Schengen Cultural Visa

Schengen Cultural Visa

Schengen Cultural Visa

If you are going to visit the Schengen Area for film, cultural, religious, or sports purposes, you might need Schengen Cultural Visa.

The article explains who needs it, requirements, the application process, FAQs, and more.


What is a Schengen cultural visa?

A Schengen Cultural Visa is a short stay visa that enables people to visit the Schengen Area for cultural, sport, religious, or film purposes.

The full name of the visa is Schengen Cultural, Film Crew, Sports, and Religious Visa.


Who needs a Schengen Cultural Visa?

The question you need a Schengen Cultural Visa or not depends on your nationality. A few countries and states have signed visa waiver program or visa-free traveling agreements with the Schengen Area. These countries can visit the Area for a short term without a visa. They are as follows:



Brunei Darussalam Hong Kong Malaysia
Georgia Israel Singapore
The United Arab Emirates Japan South Korea


North America

Antigua And Barbuda Grenada
Bahamas Guatemala
Barbados Honduras
Canada Mexico
Costa Rica Nicaragua
Dominica Panama
El Salvador United States Of America


South America

Argentina Paraguay
Brazil Peru
Chile Uruguay
Colombia Venezuela



Australia Palau
Kiribati Samoa
 Marshall Islands Solomon Islands
Micronesia Tuvalu
New Zealand Vanuatu



Albania Monaco
Andorra Montenegro
Bosnia And Herzegovina San Marino
EEA countries Serbia
North Macedonia Ukraine
Vatican City State United Kingdom
Moldova EU



Angola Ghana
Cameroon Guinea
Congo Nigeria
Eritrea Sierra Leone
Ethiopia Somalia
Mauritius Seychelles


Providing that you are a national or resident of the above list, you don’t need a Cultural visa for the Schengen Area. Otherwise, you have to apply for it.


What are the requirements for Schengen Cultural Visa?

The requirements of the cultural visa are as follows:

Application form

You can get the application form from the embassy or visa center’s website. Depending on the country, you might need to print it two or three times. Keep in mind that the information you provide must be identical to your documents.



You need one or two identical photos takes in the latest three months.



The Schengen officials won’t accept passports for older than ten years. Having one or two blank pages is also a must. Its validity must be at least three months over the date you will visit the Schengen Area.


Cover letter

You write a letter to the country’s officials and explain:

  • The purpose of your trip
  • What you will be doing in the country
  • Where will you stay
  • Who will you meet
  • The meetings, sessions, or events you will attend.



You need insurance that covers your medical expenses in the whole Schengen Area. It must cover expenses for 30.000 EUR. You’re wondering where to buy insurance. If you apply to a visa center (like VFS), they might provide you insurance. The one they offer is a valid and often reasonable price.


Proof of financial means

The Schengen officials want to know how you cover the expenses of your trip. The common way is to show bank statements for at least three months old.

If you have a sponsor, friend, or family covering your expenses, provide her/his details.


Proof of accommodation

Make it clear where you will stay during your visit. A hotel reservation receipt could prove it. In case you want to stay with your friend or family member, provide the exact details of them. Your sponsor might provide you shelter. Ask her/him to provide evidence.


Invitation letter

If you have a formal invitation letter from an organization or person in the area, provide it. It will raise the chance to get the visa.


Proof of return

By the experience of applicants, showing the leaving intention country is essential for Schengen officials. They want to know whether you will return to your home country after you’ve done what you wanted.

If you can provide something that convinces them, the hard part is almost over.


Schengen Cultural Visa application process

The application process for Cultural Visa is as follows:


Step 1. Determine you need a visa or not?

The above section explained that not everyone needs Cultural Visa. You might be free of it and not knowing. So before doing anything, determine this point.

If you are a national of the above list, you don’t need a cultural visa.


Step 2. Figure out the place to apply

Where you need to apply depends on your destination. You need to apply to the embassy or consulate of the country you will visit.

For instance, if you visit France, you have to apply to the French embassy, consulate, or vis center authorized by them.

Providing that you visit two or more Schengen countries, you need to apply to the country that you will stay longer.

For example, John will visit Germany and Finland. He will stay for one week in Germany and three weeks in Finland. So he has to apply to the Finish embassy or consulate in his country.

If you will stay equal times in the two Schengen countries, apply to the country you will arrive first.

For instance, you will visit Spain than go to Portugal. So you have to apply to the Spanish embassy or consulate.

When you know where to apply, schedule a meeting with them.


Step 3. Application form

Completing the application form for Schengen cultural visa is the first step. You can get it from the embassy or consulate’s website. The immigration authorities of that country have the form on their website online.

In some cases, you can get the form in person from them.

Complete it with the true and honest form of your information. Then print, date, and sign it. Keep it until the visa meeting and submitting it to the officials. Bear in mind that few countries might require two or three copies of the form.


Step 4. Gather the requirements

You need to provide a few supporting documents to prove your eligibility. See the part above to know what the requirements are for a cultural visa.

If you want to “be safe than sorry,” ask the embassy about the list of requirements. If they require further documents, they will inform you to submit them.


Step 5. Attend the visa interview

Go to the embassy, consulate, or visa center on the scheduled date. Bring all the collected documents. Getting to the meeting a bit early would be better.

Submit all the documents to the officials. Then you need to pay the fee for visa processing. The fee is 60 EUR no matter what country you will visit.

The officials might ask you a few questions about your background and the purpose of your visit. You would better be honest and give true answers. In case they suspect you, they will deny your visa with no mercy!!.


Step 6. Wait for visa processing

Now you need to wait until the embassy works on your visa. The processing time depends on various items. A few samples are s follows:

  • The country you apply from,
  • The time of the year,
  • Your situation
  • Which Schengen country you have applied to

Once your vis is ready, the embassy or visa center:

  • Will post it to you, or
  • You have to pick it up

The receiving method is up to the embassy or visa center.


The earliest and latest time to apply for Schengen Cultural Visa

The question “when to apply for a cultural visa?” passes through the mind of every applicant. The earliest time is six months before the date of your trip. The latest time is 15 days before it. It’s best to submit your application at least one month earlier. Remember that the application process could take a bit longer due to various reasons.


How long does it take to receive Schengen Cultural Visa?

The processing time for Schengen cultural visa is up to various elements. The standard time is 2-3 weeks. Yet, applicants report for a longer time. You’d better apply as early as possible.


How long can you stay in the Schengen Area with a cultural visa?

A Schengen cultural visa is a short-stay visa. So it’s only valid for 90 days in six months. It means you can stay for three months for six months. The time you spend in the Area mustn’t surpass 90 days in that period. If you exceed the maximum allowed period, you need to wait six months so to enter again.


Let’s sum up…

You are going to visit the Schengen Area for cultural, religious, sport, or filming purposes, right? You might need a visa so to enter the country. The appropriate visa for you is a Schengen cultural visa.

The article explained who needs it, who is eligible for it, requirements, the application process, FAQs, and more.

If you need visa information about other Schengen members, go to the top menu of the website.

In case you need to know about other countries’ visas, go to the home page.

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