Which documents do you need to apply for a Schengen visa?

Need a guide to prepare your application? Form, documents, etc. We answer your questions on how to apply for a Schengen visa.

Which documents do you need to provide when you apply for a Schengen visa?

Here we will discuss requirements for a short-stay Schengen visa (type C). There are also long-stay visas (type D) and airport transit visas (type A). Foreign nationals from countries that do not have a bilateral visa exemption accord who would like to visit one or several countries in the Schengen Area during a trip for tourism or business, visit family, enrol in a short educational programme or work need this visa, which is valid for up to 90 days.

Does this description apply to you? Here we will help you prepare your Schengen visa application. How to fill out a Schengen visa form, which documents you need to provide, etc. We answer all your questions.

Reminder: How to apply for a Schengen visa

Step 1. First, you must determine the Schengen Area country in which you must apply for your Schengen visa. The rule is simple: if you are planning to visit several countries in the Schengen Area, you must apply with the competent authorities in the first Schengen Area country that you will visit.

Step 2. Do you need to apply in France? You will have to fill out the Schengen visa form online on the website France-visas in order to begin your application. We explain how to fill out the form efficiently below. If your trip starts in another country in the Schengen Area, consult the consular authorities in that country to begin your Schengen visa application.

Step 3. Collect the documents you need for your Schengen visa. An exact list will be provided to you after you create an account. To best prepare you for this step, we tell you more about the required documents for a short-stay Schengen visa (type C) at the end of this article.

Step 4. Submit your application with the consular authorities in the country you wish to visit in the Schengen Area or with an official institution certified by the country. You must submit your request 3–6 months in advance and at the latest 15 days before you leave (the deadline depends on the type of visa requested).

How do you fill out the Schengen visa application?

Will you begin your trip to the Schengen Area in France? You need to fill out the Schengen visa form online, on the website France-visas. Be sure to have your passport ready. Create an account and start filling out the Schengen visa application form (cerfa 14076-03). In addition to your personal information, you will also be asked specific questions on the reason for your trip and travel itinerary.

Will you begin your trip in another Schengen Area country? Fill out the form provided by that country’s consular authorities.
Once you have filled out your Schengen visa form, you must print and sign it before adding it to your application.

What documents do you need for a Schengen visa?

The documents required for a Schengen visa are:
- A passport valid for less than 10 years at least 3 months from your departure date. It must also have at least two blank visa pages.
- The Schengen visa application form filled out at signed.
- Your Schengen visa application proof of submission.
- A recent ID photo that complies with official requirements.
- A letter that explains your reason for travel.

Depending on your reason for travel and individual situation, the following documents may also be required (non-exhaustive list): 
- Proof of means of payment during your trip (cash, traveller’s cheques, international credit cards, etc.)
- Proof of repatriation (return ticket, etc.)
- Insurance that covers a minimum of €30,000 in medical and hospital expenses, valid in all Schengen Area countries
- Proof of lodging by a host, hotel or tourist establishment
- Documents to prove your reason for travel and details of your trip (travel itinerary, plane tickets, etc.)
- An employer recommendation letter
- Bank statements from the past 6 months.

Do I need to include a work authorisation with my Schengen visa application?
In France, if you are working 3 months or less, you must provide a work authorisation. However, professionals travelling through one or several Schengen Area countries for the following reasons are exempt from this requirement:
- Participating in sporting, cultural, artistic and scientific events
- Speaking at conferences, seminars and professional trade fairs
- Participating in the production and/or diffusion of films, photography, audiovisual works or shows as an artist or technician
- Commercial and artistic modelling
- Services to individuals (housekeeper) while your individual employer is staying in France
- Auditing and advising in IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture or engineering as an employee posted abroad under contract
- Teaching as a visiting professor.

Are there additional documents required for Schengen visa applications by or for a minor?
Yes. You must include a birth certificate in a Schengen visa application for a minor. The Schengen visa application form must also be signed by both parents or guardians. Finally, if the minor is travelling alone, a certified authorisation signed by both parents or guardians must be included. If one parent only has custody of the child, you must include the court order on custody.