Apply for a Schengen Visa from Canada
Despite Canadian passport holders not requiring a passport to travel to the Schengen area, there were more than 27,000 visa applications from Canada in 2017, according to data provided by European Commission.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa from Canada?
Canadian passport holders can visit the Schengen area without a visa for tourism or business purposes for a duration of 90 days, within a six-month period. However, Canadian citizens who have previously been denied a Schengen visa are required to apply for a visa. You also need a visa if you are living in Canada, but are a citizen of a country that does not have a visa-free regime with the Schengen territory.
Apart from this, individuals living in Canada, who are citizens of a country that has a visa free regime with the EU, but have previously been denied a visa, are also required to apply for a visa.
It is also important to remember that only permanent residents of Canada or individuals with a work permit or student visa can apply for a Schengen visa from Canada. The permit or visa must be valid for at least three months after the completion of the trip to the Schengen area.
Those on a visitor visa in Canada need to return to their home country and then apply for a Schengen visa at the appropriate embassy in their country.
Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
The embassy at which you submit the visa application form depends on which countries you intend to visit and the duration of your trip. In case, you are visiting a single country, then you need to apply at that nation’s embassy. If you will be visiting multiple countries, then apply at the embassy of the nation you intend to spend the most time in.
If you are visiting multiple countries, while spending equal amounts of time in each of them, apply at the embassy of the nation you will be visiting first, which will then become your port of entry into the Schengen zone.
What Documents Do You Need to Apply for a Schengen Visa from Canada?
The following documents are required to be attached with the visa application form:
- Valid Passport
Your passport should be valid for at least three months after the completion of your trip to the Schengen area. The passport must not be older than 10 years and must also have at least two blank pages. One page is needed for the visa stamp, while the second is a spare page.
- Visa Application Form
You will need to completely fill and sign the visa application form. All the information on the form should be accurate and complete, to the best of your knowledge, since any mistakes can lead to a delay in your visa processing, or even a rejection.
You will also need to attach a passport-sized photograph with the application form. The photograph must be taken against a light background, with your face and upper shoulders clearly visible. The photograph needs to be glued, rather than stapled on to the application form.
- Residence Permit
You will need to submit your original permanent resident card or visa, which should remain valid for at least three months beyond the completion of your intended visit.
- Cover Letter
You also need to attach a cover letter, which explains the purpose of applying for a specific type of Schengen visa, the countries you intend to visit, as well as the time spent at each destination.
- Travel Health Insurance
A travel health insurance of a minimum cover of €30,000 or approximately C$50,000 necessary for traveling to the Schengen area. The insurance must cover you in case of any medical emergencies, such as accident or illness, and must be valid throughout the Schengen territory.
- Financial Documents
You would also be re quired to prove that you can support yourself financially for the entire duration of the trip. Documents such as your bank statement and pay slips for the last three months can be used for this purpose. In case, your trip is being sponsored by someone else, you will need to provide a letter of sponsorship.
- Proof of Accommodation
You must also provide proof of accommodation, such as hotel bookings in the Schengen area. In case, you are staying with a friend or relative, you need to attach an invitation letter from your host.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
- Before applying for a Schengen visa, you need to select the type of visa most suitable for the purpose of your visit. So, choose from the different types of Schengen visas, such as tourism visa, business visa, study visa, transit visa and medical visa.
- After you have decided the type of visa, you must collect all the necessary documents and submit them along with the completely filled and signed visa application form.
- Next, you would be required to book an appointment for a visa interview, as well as attend it. The visa interview appointment can be taken online or in person, by visiting the embassy.
- After attending the visa interview, you will need to pay the visa processing fee. The visa fee can be paid via cash, credit card, or debit card. However, some embassies may not accept credit card payments. Also, you can pay in your domestic currency, so check the exchange rate before payment. It is also important to know that the visa fee is non-refundable.
When to Apply for a Schengen Visa from Canada?
The earliest you can apply for a Schengen visa from Canada is three months prior to your date of travel. The time taken for visa processing is usually about 15 days, although it can take up to 30 days, in case further processing is required. Therefore, it is recommended to apply for a visa at least 3 to 4 weeks before your intended date of travel.
What if the Visa Application is Rejected?
In case your visa application is rejected, check the reasons for visa denial and make sure those reasons do not exist when you re-apply. In case you feel your application has been wrongly rejected, you can appeal against it as well.
For any further information, it is advisable to contact the embassy of your destination country.