Cover letter for Visas: what to write and what to include
Perhaps you’re wondering how to write a cover letter for your visa application form?
What’s the point?
The cover letter for a Schengen Visa application is an important document to provide before your trip that introduces yourself and your purpose of travel. It states every important thing you want to tell the consulate. It should mention and explain every document that you’re submitting.
Are there different types of visa cover letters?
Yes, lots and lots and cover letters will vary slightly depending on the purpose. For example, a cover letter for a tourist visa will require a planned itinerary, but a cover letter for a business visa may not (although it never hurts to have one prepared).
Likewise, a cover letter for a visa concerning medical reasons will require documents related to diagnosis, treatment, etcetera. The visa cover letter is often not mentioned in the list of required documents although it’s necessary for all circumstances. Remember, the consulate reserves the right to request additional documents at any point during the application process.
Is there anything else I should know?
The length of the process can vary greatly: anywhere from 10 days to 3 months! And, that’s without any delays if you’re missing paperwork or something is filled in wrong, so it’s best to try to schedule far in advance if possible.
There are some other things too. It’s best to treat the process as if it’s a job interview, i.e. to be professional and courteous, to arrive prior to your scheduled appointment, and so on. The embassy staff are there to help you with the process, but it’s best to approach the situation almost as if you’re there to help them.
Travelling through the Schengen area you will certainly notice that some countries are much stricter than others. Some consulates may not accept reservations from websites that allow for last minute cancellation while others may. If you are planning to go anywhere outside the country of entry within the Schengen area, the embassy you are applying to must know about it.
You will have to choose between a single-entry or a multiple-entry visa on your application form. The single-entry visa allows you to enter the Schengen area only one time; the multiple entry, multiple times. If you are visiting only one country there is no need for a multiple entry visa, but if your journey takes you from Italy to, say, Croatia then you’ll need a multiple entry visa since Croatia, while part of the EU, is not yet part of the Schengen area.
What should a cover letter look like?
Let’s have a look at a sample cover letter, specifically a cover letter for business for someone from India coming to Italy to attend a conference on sustainable development. Generally, if you are going on a business trip abroad, the company will fill out the visa paperwork for you, but in the case that you are applying for a Schengen visa yourself this letter can serve as a guide. Try to keep the information clear and concise.
[Letterhead of Company]
Consulate of (home country)
Place (e.g. Delhi, Mumbai, etc.)
Subject: Requesting Business Visa for (number of days).
I, (applicant name), holding (nationality) passport (number), will be attending a series of business meetings and a conference on sustainable development in (country name) for a total period of (number of days abroad).
I am requesting that your office issue a business visa for (number of days) with (single/multiple) entry, to visit (country) for business purposes.
Please note that I have already made all of the necessary arrangements for my stay in (country), such as hotel bookings, return flight, etc.
I confirm that during my stay in (country), I will bear all the expenses related to this trip, including the cost of return air tickets, travel expenses within (country), hotel expenses, food and so on.
Please find the following documents to support my visa application:
Nothing to it.
That’s it! If your company has provided you with any sort of itinerary for the business trip, be sure to include that too. The list of documents can always change so be sure to check the consulate website for the complete list. The most important part is having all of the documents in order. Organization is your best friend in this process. And you're off!
To learn more about the topic, check out also our video about elective residency visa, or our video about tax residency in Europe.
Are you searching an accountant in Italy to help you writing the cover letter for your visa and getting your documents ready? Contact us.
After moving back to Italy from the United States in 2013, I realized how much an accounting and tax firm was needed to help expats living in Italy to comply with the local tax regulations.