The Schengen Cultural Visa enables people to enter the Schengen area to participate in events related to culture, sports, film shooting, or religion. The full name of the visa is the Schengen Cultural, Film Crew, Sports, and Religious Visa.
The main purpose of applying for a Cultural Visa must be one of the following:
- Participation in a short-term cultural or sports event.
- Religious commitment.
Do I Need to Apply for a Cultural Schengen Visa?
All nationals of the countries under the Schengen visa regime need to get e Schengen cultural visa to enter the territory for such purposes.
Schengen Visa Requirements for Cultural Visitors
Here you can find a list of the required documents for a Schengen Cultural Visa:
- Your valid passport. The passport must have at least two empty pages, be issued within the last ten years. It should also be valid for another three months beyond the intended stay in the Schengen Area.
- A Cultural Schengen visa application form. Completely filled online, downloaded in two copies and signed at the end.
- A photo in compliance with the Schengen specifications. No more than 6-months old, 35–40mm in width, close up of your head and top of your shoulders so that your face takes up 70–80% of the photograph. It should be taken in sharp focus and clear, of high quality and with no ink marks or creases.
- Medical travel insurance for the entire Schengen zone. Covering emergency medical, hospitalization and in case of death, repatriation. Minimum cover should be €30.000 and it must be valid for your entire duration of stay in the whole territory of the Schengen Area.
- Proof of paid Schengen Visa fee. Which costs €80 for adults and EUR 40 for minors.
- Complete travel itinerary – a booked flight reservation, hotel booking, etc, that shows in details when you plan to visit the country, where you will stay and what you will do.
- Requirements for Participants in a Cultural Event:
- Letter from the Cultural Association in your country. This letter must include the contact information of the association. It also must confirm that you are a member of the association/artist.
- Letter from the Schengen country hosting the Cultural Association. This letter too needs to include contact details and information on this association. It should also show the scope of partnership with the association in your home country.
- Requirements for Film-Making Staff:
- Letter from the Film-Maker. The letter should give information on the film title, film subject. Also about the places where the recordings are set to take place.
- Letter with Film-Making crew names. The letter should contain your name as the staff in the film-making.
- Proof of authorization to shoot the film. Get this document from the film-making agency/producer. Through this letter, they confirm that the Schengen countries where the recording will take place authorized them to do so.
- Certificate of Registration of the Candidate as a Film Maker Staff. A competent authority at your home country should issue this certificate. I.e. A specific department at the Ministry of Culture.
- Requirements for Participants in a Sports Event:
- Letter from the Sports Association in your home country. It must contain the name and contact information of such association. It has to also show your name and role there, employment period within the association, duties, and wage.
How to Apply for a Schengen Cultural Visa?
When applying for a Schengen Cultural Visa you will need to follow some procedures. The step-by-step application process goes as follows:
- Fill-in the application form.
- Schedule an interview.
- Collect the required documents.
- Pay the fees.
Check where you need to apply
When visiting two or more Schengen countries with the same visa, you need to check where you need to apply. There are some specific rules that determine which embassy should process your visa.
According to the Schengen rules, if you are planning to visit only one country, you should submit your application at:
- the embassy,
- the consulate,
- visa application center of that country.
On the other hand, if you are planning to travel to more than one country in the Schengen zone, you should submit your application at:
- The embassy/consulate/visa center of the country, you will spend more days.
- The embassy/consulate/visa center of the country, you will step in first, if you plan to spend an equal amount of days in each.
When to Apply for a Schengen Cultural Visa?
According to the Schengen rules, the earliest you can apply for a Cultural Schengen Visa is six months prior to your trip. Whereas, the latest you can apply is two weeks in advance.
You are highly recommended to apply about one month earlier for your Cultural Schengen Visa. Thus, even if the embassy delays the procession of your application, you will not risk losing your trip.
Fill-in the application form
Complete the form with all the required information. Print it and sign it at the end. Make sure to check the box that says “Cultural”, “Sports” or “Religion” at the question regarding the purpose of your journey.
Schedule an interview
Depending on your home country, you can schedule an interview online or in person.
Collect the required documents
Collecting the required documents is a very important part of your application for a Schengen Cultural Visa. You should pay special attention to every single document required. Make sure you get them on time. Have all of them ready on the day of your interview.
Pay the fees
A Schengen Cultural visa fee is €80. Yet, if you are applying through a third-party service, you may need to pay extra costs.
Attend the visa appointment
On the day of your appointment, you should show there on time. Have all the required documents with you.
After the visa interview, you should wait for the processing of your application. If the embassy approves your application, you will get the visa affixed to your passport.
- Find out how to apply for a Schengen visa from the United Kingdom.
- Find out how to apply for a Schengen visa from USA.
Schengen Cultural Visa Processing Time
A Schengen Cultural Visa processing takes about 15 days. Still, depending on your specific case this period may be extended. At peak seasons, when the Schengen embassies receive a lot of applications, the processing of your visa may be delayed as well.
How Long Can I Stay in Europe with a Cultural Visa?
The maximum you can stay in the Schengen zone with a Cultural Visa is 90 days. If you get a multiple entry visa, you will be able to enter and leave the area as many times as you want. Still, you will not be permitted to be present in the Schengen for more than 90 days within 6 months.
Schengen Cultural Visa Denial
There are several reasons why a Schengen Embassy may reject your Cultural Visa application. Some of the top reasons are:
- Your application is not completed.
- You did not obtain your documents correctly.
- You failed to complete the visa fee payments.
- The embassy suspects that you plan to remain in the Schengen illegally.
If your Schengen Cultural Visa application is rejected, you can still apply another time. Next time you apply, make sure you overcome the obstacles that prevented you from obtaining a visa the first time. You will need to show proof to the embassy that you have improved your situation, since the first application.