In my post here, I spoke about what a Schengen visa is and what one needs to know about it before planning the grand ‘Euro trip’. In this post, I will tell you how to prepare the documents which you need to apply for this visa in a way which will increase your chances of getting a Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa. You might not find this information anywhere else because this is from my personal experiences.
Tip 1: Research on the internet about which Member Consulate has the highest number of multiple entry visa allocation rates and apply there. This will increase your chances of getting a multiple entry visa on the first time attempt. Start from here. I had applied at the Swedish Embassy for my first Schengen visa and had received the multiple entry visas on my first attempt, which resulted in my trip to 5 European countries within the three months of validity.
Tip 2: One of the main requirements is having a travel insurance, so make sure that you buy a travel insurance which is valid for at least a year. Imagine you applying for 6 months multiple entry visas with a travel insurance valid for 2 months only. NOT GOOD. I used Columbus Direct because thanks to a few suggestions; it was relatively cheaper with good facilities. (Find it here). For an annual travel insurance, it costs around £22. (35$).
Tip 3: The Schengen visa requires you to provide the confirmation of accommodation, which means you either have a booking confirmation from a hotel/hostel or a properly attested invite from the friend/host you shall be living with.
The easy way around this is that if you are planning to live with friends/Couchsurfing, you should book a cheap hostel (try this) in the country, get the confirmation of booking and apply for the visa with that. You will be able to easily get a bed and shelter within £10 (14$). Once you get the visa you can choose to cancel the hostel booking or leave it and enjoy your trip with your host or friends. You might lose a little money there but it’s much less painful than the invites system and this way, you will be able to stay more flexible with your plans and be spontaneous.
Tip 4: Travelling is not free and the one thing you can’t run away from is the finances. You would need to submit statements proving that you have enough funds to live in the country. This is one of the major factors in the decision for multiple entry visas. The cost of living varies from country to country so make sure that you check that out before planning your trip. Make sure that you do have the funds for more than this one trip so that the authorities know that you have enough money for other trips as well. (Common sense, really.). Most of the European countries require you to have an around £40 (58$) per day basis.
Tip 5: (Last but the most important tip) If you are visiting more than one country in Europe, you would need to put your complete itinerary on the application form along with all the supporting documents (tips above) for each country. That can be really messy if you take into account the exact details for each and every trip.
The way around this is, don’t go to multiple countries on your first trip itself. Yes, visit a single Schengen country on the first trip and follow the tips above to get the multiple entry visa. Once you get it, you can pack your bags and visit any European country and do multiple countries within the next six months.
Won’t this experience be worth going through all of the pain mentioned above? Congratulations! You have just mastered the way to make Europe visa-free.
Leave your feedback or other tips which can be helpful for others.