I guess you may be wondering what Schengen really means. Well, it is a name used to refer to a union of countries in Europe.
There are 26 Schengen member states and they are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Holland, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Swiss.
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So, these countries adhere to the Schengen Territorial Agreement. All of them are not necessarily European Union member countries but they have a single common visa which a visitor can use to visit them.
The general rule for applying for a Schengen visa is to do the application in the country you wish to spend more time in. For example, if you wish to travel to France, Germany and Spain, and you will spend more time in Germany, the best bet is to do the application in Germany.
Therefore, this piece is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for Schengen visa in Nigeria and actually get it. To get a Schengen visa, take your time to go through the steps involved and the requirements as well.
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This part holds the most important information you need on how to apply for Schengen visa in Nigeria. Well, if you wish to spend equal days in the countries you wish to visit, then you will have to apply for that at the first port of call.
Now let’s assume you wish to travel to France, Germany and Spain and you will spend more time (more days or weeks) in Germany, then you should apply for Schengen visa in Nigeria through the German Mission/Embassy. But generally to apply for Schengen visa in Nigeria, follow the steps:
Get a local passport. You must have a Nigerian international passport. Go to any Nigeria Immigration Office close to you and obtain one for yourself. With the new improved electronic system, this process now simplified
Provide all needed requirements. The requirements for visiting any Schengen country depend largely on the country. But it is advisable you visit the country’s embassy website to get more information as regards their requirements.
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Because you wish to spend more time in Germany, for example, you have to visit the German Consulate website on www.nigeria.diplo.de in that regard. Generally, you will need to download and fill out the application forms in BLOCK LETTERS where stated, attach your international passport with sufficient validity of 6 months at least, provide 4 passport photographs, you may be asked to provide a travel insurance (if applicable), financial statement, proof of invitation if you were invited by family member or friend, check if they allow your biometric passport without a visa, hotel reservations, medical insurance policy, evidence of ties to those countries (if you say you have visited before), guarantor’s declaration and other relevant documents. Basically, requirements vary from country to country but you must always have the requirements above and they may ask for their peculiar documents.
Submit the form with all the requirements attached.
When you are through with the last stage, you will submit the form at the application center of the country where you intend to spend more time in.
Each Schengen member state has its own laws governing travels into and outside their country by foreign nationals. But generally, they will interview you afterwards and while some will take your biometrics and you will pay for the services provided alongside the Schengen visa charges.
Visa processing takes at most a week in most Schengen member countries that is if the application is approved. The stage above is the last and you will just have to go home and await their invitation to pick up your visa or have it delivered to you.
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If you wish to apply for Schengen visa in Nigeria, you need to consider the following:
The main country you wish to stay for long because this determines which embassy or consulate you will apply through
If you plan to stay in the countries for equal amount of times or you are unsure the length of time you will spend in those countries you have to consider the country you wish enter through because that determines where you will make your application.
Don’t submit international passport covers when submitting your passport and your international passport must not be older than 10 years as at date of application
If the applicant is a minor the parents or guardians have to submit a written consent to the embassy or consulate to approve such requests and he is also allowed to travel alone if he sole wishes.
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If you are travelling as a tourist it means you won’t have any invitation and you need to present a hotel reservations proof. You can book a hotel trough www.booking.com
If you need to travel to a Schengen member state, you need to visit the website of the country where you will be spending more time in.
Do well to always have your passport on you when you finally secure the visa and move from one Schengen country to another. Now that you have all the information you need, go get the process started and good luck!