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I am an Indian living in UK. I have a 3-year old son who is attending nursery. I am planning for a trip to Italy and am applying for a Schengen visa from the Italian Consulate in London.

VFS requires that I provide:

Recent (not older than 1 month) original school attendance letter duly signed by the school’s Headmaster and addressed to the Italian consulate; if the school letter is not signed, it should mention that the same letter is electronically generated and doesn’t require a signature

Does it is apply for nursery-going children too? Do I need to specify the travel dates too in the letter?

  • Its point 8 on tab "Documents Required" on VFS Recent (not older than 1 month) original school attendance letter duly signed by the school’s Headmaster and addressed to the Italian consulate – greenh2o Feb 6 '17 at 20:53
  • My wife will also be accompanying the trip. – greenh2o Feb 6 '17 at 20:56
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    Whether or not such a letter is strictly required for a 3-year-old in nursery school, it seems like it wouldn't be particularly difficult to type up such a letter yourself and ask someone at the school office to sign it for you. And then you wouldn't have to worry about the application being rejected for this reason. – Zach Lipton Feb 6 '17 at 21:14
  • Did you try emailing the VFS? It seems like this is a requirement for minors who apply on their own, rather than with their parents – JonathanReez Feb 8 '17 at 8:51
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    We asked nursery and they gave it the next day without any issues. I think they already have some standard letters and didn't asked us the dates. But Italian Vfs didn't take it when I presented it to them saying it's ok for young children. – greenh2o Apr 8 '17 at 20:12
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No particular pieces of documentation is mandatory when applying for a Schengen visa (except for the application form itself and the travel document the visa is to be issued in) -- consulates are required to review whatever is submitted and decide whether it convinces them the applicant satisfies the (broad and fuzzy) conditions.

(Also, remember that VFS is just a glorified courier service -- they don't decide applications and can't require anything; but they will reproduce advice from the consulates about which documentation they usually like to see).

For children of school age it makes sense to ask whether the child's school has been consulted in the travel plan. In contrast to nurseries, schools run coherent programs of learning where it will harm a child's further progress suddenly to miss one or more weeks -- so if parents were willing to go on a family trip without coordinating with the school, a suspicion would arise that they're not planning to return the child to that school, but instead try to immigrate illegally as an entire family.

But there's no such thing as "missing a week (or a month) of kindergarten" and having to make up for it later. So a letter from a nursery school would not actually help document anything relevant for a visa decision.

On the other hand, it it hard to imagine it would hurt -- consulates must be used to cautious applicants following the document list slavishly even where it doesn't make sense.

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    It's worth noting that people of any nationality resident in UK have extremely high chances of obtaining a Schengen visa, since there's very little incentive for them to immigrate illegally. – JonathanReez Feb 8 '17 at 14:08
  • Calling Vfs never helped me. They just read the same things there on website. One thing which I have realized in my last 2 successful applications that they are slightly relaxed with to whom it is addressed, so instead of addressing to a particular embassy "to whom it may concern" worked for me. – greenh2o Apr 8 '17 at 20:21

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