What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is the most common visa in Europe. It is a short-term stay visa that allows persons to travel to any member of the Schengen area, which comprises 26 European countries that share similar interests and laws.
Where to travel on a Schengen visa?
There are twenty-six European countries in the Schengen zone, and the same visa works for all. These countries are France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Iceland, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweeden, Switzerland, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Czech Republic, Malta, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein and Luxemburg.
With the Schengen visa, you are permitted with 90days per visit. So once you are granted the visa and the embassy is aware of your travel plans, you can visit all 26 countries in one go using the same visa, as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days.
Where do I apply for a Schengen Visa in Jamaica?
Applying for a Schengen visa to visit a country in the Schengen zone, you will need to apply for a visa at that embassy. However, not all countries have their embassy or consulates in Jamaica, but not to worry, other embassies or consulates act on their behalf.
If you are visiting Germany, you will go to the Embassy of Germany in Kingston, Jamaica, to apply for the visa, which also processes the visa for Estonia, Finland, Iceland, and Italy.
The Embassy of Spain in Kingston, Jamaica, process Spanish Schengen visa. They also do for Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia and Switzerland. If you are planning on visiting any of these countries, you will visit the Embassy of Spain in Kingston to apply for the visa,
The Embassy of Belgium in Kingston, Jamaica, process visa for Belgium. Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Netherland.
If you plan to visit three countries in the Schengen Zone for 30 days, then the country you will spend most of your trip visit the embassy for that country to apply for the visa. For instance, you will be visiting Iceland, Greece and France, but you will spend most of the 30day in France; you will visit the German Embassy in Kingston to apply for the visa.
What are the requirements to apply for the Schengen Visa as a Jamaican?
The following list of documents are required for any short-term Schengen visa application:
1. A completed and signed application form
2. Financial proof
You will need to provide a bank statement from your bank showing figures and details for your account over the last three months. In addition, if someone sponsors your trip, you must submit a sponsorship letter from your sponsor stating that they will be taking care of your expenses.
3. Travel Insurance
You can get travel insurance for a Schengen visa from these local provider Guardian life, Sagicor life, Grace Kennedy insurance and Key insurance. It should be a minimum of 30,000 euros courage. Or you can easily purchase travel insurance for Schengen purposes online and print your policy at home from a provider such as AXA Insurance.
When buying insurance, choose a period that generously covers the length of your stay. For example, if you’re staying for 20days, think about 40-day coverage. The range of your insurance coverage can have an impact on the length of the visa you’re issued.
4. Proof of Accommodation and itinerary
You will need a printout from the airline website showing the date and price (do not purchase a ticket until you receive the visa). Hotel/Hostel reservation
information is also required ( you may want to book places with no upfront charge and free cancellation, which you can cancel after your interview!).
If you’re travelling to multiple countries, think about carrying printouts showing plane, train, or bus tickets (again, don’t purchase) indicating how you intend to get around. In addition, some embassies might require you to present an itinerary prepared by a travel agent.
If you are staying at someone’s home, you need a signed letter of invitation along with a copy of your host’s passport information page.
5. Proof of your intention to return
You will need an official job letter showing your date of employment, your role in the company, your salary, and the number of vacation days. Self-employed people need to bring an original and a copy of their business registration certificate. Students should submit a letter from the school.
6. Valid passport
Your passport must be valid for at least three months past the date you plan to leave the Schengen zone. If you plan to exit the Schengen zone and return, your passport must be valid for three months after you plan to leave the area permanently. For example, you plan to leave France on 15 July to visit Spain. You intend to return to France before going back to Jamaica on 15 August; then, your passport must be valid for at least September 15.
You’ll need to submit a recent passport-sized photo. Check the website of the embassy you’re applying to for dimensions.
8. Visa fee
A Schengen Visa for Jamaica costs 80 euros for adults and 40 euros for minors. Some embassies accept exact change in cash only; others accept major credit cards (Visa or Mastercard) but require US dollars if paying in cash. Please be sure to check the payment options before the interview.
Happy Travel ……….. Travel safe!! 🙂