In packaging your application for a visa to any of the Schengen countries, it is important for you to have all the documents required, but much more important for you to make it easier for the consular officer looking at the document to find justification for issuing you a visa almost at one look at your documents.
To do this, you need to prepare a good cover letter that’ll accompany your application. Such letter should not only answer the questions that the consular officers already have in mind, it should also easily point them to the supporting documents and make them see reasons why they should give you a visa without having a second thought.
What then is a good cover letter?
While there is no watertight answer to this, it is important that a good cover letter to the embassy for a Schengen Visa must answer some key questions. If the content of your letter answers the following questions correctly and convincingly, then you have a good cover letter:
- Who are you travelling with or visiting?
- What will you do in the Schengen zone?
- When are you planning to travel?
- Where will you stay during your trip?
- Why do you want to travel?
- How will you fund your stay?
Visa consultants call these the W5H questions.
Note that it is not enough that your letter answers these questions correctly, you must back each point up with good documents so that your letter will be convincing.
For instance, if you state that you would be travelling to Italy for tourism, be sure to attach a tour itinerary showing how you’ll spend each day of your visit – preferably one prepared and issued by a recognized travel and tour company like Afro Tourism WA LTD. with their letterhead.
Copies of your hotel and flight reservations should be attached to the application as well, and if you will be visiting or staying with relations, evidence of a relationship or a letter from such relative/person with a copy of their Identification card should be included. A document evidencing how you’ll sustain yourself during your stay – usually a statement of account, and another one showing that you have enough ties to Nigeria (or your home country) and that this tie is sufficient to make you return home after your visit should be included.
Address this letter to the consular officer of the country you are applying to and submit the letter along with your application.
Here is a sample draft of a good cover letter: