With the relative opening of European Countries for visitors across the globe, many are planning summer vacations to the European continent. If you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria and you’re planning to visit Europe, you’ll need Schengen visa in order to access any of the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen area. If you get a Schengen visa, you can spend time (up to 90 days!) exploring France, Germany, Italy, and the rest of the top travel destination in the zone. Applying for a short-stay Schengen visa from Nigeria is easy, provided you meet the Schengen visa requirements for Nigeria Citizens.
Read also: How to Apply for Nigerian International Passport
If you follow the steps in this article, you’ll get Schengen Visa in Nigeria without much hassle.
How to get Schengen Visa in Nigeria
Apply for Schengen visa at recommended time
Think of when you want to make you trip. While you do not need to know your exact travel dates, you should try to develop a general idea of when you want to travel, so as to make sure that you have enough time to apply. In general, you should apply for a Schengen visa from Nigeria a minimum of three weeks before your flight (processing times for Schengen visas are usually three weeks). However, just as you should be careful not to apply too late, make sure that you do not apply too early. Applicants who try to apply over six months before their trip are usually rejected. The latest visa application should be lodged 15 working days before your intend travel date.
Read also: Republic of Turkey Rejects Nigerian e-Visa Application
Know what “type” of Schengen visa you need
There are numerous Schengen visas and types for Nigeria Passport holders. Schengen visa types traditionally reflect a person’s reason for the travel. For example, if you are traveling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment, you should apply for a Medical Schengen Visa. In addition to Medical, Schengen visas and types for Nigeria passport holders include Business, Tourism, Visiting Family and Friends, and Cultural.
Find out what “Entry Category” of Schengen visa you need
The Schengen visas for Nigeria citizens and residents are available in single, double, and multiple entry visa categories; the category you choose will reflect the number of times you need to enter, exit, and re-enter the Schengen area on your Schengen visa. If you are confident that you will not need to leave the Schengen area until your visa expires, then you should apply of a single entry Schengen Visa . For example, if you have a Medical Schengen visa and are traveling to Europe to undergo an operation and returning home immediately after, you might only require a single entry. If you receive this visa, you will not be able to re-enter the Schengen area, should you leave it for any reason throughout your visa validity period.
If you think you might want to exit the Schengen area and return to it at least once throughout your trip, then you should apply for, at minimum, a double entry Schengen. If you receive a double entry, you will be able to enter, exit, and re-enter the Schengen area a second time on your original Schengen visa. Finally, if you want the flexibility of being able to enter, exit, and re-enter the Schengen area as many times as you want throughout your trip, then you should apply for a multiple-entry Schengen visa. For example, if you intend to travel back and forth between Nigeria and the Schengen area throughout the 90 days you are allowed in the zone, a multiple-entry Schengen is likely the best visa category for you.
Know which Schengen Country wish to visit
If you are applying for a short-stay Schengen visa from Nigeria, you will submit your visa application through the Schengen country where you intend to spend the majority of time on your trip. For example, if you are traveling to both Germany and Spain, but you intend to spend 60 days in Germany versus only 30 in Spain then you should apply of a German Schengen Visa. However, say you are spending an equal amount of time in both Germany and Spain? In this scenario, you would apply for your Schengen visa from the country where you record your first official entry into the Schengen zone. Therefore, if you are flying direct from Abuja to Madrid (verses, say, flying directly from Abuja to Berlin), then you would apply for a Spanish Schengen visa.
Assemble your required Documents
Schengen visa requirements for Nigeria citizens and residents involve the submission of the following basic required documents:
Nigerian passport (or other valid passport)
Passport photos (2)
Proof of accommodation (proof of where you are staying)
Proof of finances (proof you can pay for your trip)
Proof of travel medical insurance
Visa application form
Fingerprints and photos (biometric information)
Schengen visa fee (80 Euros for most applicants)
Check what Language Requirements for Submitted Documents
If you intend to submit materials in a language other than English or the official language(s) of the country you are applying to in the Schengen area. For example, if you are submitting documents in Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba, you will likely have to have those documents translated into either English or another European language in order for them to be accepted.
Access your Schengen visa application
You may be asked to apply through a country-specific portal. Nigerians who are applying for a German Schengen visa will almost certainly be asked to apply through the German website. You can visit Schengen website to get more information on this.
Book your Schengen visa appointment
Almost all Nigerians who apply for a Schengen visa will have to attend a Schengen visa appointment; this appointment must usually be scheduled in advance. You can usually schedule a Schengen visa appointment online (if you are applying online). Alternatively, you may have to contact the embassy/consulate you are applying through directly in order to make an appointment. If you are applying for a German Schengen visa, you will book visa appointment with the German consulate in Lagos. Alternatively, if you are applying for a Schengen visa to France, you will book a Schengen visa through a visa application center in Abuja.
Read: How much does it cost to acquire Nigerian passport?
Attend your Schengen Visa appointment
At your Schengen Visa appointment (which the vast majority of Nigerian applicants will have to attend in person), you will be asked to submit a paper copy of your Schengen visa application , pay your visa fee (if you hat not already), submit your biometric information, and agree to a short interview. The biometric information component of the application involves having your fingerprints and photos taken and uploaded into the digital Schengen security system for security and identity purposes.
Wait for your Visa application approval
Lastly, you have to wait for your visa application if you do not immediately receive a response on your visa application – the processing time for the Schengen visa for Nigeria citizens can take up to 3 weeks (and even up to 30 – 60 days, in rare cases).
If you receive or get your Schengen visa, don’t get too excited make sure you understand careful the attached label on the visa sticker before traveling including period it permits you to remain in Europe because overstay will attract its consequences. On the other hand, if you are rejected for a Nigerian visa to the Schengen area, try to read the reasons why you are denied the visa and re-apply again. But, you may wish to appeal if you confident you deserve to receive the visa.
How much does a Schengen visa cost?
As mentioned above, Schengen visa usually cost 80 EUR. However,, certain applicants, including children and students, may be able to pay less (or nothing at all!). if you travel often from Nigeria to the Schengen area on a Schengen visa, your biometric information will likely still be in the system (so long as you submitted your biometrics within the past 5 years). If you traveled to the zone recently (and frequently), and you have already paid your application fees online, you may be able to avoid coming in for an interview. However, even those who make frequently trips to the Schengen area are often still required to attend a short interview , so do not be surprised if this is required of you.