You have booked your flight tickets, and applied for a Schengen visa, with all the proper documentations and completed paperwork. Now, you will have to face a consular official and answer to his/her questions to get a visa. The person will ask you specific questions pertaining to yourself, your family and your travel plans. This could be nerve-wracking. I remember how I fumbled and struggled to understand the accent of my interviewer. I realized that the key is to provide answers in simplest terms, with honesty and complete transparency. Here are some of the questions you can expect during your Schengen visa interview.
Frequently Asked Questions in Schengen Visa Interviews
- What is the purpose of your visit? / Is this your first time in the Schengen Area? / Have you ever travelled to other countries?
This pertains to your entire purpose of travel in the area. State clearly your whole itinerary. If you have travelled to the country before, give a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, if you haven’t. If yes, state the date when you did, and the purpose of travel of your previous visit. State the purpose of travel for the current visit in the simplest terms. If you have ever travelled to other countries, give a brief about that. The interviewer basically wants to establish that you are a law abiding individual, and that you will not misuse your visa to look for employment in the region or stay back as an illegal immigrant.
- Have you booked your tickets? / How long will you be staying in the area? / Do you have a return ticket?
Give the details pertaining to your itinerary again. In short, you have to prove that you will be returning to your country, within the time frame of the visa. If you are travelling with a group, inform the officer of that and ensure that the tickets have been bought for everyone.
- How much is your salary? / How much is your pension? / How much will this journey cost you? / How are you going to finance your trip? / Do you have travel insurance?
You have to establish that you have adequate financial resources to sponsor your trip. Documents like bank account statements, pension account statements, salary slips of the previous 3 months, companies, institutions or relatives declaring that they are sponsoring you are to be submitted. You need to provide adequate proof that you are insured if a medical emergency does occur.
- Who are you visiting in the area? / What does your son/daughter/relative do in the area? / Is your son/daughter married? / Where do they stay in the country? / Where do you plan to stay in the country?
All these questions require you to give details about who you are visiting, and what their visa status (if any) in the country is. Provide their employment details, including company name and address. If you are attending a family function, your cover letter should mention this, along with a letter of invitation from your host. If you are not visiting anyone, then you will have to give proof of accommodation like hotel booking vouchers.
- Why did you choose this university? / How much will your education cost you? / Where did you finish your under-graduate studies? / What do you plan to do with this degree? / Do you know anything about the country you are going to study in?
This is for people intending to study in the Schengen country in question. You need to convince the official about your future plans and the reasons you opted for that particular university. Be specific about the benefits that the particular institution will provide for your long term career plan. Mention if you are on a scholarship. Do a little research on the country you will be staying in and the reasons you are looking forward to the stay. Give valid reasons why that particular country can provide you the best of education. It will be useful if you have basic knowledge of their native language too. Mention your future plans, after you are done with your education. Do not hesitate to answer questions about any plans to get employed in the area, after you finish your education, especially if you intend to do that.
- Where do you work? / How are you going to be abroad for 3 months if you have a job? / How long have you been working for this company?
The objective here is to establish that you have enough obligations in your home country, to which you will return after 3 months. Provide the declaration by the company on its letter-head, giving you leave for 3 months. State clearly your role in the company and your intent to return to work after the trip is over. In case you are visiting for work purposes, tell that clearly to the official.
Remember, these officials are trained to detect fraudulent claims and hesitancy in answering specific questions, basically to find reasons for rejecting your visa application. Do not get nervous and give answers that will force them to subject you to further grilling. If your documents are in place, half your work is already done.
All the best!