Are you thinking about how to apply for a Schengen visa in Pakistan? If you are, then you should pay close attention to this carefully written article. In this article, you will learn all about the Schengen visa application process and what you need to do to apply for it.
Learn how to apply for a Schengen Visa from Pakistan, step by step. Our complete guide has all the information you need to get this important travel document. Find out about what you need, how to apply, and some important tips for a successful application.
Recently, on TikTok, I received hundreds of messages from people asking how they can travel to Europe. I spent a few days replying to everyone in my inbox, but the messages kept increasing, and I couldn’t handle them anymore. That’s when I decided to write a blog on this topic so that the thousands of people who follow me on TikTok can benefit from this special blog. In this blog, I will use simple and easy-to-understand English to guide everyone through the step-by-step process of obtaining a visa.
What is a Schengen visa?
So many people still do not know what is a Schengen visa, here I would explain in easy words about Schengen visa. A Schengen visa is a special type of visa that allows travelers to visit multiple European countries within the Schengen Area using a single visa. The Schengen Area is a group of European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders, allowing for easier movement between them.
With a Schengen visa, travelers can typically visit all the countries within the Schengen Area without the need for separate visas for each country. This makes it convenient for tourists, business travelers, and others who want to explore multiple European destinations during a single trip.
It’s important to note that not all European countries are part of the Schengen Area, so travelers should check which countries are covered by their Schengen visa and plan their itinerary accordingly. Additionally, the application process and requirements for a Schengen visa can vary from country to country within the Schengen Area, so travelers need to apply to the specific Schengen country they intend to visit first or spend the most time in.
The Schengen visa is a very important travel document for travelers like me. It allows you to explore a big area in Europe, covering 27 countries and spanning 4.3 million square kilometers. I had to go through some challenges to get this visa, but eventually, I got it from the Netherlands after facing many rejections. I’d like to share my experiences and explain how the Schengen visa process works.
The Schengen Area is a group of many countries, The 27 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. If you have one Schengen visa then you can visit all of those 27 countries in Europe with your Schengen visa.
You have the freedom to choose any of these countries for your Schengen visa application. When you get this visa, it allows you to visit all the Schengen countries. If you’re not sure which country to pick, there’s a simple rule to follow.
First, choose the country where you plan to spend most of your time in the Schengen region; this is called the primary destination. If you plan to spend your time equally in different countries, then the first country you enter in the Schengen area should be your main choice.
It’s important to know that this rule is not very strict. If you have a valid Schengen visa, you can go to one Schengen country and leave from another without any problem. This flexibility won’t affect your future visa applications.
How to Start Applying for a Schengen Visa from Pakistan?
To begin your journey to get a Schengen visa, you need to make sure you can apply from a country that’s part of the Schengen agreement. Usually, you start the process at a visa application center in your home country. For me, it began at Dubai in UAE.
If you live in UAE, then you can start the process in Dubai or Abu Dhabi at VFS Office, if you live in Pakistan then you can start the process from Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi VFS office whichever is near to you.
Can You Apply for a Schengen Visa From Pakistan Online?
No, it is not possible to apply for a Schengen visa from Pakistan online. Unfortunately, online applications for Schengen visas are not available in Pakistan. It’s important to note that all visa applications must be submitted in person at the designated visa office. Online submission of Schengen visa applications is not an option for applicants in Pakistan.
Now, let me explain the specific documents I gave when I applied for my Schengen visa to the Netherlands in Dubai UAE. These are the basic things you need for a Schengen visa application even if you are applying from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, UAE or any country, although some embassies might have slightly different requirements. For example, Italy asks for one original set of documents and a duplicate set, but the Netherlands doesn’t require the duplicate set.
Documents Required for Schengen visa:-
If you’re planning to apply for a Schengen visa, you might be wondering what documents you need to prepare. Navigating the visa application process can be perplexing, but worry not; we’ve got you covered. Below is a comprehensive list of the documents you’ll need for your short-term Schengen visa application.
Here is a comprehensive listing of the essential documents submitted with my Schengen visa application:
- Completed and printed application form. (Don’t worry in this article I will tell you how to get the form)
- Two passport-sized photographs.
- Valid passport.
- Six-month bank statement.
- Unpaid flight reservation.
- Unpaid hotel booking.
- Letter of employment.
- Leave certificate from the employer.
- The most recent three months’ salary slips.
- Medical insurance coverage of at least $30,000. (It will cost you around 100 0r 150 Dirhams, you can convert into rupees)
- Family Registration Certificate (FRC).
- Photocopies of your passport, along with previous visas and entry stamps.
- Photocopy of your Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC).
- A detailed cover letter outlining your day-to-day activities during your trip.
- National Tax Number (NTN) certificate and the last three years’ tax returns.
- If you have travel history, visited other countries before applying for a Schengen visa, then print your travel history from your passport, it can be stamps of visa stickers of those countries which you have visited.
- If you are married, its better to print your marriage certificate as well and include in your documents. It will help and show to the visa officer that you have family back at home and there are more chances you will return back to your home country.
I will explain again below some of the above points so you can get a clear idea:
- Visa Application Form: The first step is to complete and sign the visa application form.
- Recent Passport Photos: Attach two recent passport-sized photos taken within the last three months. These photos must meet the specific Schengen visa photo requirements.
- Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is not older than ten years and remains valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure from the Schengen area. If you have older passports with previous visas, include them in your application.
- Round Trip Reservation or Itinerary: Prepare a comprehensive travel itinerary that includes dates and flight numbers for your entry and exit from the Schengen area. You can get flight booking from any travel agents but must be real and not just dummy, you can pay a small amount of fee to get the reservation/ booking tickets. Remember the flight booking should show in the system in case the visa officer double checks, therefore just a dummy or fake tickets will make problems.
- Travel Insurance Policy: Obtain a travel insurance policy that covers your entire stay in the Schengen territory. The policy should provide a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros for medical emergencies, including illnesses, accidents, and repatriation in case of death. You can conveniently purchase the insurance online from Europe Assistance or from any travel agency in your city.
- Proof of Accommodation: Present documentation that confirms your place of accommodation throughout your stay in the Schengen area. This can include:
- Hotel/hostel bookings. (It must be real hotel booking, you can get it on booking.com and cancel it later after getting the visa. There are so many hotels where you can cancel the booking before 24 hrs, so make sure you can cancel your hotel booking before 24 hrs or otherwise hotel will charge you.)
- A letter of invitation from a host with whom you’ll be staying. (If available that’s great, if not then leave it)
- Proof of Financial Means: Demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your Schengen stay. You can provide one of the following:
- A bank account statement showing adequate funds for your trip. Ensure the statement is no older than six months or at least 3 months.
- If someone else is paying for your trip and you are student then a sponsorship letter from someone confirming their financial support for your Schengen trip. This can be from your father or brother, this letter must be accompanied by the sponsor’s bank statement, which should also be no older than six or three months.
- If you are working in a company, a NOC letter is required from your company mentioning that the company has no issues allowing you to visit Europe.
- If you are a business owner, then a document of proof that you are the owner of business or a company trade license is required.
In addition to these generally required documents, Schengen embassies worldwide may request specific documents based on your employment status and the type of Schengen visa you’re applying for. The visa application process may seem complex, but with the right documentation and guidance, you can navigate it successfully.
After I applied, it took around 15 days for my application to come back to me. I originally asked for an eight-day stay with a single-entry visa, but the consulate gave me a multiple-entry visa that’s valid for 30 days. This longer duration allows me to visit not only the Netherlands but also other countries in the Schengen area, which I’m really looking forward to.
How to Fill the Form for A Schengen Visa:
First, you need to visit VFS Global website, for example in google search you can write ( VFS global Netherlands visa from Pakistan) See the below screenshot how I did:-
Same thing you can do for Germany, France, Italy, Spain, or any Schengen European country whichever you want to visit, in this example I am talking about Netherlands, but if you want to visit Germany then you can search in Google ( VFS global Germany visa from Pakistan ). Every European country which comes under Schengen zone has VFS website link.
So, let’s continue, I was giving you an example of Netherlands visa, so you can see in the above screenshot there is one website link, I will click on it and then it will take me to a new page which will look like the below screenshot;
Once you are on the same page as I showed you above, then you click on Apply For a Visa (Star Now) button. Then it will take you to another page which looks like the below screenshot:
Once you click on Ready to apply button, it will take you to another page which looks like the below screenshot:
And once you click on that Apply Now button, it will take you to a new website which looks like the below screenshot:
Then you can see on top right side, create an account button, if this is your first them then create an account and start filling the form with your details. Once you fill the form then print it, sign it and then next step is to book online biometrics (finger prints) booking at VFS website.
To make biometrics (finger prints) booking, you need to Schedule an appointment. From the top, in second screenshot you can see an option called Book an appointment click on that and it will take you to a login page like the below screenshot:
If you have already account there then Sign in and if it’s your first time, then click on I don’t have any account and create an account on the website and book the appointment whichever date and time suits you.
That’s all, now you have your visa application form filled & printed, also you have made the booking for your appointment, then next step is to visit the VFS office on the same date as your appointment date.
Once you arrive at the VFS office, they will take the visa application form, along with all the documents and passport and also they will take your biometrics (finger prints). That’s all really, nothing much and all you can do is to wait for the results. 🙂
Getting your first Schengen visa in Pakistan can be quite tough. So, I want to share some advice to make it easier for you. Here are my proven strategies:
Here are some tips to help you getting a Schengen Visa in Pakistan:
- Trip Duration: When you’re applying for the first time, it’s a good idea to plan a simple and affordable trip. Try not to include too many countries in your itinerary. Start with one Schengen country or maybe two. After you get the visa, you can always change your plans to visit more places. I did this and traveled to 15 countries with a single visa.
- Apply Early: Apply for the visa well in advance, up to three months before your intended travel date. It’s better to apply during the off-peak season when the embassy or consulate has more time to review your application. Keep in mind that many people apply for visas in May, June, and July, which can make it harder to get an appointment.
- Build a Travel History: If your goal is tourism, consider visiting other popular tourist destinations like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, and Turkey before applying for a Schengen visa. This will show that you are a genuine tourist who loves to travel internationally. Also, explore countries where you can visit without a visa with a Pakistani passport to add more travel experiences to your portfolio.
- Financial and Professional Records: If you have a job, make sure your financial records are in order. Keep records of your salary, and ensure it’s deposited in your bank account through official channels, like a bank-issued check. If you have savings in addition to your regular income, mention this in your cover letter to the embassy. Being transparent about your finances helps the embassy understand your financial situation better, almost like telling your life story to a wise teacher.
The cost of a Schengen visa in Pakistan varies. For adults, it’s 80 Euros (you pay in PKR), and for children aged 6 to 12, it’s 40 Euros (also in PKR). It’s important to note that this fee is non-refundable, even if your visa is denied, no matter the reason.
Usually, it takes about 15 calendar days to process a Schengen visa. But sometimes, like in my case, it might take longer, up to 20 days. In certain situations, it can even take up to 30 days, depending on how busy the embassy or consulate is. This timeline includes the time between when you submit your application at the visa center and when the embassy/consulate reviews it.
While there are no specific financial requirements mentioned for your bank statement, I recommend having enough money in your account to cover your travel expenses comfortably. The Schengen area generally follows a daily cost of 50 Euros per day. If you are in Pakistan, better to have minimum of 25 Lakh rupees in your bank account, and if you have more than 25 Lakh in your bank account, that’s much better.
Is Obtaining a Schengen Visa in Pakistan Challenging?
Getting a Schengen visa in Pakistan depends on your individual circumstances. If you have a strong professional background, a history of international travel, or family ties to Pakistan, it’s usually easier to get a Schengen visa. If your visa is rejected, don’t give up; try again and make improvements. My own experience shows that persistence pays off.
My journey to get a Schengen visa had some challenges at the beginning, but I learned that persistence pays off. If you face a visa rejection, try again and improve your application. I found that getting a Schengen visa in Pakistan is quite similar across countries. However, some nations like Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands have higher approval rates because they are more welcoming to tourists.
That time I visited 12 countries, including Australia and the UK, among others. Surprisingly, my Schengen visa was rejected. I tried reapplying, but it was rejected again. In the meantime, I applied for a USA visa and was successful on my first attempt. However, when I reapplied for the Schengen visa, it was rejected once more. I persisted and tried a total of 16 times for the Schengen visa, but it was denied each time. Despite these setbacks, I never gave up. Finally, on my 17th attempt, they approved my Schengen visa.
I’m sharing my story to emphasize the importance of perseverance. Sometimes people obtain a Schengen visa on their first try with a fresh passport, while others, like me, face repeated rejections despite having a strong travel history. So, don’t hesitate and overthink it. Give it a shot. If you have a travel history, apply for the Schengen visa. Even if you don’t, still go ahead and apply. You might be the fortunate one. It’s just a small application fee, and taking a chance won’t break your bank account. 🙂
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