Thursday, 27 January 2011

Can I have two valid Schengen visas

It can be quite complicated to get a Schengen visa, especially if you do not know much about it and there is no specialist to assist you; but even when you already get your Schengen visa, you still might have some questions.

Many Schengen visa applicants are not sure what the visa validity and period of stay are.

For instance, one gets mistaken for the other quite often, although they are two different items. Your Schengen visa may be valid from 25 June 2011 until 25 June 2012 - one year validity, - but it doesn't mean that you may remain in the Schengen area for 365 days - you visa always clarifies that and normally gives you the right to stay in a Schengen country for either 90 or 180 days. Here is a real life situation to demonstrate this: one of our customers has a one year French Schengen visa valid until February 20, 2011.

The customer assumed that his French Schengen visa would be automatically cancelled and he bought a holiday in Spain starting on February 22, 2011. Of course, ther is not enough time for applying for the Spanish Schengen visa because they will not process the visa application within 2 days. What does he need to do to make this trip happen? The first thing to do is to cancel his French visa, since the rule is that an applicant cannot hold two valid Schengen visas in the passport. The cancellation stamp makes the current Schengen visa invalid and one may apply for a new visa for any Schengen country.

Don't worry, the cancellation stamp we are talking about is not the one you should try to avoid - the cancellation stamp will not be a problem next time you apply for a Schengen visa, it only shows the visa officer that you may apply for a new visa. This stamp is put on your visa and reads “Cancelled without prejudice”.

What you need to remember is that it is a mistake to think that a valid French Schengen visa can be cancelled by the Spanish consulate, and vice versa. If you have to cancel your existing Schengen visa, you must go to the consulate which issued that visa.

To avoid any disappointment of not getting a Schengen visa in time for your trip or if you have questions about French Schengen visa, contact our visa consultants for assistance.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

How to prevent rejection of Schengen visa application

A number of calls from people whose Schengen visa application was refused is on the increase.

It turns out that to have a Schengen visa application approved most applicants go to the visa application centre or consulate three times, because their visa application is not accepted when they submit it at first.

The main reason why it happens is because the applicants do not provide all required documents or their paperwork does not correspond to a Schengen consulate’s standards.

So what can be done if your Schengen visa application was rejected? Well, there can be two different cases when it happens. A Schengen visa application may simply not be accepted when the visa officer decides that you may just add extra or missing documents to your application and it will go through. In this situation what you need to do is gather the documents requested and submit your Schengen visa application again and you do not have to pay embassy fee again. Normally, you are allowed to do that within a few days from the original day of submission. Second and more serious situation is when the consulate puts a rejection stamp in the applicant’s passport. The rejection stamp is not a very good thing at all for it prevents you from getting a Schengen visa until you have it cancelled by the consulate which put it inside your passport.

If your application for a Schengen visa was refused and you would like to reapply, you will be asked to pay embassy fee again. Though you can reapply for a Schengen visa any time after the refusal, the first thing to do is to find out why the visa was not approved. If you fail to identify the reason, the chances that your visa application will be rejected again are very high.

If you do not agree with the reason of the rejection, some Schengen countries let you appeal against the refusal. The information regarding this process can be found on embassies’ web sites.

Quite often applicants do not have the complete application pack but still sure that one missing document will not matter, the truth is that each piece required must be submitted and it is better to provide more paperwork than the consulates ask for than less.

Just think that a simple consultation with our visa specialists on Schengen visa application can help you avoid the hassle of dealing with the rejection stamp, save the money paid for the trip and eventually make the trip happen.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Check if you meet Schengen visa requirements

It is always a good idea to check if your passport is valid long enough and contains blank pages before you book a holiday.
One of the requirements for a Schengen visa is that the applicant’s passport must contain at least two blank visa pages. So if there are no blank pages for visas in your passport, you should either renew your passport or apply for a new one. It may be a problem to get a new passport because it can take up to 4 months for some nationalities. Can you do anything if you ran out of pages for visas but you have to travel to Europe either for business or you have a holiday booked? According to our experience, there are two solutions to this problem.

Some passports (for example Ukrainian, Turkish, South African have a few pages for endorsements at the end of the passport apart from pages for visas. We would advise you to contact your consulate to ask them to allow the endorsement page to be used as a visa page. The consulate will put a stamp on such a page and it will be able to be used as a visa page.

Some of the consulates may issue a letter instead of putting a stamp on the passport page, and this letter says that a page for endorsement may be used as a visa page. Bear in mind though that this is possible only if your passport is still valid and is not expiring within 3 months.

Other requirements that can cause delay in your visa application include certification of documents issued in countries other than UK or languages other than English and the language of the Schengen country you are planning to visit. If you hold a marriage certificated issued in Thailand and you are submitting your visa application for a French Schengen visa, first you need to get your marriage certificate translated into English or French by a notary service, then legalised/attested/certified by the Thai Consulate in the UK. Another example: if you got married in Bangladesh and you are applying for a Schengen visa at the German consulate, your marriage certificate must be translated either in English or German. Please note that marriage certificates of some countries (Pakistan, Ethiopia) are required to be sent to the country where they were issued which may take a few weeks, so allow enough time for the whole process so that you do not have to postpone or cancel your booked trip if you do not get your documents ready in time. Good news about attesting your documents is that you have to do it only once and it is valid for all future Schengen visa applications.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Schengen Visa for Austria

Austria is a highly popular destination for many reasons: it boasts picturesque villages, cities and towns rich with history, beautiful nature and, of course, its superb ski resorts of all types to suit equally beginners and professionals. One can stay in a cosy chalet, modern apartment or choose a hotel corresponding to own taste. After a day on snowy slopes you can relax in a bar or restaurant, or have fun in a night club - Austria has plenty to offer to everybody.

If you need a visa to travel to Austria, you need to apply for it in advance since it may take you quite some time to get your Schengen visa application processed. If your Schengen visa application is accepted, you may expect it to be processed within a few working days, but for some nationalities it may take between 3 and 4 weeks. It is crucial to start gathering information for Schengen visa application well in advance to avoid the cancellation of your holiday in case visa is not ready in time.

Austria is a member of the Schengen agreement and it means that an Austrian Schengen visa can be used to enter any other Schengen country unless there are any specific restrictions endorsed in it.

To have your visa application processed you need to provide correct visa supporting documents depending on your resident visa for the UK. The following paperwork must be presented by all applicants:

Completed and signed visa application form.

Valid passport with two blank pages which have the word "visa" on them and valid UK visa stamp. Please note that the passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the validity of the requested visa.

• Copy of the main page of the passport copy of the UK residence permit

• 2 standard passport-size photos.

For tourist visa you will be asked to provide proof of sufficient funds, employment/college/university letter, hotel and tickets confirmation and medical travel insurance.If you are applying for a tourist visa, hotel confirmation, confirmed ticket and travel insurance are all necessary. When you need a business Schengen visa, a letter of invitation from a company in Austria should be presented in addition to the above mentioned documents. Please note that you have to present the originals and copies of all the above mentioned documents.

Remember also that you need to book an appointment with the visa section of the Austria embassy to lodge your Schengen visa application. The embassy fee varies and may depend on the nationality and type of residence permit you hold for the UK.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Schengen visa service: Schengen visa requirements for those who are marri...

Schengen visa service: Schengen visa requirements for those who are marri...: "Schengen Visa for Spouse of British National It is a common misunderstanding that if a person is married to a British citizen, they do not ..."

Schengen visa requirements for those who are married to British

Schengen Visa for Spouse of British National

It is a common misunderstanding that if a person is married to a British citizen, they do not need a Schengen visa to enter the Schengen area. The United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen agreement, that is why if you are a British spouse and hold resident card or indefinite leave to remain you still need to get a visa to enter the Schengen area. Therefore, its visas and residency are not acknowledged by the Schengen states.

But some consulates have introduced a simplified procedure for spouse of British citizens. Please note though that not all Schengen consulates allow simplified procedure. One of the Schengen consulates that does not require visa supporting documents such as bank statements, hotel booking, tickets, insurance for a British spouse is French. But if the same person wishes to apply for a Spanish Schengen visa, they will have to provide the same documents as everybody else. So, the French Schengen visa is the easiest and quickest option for spouses of British passport holders.

The documents required for a French Schengen visa are as follows:

Applicant’s passport and their spouses passport;

Application form two passport standard photos of the applicant;

Original marriage certificate (if it is not in English or French, it MUST be translated and certified at the consulate of the country which issued that marriage certificate), same goes for birth certificates if any are being submitted;

The French Consulate does not charge any fees for issuing the visa for spouses of British nationals but since all visa applications have to go through a visa application centre, you will have to pay their fees.

The French Schengen visa, unlike Spanish for example, is also good if you are looking to get a multiple entry visa. If your documents satisfy the consulate, your first French visa will be issued for 6 months, second – for 1 year, after that you may even be granted a 2 or 3 year multiple entry visa.

Normal processing time for Schengen visa application is 3-5 working days for most nationalities. But for certain nationalities it may take much longer, sometimes up to 3 weeks. That is why it is highly recommended that you collect all necessary information and prepare the documents well in advance to avoid the stress of rebooking or cancelling your trip due to insufficient time.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Schengen Visas For Applicants Holding UK Student Visas

If you hold a student visa for the UK and want to travel to Europe we would advise you to consider a trip to France as your first journey. The reason is that you can eventually get a multiple entry Schengen visa with the French consulate. .You need to make sure that your Schengen visa application is in order. The French Consulate is slightly less demanding in this respect but it still means that you will have to present all necessary documents in the required state.

When applying it is important to remember two things: you must have spent in the UK at least 1 month before you travel to France and you must be a full time student - if your course has finished, you will not be able to get a Schengen visa from the UK and will have to apply for it from the country of your permanent residency.

The documents required for the French Schengen visa include:

- Passport with two blank pages for visas and valid .UK visa

- Completed and signed visa application form.

- Two most recent passport size photos.

- Letter from school (university/college). It must not be older than one month. It serves as confirmation that you are a full time student, and must be presented on a letter headed paper.

- Bank statement for the last full month.

- Your itinerary: return ticket and hotel booking.

- Travel Insurance.
Multiple entry visa may be granted but it is at the discretion of the embassy. If this is your first Schengen visa application, most probably you will be issued with a short visa valid for one trip only. The visa should be used to visit the country which issued it to you. If for example you have a French Schengen visa and you intend to use it for France, you can expect multiple entry visa up to 3 months next time you apply.
The processing time currently is between 3 and 5 working days, but it depends on the nationality. You can check with the French embassy in London if your application will be processed on a normal basis or longer. That is why it is highly recommended that you collect all necessary information about Schengen visa requirements and prepare the documents well in advance to avoid the stress of rebooking or cancelling your trip due to insufficient time.