Part of any tourist visa application is a personal interview conducted by one of the embassy’s consuls; so in order for you to seal your visa deal this article will focus on preparing for your Schengen visa interview. Hopefully, after reading this self-help literature, you will be able to face the consul without fear, without hesitations, and without doubts.
Prior to being able to schedule your Schengen visa interview, you will need to prepare some documents so that the consul has some information about you, your travel intentions, and your financial background. All these documents will support your intention to just visit the Schengen area and not to illegally stay beyond the promised itinerary. Here are the requirements for the Schengen visa application:
- Valid passport and copies of the front and back pages
- Current passport-sized photos with white background
- Completed Schengen Visa application form
- Proof of travel such as flight booking, travel itinerary, and hotel booking – You may get a Flight Booking for Visa and Hotel Reservation for Visa just for your visa application without having to pay for the airfare or hotel booking.
- Travel Insurance – It is better to acquire this from Schengen Travel Insurance, an affordable and reliable insurance company.
- Personal Coverage Letter
- Bank Documents
- For employed travellers, a No Objection Letter is highly recommended
Preparing for Your Schengen Visa Interview:
Does one really need to prepare for a visa interview? How does one really prepare for it? Well, the answer to the first question is a definite “Yes!” Why? Because applying for a Schengen visa entails time, money, and effort which you simply do not want to go to waste due to some inconsistencies in the way you deal with your interview. To avoid such inconsistencies that may occur during the interview, here are some steps on how to face your interviewer with confidence and esteem:
Practice your English:
Yes, the consul may be Italian, Spanish, German, or Greek but do expect them to speak with you in English. If English is not your first language, then you should rehearse speaking in English before the day of your interview. Your knowledge of English doesn’t have to be as deep as Shakespeare’s but knowing how to answer in simple English sentences will help in relaying your travel intentions, your financial background, and other personal information. Here are some sentences that you may help you in your interview:
- My name is ____________________.
- I will go to _________________ to visit/ to see ______________________.
- I work as a ____________________.
- I will personally shoulder my travel expenses.
- I will fly to _________________ from ____________ to _______________.
Prepare Evidence of Going Back Home:
Consuls always check if you have a compelling reason to go back home/country of residence. If they don’t find any strong ties that connect you to your home country, then they might deny you of a Schengen visa. To avoid this, you need to prepare documents that will prove that you are indeed flying back home.
One document that can help you prove this is your employment contract or employment certificate. If you have an existing contract with your current employer that can prove that you are earning enough, then the consul will believe that you will not illegally stay within the Schengen area.
Another document that can help you in preparing for your Schengen visa interview is the No Objection Letter. This letter proves that your employer is aware of your intention to travel and that he/she shows no objection to your travel plans.
Lastly, a complete financial certification like savings, bank documents, and the like will be a strong evidence that will show that you have every reason to fly home.
Bring your Supporting Documents:
It is also important for you to submit other supporting documents that will prove that you do not have any intention to stay beyond the prescribed period. One document that may help is fixed assets documentation. For example, if you own properties like land, house, apartments, vehicles, and the like then bring such documents may come in handy. Another supporting document that may be of help is medical clearance. Especially if you are coming from a country stricken with communicative disease like Avian Flu or H1N1 then it is best for you to bring a medical certificate that proves that you do not have such disease or that you got all necessary booster shots for it.
Memorize your Itinerary:
Some consuls check if you are telling the truth by asking many questions about your travel itinerary. Remember you have submitted your travel itinerary to the embassy prior to the interview so the consul has a written basis about your proposed itinerary. You need to know your itinerary by heart so that even if the consul asks you the same question over and over again, your answers will be consistent.
Be Straight to the Point:
When going to your interview, remember the saying, “Less words, less mistakes.” Do not expound or explain too much because it may appear as if you are covering something or you are being defensive. Just answer what is being asked and do not elaborate further. Only explain when you are asked to explain. If not, be brief with your reply.
Tell the Truth:
These consuls are trained to identify people who are telling the truth from those who are not. If you want to have a Schengen visa, give honest replies.
A lot of interviewees forget to relax during an interview; hence also forgets to smile. Appearing friendly and pleasing will appease that consul of your real intentions of travelling.
Preparing for Your Schengen Visa Interview – You are Ready!
Now that you know what steps to take to go to your visa interview with confidence and zeal, then you can now remove your anxieties and fear. Should you have more queries about the visa application process, you may contact us through our website or Facebook page.
Hopefully this article has given you thorough pointers in preparing for your Schengen visa interview. Good luck!