One of the requirements in most Schengen tourist visas is either proof of employment or the firm’s registration or partnership deed.

A self-employed applicant to submit proof of business i.e. firm’s registration or partnership deed. - French VFS Requirements page

I am a freelancer and I get compensation in the form of cash, bank cheque as well as some via online money transfers from outside (online journalism, negligible though).

I do fulfill the requirements of Personal Income Tax returns as I have been doing it (filing and giving tax for number of years) more than the minimum requirements that is stated.

I can mention all these facts in a covering letter, is that enough to convince the embassy or what more can I do ?

I am looking for a multiple entry short stay visa of 90 days, although in reality I would be staying in Schengen more like a couple of weeks at the most.

  • If you are self employed, you should include the formation documents like they asked for. A job that is cash-based presents risk of absconding, and you can expect difficulty. Tax returns that dove tail with bank statements is the best practices solution.
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 14, 2016 at 2:54
  • what do you mean by 'dove tail with bank statements' ? Could you explain a bit more ? I have updated the query a bit, maybe it makes sense now.
    – shirish
    Dec 14, 2016 at 2:56
  • Self employed + cash based employment + open itinerary = telling them you are likely to be working illegally and have a higher risk of absconding.
    – Gayot Fow
    Dec 14, 2016 at 2:59
  • aha... now I see what you mean. ok.
    – shirish
    Dec 14, 2016 at 3:00
  • 1
    Please don't conflate writing blog posts with journalism; this will get you in all kinds of hot water; especially if you claim it as a profession. Dec 14, 2016 at 4:53

2 Answers 2


I can mention all these facts in a covering letter, is that enough to convince the embassy or what more can I do ?

This has already been answered by Gayot Fow regarding what documents to produce if working as a freelancer:

What to write in visa application form and what documents to submit as an unregistered freelancer?

Simply follow the above guideline if you working as a unregistered freelancer.

Moreover if you have a registered company under your name, you can provide the following documents with your application:

  • Company registration certificate with relevant authorities plus copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months plus maintenance certificate
  • Income Tax Return (last 2 to 3 years)

There is absolutely nothing wrong to apply as a freelancer, the only concern is you need to convince the visa officer that you earned all this money lawfully in India.

I am looking for multiple entry short stay of 90 days, although in reality I would be staying in Schengen more like couple of weeks at the most.

First of all embassy/consulate would issue a multiple entry Schengen visa only if you are planning to enter 2 or more times in Schengen countries. You explicitly stated that you are intending to stay in Schengen countries for acouple of weeks at the most, therefore you simply need to apply for a couple of weeks provided you have complete hotel booking, travel insurance, itinerary and all the requirements with your visa application. Also you should simply request 2 weeks duration in your visa application form.

Moreover if you are traveling in and out of Schengen countries (visiting non Schengen countries as well in your itinerary) then it would be feasible to apply for a multiple entry Schengen visa otherwise just simply apply for single entry Schengen visa. Similarly if you have previously visited Schengen countries last few years regularly, the Embassy/Consulate might issue you longer multiple entry Schengen visa depending on your application and situation.

Therefore the best practice is stick to your itinerary and apply for 2 weeks Schenegn visa instead of 90 days multiple entry Schengen visa.


As someone that can work from anywhere, you are a high risk applicant. I would advise the following:

  1. Show a significant history of tax filings; backed by deposit slips and bank statements. If you have any large deposits, make sure you explain these as well (for example, with an invoice copy you raised).

  2. Do not ask for a visa for longer than your itinerary; especially if you do not have a travel history with Schengen. It is not a case of your application will be denied (I have never had this happen or heard of it); but if you are going for a 3 day trip to France, but asking for a 90 day multiple entry visa - it may raise some suspicions. Not that it makes a difference as the validity of the visa you get it determined solely by the officer handling your case; they will often look at what you have requested vs. what is practical for you itinerary.

  3. Do not add superfluous information to your application, this can also cause your application to be rejected. Stick to the basics: photo, passport copy, passport, application form, travel reservation, flight reservation, etc.

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