If you are travelling primarily because you are on an official visit, i.e. you are a member of an official country delegation invited to visit a state or states within the Schengen area by the government entity of a Schengen state, or a Schengen deliberative body, then you should apply for an Official Visit Schengen Visa.
What is an Official Visit Schengen Visa?
- A kind of short stay (Type C) visa allowing you access to the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period for the purpose of an Official Visit.
Eligibility: Who Can Apply
- Nationals of a third country excluded from visa free access or visas on arrival to the Schengen area, and your country receives an official invitation from a Schengen state/intergovernmental organization (such as an official Schengen deliberative body) to attend in diplomatic meetings, engage in negotiations, cultural programs of exchange, or other events of a political nature, and you are designated as a representative of your country in an official delegation, you are eligible to apply for an Official Visit Schengen Visa.
Required Documents for Official Visit Schengen Visa
- In addition to the Basic Required Documents, applicants for Official Visit Schengen Visa should submit the following materials:
- Official letter issued by your country indicating that you are part of an official delegation travelling to represent your country abroad in the Schengen state/states that extended the official invitation.
- Invitation from Schengen state/Schengen intergovernmental organization.
How to Apply for Official Visit Schengen Visa
- Determine the Schengen country where you will be spending the most time on your trip. You will apply for the Official Visit Schengen Visa through that country’s consulate.
- Select “Official Visit” as reason for travelling.
- Determine how many “Entries” to the Schengen area you need.
- Gather your Basic Required Documents, as well as the documents required for an Official Visit Schengen Visa.
- Fill out your application. Different Schengen countries provide different ways of accessing applications; you might have to use an online application portal or fill out a print-application by hand.
- Pay the application fee (standard fee for adults is 80 Euros). You will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application. This is a separate cost from the visa fee, which you will likely pay in person, at your subsequent interview appointment at a Visa Application Center. Please note that these fees are non-refundable.
- Submit your application.
- Schedule an interview appointment. Interviews are conducted in person either at the embassy or the consulate of the country you are applying to, or at a Visa Application Center associated with the consulate of the country you are applying to.
When to Apply
- You should apply for an Official Visit Schengen Visa at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.
Where to Apply
- You should apply for the Official Visit Schengen Visa through the embassy or the consulate of the country you are travelling to in the Schengen area, or through a Visa Application Center associated with the consulate of the country.
- If you are travelling to multiple countries in the Schengen area, you should apply through the embassy, the consulate or the associated Visa Application Center for the country in which you will spend the most time. And in case you plan to spend equal period of time in those multiple countries, then you need to apply at the embassy, the consulate or the associated Visa Application Center of the country where you will arrive first.
Processing Time for Official Visit Schengen Visa
- The processing time for an Official Visit Schengen Visa is generally about two weeks (15 days). In rarer cases, consulates can take anywhere from 30-60 days to render a decision on an application.