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Where and how to apply

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.

You can check what Consulates are present in your country or what Consulates represent the Schengen State you intend to visit on the list of consular presence and representation excel12book - 99 KB [99 KB] .

The application must, in principle, be submitted to the Consulate at least 15 days before the intended journey and cannot be lodged earlier than three months before the start of the intended journey. You may have to book an appointment before lodging the application.

More detailed information on the procedures for lodging a visa application can be found on individual Member States' dedicated websites pdf - 284 KB [284 KB] .

Family members of EU/EEA nationals

You may be entitled to an accelerated visa procedure free of charge if as you meet the following criteria:

  • you are a family member of an European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen; and
  • that EU/EEA citizen  is travelling to or is residing in a member state other than that of which he/she is a citizen; and
  • you are accompanying the EU/EEA citizen or planning to join him/her in the Schengen State of destination.

If you think you are entitled to an accelerated visa procedure you will need to show proof that you meet these criteria when you submit your visa application.

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