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I am going to apply for a Schengen visa to visit Krakow, Budapest and Prague for a total of 12-13 days. I have some questions regarding showing the means of subsistance:

  1. Is it okay to get a loan from your credit card to show funds? I have a good income and have been paying my credit card bills regularly, which is also reflected in my account statements.

  2. If not, is it required to maintain the minimum balance required all the time? Or is it okay if I have that amount in my account while applying for the visa? Let's say I am traveling end of July, and I'm planning to save 30k every month from my salary. If I apply in June I'll have 2 months saving (60k) plus my salary around 75k = 135k.

Which of these will be a safe option?

P.S. I have already paid for my flight tickets.

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    Please see this excellent answer for an overview of what your bank statement reveals about you. That answer is in context of UK visa but is also applicable for Schengen visa. – RedBaron Apr 1 '18 at 2:44
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    Credit cards are about the most expensive form of borrowing ever created. If you have to borrow from credit cards, it will really look like you are desperate. – Berwyn Apr 1 '18 at 7:24
  • I believe the answers may be missing the point. To visit the Schengen area, one has to make an application and reveal the general financial situation, and one has to bring sufficient money for subsistence during the trip. Two different requirements, one at the visa application, one at the border crossing. For the latter, a credit card should do fine, but some cash on hand is always advisable. – o.m. Apr 1 '18 at 7:48
  • @o.m. can you elaborate a little? Can you read the 2nd point in my question? Will that be enough? – Trrrrravellerrr Apr 1 '18 at 8:53
  • Never once have I been asked to show a credit card or funds at the border crossing; and I have had 3 separate Schengen visas. I guess I am lucky or its not a normal practice? – Burhan Khalid Apr 1 '18 at 10:04
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Do not - I repeat - do not bump up your balance for the application. This will surely get your application rejected for funds parking.

The reason they ask to see a banks statement because it is evidence of many things.

  1. It shows steady income that matches what you have mentioned in your application. So if you say your salary is 5000, there should be some regular payments of 5000 that show a salary.

  2. It shows that you are not borrowing for your trip or this trip is otherwise a financial burden on you. You don't want to see a bank balance of 500,000 if your salary is 5000 (unless you won some lotto, so in that case you would have to explain it).

The exact amount you would need to demonstrate that you can afford for this trip differs from one country to the next. Italy, for example, is very expensive vs. say the Netherlands or some other countries.

A cash advance from your credit card will not help - it may even hurt your application. You can say you have access to a credit card (there is a place to mark that on the application) and that is sufficient.

Again, keep in mind that the financial statement is just one part of the entire picture and they look at it for different purposes.

  • Hi, Thanks for the answer. Can you also comment on the second point I wrote in my question? Also, I agree a bank balance of 5,00,000 is suspicious if my salary is 5000. But what if my salary is 75000 per month and i get an advance of say 25000-30000? – Trrrrravellerrr Apr 1 '18 at 6:03
  • If you have to borrow funds to finance your trip, chances are you are already at the limit of what you can comfortably spend. Don't borrow money because you think you need to show some minimum balance in your account. – Burhan Khalid Apr 1 '18 at 10:06
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If you need a credit advance to make your application credible then you probably can’t afford the trip. ECOs are not gullible, they will see through it. Your general financial situation should show a regular surplus of income over expenditure and savings sufficient to cover the trip and some on top (personally I think it unlikely 2 months’ worth would be enough). You can work out how much subsistence money is ‘enough’ by looking at how much your accommodation will cost and adding in planned daily food costs (e.g. €50 per day), travel costs etc. It’s impossible to say with certainty what sum is ‘enough’, it depends on your itinerary, where you are planning to stay, which tourist attractions you plan to visit etc.

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