Religious Purposes Schengen Visa: If you are traveling primarily for religious purposes, (i.e. to participate in religious activities/assemblies).
What is a Religious Purposes Schengen Visa?
- A kind of short term (Type C) visa allowing you access to the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period for religious purposes.
Required Documents for Religious Purposes Schengen Visa?
- In addition to the Basic of Schengen Visa Application Requirements, to apply for a Religious Purposes Schengen Visa, you will need to supply documents conveying information about the religious event/service or ceremony in which you intend to participate in the Schengen area, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Letter from the religious organization detailing the nature of the religious event/service being held (if applicable).
- Tickets to the religious ceremony/event or invitation.
- Pamphlets, website, copies of any materials you received indicating your participation or outlining the event.
- Proof of participation in previous religious events of a similar nature (if applicable).
Eligibility: Who Can Apply
- Anyone who can credibly demonstrate their participation in religious events/service may apply for the Religious Purposes Schengen Visa.
How to Apply for Religious Purposes Schengen Visa
- Determine the Schengen country where you will be spending the most time on your trip. You will apply for the Religious Purposes Schengen Visa through that country’s consulate.
- Determine how many “Entries” to the Schengen area you need.
- Select “Other” as the purpose for traveling. There is additional space for you to provide further information about the religious reasons for your travel.
- Gather your Basic Required Documents, as well as the documents required for a Religious Purposes Schengen Visa.
- Schedule an interview appointment (if applicable). Depending on the location of the consulate/embassy or visa center you are applying through, you may have to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application. Alternatively, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours. Contact your consulate/embassy directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
- Fill out your application. Different 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. Different consulates/embassies and visa centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In most cases, applications must be submitted in person wherever you are applying. When you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit your fingerprints.
When to Apply
- You should apply for the Religious Purposes 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 Religious Purposes Schengen Visa through the consulate of the country you are travelling to in the Schengen area.
- If you are travelling to multiple countries in the Schengen area, you should apply through the consulate of the state in which you will spend the most time. And in case you plan to spend an 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 Religious Purposes Schengen Visa
- The processing time for the Religious Purposes 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.