You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate of the country that you intend to visit, or – if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the Consulate of the country where you will spend the longest period.
If you intend to visit several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area.
As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate with territorial competence for the country in which you legally reside. If you have doubts about this, e.g. there is no Consulate of the Schengen State that you intend to visit in the country where you reside, you should contact the central authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Immigration Office) of that country. There you can get information on whether that Schengen State is represented by another in the country where you reside.
Applying for a Schengen Visa
First of all you will need to book your appointment in advance. Be advised to plan it at least 15 days prior to your intended departure, but not earlier than 12 weeks before you travel.
Fill into the application form and make sure you do not leave blank fields. If some answers cannot be given - write N/A in appropriate field.
After your appointment is scheduled and form is filled double check the documents required for the application and take passport type photo that will meet requirements for background, size etc.
Attend your appointment on time, and be ready to answer some questions regarding your travel plans and some personal details (you might be questioned about your education, job position and company background).
Some countries (i.e. Italy, France) will require you to provide biometric identifiers (fingerprints and a digital photograph) as part of the visa application process. This information will be stored on the Visa Information System (VIS) and can be used for your next applications for Schengen visas.
Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa Application
Schengen Visa Application Form Requirements
To apply for a Schengen visa you need to provide the following documents:
A completed and signed visa application form
Your passport. Its expiration date should have a minimum of three months after the date you leave the Schengen Area
A health & travel insurance certificate: when you subscribe to an AXA Schengen insurance, your certificate will be sent to you by email immediately after your online subscription. All you need to do is print the certificate and enclose it with your application form
A document detailing your itinerary and your travel arrangements: local authorities need to know where and how you intend to move around, so you are asked to provide proof of your means of transportation (plane, train, or bus tickets, invoices for rental cars)
Documents related to your subsistence: you must provide proof that your have the financial means to support yourself during your entire stay in the visited country. Requirements differ according to the Schengen Area country you are visiting, consulates and embassies will provide you with this information
Documents concerning your accommodation plans: with your application you are asked to give information on where you plan to stay during your visit. This can be a hotel reservation invoice, an email from a friend or relative inviting you to stay with them, etc
Additional documents or information can be asked by the consulate where you are applying.
Schengen Visa Processing Time
The Schengen Visa processing time around the world is approximately two weeks. However, in some cases, it may take longer to process. This could be due to complications with your application and could take 30 days, or in extraordinary cases, 60 calendar days. Sometimes a delay may be nothing to do with your application. For example, delays in processing are common in the summer holiday period of July and August.