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28 Jun
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Schengen Visa for Kenyan Citizens

What Type of Visa Is the Schengen Visa?

Every visitor planning to visit Europe from Kenya should be aware of the Schengen Visa.  The Schengen Visa for Kenyan Citizens is beneficial as it’s as of this writing valid in a total of 26 member states of the Europe. In this article, we provide comprehensive information of the said visa to Kenyan populace visiting Europe.

NB: The 1985 Schengen Agreement abolished border control check between member countries for purposes of easier international travel with the European continent. All Schengen member countries effectively share one common border. They are also responsible for protecting the entire Schengen area as one.

This travel document allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area of Europe, without the need for additional paperwork. For example, if you begin your travel in France and wish to move on to Liechtenstein or Italy (or any other of the 26 member states) you can do so without the need to obtain additional visas. This means there are no internal borders to negotiate across the Schengen Area, making it simple move from one country to another.

Schengen Visa types for Kenyan Citizens

Schengen passport for Kenyans.

Before applying, you need to determine the type of visa you require. The following criteria will help you decide which visa is suitable for you:

a) Uniform Schengen Visa

This visa permits the holder to stay in, or travel within, any country in the Schengen Area, for up to a maximum of 90 days at a time within a six-month period from the date of issue. These can be issued as:

  • a single-entry visa, meaning the holder can only enter/exit the Schengen Area once
  • a double entry visa allowing a second entry within the time period
  • a multiple entry visa which can be used multiple times (within the permitted time limits of the visa

b) Limited Territorial Validity Visa

This visa is available for travel only in the particular Schengen country that originally issued the visa. Holders of this type of visa are not permitted to enter any other Schengen member state. These visas are most often used in emergency/humanitarian situations where travel documents are not normally available.

c) National Visa.

This particular visa is suitable for those who wish to study or work in any one of the Schengen countries and again is available as either a single or multiple entry.

Applying for the Schengen Visa

Schenghen Passport

Kenyan citizens wishing to apply for a visa must begin the process by arranging an appointment at appropriate embassy. The embassy you choose for this should be either the one relating to the country you will begin your trip (first point of entry within the Schengen Area) or to the country in which you will be spending the majority of your time.

You can schedule your appointment online on the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) website or, if you prefer, in person at a local VFS center.

You should be aware that it may take up to two (2) weeks to complete the process and chances are you will probably wait up to another ten (10) days for the embassy to contact you. It’s advisable therefore that you apply for your visa at least a month prior to the date you wish to travel.

Schengen Visa Application Fees

The following fees currently apply:

  • Adult visa: 60 EUROS
  • Long stay visa (more than 90 days): 99 EUROS
  • Child visa (between 6-12 years): 35 EUROS

There will be no fee payable under certain conditions, such as for:

  • Children under the age of 6
  • Diplomatic passport holders
  • Students and accompanying teachers
  • Researchers from third world countries
  • Participants aged 25 and under at educational non-profit conferences or other events.

Subsequent Steps After Making an Application

You will need to obtain an application form which can be downloaded from the embassy website, or you may collect a hard copy from the embassy office. Along with the completed form, you will also be required to produce the following documentary evidence to the embassy:

  • Two passport sized photographs adhering to the official standard (full-frontal head image between 32-36mm in height with a plain background; no red-eye, reflections or shadows)
  • A valid passport with at least two available blank pages
  • A sponsorship letter explaining the reason/objective of the visit and stating the duration
  • Evidence of travel insurance purchased showing a minimum coverage of 30,000 EUROS
  • Copies of all relevant travel tickets and a full itinerary for the trip, including accommodation bookings and any tourist packages
  • Proof of applicant’s status, such as birth/marriage certificates and any national identity documents or cards
  • Employment details, such as contracts, proof of income for the past six months, leave entitlement consent from your employer and any other documentation as requested
  • Business credentials and licenses for self-employed persons along with income tax returns and proof of financial means
  • For retirees, pension payment documents/evidence for past six months
  • For students, proof of enrolment and verification from their school or college

The information and documentation provided by you will be scrutinized carefully by the embassy for authenticity. Once this process has been completed, you will be invited to attend an interview with an embassy official.

The Interview Process

This is a very important part of the visa application process and it’s useful to know what to expect before you attend. The interviewer will ask you a series of questions to:

  • Ascertain the reason for your travel.
  • To confirm all dates and your intended itinerary
  • Confirm your financial status and may be asked to provide further support evidence or documentation
  • Prove that all necessary arrangements are in place and that you understand your obligations regarding the laws of the country/countries you are intending to visit and confirm that you will return to Kenya at the end of the visit as planned.

NB: Biometric testing will take place at the end of the interview and the results of this will be electronically associated with your identity documentation.

The Interview Results

The embassy will reach out to you within 10-15 days after the interview takes place. If accepted, your visa will be posted out to you in due course. If, however, your application is not successful you will receive a letter stating the reasons why.

Reasons for Interview Failure

Possible reasons for rejection could be:

  • Providing insufficient or incorrect personal information
  • The necessary travel documentation and/or a fully completed itinerary was not provided
  • No sponsorship letter was submitted with the application (this is essential where the travel is being sponsored)
  • The discovery of criminal convictions or any previous history of criminal activity
  • Insufficient financial means or proof of income for travel
  • Passport expiry date – the Kenyan government requires that passports need a minimum of three year’s validity
  • Any evidence of forged documentation or incorrect information supplied
  • Insufficient travel insurance coverage (less than 30,000 EUROS) or insurance that does not meet the required terms and conditions for the country/countries being visited
  • A lack of evidence relating to booked accommodation and any travel/tourist tickets (if a sponsor is organizing this on applicant’s behalf, they must send the necessary documents to the embassy)
  • Possible damage or any evidence of tampering with the applicant’s passport
  • Any other form of non-compliance with the procedural requirements of obtaining a visa

Tips For a Successful Schengen Visa Application

Schengen successful visa application

There are steps you can take to ensure that your application is successful. First, read carefully and thoroughly all the guidance and application forms before you begin your application.

You should also gather together all the necessary personal information and documentation you will need during the process. The important things to remember are:

  • To check that your current passport has at least three year’s validity; if it doesn’t, you must renew it immediately – also ensure there is no damage to the passport
  • Ensure that you explain fully your reasons for travel to the Schengen Area
  • Make sure that all of your personal details are correct and that supporting documents are available and in the correct format
  • Include all relevant educational/professional qualifications and evidence
  • Organize and purchase the required amount of travel insurance
  • Obtain sponsorship letters (where required) and collate all travel/accommodation documentation
  • Do not, under any circumstances, provide incorrect or misleading information or attempt to forge signatures
  • Check and double check that you have followed the correct procedures all the way through the process

You can also check how to check if my passport is ready in Kenya. Also, how to apply a green card lottery in Kenya.

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