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How To Apply for a Schengen Visa from Nigeria: A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you might need a Schengen visa. This visa allows you to travel to any of the 29 countries in the Schengen area with just one document. Whether you’re going for tourism, business, or to visit family and friends, this guide will help you understand the requirements, fee and process of applying for a Schengen visa from Nigeria.

Understanding the Schengen Visa

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member country of the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. The Schengen area includes countries like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, among others.

Schengen Visa Requirements in Nigeria

Before you start your application, it’s important to know the requirements. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Visa Application Form: You must fill out the Schengen visa application form accurately. You can download this form from the embassy or consulate’s website of the country you are visiting.
  2. Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure from the Schengen area. It should also have at least two blank pages.
  3. Photographs: You need two recent passport-sized photos. The photo size for a Schengen visa is 35×45 mm. Make sure the photos are in colour, with a clear background, and your face is clearly visible.
  4. Travel Insurance: You must have travel insurance that covers medical expenses up to €30,000 and is valid for the entire Schengen area.
  5. Flight Itinerary: A reservation or itinerary showing your travel plans, including entry and exit from the Schengen area.
  6. Proof of Accommodation: Hotel bookings or an invitation letter from a host if you’re staying with someone.
  7. Proof of Financial Means: Bank statements for the last three months, or proof of sponsorship if someone else is financing your trip.
  8. Cover Letter: A personal cover letter explaining the purpose of your visit, your travel plans, and how you plan to finance your trip.
  9. Visa Fee: The fee is approximately €80 for adults and €40 for children aged 6 to 12. This fee is non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.
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Visa Fee in Nigeria

The Schengen visa fee in Nigeria is an important part of the application process. As of now, the fee is €90 for adults. For children aged 6 to 12, the fee is €40. Children under six years old do not need to pay a fee. Note that this fee is payable in Nigerian Naira and is subject to change based on the exchange rate at the time of payment. Make sure to confirm the exact amount when you apply.

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Visa Processing Time

Once you have submitted your application, the processing time can vary. Typically, it takes about 15 calendar days from the date of your application. However, during peak travel seasons or in special cases, it might take up to 30 or even 60 days. It’s advisable to apply well in advance of your planned travel date to avoid any delays.

Steps to Apply for a Schengen Visa

Here is a simplified step-by-step guide to help you through the application process:

  1. Determine the Type of Visa You Need: Based on your purpose of travel, choose the correct type of visa. The most common are tourists, businesses, and visiting family or friends.
  2. Choose the Consulate: If you plan to visit multiple countries, you should apply at the consulate of the country where you will spend the most time. If your stay is equal in multiple countries, apply at the consulate of the country you will enter first.
  3. Schedule an Appointment: Book an appointment at the consulate or embassy of the country you are applying to. Some consulates also allow you to schedule appointments online.
  4. Gather Required Documents: Collect all the required documents as listed above. Ensure that you have everything ready before your appointment.
  5. Attend the Appointment: On the day of your appointment, arrive on time with all your documents. You will submit your application and may be required to attend an interview.
  6. Biometrics: During your appointment, you will also need to provide biometric data (fingerprints and photographs).
  7. Pay the Visa Fee: Pay the visa fee in the local currency. Remember, this fee is non-refundable.
  8. Wait for Processing: After your appointment, all you can do is wait. You might be contacted if additional documents are needed.
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Tips for a Successful Application

  • Apply Early: Start your application process at least 3 months before your planned travel date.
  • Be Honest: Provide truthful information and genuine documents.
  • Follow Instructions: Carefully read and follow all instructions given by the consulate.
  • Prepare for the Interview: Be ready to answer questions about your travel plans and background.

Conclusion

Applying for a Schengen visa from Nigeria might seem daunting, but with the right information and preparation, it can be straightforward. Ensure you have all the necessary documents, understand the fees involved, and give yourself plenty of time for the application process. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to seeing the beautiful countries of the Schengen area.

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