Many people in Nigeria find it difficult to apply for Schengen visas, not because of anything except lack of relevant information. Therefore, many get swindled by fraudulent agents who extort money from them. If you are seeking to visit any of the Schengen member countries, it may be more convenient and cost-effective to apply for the visa yourself. With the Schengen visa, you can enter through one member country and then travel freely within all the other countries that signed the treaty within a specified period. Whether you want a visa for business or tourist purposes, you can get it by following the right channel and the right procedure. Here, you are going to learn how to apply for Schengen visa from Nigeria without the risk of being denied.
Where to Apply For Schengen Visa
The best place to apply for Schengen visa is the embassy or consulate of any countries signed to the Schengen treaty. These include Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain.
However, you have to make sure that you apply at the embassy or mission of your main destination Schengen country or the Schengen country where you intend to stay the longest time. On the other hand, if you wish to spend equal time in each of the Schengen countries you intend to visit, then you will be required to apply for the visa at the mission of the first Schengen country you wish to enter.
Steps Taken In Applying For Schengen Visa
Before we delve into the specific steps on how to apply for Schengen Visa from Nigeria, it is important to understand that the earliest you can be issued with the document is three months before the date you will first need to use it. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Avail all the Requirements Needed
The documents types and number you will be required to have before applying for Schengen visa in Nigeria depends, at least partly, on the Schengen country or countries you wish to visit. You can visit the official websites of the Schengen countries and find out their specific requirements. You can also call them and ask about it. The most common requirements include;
- Documentary evidence that you will be able to pay for your travel and accommodation expenses
- Documentation that you intend to return to your country of origin such title deeds to your home or employer’s declaration
- A legalized letter of invitation, hotel reservations, guarantor’s declaration or an invitation from business connections or private persons
- A medical insurance policy that will foot repatriation expenses on medical grounds, in case of urgent medical care or emergency hospital treatment.
Step 2: Fill in the Schengen Visa Application Form
You need to be extra-careful and vigilant to ensure everything you enter in the application form is accurate and valid to increase your chances of succeeding in your quest. You will be required to sign in two places –at question 47 and at the end of the application form. You will also be required to affix a recent passport photograph. The photograph should measure 35×45 mm. The Schengen visa application form is available online in the PDF format and can be downloaded freely.
Step 3: Submission of the Application Form
Once you are satisfied that you have completed the application form accurately and provided all that is needed, you can then submit it. You must submit your application form in person to the right mission or embassy discussed above. You will be required to arm yourself with a passport that is not more than 10 years old and that will remain valid 90 days after your Schengen visa expires.
Step 4: Wait for the verdict
If you have no criminal record or any other legal problem and meet the legal requirements, then your chances of getting the visa are great. Depending on the type of Schengen visa you are applying for and the number of destination countries you will wish to visit, the approval process may take some time. This is because each of these countries has their set of rules and must see that you do not pose danger to their population.
If you do not meet any of the requirements for holding a Schengen visa then your chances of your application being denied are high. If you have enough reason to believe the refusal was unwarranted, you can send your objection via an email to the issuing mission. You can also enlist the help of someone else with the expertise to follow-up the objection for you.