I have applied for Schengen visa twice in my life. As Indonesian passport holder, I can’t enter to European Union countries without having a valid visa. Luckily, my visa applications so far were smooth, without re-applying, rush, and rejection.
For first attempt in 2015 I managed to apply from Netherlands Embassy in HR Rasuna Said street in Jakarta. Make sure that you booked the appointment schedule online first. Two years ago, to apply Schengen visa via Netherlands Embassy, the applicants could go directly to Embassy office, but if you want to apply it today in Jakarta, make sure you go to VFS Global in Kuningan City Mall at Prof. Dr. Satrio street. The application process was 2 working days (applied on Wednesday morning and collected on Friday afternoon).
The visa was issued for 90 days duration of stay in Schengen area with Multiple Entries. Validity of visa was starting from the date of enter (according to my ticket) and ended on next 105 days.
The second attempt I tried to apply from Italy embassy. Italian Embassy also uses VFS Global to process the visa applications. Similar with most of visa applications, I had to book the appointment online.
When I registered online, I put my applications as group. It was an unlucky choice because at the selected date, I had to wait longer, lots of group tours also made appointment on the same date and time. My suggestion is, when you apply through Italy section, make sure you select Personal Application.
Biometric process was optional (because they had my previous biometric before in less than 5 years span) but considered there was no additional cost and I had time I let the officer to take my fingerprints.
The visa application process took 5 days to complete and they let me know via SMS when I could collect my passport.
From these two experiences I would like to share my tips here:
- The amount of your money on bank account does not guarantee that you will be granted the visa. But make sure that you have calculated the minimum amount per day for each countries you’ll visit and put the summarized amount with some more additions into your bank account. Make sure that there’s no sudden additions that will break the pattern in the last 3 months.
- Issued return ticket is important thing. To make sure that you’ll be back to your country (in this case Indonesia) after you complete the trip. It is no big secret that some people want to stay longer and become illegal immigrant and do the work.
- Still related to previous point, the reference letter from your employer is also a big thing.
- Previous trip (before applying Schengen visa) to visa-free countries does not guarantee your Schengen application will be approved easily. Your empty passport also does not mean that your visa application will be rejected. But an approved Schengen visa before might be a bit of help for your next one.
Hope this article will help the next applicants to consider what is the main factor in Schengen visa application processing.
NB: Apologize for no photo, it’s confidential one I think and I don’t like blurring images (it takes a lot of time!).