Business visa is an authorization of the designated country/countries of destination within the Schengen Area issued to the citizens of countries that have mandatory visa requirements from the Schengen Zone with the sole purpose of doing business in the Schengen zone.
The holder of this type of visa is not required to have the citizenship of the designated country in order to follow their business agenda yet it such an authorization has its limitations as well.
What Documents are Required When Applying for a Business Schengen Visa?
The following documents are required for a Business Schengen visa application:
- Visa application form. Fully completed and signed.
- Two recently taken photos must be attached. Both photos must be taken within the last three months, according to the Schengen visa photo requirements.
- A valid passport. It should valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Schengen area. Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
- Round trip reservation or itinerary It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area. You can use the visa consultation services like this one. These guys can handle most of your business visa mandatory requirements such as flight itineraries, hotel reservations along with free consultation over email.
- Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in case of death.
- Proof of accommodation. A document that shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen. This could be a hotel booking, a rental agreement, or a letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
- Proof of financial means. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially during your Business trip in Europe. This can be one of the following:
- Bank account statement – that shows you have enough money in your account for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
- Sponsorship Letter – by another person that confirms they will be financially supporting your trip to the Schengen. In order for this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.
- A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.
- Proof of paid visa fee.
- Cover letter. Explaining the purpose of the visit to the Schengen country.
- A short profile of the applicants working place.
- Letter from employer. Meticulously describing the purpose of the travel as well as the itinerary of the days spend within the Schengen zone.
- Invitation letter. Written by the partner company in the Schengen zone, faxed also to the corresponding consulate. This letter has to appear as an invitation to attend meetings or other relevant events matching trade, industry or work.
- Proof of financial means. It must be stated either in the employer’s letter or the partner company’s invitation that one of both parties will be covering the applicant’s travel expenses during his/her stay in the Schengen Zone.
- If there were previous trade relations between the two companies proof of such an event.
- For employees:
- Employment contract.
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Leave permission from the employer.
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
- For the self-employed:
- A copy of your business license.
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Income Tax Return (ITR).
Where to Submit the Business Schengen Visa Application?
You have to submit your application for a Business Schengen Visa to the consulate or embassy of the country where you will be entering or residing the most during your business trip.
- If you are planning to visit only one country – then you need to apply at the embassy / consulate / visa center of the country you will be visiting.
- If you are planning to visit more than one country – then where you need to apply depends on the number of days you will be spending in each of the countries you will step in.
- When spending equal amount of days in each – then you need to apply at the embassy / consulate / visa center of the country where you will arrive first.
- When spending unequal amount of days in each – then you will need to apply at the embassy / consulate / visa center of the country where you will be spending more time.
How to Apply for a Business Schengen Visa?
There are a few simple steps to follow when applying for a business Schengen visa:
- Check at which Embassy/Consulate you need to apply. In order to file your business visa application at the right place, you will need to know which country should issue you a business visa (if you are planning to visit more than one Schengen state). Then you need to check, what body of that particular country handles visa applications or whether it has outsourced visa submission to another party.
- Schedule an appointment at the embassy / consulate / visa center.
- Attend the visa interview. Take all of the required documents for business visa with you.
- Wait for a response. In the meantime, the embassy will process your visa, which will go through EU security systems as Visa Information System and Schengen Information System.
When to Apply for a Business Schengen Visa?
The earliest time to apply for a Business visa is three months before your planned trip and the latest is at most 15 working days before your intend to travel to Europe for business purposes.
The best time to apply for a Business Schengen visa is at least three weeks before your business trip to Europe.
How Long is the Business Schengen Visa valid for?
Business visa is commonly valid for stays no more than 90 days. If you will be traveling a lot and not only in one Schengen country it’s recommendable to fill in the “multiple entry” gap in the application form. This way you will be able to enter and leave Schengen Zone as you please for the amount of time allowed on your visa issued.
Please, make sure to understand carefully the labels attached to the business visa sticker, including the period it permits you to remain in Europe, otherwise, there can be consequences to overstaying Business Schengen visa.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Business Schengen Visa?
On average, the processing time for a Business Schengen visa is 10 business days. Within this period, the applicant will be informed whether the Business Schengen visa has been granted or rejected.
However, depending on the situation, the processing time for a Business visa to Europe might take up longer if there is something extraordinary with the individual case or any political situation is on the go.