2

I have a business plan for which I want to go and meet businesses in the Schengen region. I can get invite letters from these companies, won't be much of a problem. However, my business has been just set up (less than a week since registration) and I am still employed with a company in India. Would it be better to apply for a business visa or show that I am a tourist and then visit these businesses? I have traveled to the Schengen region earlier (and in the last 6 months), so I am confident that I will get a tourist visa. I can't afford a visa rejection, so what should I be doing?

There are a few necessary documents I won't be having w.r.t. my new business which is required for a Schengen visa (business).

  1. Company Income Tax Return (ITR) form
  2. Company bank statement of the past three months, stating the drawing power/credit limit

Neither would I be able to get this from my current employer since I am not going on a business trip through my current employer. The only thing I can get from my current employer is a NOC for the approved leave.

Source: vfs-germany.co.in/mumbai/pdf/schengen_business_141212.pdf

  • 2
    Can you explain how does it matter than your business has been just set up? Maybe I'm missing something. – Kuba Jan 19 '17 at 19:29
  • 1
    There are a few necessary documents I won't be having w.r.t. my new business which is required for a Schengen visa. 1. Company Income Tax Return (ITR) form 2. Company bank statement of the past three months, stating the drawing power/credit limit Neither would I be able to get this from my current employer since I am not going on a business trip through my current employer. The only thing I can get from my current employer is a NOC for the approved leave. Source: vfs-germany.co.in/mumbai/pdf/schengen_business_141212.pdf – user44548 Jan 19 '17 at 19:33
3

So you want to visit some business prospects; all you have to show is your normal requirements for a visa; which you are well familiar with as you have applied before.

The only reason you would show your new business documents is when you are fully employed there and are using that to show compelling ties.

You already fill that requirement by showing a letter of leave from work; a steady job, income from your current employer, etc.

The purpose of your visit is to attend business meetings, but that doesn't mean that you are going on behalf of a business or anything like that.

I often travel to Schengen to attend conferences, and this is also considered "business" but all the requirements are the same as a normal visit; the only difference is that I have an invitation letter from the conference organizers.

I think you are assuming that a visa purpose as "business" must have to do with work; which is not correct. A "business" visa covers anything not normally done as tourist (or other visa types, such as transit). It often means you are visiting businesses in the Schengen zone, but it doesn't mean you are traveling on behalf of your current employer.

  • 1
    In your case, I assume that the theme of the conferences that you attend is related to the company where you work. I currently work in a different sector which is in no way related to the businesses that I want to visit. For example, I might be working in a banking company and I need to visit pharma manufacturers in Germany, which is in no way related to my current job. Though I will clearly explain my case in the cover letter, I think this will cause a problem. – user44548 Jan 19 '17 at 20:10
3

You start by saying you have a business plan to meet businesses. It really and truly sounds like the primary purpose of your trip is to conduct, well, business. As such, you should apply for a business visa.

I know that's not the answer you want to hear, but "should I apply for a business visa when I'm going on a business trip?" is really more of an exercise in wishful thinking than a question. Lying to immigration officials is a bad idea. If you are caught, you jeopardize your ability to ever get a visa again, among other possible consequences. If you are singled out for scrutiny at immigration, you can expect them to ask questions about the purpose of your visit, and they are unlikely to be amused if they find evidence that contradicts your story, such as calendar appointments on your phone for business meetings or business materials in your luggage.

Nobody can say how likely it is that you'd be caught out in your lie, but the proper way to handle this is to apply for a business visa. If you cannot supply the required documents yet, you'll need to wait until you can do so (perhaps conducting meetings over video chat in the meantime) or go ahead and apply anyway, explaining that your business is new and providing as much evidence as you can to support your credibility.

  • 2
    I have to go there in order to test the product and negotiate on the pricing, which is impossible via call. The nature of product is such that I need to be present there and the product cannot be shipped for testing. I'm in a fix because I can easily get a tourist visa and get done with the work, but if I go ahead and apply for a business visa and it does not get approved, I won't be able to go ahead with the business. I fully agree with what you say though. – user44548 Jan 19 '17 at 19:58
  • I'd add that a business trip can, depending on exactly where you're going and for how long, look a lot different from a tourist trip, and that could look rather suspicious to the authorities. It could be perfectly normal for someone to fly by themselves all the way to, say, Dusseldorf from India for two days for an important business meeting. It would be rather unusual for them to do so as a tourist, and they might reasonably start asking a lot more questions about your intentions. – Zach Lipton Jan 20 '17 at 0:27
0

Tourist visa. You've already got a tourist visa before so best to apply for it again. They have no way of knowing if you use the visa to meet your business partners.

  • 3
    I don't think "They have no way of knowing if you use the visa to meet your business partners" is the best motivation not to get business visa. – Kuba Jan 19 '17 at 19:29
  • There's a higher chance he could be refused a business visa, than a tourist visa. I'm speaking practically. – Jordy Jan 19 '17 at 19:53
  • 1. As Zach Lipton explained well in his answer, they have way of knowing it's a business trip 2. You're suggesting to hide truth from the officials by pretending it's a tourist trip, which may lead to legal issues and probably even a ban – Kuba Jan 19 '17 at 19:58
  • Some ways a lie can come and bite you: Someone who doesn't like you (ex-boyfriend, competitor) tips the police off, you are questioned at the border and you seem hesitant or nervous, further questioning reveals contradictions, your bag is searched and business documents are found. Not particularly likely but certainly possible. – Relaxed Jan 19 '17 at 20:07
  • 2
    @Jordy but the entry requirements for EU citizens are totally and completely different from those for travelers with visas. For you, they only need to know that your passport is genuine and that it belongs to you, because you have a legal right to enter any EU country. Even if the "all passports" line was going "pretty fast," you can bet that they were giving those people more scrutiny than you received. If someone is caught committing visa fraud, you can bet that that person won't be entering any EU country for many years. The chance may be small, but the consequences are big. – phoog Jan 19 '17 at 21:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.