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An Indian’s guide to Schengen visa

Passport & Visa

Schengen visa was one of the best things to happen to us Indian passport-holders wanting to travel around Europe. Basically, it is an agreement between 25 countries to let people in  on a single visa called the Schengen visa.

These countries (in alphabetical order) are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

So if you want to travel to any of one or many of these countries, you need just one visa – the Schengen visa, which can be accorded by the consulates of any of above countries.

What you must remember is that the countries, that we were taught in school to be a part of Europe, but do not form a part of the Schengen area are the UK, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzgovina, Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. You will need to apply for separate visas if you want to enter or even pass through these countries via trains, buses or cars. To read, what may happen to you, if you enter these countries without a transit or tourist visa, click here.

Even when it comes to applying for a Schengen visa, we would advice you to apply through the embassies of the bigger countries: namely, France, Switzerland or Germany. There processing time is less, they have embassies in most metropolitan cities, and they are generally more professional. Unfortunately, that will mean that at least one of these countries should be a part of your itinerary. Its a bitch, but then again, they are great countries with so much to offer. Each time to you visit them, you will find something new to discover!

If you are confused about which country to apply from, here’s an official clarification from European Union authorities. And here’s an article on how to apply for a Schengen Visa through the French embassy in India.

If you have any tips, advice, experience, peeves or bile on the subject, the comment space is all yours. If you have any questions or stories you want to share with other Indian readers, write to us at info@indiancompass.com.

  • Sucheta V


    I had applied for a schengen visa with the Italian consulate, as my maximum number of days was in Italy. Post submission of docs i have been scheduled for a personal interview due to pending documents, i have been asked to bring my expired Passport. However, i had disposed off my expired pp a few years back. I had no valid visas on the same and am aware of the countries i had traveled to with the old pp.

    Any clue on what might happen ?? Would this mean i dont get a visa? is there any supporing document or letter i can take on the day of my interview? Any advise on this? My interview is in 2 days, would appreciate a quick answer guys.


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    I applied for a schengen visa on 13th may 2016 my and my departure date is 24th may …so i want to know within how may days i wil get the visa

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  • said sid

    Am an indian passport holder living in France with proper residency permit.
    Am i eligible to travel to Switzerland ? or do I need a visa ?

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  • KK

    Hi, I am currently a student in the US, on an F1 visa (Indian citizen). I got selected for an exchange program with an university in Switzerland. I am currently on vacation back in India, and plan to apply for a Schengen through one of the VFS centers here. Is it OK for me to do that or is it a rule to apply it from the US only? Since I am already in India and plan to go to Europe from here, it would be impossible for me to go to the US just for the visa process. Please advice.

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    Hi Experts,

    Please solve my query.

    I have a work permit visa for Germany .
    My organization is ready to process both of our visa but as my wife passport is not ready now .
    I would like to get it processed my wife visa afterwards , what is the process to be followed and for same day as my work permit and how many days it will take.


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    Hello am RAvi am appy student visa for italy but embassy refuz my visa but the embassy give me 60 days for appel if i can do appel how much chances to take visa please give me answer can i win the appel

  • dilip vansia

    I am indian passport holder but I have settlement visas in the uk. do I need shengen visas?

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  • Suresh Verma

    hi if my schenzen visa is expiring and i am in india can i apply for the renewal in india

  • Pam

    I’m in UK on tourist visa for holiday from India and like to go to Europe does I need for relevant Country or I can Trevel with same visa?

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    i am a student studying in germany. i have come to india for a month of
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