Schengen visa: Application
process and permitted

A Schengen visa is a ‘C type’ visit visa used for short stays in Europe. It allows the holder to travel around the Schengen area (covering 26 EU Member states). The different purposes of a Schengen visa includes business & work, airport transit, tourism, short study or family visits.

The duration of the visa will be at the discretion of the respective embassy applied to and will be dependent upon factors such as the applicant’s Schengen visa history. The visa is only valid for a short stay, meaning that the holder is allowed to stay in the Schengen area for a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180 day period.

Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus are not covered in the Schengen area.

Application Process

The application for a Schengen visa is made to the relevant embassy or visa processing centre of your main destination country. This will be either the country where the applicant will spend the most time, or the country of first entry.

The documents required for the application will depend on the purpose of your travel, as well as the country you are applying from. Once the application is submitted at the appointment, the decision times are usually around 15 days.

It is important to note that during busier times (such as summer) appointment slots are harder to come by. We would recommend instructing SSW 3 months before your planned travel date.

What business activities are permitted?

Schengen visas for the purpose of business and work visits allow the holder to undertake certain business activities, but prohibit any kind of employment and activities that would be considered ‘work’. Permissible activities can vary by country, however in general include attending conferences, seminars, site visits, concluding contract and in some cases allows some services to be offered in connection with a purchase, supply or maintenance of equipment.

If the worker needs to perform economic activities beyond the scope of the permissible activities under the standard business visit, they may be able to do so with additional steps. This will depend on individual circumstance and the country of visit. The steps will involve obtaining further approval from the government agencies to explicitly authorise such activity.

SSW’s immigration advisors will be happy to assess and guide you on the specific requirements of your employees.

What documents are required?

The list of documents required for a business visit visa will depend on the individual’s circumstances. Below is a list of documents that are generally required:

  • Schengen Application Form
  • Passport (issued within the last 10 years, valid for at least 3 months after the end of trip and with 2 blank pages)
  • Residence Permit (if applying from a country where they are not a national)
  • Passport Sized Photo
  • Travel Itinerary and travel tickets with return
  • Travel Insurance covering at least €30,000 and valid for all Schengen member states
  • Proof of address (bank statement, utility bills, council tax etc.)
  • Original, recent and signed invitation letter from the inviting business
  • Original, recent and signed letter from your employer
  • Evidence of sufficient funds (should be enough to support you during your stay)
  • Proof of Accommodation (hotel booking)

Support with your Schengen visa application

If you require assistance with your Schengen visa application, Smith Stone Walters can help. We regularly file Schengen visa applications on behalf of our clients and can support you through the process every step of the way.

To speak to a member of the Global Immigration team, please contact us today.

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