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How to apply for a Schengen visa

How to apply for a Schengen visa

Information about Schengen visas

Starting from the 9th of March 2021, all short-term Schengen visa applications shall be submitted at the VFS Global service centres

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy only accepts visa applications from applicants who are allowed to enter Estonia according to the current restrictions.

How to apply for a Schengen visa?

Please note that in order to apply for the Schengen visa, only a pre-filled online application form is accepted. The completed application form has to be printed out, duly signed and submitted at one of the VFS Global centres.

  • Visa application must be lodged at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit (as this is the normal processing time) and cannot be lodged earlier than three months before the start of the intended visit.

Basic requirements for persons applying for a visa irrespective of the purpose of travel:

Please note that incomplete applications will not be accepted.

  1. a valid travel document which is issued within previous 10 years, contains at least two blank pages for visas and is valid at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa (original plus copy);
  2. photo (size 35×45 mm; taken within the last 6 months);
  3. insurance policy valid in Schengen countries with a coverage of at least 30.000 EUR for the entire duration of stay in Schengen area (original plus copy);
  4. application form. Please note that only pre-filled online application form is accepted. The application form is available here – ONLINE APPLICATION FORM. The completed application form has to be printed out, duly signed and submitted at the VFS Global centre.
  5. a United Kingdom residence permit valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended departure from the Schengen area (original plus copy);

6. documentation allowing for the assessment of the applicant’s intention to leave the Schengen area:

6.1. Proof of confirmed return ticket to the United Kingdom or to the country of final destination;

6.2. Recent (i.e. last 3 months) United Kingdom bank statement in the applicant’s name and address showing details and a balance showing that he has sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to the United Kingdom or his country of origin, or for the transit to a third country into which he is certain to be admitted, or that he is in a position to acquire such means lawfully, in accordance with Article 5(1)(c) and (3) of the Schengen Borders Code.

If the applicant is financially supported by her/his spouse (for example if the applicant does not work herself/himself), please also provide a marriage certificate and the spouse’s bank statements.

Please note that cash is not accepted as proof of sufficient means.

6.3.  General employment:

  • recent, official and signed letter from employer (headed letter with name, position of signatory and date of issue, address, recent telephone number and registration number in the United Kingdom) and/or payslips for the last 3 months.

6.4. Self-employment:

  • recent letter from accountant, banker or solicitor (official headed letter with name, date of issue, address, recent telephone number and position of signatory and registration number in the United Kingdom) stating self-employment or business ownership in the United Kingdom.
  • letter from the tax authorities.

6.5. Students:

  • Recent, official and signed letter from United Kingdom school, college or university stating date of issue, name of the applicant and type of studies and number of lessons (hours) per week and attendance record

7. Airport transit

Visa or entry permit and confirmed tickets regarding the onward journey to the final country of destination

8. Additional documents to be submitted depending on the purpose of travel

8.1. Business

  • an invitation from a company or an authority to attend meetings, conferences, proof of registration, or events connected with trade, industry or work.
  • other documents which show the existence of trade relations or relations for work purposes.
  • entry tickets or registration for fairs and congresses.

8.2. Study or professional training

  • a certificate of enrolment at an educational establishment (school, university, college, etc) for the purposes of attending vocational or theoretical courses within the framework of basic and further training;
  • student card or certificate of the courses to be attended.
  • documents in relation to accommodation, or proof of sufficient means to cover the accommodation.

8.3. Tourism

  • confirmed hotel booking for your full stay in the Schengen area or any other appropriate document stating the planned accommodation; or
  • booking confirmation of a European tour or any other appropriate document.

8.4. Private (family, friends) visit

  • documents in relation to accommodation, or
  • proof of sufficient means to cover this accommodation.
  • copy of data page of passport or residence permit of host in the Member State, if staying with one.
  • proof of family relationship.

8.5. Medical treatment

  • an official document of the medical institution confirming necessity for medical care in that institution
  • proof of sufficient financial means to pay for the medical treatment
  • proof of prepayment of medical treatment

8.6. Official delegations travelling on the basis of an official invitation addressed to the government of the third country concerned, to participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programs, as well as in events held in the territory of a Member State by intergovernmental organizations

  • a letter issued by an authority of the third country concerned confirming that the applicant is a member of the official delegation travelling to a member state to participate in the above mentioned events, accompanied by a copy of the official invitation from the intergovernmental organization in the Member State; or
  • note verbale.

9. Particular requirements applying to specific categories of persons

9.1. Minors (children below 18 years)

  • birth certificate
  • minors travelling alone or with only one parent:
  • original passports of both parents (unless one parent has the sole custody or residence order for the child);
  • proof of consent of parental authority or legal guardian.

9.2. Family member of an Estonian citizen (spouses and children)

  • proof of residence in the UK
  • proof of the family relationship: marriage certificate and a copy thereof; birth certificate.

9.3. Seafarers

  • Seaman’s book
  • Covering letter from recruiting company stating the name and the rank of the seafarer
  • Vessel’s name, vessel’s arrival date in port and the date of the seafarer’s joining of the vessel

9.4. Lorry drivers

  • A written request from the national association (union) of carriers of the host country providing for international road transportation, stating the purpose, duration and frequency of the trips
  • Written request from the partner company based in the Member State
  • Driver’s licence for international transport

Information about Schengen visas

Schengen visa is a visa for short stays (tourism, visit or business) valid in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Types of Schengen visa

Airport transit visa (type A) – is issued for passing through the international transit areas of airports situated on the territory of the Member States.

Short-term visa (type C) – is issued for transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of first entry in the territory of the Member States.

If the travel destination includes more than one Schengen member state, the application must be lodged at the representation of the main destination. The main destination is understood to be the destination where you intend to spend the longest time or where the main purpose of the intended journey is carried out.

If you wish to visit several Schengen member states and you are not sure of the state of main destination or plan to spend the equal number of days in each state, the visa must be applied for at the representation of the state through which the visa applicant intends to enter the Schengen area.

The following persons are exempted from paying the visa fee:

  • Children under 6 years.
  • A family member of an Estonian citizen of a third country whose nationals are required to hold a visa for the Schengen area (if the family member accompanies or joins the EU national); persons who intend to attend meetings of the United Nations or its organizations, the Council of Europe, the European Union or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to be held in Estonia.
  • School children, students, post-graduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purpose only of study or educational training.
  • Researchers coming from third countries travelling in the Community for conducting scientific research with a view to facilitating proceedings carried out by Member States for issuing uniform short -stay visas.
  • Persons invited by Parliament or the Estonian Government.
  • Anyone who, by virtue of an international convention, is entitled to a visa free of charge.
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations.
  • Holders of diplomatic and service passports.

A family member of an Estonian citizen can apply for entry visa to Schengen area under simplified conditions, if the family member accompanies or joins the Estonian national.


  • visa application form.
  • A photo (size 35×45 mm, taken within the last 6 months);
  • A valid travel document (plus one copy) which is issued within previous 10 years, contains at least two blank pages for visas and is valid at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa
  • Documentation proving that you belong to one of the categories mentioned above (marriage certificate, certificate of registration of partnership, birth certificate or other official documentation). Original plus one copy.
  • A copy of a passport of the relative who is Estonian citizen.

As of 05.04.2011 a foreign citizen has the right to appeal the decision on refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa.

The refused visa applicant or a visa holder whose visa has been annulled or revoked can turn to the relevant representation by submitting a written application (597.13 KB, PDF) within 30 days.

The fee charged for processing the appeal is 20 EUR.

Bank accounts of the MINISTRY OF FINANCE for collecting the appeal fee are the following:

– SEB Pank EE891010220034796011

– SwedbankEE932200221023778606

– Danske Bank EE403300333416110002

– Nordea Pank EE701700017001577198

Reference number of the MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
Review of the appeal – 2900073630

Please note, the fee will be taken for the review of an appeal.