Who doesn’t have Europe on top of his travel list? We Egyptian Passport holders often get confused before attempting to visiting Europe, we don’t know from where to start, what the required documents to apply for a visa are, how much does it cost, how does it work? There are so many unanswered questions regarding entry to Europe and we will have them all answered right here.
FAQ about Schengen Visa
What is a Schengen visa?
If you want to visit Europe you have to apply for a Schengen visa, which gives entry to 26 members states of the Schengen zone.
Which countries are member states of the Schengen zone, or that I can enter with a Schengen Visa?
- Czech republic
Where to apply?
At the embassies of any of the 26 above mentioned countries in the Schengen zone.
How to book a visa appointment?
Some of Europe’s embassies’ visa appointments could be done through this link, or this one. In case you can’t find your desired embassy in these links, google it directly to find all needed info regarding visa appointment, along with required documents.
How long does it take to get a visa appointment?
It depends on the season, and if the country is on high or low demand, make sure to call at least 3 months before your travel dates.
What documents do I need to apply for a Schengen visa?
Every embassy has its own requirements, therefore don’t ever go to an embassy without checking their website, calling, or emailing them, and make sure that you have all required documents on your appointment day to avoid being rejected, or being sent home to complete your missing documents, hence having to re-schedule your visa appointment. However the most common documents are:
- A completed visa application form
- Your passport valid for up to 3-6 months
- 1-2 passport photos with a white background
- Copies of previous visas
- Letter of employment, or a letter of enrollment into university, or proof of ownership of your own business, or proof of retirement
- Tentative Flight booking
- Tentative Hotel booking: make sure to book in a hotel that has free cancellation policy -to find out if it has or not read the terms and conditions of your booking before confirming it
- Invitation letter if only you will be staying at someone’s -resident or citizen- place, attending a seminar, or a workshop
- Travel Insurance
- Bank statement for the last 6 months issued a week before the visa appointment at most, which should show that you have enough funds to cover your trip
- Visa fee starting from Euro 60 -check the embassy’s payment policy beforehand to know whether they require payment in cash, or by credit card
- Children under the age of 18 years also need a birth certificate
- Sometimes “shehadet ta7arokat” from Mogama3 El-Ta7rir
- Shehadet El-Tagneed for guys
- And be ready for an interview
What do they ask during the interview?
Basic questions, all related to your visa application, make sure not to lie, because lying won’t get you a Schengen Visa.
What should my Letter of Employment include?
Check the sample below.
Letter of Employment Sample
How long should be the duration of my medical insurance?
It has to cover the duration of your stay, plus some extra days, each company has its own policy.
What’s the point behind having medical insurance?
If -God fobids- something happens to you during your trip, such as an accident, or an injury you will have it covered -check the medical insurance’s policy to know what’s covered and what’s not.
How much does it cost?
It differs from an embassy to another, which starts from Euro 60 for a short stay visa .
How long does it take to issue a Schengen visa?
The rules are 15 working days, but there are definitely exceptions, so make sure that you are not too tight in time, and to inform the embassy of your exact travel dates, specially your departure dates in case you are tight in time.
Does the country’s embassy from which I got the entry visa has to be the country of first entry?
Yes, always apply at the embassy of your country of first entry, or at the country where you will be spending most of your trip, that’s why it’s always preferable to book your appointment way in advance to guarantee an available spot.
Which European embassy has the easiest procedures?
Well, there isn’t, if you have the right papers there is no need to worry too much. Always apply at the embassy of the country of your first entry, or where you will be spending most of your trip, but if there are no available appointments, and you are not flexible about your travel dates, then check other neighboring countries which will be a great chance to play around with your plans, and discover another country.
What should I do if this was my first Schengen Visa ever? Isn’t there a big risk of getting rejected?
If it’s your first Schengen visa then avoid traveling alone at all cost as they usually suspect that you will not come back specially if you are a student, jobless, single, or don’t have someone depending on you, even better if you travel with an agency that provides visa services, or at least to travel with a group of people, so you’d present your papers as part of a group.
What can I do to minimize my chances of getting rejected?
Do not lie, do not come up with stories, do not use your “fahlawa”, do not write things on your application that you cannot prove, be smart and provide proofs.
If I am a frequent traveler, is it wise to apply for the visa as a solo traveler?
No, that’s not the wisest idea as they tend to think that you are fleeing the country, specially if you are a student, jobless, single, or having no one depending on you, so you’d better travel with someone, even better if you have a family friend or a friend living at the desired country so s/he would provide you with an invitation letter, and state in the letter “I guarantee that (name) will be back to Egypt on (date)”.
What are the different types of Schengen visa?
- Airport transit visa
- Short stay less than 90 days, could be single or multiple entries.
- Long stay more than 90 days, could be single or multiple entries, this one is usually more expensive and used for purposes other than tourism and family visit
What are the benefits of holding a Schengen Visa?
Other than being able to roam freely around 26 European countries, in some cases holding a Schengen visa can grant you access to other countries without a visa, or ease access to acquiring visas of other countries.
If I am holding a valid Schengen visa, and I am about to travel but my medical insurance expired, should I get a new one before I travel?
Yes, whenever you are in the Schengen zone you have to be covered by medical insurance, they even sometimes ask you about it at the passport check, so make sure to always travel with your travel insurance document.
What documents do I need upon arrival to the Schengen zone for passport check?
You need your passport, return flight tickets, hotel confirmation or name and address of the place where you are staying, and if you are staying at a family member’s or friend’s place to have his/her name, address, and why not a copy of his/her residence card or citizenship. Note that you don’t have to have them printed, they can be screenshots on your mobile.
- Single entry means that you can enter the Schengen area from Egypt only once, however a multiple entry visa means that you can travel from/to Egypt to Europe several times.
- Take care that your multiple entry visa that is valid for a year doesn’t give you the permission of staying in Europe for a year, it only gives you permission to stay in Europe for 90 days, and those 90 days cannot be spent all at once, you can stay up to 30 days each time you use it.
- When staying in the Schengen zone your passport will only be stamped in the country of first entry, and the country of departure, meaning that even if you travel inside Europe your passport won’t get stamped, might be subject to control check -which is barely existent- but won’t get stamped.
- Though the United Kingdom is in Europe, but you cannot enter it with a Schengen visa.
- The person who sends you a letter of invitation has to be resident of the Schengen area, or a citizen, not just a visitor.
- The more you get Schengen visas from the same embassy, the more likely you will have the chance to acquire them for extended periods.
- In case you are traveling to only one destination in the Schengen zone, and you are applying for the first time at the desired destination’s embassy, you will more likely get a single entry visa that is only valid for the duration of your stay.
- In case it’s not your first time to apply for a Schengen visa at a selected embassy, you can ask them to submit a request on your application to be granted a 6 months, a year or 3 years Schengen visa.
Important notice: This article will give you an idea about the Visa Process, however if you have queries that are specific to your case please call the embassy, or ask a friend who has been through the same process. And note that all the above mentioned information cannot guarantee that you will get the visa, as the grant or refusal of the visa is at the embassy’s sole discretion.