Schengen visa for citizens of Senegal in 2022
Published on: 30 September 2021

Senegalese citizens who wish to visit Europe will need to apply for a visa in order to visit any of the major European countries, all of which belong to the Schengen area, and therefore share a common visa policy. Senegal is one of many West African countries which does not have visa-free access to the Schengen area; because of this, you must obtain a visa in order to visit France, Germany, Italy—or any of the zone’s 23 additional Member States. A Schengen visa will allow you to enter any of the Schengen countries, as well as travel throughout the entirety of the zone. Because of this, it is recommended that Senegalese citizens apply for a general Schengen visa. Today’s blog will provide an overview of the Schengen visa requirements for Senegal citizens in 2021. 

How to apply for a Schengen visa from Senegal

  • 1. Pre-select your travel dates
    • Step one of the Schengen visa application process is deciding when to travel/apply for your visa.  
    • While you are not expected to apply so far in advance of your trip (i.e. more than six months before) you should have a basic idea of when you want to travel to the Schengen area, so that you can submit your visa application with enough time for it to be processed and ready for you to pick up before you leave. Pursuant to this objective, it’s recommended that you apply for a visa at least two weeks before you seek to leave for the Schengen area (but not more than six months prior to your travel date, as applications submitted so far in advance will not be accepted). 
  • 2. Select your Schengen visa “type”
    • One of the main Schengen visa requirements for Senegal citizenship in 2021 is the selection of your Schengen visa “type.”
    • The “type” of Schengen visa you choose should mirror your reason for traveling to the Schengen area. 
    • If you are traveling for more than one reason, you should select your most important purpose. For example, if you are traveling to the zone in order to conduct business, but you will also do some tourism while you are there, you should probably apply for a Business Schengen visa for citizens of Senegal (rather than a Schengen Tourist visa).  
    • Click here to browse all of the available Schengen visa types.
  • 3. Select your Schengen visa “entry category”
    • In the context of Schengen visas, “entry category” refers to the number of “entries” or times you can enter the Schengen area. As an applicant, you will have to choose from among three kinds of entry categories: single, double and multiple.
    • Depending on the entry category of Schengen visa you receive, you may be limited to one entry to the zone (i.e. a single entry). If you have a single entry, you will be able to enter the zone one time. You will therefore be denied re-entry privileges if you attempt to return to the zone after leaving it (even if you still have time remaining on your visa). 
    • In contrast to a single-entry visa, a double entry will allow you back into the zone if you leave it (after entering it the first time). In this sense, a double entry allows you two (2) entries to the zone. A double entry Schengen visa is good for applicants who want the flexibility of being able to leave the zone in the case of a pre-arranged commitment (or even an emergency), but who do not anticipate needing to leave the Schengen area frequently.  
    • Finally, a multiple-entry Schengen visa is ideal for applicants who, for example, are looking to travel back and forth between the zone and Senegal, or who intend to spend a total of 90 (non-consecutive) days in the zone. If you receive a multiple-entry Schengen visa, you will be able to enter and exit the zone as many times as you please, without having to worry about using up your entries. Because of this, the multiple-entry Schengen visa is the most flexible and desirable Schengen visa entry category.  
  • 4. Select your primary destination in the Schengen area
    • Perhaps the most important step in how to apply for a Schengen visa from Senegal is the selection of your primary destination in the area, as this will determine where you apply for your visa in Senegal (you will ultimately apply for your Schengen visa through the country that is your primary destination in the zone). 
    • Your primary destination is the Schengen country where you will stay the longest while on your trip. If you are only traveling to one Schengen country, your primary destination is obviously that one country—however, if you are traveling to two or more countries, and you are spending an equal amount of time (i.e. the same number of days) in both, you will have to take into account which of the destinations represents your first entry to the Schengen area. 
    • Let’s say you are traveling to (and spending an equal number of days in) both Germany and the Netherlands. Under this scenario, your primary destination will be whichever country represents your first entry into the Schengen area. In this case, your primary destination would be The Netherlands if you flew directly from Dakar to Amsterdam (if you instead flew directly from Dakar to Berlin, your primary destination would be Germany). Therefore, whether you enter Holland or Germany first is what will determine which of the two countries is your primary destination in the zone (and, therefore, whether you will ultimately apply for a Dutch Schengen visa or a German Schengen visa). 
  • 5. Determine where to apply in Senegal
    • If you are applying for a short-stay Schengen visa in Senegal, you will need to figure out where specifically to submit your visa application in the country. Once you know your primary destination in the zone, you will apply for your visa through that country’s embassy, consulate or visa application center. The majority of these destinations will be in the capital (Dakar). 
    • For example, if you are applying for a Schengen visa to Germany, you will apply for your visa via the German Embassy in Dakar. 
  • 6. Gather your required documents
    • As a Schengen visa applicant from Senegal, you will need to fulfill the below Schengen visa requirements for Senegalese citizens—i.e. submit the following basic required documents.  
      • Senegalese passport.
      • Passport photos (2).
      • Schengen visa application form.
      • Proof of subsistence (i.e. proof that you have enough money to afford for all the costs associated with your travel to (and subsequent stay in) the Schengen area).
      • Proof of accommodation (i.e. proof that you have a place to stay in the zone).
      • Proof of travel-medical insurance (i.e. proof that you have medical insurance which will pay for you in the event that you require medical care in the zone).
      • Proof of return (i.e. proof that you will return to Senegal/exit the Schengen area before your visa expires).
    • Additional Schengen visa requirements for Senegalese citizens include the submission of the following: 
      • Biometric information.
      • Schengen visa fees for Senegal citizens.
    • In addition to the above, you will also almost certainly be required to submit several supplemental documents, depending on the specific type of Schengen visa you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a Medical Schengen visa, you will have to submit documents from your doctor, confirming the nature of the medical care/procedure you will be undertaking in the Schengen area. 
    • Please note that most Schengen countries have language requirements for submitted documents. For example, if you are applying for a French Schengen visa, you will likely have to submit documents written in either French, English, or another commonly accepted European language (otherwise, you may have to have your documents translated into an accepted language).  
    • To view all of the Schengen visa requirements, click here.
  • 7. Access your Schengen visa application
    • You can access the basic Schengen visa application form here. Applicants who apply through this form should download it, print it out, sign it, and submit it with the rest of their application forms. 
    • While most countries will allow you to submit the above form, some prefer that you apply online, through a different avenue. For example, France directs applicants to its country-specific visa portal, available online here.
    • Please note that those who apply through an electronic form like the above will also have to hand in a paper copy of their application (in addition to submitting it online) and bring said copy to their subsequent Schengen visa appointment. 
  • 8. Schedule your Schengen visa appointment
    • If you are applying for a short-stay Schengen visa in Senegal, you will need to attend a visa-appointment at your application destination (and schedule said appointment in advance). 
    • If you apply through an online portal (like the above one for France) you will likely be able to make your appointment online. If you apply using the basic (non-electronic) form, you should contact your application destination in order to find out whether (and how) to make a visa appointment. 
  • 9. Attend your Schengen visa appointment
    • The final step of the Schengen visa application process is the attendance of your visa appointment. This is where you will complete all the in-person visa requirements for Senegalese citizens, including the following: 
      • Submission of your complete application.
      • Payment of Schengen visa fee.
        • The Schengen visa fees for Senegal citizens are 80 EUR for most applicants. However, if you are a student, or fall into a special kind of category as an applicant, you may be able to avoid paying that complete fee (or avoid paying it altogether). To estimate your visa costs, click here.
      • Submission of biometric information (photo and fingerprints).
        • If this is your first time applying for a Schengen visa, you will have to submit your photo and fingerprints (biometrics) for security purposes as part of the Schengen visa requirements. However, if you previously traveled to the Schengen area within the past five years, you will not have to resubmit them. 
      • Attendance of visa interview.
        • Simply a short interview in which you will face basic questions about your trip and personal background. 
  • 10. Await your decision
    • If you are not approved for a Schengen visa for citizens of Senegal (either because you did not meet the visa requirements for Senegalese citizens or for another reason), you can appeal your rejection. Begin this process by viewing the general appeal process for rejected Schengen visas here.

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