How I Got A Schengen Visa In A Week
Abi Patel shares how he was able to get a Portuguese Schengen visa in under a week and join his friends for an unforgettable road trip through Portugal
So you’ve decided to plan that once-in-a-lifetime trip to a Schengen country, and understandably, you’re now worried about getting your Schengen Visa approved. This post will cover everything you need to know about visa rejections, reasons visas get denied, and how to prepare for your interview.
The Schengen area is comprised of 26 European countries, namely: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Except for Ireland and Cyprus, all EU member states are included in the Schengen area. These 26 countries have abolished their internal borders for the unrestricted movement of people, all still subjected to standard rules for controlling external borders.
According to Schengen Visa Statistic 2021, the 4 countries with the highest rejection rates were: Sweden, Norway, France, and Denmark. These 4 countries were more likely to reject a visa application than any other Schengen country.
These were the statistics related to the countries with the highest rejection rates:
These were the statistics related to the countries with the lowest rejection rates:
The Schengen countries France, Germany, and Spain had the highest number of visa applications in 2021. In 2021 the average rejection rate for all Schengen countries was 13.4%. It's interesting to note that in 2019, the last ‘normal’ year before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the average rejection rate for visa applications stood at 9.9%.
According to Schengen Visa Statistic 2021, the African country is one of the countries receiving the most rejected Schengen visas. The highest rejection rates were as follows:
India is another country that received many visa rejections. The highest rejection rates were as follows:
Lithuania is reported as the country that offers the less rejected visas, with an approval rate of 98.7%. It might not be a trendy tourist destination such as France and Germany, but this could lead to a shorter waiting time on the status of your visa application.
Secondly, Estonia has an approval rate of 98.4%, and Finland has an approval rate of 98.3%. These are great alternatives to the more popular Schengen countries as they receive far fewer applications.
Whether you're traveling for leisure or business make sure to read this in-depth guide on How To Use The Tourist Schengen Visa For Business And Family Visits.
You can get a Schengen visa application at the embassy of the country you intend to visit. If you plan on visiting multiple Schengen countries, you can apply at the embassy of the country you’re staying in the longest. Alternatively, find the application online.
The reason your Schengen visa or any other visa gets rejected is usually that there is something unsatisfactory with your visa application. More times than others, the applicants are confused or unclear as to the reason their visa got denied, but here are some general mistakes to keep in mind:
Many visas get denied due to incorrect information on the application form. Therefore, use Atlys and scan your passport = error free visa application form = smaller chance of visa rejection.
Let's discuss a few tips on the fastest way to get your visa:
The first tip is to use Atlys. With Atlys, it's as easy as downloading the app, entering your travel and personal information, and paying the visa application fee.
Once you've completed the relevant information, Atlys will do the rest for you. No strings attached.
Suppose you decide to rather go through all the hassles yourself. In that case, we suggest you apply for a Schengen visa through a smaller Schengen country.
Remember, you can either apply for a Schengen visa to the country you'll be entering or where you'll spend most of your time.
It's very important to include a cover letter when submitting your application. This is because your cover letter serves as communication between you and the Embassy.
Therefore, ensure you have a detailed visa cover letter and that your information is correct. Please check our guide on how to write the perfect cover letter.
We see that travelers leave their visa applications till the last minute. So please ensure you apply at least 2 months before your planned trip.
Embassies can receive large amounts of visa applications, therefore, ensure you plan ahead.
The last thing is to try and schedule a visa for the mornings. The reason, therefore, is visa appointments can run late.
You don't want to book an appointment close to lunch and risk sitting there while staff members take their break.
Rather book an appointment slot when everyone is still fresh and ready for the day.
Read our in-depth guide on the fastest and easiest way to get a Schengen Visa
So you’ve made sure that all your documents and visa application are in an acceptable form. Now it's time to ace the Schengen interview. The purpose of the Schengen interview is the determination that you're traveling for the reason as stipulated in your visa application, that you can sustain yourself financially, you have a clean criminal record, you have a good character, and to check that you will abide by the stipulated visa period and not overstay or permanently stay in a Schengen country.
The most helpful tips for your interview:
Some questions that you might be asked during your interview:
To get a complete step-by-step guide to your interview, make sure to read Schengen Visa Interview Questions and How To Ace Them! It can take approximately 10 - 30 days to receive your visa, and you must keep that in mind before you book your flight tickets.
Although these statistics were explicitly focused on the 2021 statistics, it will be interesting to see how the statistics in 2022 will compare to 2021. As the world slowly starts re-opening for international travel after Covid-19, there will be many more visa applications in 2022.
Since France is regarded as one of the most visited countries in the world, we're sure to see many applications for this Schengen country. If the visa process seems scary, use Atlys because it’s the only way to get a Visa effortlessly!