According to our experience it is possible to obtain a one year Schengen visa even if it is your first application for a visa. How can you do it? Well, our advice would be to apply for a business visa.
In this article we will look into the Netherlands visa as our recent case study: one of our clients was granted a business Schengen visa for the Netherlands for one year.
First of all you need to get all details regarding visa requirements, consulate or Schengen visa application centre appointments, fees, etc.
If you live closer to London than Manchester you should arrange a visa appointment with the visa centre in London and allow at least 5 working days to process your Schengen visa application. It depends on the nationality how long it takes to process your visa application, but in this case a Schengen visa was issued 2 days after the submission of the documents.
It turns out that it is easier and quicker to get a business visa in terms of visa supporting documents. Our client was not asked for either tickets or hotel booking because it was a business visa application. The UK company letter, which is a confirmation of employment, and letter of invitation from a company in the Netherlands were sufficient.
What you still need to provide though is your current account bank statement showing your full name, UK address and sufficient funds to cover your first proposed business trip. Saving or business accounts will not do since they do not show regular payments from your employer.
The Netherlands consulate also requires applicants for a business visa to provide the last pay slip. An important tip to mention is that if you are paid weekly you should provide 4 payslips as they must cover one month. One payslip is sufficient if you are paid monthly. Another important part of the Schengen visa application is travel insurance. It must cover medical expenses including emergency hospital treatment and repatriation. The policy must provide cover for all Schengen countries, and minimum cover is 30,000 euro.
Do not forget to take appointment confirmation letter to your visa appointment as well as a photocopy of all original documents you are bringing to support your visa application.
When your Schengen visa application is approved and the visa is ready, make sure that you know how to read it. If it says that the duration of stay is 90 days, it means that you can only stay in the Schengen area for 90 days during the period of your visa validity. So, if your visa is issued for 6 months and allows you to stay up to 90 days, you may not overstay 3 months. Even if your visa is valid for 1 year and says that the period of stay is 90 days, still, you may not spend more than 3 months in the Schengen area.