip is being sponsored by another individual. In this case, you will have to provide your sponsor’s bank statement. Of course, you can provide the two documents to verify your financial status.
What’s more, if you are traveling on behalf of your company, you will also be required to provide a letter from your employer that describes the reason behind your visitation. On the other hand, if you have been invited by a company in the Schengen Area country, you will be required to provide an invitation letter describing the reasons behind your visitation. This is usually sent through email to the consulate of the Schengen country you intend to move to. What’s more, you will have to provide a valid job contract offer, a bank statement showing the last 6 months of your transactions, your employer’s approval as well as an income tax return.
If you are a self-employed individual, you will be needed to provide a valid business license, your tax return as well as your firm’s last six bank statements.
Where should you submit your business visa application?
If you intend to do business in only one country of the Schengen member states, then you simply have to make your application at the embassy or consulate of that country. On the other hand, if you are planning to visit at least two countries inside the Schengen area, you have to submit your visa application at the embassy of the country where you’ll spend more time. Finally, if you intend to spend an equal amount of time in more than two Schengen area countries, then you should apply at the embassy of the country where you’ll land first!
What is the best time to make my Schengen Area Business visa application?
The earliest time to submit your application is 90 days (3 months) before your planned visit and the latest is 15 days before your planned travel. In general, you should make your application at least 21 days before your trip!
How long is a Schengen Area Business Visa valid for?
Usually, the validity of a business visa for the Schengen Area depends on its type. In this regard, a multiple-entry business visa allows you to freely enter and vacate the Schengen areas numerous times. Single, as well as double-entry holders, must wait for the embassy they have submitted their applications to decide on the validity of those visas. Sometimes you may be issued a visa for the duration you have sought, and sometimes for a shorter or extended amount of time.
It is imperative to note that if you have been allowed to stay for 3 months, you MUST not stay in the Schengen zone for more than 3 months in every 6-month period!
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Whether you are looking for the best Schengen visa advice or help with Schengen visa application for whatever type of Schengen Area visa, you can always rely on unmatched experience and knowledge to help fast-track your application process. With them at your disposal, you will be able to freely visit more Schengen Area member states and access more business opportunities!