What is the minimum bank balance for getting a Schengen visa?
I won a contest to visit Belgium and the Netherlands for a week from India. The accommodation and travel is paid by the company.
They have asked for my income tax returns and bank statements along with my passport for the visa application. I have a bank account I regularly use, but I collect my pay in cash, as I work in a non-profit firm. I do use the account regularly, but only when I need to buy something online, for example.
Right now I have a balance of about €2000 in my bank account. Is that sufficient for visa approval? Do they need my paychecks to be reflected in my bank statement?
Deposit the money you have in cash into your bank account and print out a bank statement to submit to the consulate when you apply for the visa. Also, **submit proof that your accommodation and travel expenses will be paid for by the company**. With that, I think what you have in your bank should be sufficient to convince the consulate that you can support yourself easily for a week.
thanks for your answers. well, as i am working, i have given a copy of our board of members minutes saying that i am okay to travel for this trip by my firm, i have also submitted proof that my accommodation and travel expenses will be paid for by the company which is taking me. with this all, do you think i will get a +ve on my visa. i am so concerned, because i won this contest & just don't want to miss this opportunity.
As far as the financial means requirement is concerned, each country submitted guidelines to the EU commission. For Belgium you need either EUR 45 or EUR 95 per day (depending on accommodation) and for the Netherlands, it's EUR 34.
If you are invited by a company paying for your accommodation, these amounts might be reduced but you might need to submit something to document this invitation (what you need to submit depends on the country, some countries have standard forms and procedures for that).
Your paychecks might however still be useful for two reasons. They establish you have a job in India to come back to and they explain how you could have gotten EUR 2000. Both of these are important to show that you are really coming for a visit and are not likely to try to immigrate illegally in the EU.
Your answer is ideal but not practical. Remember that guidelines are exactly what they are called, guidelines. They simply state bare minimum requirements. Anyone who has ever applied for any kind of visa with an Indian passport at a consulate in India knows that they operate well above such guidelines.
@Prometheus I explained why in the last paragraph. I think you are confusing two things. What's at stake is not your ability to support yourself (you can do that will less money than the guidelines) but whether the stated purpose of the trip is genuine/whether you could overstay/immigrate illegally. (Incidentally, I have friends and family members who have even more trouble than Indian citizens to get visas, e.g. people who need airport transit visas everywhere in the EU and know a few people working in this area so I do have quite some experience with the reality of visa procedures).
Whatever is at stake, having the bare minimum in your bank account is not enough to convince the consular. That's why I did not mention any guidelines in my answer.
@Prometheus The only thing you wrote about the amount is “With that, I think what you have in your bank should be sufficient to support you easily for a week, that is if you do not do something too extravagant” which is not relevant at all. Given the level of confusion in your comments, I am pretty sure you did not mention the reference amounts because you knew nothing about them…
I have edited my answer to better put what I meant. Anyway, the OP has applied already so let's wait and hope that (s)he gets the visa and updates this post.
@Prometheus But you still don't understand the rules. The point is not convincing you can support yourself for a week, the point is convincing the consulate you have a stable situation/won't seek to immigrate illegally, an entirely different requirement.