The Schengen Agreement is a treaty aiming towards the abolition of common borders of states in Europe that was signed on 14 June 1985. Only France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands and West Germany initially signed, but now there are already about 25 members. Now, this group of states is known as the Schengen area.
In consonance with the above mentioned agreement, the Schengen visa has been created. This is in a form of a sticker affixed by the issuing consulate onto the passport or travel document which authorizes the holder to cross borders in Schengen area on condition that he/she met the entry conditions.
Schengen visa has several categories: A, B, C, D, D+C, FTD and FRTD. In Thailand, it is Schengen visa “C” that is popularly applied for because it serves as a short term visa allowing the holder to visit Schengen states for a maximum duration of 90 days in a six month period.
Schengen Visa Application
All consulates of members of the Schengen area are allowed to issue Schengen visas. However, an applicant should file his/her application with the proper consulate. There are three rules to identify which is consulate may receive the request.
First, if he/she wants to visit a Schengen country, he/she needs to apply before the consulate of that particular country.
Second, when several Schengen states are intended to be visited, the consulate of the main destination may issue the visa. For example, the applicant wants to go to Belgium and France, but the intended stay in France is longer, hence, the French Consulate is the proper consulate to grant the visa.
Third, if the applicant is not sure which country will be his/her main destination, the appropriate consulate is that of the country of first entry.
Lastly, when there is no consulate for the country that is the main destination or the first entry in the applicant’s country, he/she may contact the consulate of a Schengen country, which represents, for the purpose of issuing Schengen visa, the country of primary destination or first entry.
The documentary requirements vary depending on the Schengen consulate and purpose of the visit. The standard papers essential to requests for this type of visa for all consulates are valid passport, recent photograph, application form, and proof of medical insurance. The minimum insurance coverage is EUR30,000.00.
Schengen Visa Application Process in Thailand
The visa applicant can complete the application form and obtain the necessary supporting documents before submitting the application to the appropriate Schengen embassy in Thailand. The process normally takes 4-5 business days. It usually takes longer if interview is required.
In case the applicant is applying a said visa based on sponsorship, the sponsor needs to make an official sponsorship declaration in his/her home country which he then provide to the visa applicant as supporting evidence for the application.
Using a Visa agent
While the application process for this type of visa appears to be simple and straightforward, the applicant who is unfamiliar with immigration forms and limited by language barrier may find the application rather frustrating. In this case, it would be good to ask the assistance of a qualified visa agent to assist with the Schengen visa application in Thailand.