1. This information is only applicable to tourists not ‘relocators’
2. This information cannot work if you’re looking for someone to ‘arrange your visa because you would need to ensure you can provide the documents stated below.
This lesson will be further divided into Schengen Visa Tips for Business Owners and Schengen Visa Tips for those in paid employment. Let’s begin with Business owners.
An embassy isn’t likely to recognise you as a business owner if you don’t have your company registration certificate, your corporate account information and your tax clearance certificate (nor tax number).
Besides having the aforementioned documents, it is important that your transactions speak for your business .
Ensure your clients are paying in reference to the products they are buying e.g if your sell hair let the reference be ‘Wig, lace front etc).
Avoid any form of unexplainable payments e.g friends depositing money for whatsoever reason (let them pay into your personal account) .
Most importantly never empty your account in a given month, if you receive 500,000 naira worth of payments from your clients, ensure you leave up to 300,000 monthly (across 6 months your closing balance would be 1.8M).
A lot of people don’t know this, but your tax clearance reflects your business worth, so it might look like a win when your tax adviser cuts and cuts your taxes till you end up paying little (but the embassy won’t understand how you earned 5 million naira with a 10,000 annual tax).
Please ensure your tax advisers are filing in accordance to your earnings.
Having plenty money in the account is not enough –Actually it’s a big myth! If the money isn’t self explanatory, then it’s as good as useless.
You won’t be there to justify your money to the visa officer so if you have a lump sum deposited for whatever good reason please include a cover note of your transactions in your application.
They don’t like to feel you were injecting your account for your visa application.
Rule of the thumb – the amount you must have as closing balance ,should be enough for an average trip to Europe (flights, Accomodation, tours ,feeding shopping) ensure the same amount or more is available when you return,
E.g if you budget 800thousand Naia spending cost for Europe , a minimum of 1.6million Naira must be in your account.
An alternative to presenting your corporate account is employing yourself, whereby you pay yourself salary (steady amount and steady payment dates) from your corporate account to your personal account.
Then you apply the same process of earning some and leaving some to accumulate over 6 months.
Ensure the personal account is clean with little or no artificial deposits, just your regular salary account, let it also reflect usage alongside the saved amount left in the same account monthly.
(You can read more about this in the next article Schengen Visa for those in Paid employment).
When attaching hotel reservations, please ensure it matches with your bank balance (e.g don’t go and reserve a 1M hotel when your balance isn’t reflecting same).
As for flight reservations, as stupid as it sounds, some countries have airline reservation preferences e.g Czech republic embassy wouldn’t accept Air France reservations.
Apply at the embassy of the country your wish to visit first or the country you will spend the most days in (e.g visiting France and Spain with a stop in France first, then you would need the France embassy.
If you’re however stopping in France first for 3 days and Spain after wards for 6 days, then you’ll need to apply in Spain).
When you go to VFS to submit, ensure the person understands your application e.g. they can talk you out of applying at their embassy because you have more days in a non-Schengen country but an European country e.g Croatia.
It’s your responsibility to explain to them, so they don’t make life difficult for you.
Keep a photocopy of your application, and your documents (you might need it later).
Unfortunately we can’t give advise on the best schengen embassy country, as everyone’s experience is different.
Please don’t carry your documents to pastor to spray lavender on it (no jokes, our good friends at the embassy once mentioned applications smelling of prayer oils).
It’s off putting and speaks of desperation. A true tourist would not be desperate as if Schengen Visa doesn’t come through, many other countries on the globe would do, right?
So if you made it to the end, wish to own a Schengen passport, and are a business owner, then you have a minimum of 6 months to prepare yourself.
We unfortunately don’t process Schengen visas, we are strong believers in doing it yourself, if you however need reservations and forms checks then you can speak to us about the service.
Ensure you’ve ‘doctored’ your documents as mentioned above
Ensure you pick the right application (dependent on the embassy you’re submitting at).
You would also find visa requirements on their website.
3. Check the appointment process (most countries have VFS services where you can just walk in )
Others, you have to book online, by phone or email
4. For embassies in Abuja please.avoid flying in same day, try to get in the day before (you know sometimes, it seems like the Nigerian aviation system was set up to set you up ).
5. Please plan all in good time , especially countries with advance appointment booking (you have to factor getting a date + additional 15 days for the visa to get processed).
We strongly advice adding an additional 10 days buffer for when the embassy cannot meet up to the 15 days promised.
6. All in all, be intentional, ensure your transactions, your applications and supporting documents reflect you have a lot to live for in Nigeria hence relocation illegally isn’t an option!
Good luck and hopefully we would see you during our Euro Tour June 2020 .