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Europe : How to get your Schengen Tourist Visa early?

Europe : How to get your Schengen Tourist Visa early?

Alternative strategies to apply early for the visa

Arranging your visa document for Schengen Tourist Visa takes time. This might delay your application and hence put the whole trip at risk. So why not apply early and secure your trip.

The problems that delay visa application

Visa processing is controlled by the embassies. It can get processed in days or take more than a month. So almost everyone will advise you to secure your visa at the earliest or atleast apply 3 months before your travel date. But how?

There are loads to document to be collected. Apart from financial statements and you will need to provide your detailed travel plan. The embassy would request a day-wise plan with both-way flight tickets, accommodation for all days & all major inter-city transfers. So basically it means, they expect you to book everything before they decide whether they want to let you visit their country or not.

Why do they do this?

The embassy wants to make sure that you aware of what you are getting into and you are well prepared. Or in other words, they are making sure that you don’t become a liability for their government. You just go there, spend your money, make them rich and come back quietly.

What makes it difficult to complete planning before visa application?

There are few major problems in booking everything in advance:

  • It is not always possible to complete all you planning 3 months before your travel date.
  • The rejection rate of Schengen Tourist Visa is low but it does get rejected. (Check 2017 visa statistics here)
    So, if you book all accommodation, transfers and flight tickets, you will be putting a lot of money at risk. You may get hotel deals with zero cancellation charge, but your flight/train/bus tickets or car bookings will almost every time have a heavy cancellation charge.
  • You travel to have fun and relax. Such rigidity in your plan will take away the opportunity to add or remove new sights/destination/activities. And I think this flexibility will be the major reason motivating you to plan the whole trip yourself rather than going with a packaged group tour.
  • Also, 3 months is a long time. You never know how your life changes. There might be good or bad reasons that force you to cancel the whole trip. In such case, at-least your financial loses would be minimum.

So whats the alternative way ??

With the proper understanding and planning, you can apply and secure a visa in minimal time with minimal risk. And you will surely secure your visa at least 2-3 weeks early, leaving you ample time to plan the perfect trip with a stress-free mind.

Let me explain.

There are 2 strategies to attack the visa application: Actual Itinerary Strategy & Minimal Itinerary Strategy.

Similarities first,

  • Flight tickets have to be booked. This is a must-have document and there is no alternative to it.
    If you can find a flight deal with zero cancellation fee, good for you. But generally, no airlines would give you a zero cancellation charge ticket.
  • As you would buy your flight tickets, your travel dates have to planned and locked. This means your entry and exit dates are decided. This will also be used to calculate & validate your duration of stay. This information will also be mentioned in your visa which is why the embassy request for flight tickets. So if there is a major change in travel dates or duration of stay, you might be in trouble. 

The above mentioned 2 points must be decided, fixed and executed before applying for a visa. Everything else is flexible and giving you immense opportunity to plan and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

Now let’s talk about the differences, advantage and disadvantages.

 

Actual Itinerary Strategy

Minimal Itinerary Strategy

Itinerary you present for visa

Delhi, India -> Rome (2 nights)

Rome -> Florence (4 nights)

Florence -> Milan (3 nights)

Milan -> Venice (3 nights)

Venice -> Rome (2 night)

Rome -> Delhi, India

Delhi, India -> Rome (13 nights)

Rome -> Delhi, India

 

Total travel days (Must be same)

14 days

14 days

Port of entry (Must be same)

Rome

Rome

Port of exit (Must be same)

Rome

Rome

Travel insurance needed for
(Must be same)

14 days (But generally suggested to take for +5 days)

14 days (But generally suggested to take for +5  days)

Hotel bookings needed for

Rome – 2 nights

Florence – 4 nights

Milan – 3 nights

Venice – 3 nights

Rome – 2 nights

Rome – 13 nights

Major air-tickets
(Must be same)

Onward: Delhi to Rome

Return: Rome to Delhi

Onward: Delhi to Rome

Return: Rome to Delhi

Inter-city transfer

Rome to Florence

Florence to Milan

Milan to Venice

Venice to Rome

Not required

Days needed to research and prepare travel documents to apply for visa

Minimum 3-4 weeks

Within 1 week

If visa rejected then you loose

– Flight cancellation charge

– Inter-city travel cancellation charge. Trains have a heavy cancellation charge and many low-cost tickets don’t even have cancellation options.

– Hotel cancellation charge (N/A if zero cancellation fee)

– Flight cancellation charge

– Hotel cancellation charge (N/A if zero cancellation fee)

Dis-advantage

– The plan becomes very rigid with minimal options to change things.

So you have to get everything right when you plan, which is very
difficult.

 

– Extra money gets blocked which may take some time to get back. But if you have credit cards, this should not be a problem.

– You will need more time, or you will have to work on 2 itinerary parallelly.

Advantage

– You work on only 1 itinerary.

– All your credit cards limit is available for your usage. Nothing
get blocked.

– You take the minimum risk.

– You get your visa early.

– Visa appointments are difficult to get and at times the earliest date can be 15-20 days later. So working your full itinerary may not be
possible.

When will have your visa

Between 3rd last and 2nd last month

Between 4th last and 3rd last month

What difference does it make to your Timeline?

Actual Itinerary Strategy

Minimal Itinerary Strategy

 

I really hope you plan wisely and have a great trip. Europe is a destination with endless sights to visit, activities to enjoy, food to relish & a great culture to imbibe.

Do comment & share this blog for others benefit. Don’t forget to subscribe for more travel tips & interesting posts.

Do feel free to explore my other post on http://thewhisperinggal.com/


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1 thought on “Europe : How to get your Schengen Tourist Visa early?”

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