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I along with my mother, sister (married) and her son (< 6 years) are planning on going to Sweden and I am not sure which visa type should I apply to Tourist or Visitor.

Visa check list source: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/one-pager/sweden/india/english/index.html

Tourist visa

If i wish to apply tourist visa I just have provide travel itinerary, hotel bookings and flight details.

Visitor visa

If i wish to apply for Visitor visa, as per the Swedish embassy website for visitor visa below are the required documents by the Swedish resident that we are visiting:

  1. copy of your ID card, passport or equivalent, which proves your identity. (A residence permit card does not count as an ID document).
  2. documents which show details of income and assets for the person who pays for the applicant's upkeep during the visit in Sweden. You can find examples of which document to submit in the form.
  3. a special population registration certificate for the purpose Invitation (Inbjudan). This can be ordered from the Swedish Tax Agency. The population registration certificate does not have to be stamped or signed by the Swedish Tax Agency or any other authority.

Source: https://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Visiting-Sweden/Inviting-relatives-and-friends.html

I and my sister are employed and can present salary slips, employment letter, etc. But my mother is not employed but she earns rent from the property she owns and has a bank balance for a 2 weeks trip easily.

My queries

  1. What type of visa should I apply for Tourist or Visitor? which has low chances of refusal if we are residing in India.
  2. Would it be a wise choice to hire a visa agent to ease this out or is it okay to try to apply all by ourselves via vfs? If Visa agent is preferred Kindly help me the details.
  3. What documents would be required to make sure there will be no issue for my mother's visa process?

Edit from a comment by OP:

  • trip duration is for about 2 weeks. We will be staying at my aunt’s place for the whole duration.
  • We will be travelling to Norway probably by car with my Aunt’s family for max 2 days.
  • Our only prior travel history is to Dubai and Indonesia. My mother has no international travel history. Also my sister’s husband is not travelling.
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    Are you visiting someone in Sweden? Is there a specific reason you are going to Sweden rather than some other country? Have you already visited other Schengen countries, or other countries of similar economic situation (e.g. USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan…)?
    – jcaron
    Apr 5 at 21:06
  • @jcaron Thanks for replying. Yes We are visiting my aunt’s family in Sweden and we also plan to visit Norway on our visit there and no we haven’t visited any Schengen countries ever. I have visited Dubai recently and my sister has visited Dubai and Indonesia recently.
    – Aadit
    Apr 5 at 21:33
  • @Aadit For completeness, how long is your proposed trip, and how much of it will you spend visiting (by which I mean staying with) your aunt’s family? How much time do you plan to spend in Norway? Is Dubai and Indonesia the extent of your entire travel history?
    – Traveller
    Apr 6 at 9:19
  • @Traveller trip duration is for about 2 weeks long. We will be staying at my aunt’s place for the whole duration. We will be travelling to Norway probably by car with my Aunt’s family for max 2 days. Yes internationally i and my sister’s son have only gone to Dubai, my sister has Dubai and Indonesia visa and my mother has no international travel history. Also my sister’s husband is not travelling will that be a challenge for her visa wise?
    – Aadit
    Apr 6 at 11:39
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    "Would it be a wise choice to hire a visa agent to ease this out": we've seen horror stories from people whose visa agents have submitted false documents in a failed attempt to make the application look stronger. Instead, the visa officer detected the fraud and not only was the application refused but the applicant was banned for deception. The agent suffers no consequences here so has no incentive to behave ethically. The only way to ensure that your application is not endangered by an unscrupulous agent is to prepare and submit the application yourself, personally.
    – phoog
    Apr 7 at 12:16

2 Answers 2

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There is only into type of visa in your case, a visitor visa. There are then different possible reasons for the visit, tourism being one of them, visiting relatives being another. It’s not like you have a choice, you need to give the actual reason for your visit.

In other words, there is not much choice here: you will apply for a visitor visa, with the reason being tourism (unless you are indeed coming to visit friends or relatives — but the list of documents you quoted is for the case when you are hosted by those relatives who are effectively paying for your trip).

The exact list of documents you need to provide depends on your circumstances, and is not as clear cut as your post makes it out to be. In all cases you will indeed have to provide ID, bank statements for the applicant and the person paying for the trip, if they are different, details of activity in your home country, itinerary, etc.

You need to demonstrate to the consular officer that:

  • You have a genuine reason to come to Sweden, as a temporary visitor
  • You have enough money to pay for that
  • You have good reasons to go back to India, and not stay in Sweden (or another Schengen country), either by overstaying or by claiming asylum. That’s called “ties to your home country”, and that may include your job, property, and more

Bank statements play two roles in visa applications: they show that you have enough money to afford the trip (but when that’s not the case this can be compensated by someone else paying for the trip), but also to give evidence of your ties to your home country (if you are salaried the payments into your bank account should match your wages for instance).

Around here we do not like agents at all, because, sadly, too many of them are just crooks who will take your money, file a completely false application, and will see your visa being refused (at best), or you being banned for years for deception (at worst). If you do use one, make sure they really are trustworthy (that means independent verification — do not trust a word they say).

In general you don’t need one: either your circumstances are good and the visa will be granted, or they are not, and it won’t, and it’s not some random massaging of the truth which will change things.

Make sure all revenue and payments go through a bank account. Income and expenses in cash just won’t do. If she gets rent in cash, she must deposit every payment into a bank account as she receives it, and wait for a few months to have a suitable bank statement history before she can apply. Likewise any expenses should be paid from that bank account. Having the money available is just one part of the story: you need to show a regular pattern of verifiable income.

Also, don’t forget that economic scales may be very different from one country to another: what could be a good salary in India could be well below minimum wage in Sweden, and mark you as a possible candidate for economic migration.

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  • (+1) Looking at the contents of the invitation form, IMHO it should definitely be completed if the main purpose of the OP’s trip is to visit relatives in Sweden, even if the relative isn’t providing anything other than free accommodation). It seems like a requirement similar to the French Attestation d’accueill and the DICHIARAZIONE GARANZIA E/O ALLOGGIO for Italy.
    – Traveller
    Apr 5 at 22:52
  • @Traveller Thanks for replying. Would it be okay to mention that we might visit Norway and some other places in Sweden to see around along with the relatives?
    – Aadit
    Apr 6 at 8:33
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    @Aadit You need to provide an itinerary for your trip. Sightseeing in Sweden and visiting a neighbouring country are perfectly normal tourist activities.
    – Traveller
    Apr 6 at 8:41
  • @Traveller noted. Even if i apply for visitor visa then also this would be okay right?
    – Aadit
    Apr 6 at 9:08
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    @Aadit yes of course. The Schengen visa application form even allows you to indicate more than one purpose for your visit. The visa itself is just a "short-stay" visa that isn't issued in different classes and isn't tied to any particular activity. That the VFS page requires you to pick only one before you can apply is confusing, but it is mainly about helping people understand what supporting documents they need to submit, not about limiting the visa itself. If your trip has multiple purposes then you should look at all relevant lists of supporting documents.
    – phoog
    Apr 7 at 12:22
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To add to the comprehensive answer by @jcaron

  1. What type of visa should I apply for Tourist or Visitor? which has low chances of refusal if we are residing in India.

From the information you’ve given in a comment, it seems obvious IMHO that the reason for choosing Sweden as your first-ever Schengen destination is to visit your family. So in the interests of truthfulness and transparency you should choose Visitor visa and visiting family as the reason, and provide the relevant paperwork. Trying to dress the trip up as visitor/tourism looks like a risky strategy to me, and one that could cost you a refusal. If you’ve not done so already I recommend you read these questions dealing with refusal reasons to help you prepare your application:

  1. What documents would be required to make sure there will be no issue for my mother's visa process?

I’m not at all certain that this is possible. Your mother has no travel history or employment, and has close family in Sweden. Three red flags right there. She needs to prove she has a compelling reason to leave, for example caring for a dependent relative back home. Owning a rental property isn’t particularly compelling IMHO since she doesn’t need to be in India to continue receiving the rent.

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    There may be red flags, but they do not necessarily doom the application. My brother-in-law's retired Indian parents have received visas to visit him in the US and his brother in the UK as well as Schengen visas to travel with them in the Schengen area. Granted, they don't have any siblings in the Schengen area, but as significant as that difference might be it seems unlikely to be fatal by itself.
    – phoog
    Apr 7 at 13:15

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