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Schengen visa application procedure

Application procedure and necessary documentation when applying for a Schengen visa to Denmark or Iceland at the Royal Danish Embassy in Tokyo

  The procedure is the same for application for visa to Denmark and to Iceland unless specifically stated otherwise.

  1. Preparation: Consult the Schengen Visa Documentation Checklist for details about documents and forms you need to submit when applying for a Schengen visa.
  2. Documentation: Collect all needed documentation mentioned in the documentation checklist.
  3. Application: Begin the application process by applying online and pay the visa fee on the VSS (Visa Self-Service) website. See details about VSS and how to use the site on the VSS information page.
  4. Appointment for personal appearance: Make an appointment at least one week before your desired date of application (one month during busy season May, June, July). At the date of application you will appear in person at the Embassy, where you will submit your application and have your biometric data recorded. Contact the Embassy at for appointment. Email subject line should read: Schengen Visa Appointment – [applicant’s full name]. Email should contain:
    1. Name.
    2. Nationality.
    3. Telephone number.
    4. Planned departure date.
    5. Preferred dates and times to come to the Embassy.
  5. Disclaimer regarding appointment schedule: The Embassy will attempt to accommodate your request for an appointment date and time, but due to limited application slots, no guarantees can be given. If you live far from Tokyo, and there are limitations to when you can appear at the Embassy, you must explicitly write so in your request. Please note that (particularly during the busy season) the Embassy must prioritise appointments, so if your departure date is a long time after the application date you are requesting, you may not be granted an appointment at the desired date. In that case you may therefore only be offered an appointment at a later date, which is closer to your departure date.
  6. Not returning to Japan: If the applicant is not returning to Japan after the stay in Schengen, the case will automatically be submitted to the Danish Immigration Service for decision. This process takes much longer time than the usual application time, and often more than 60 days. Applicants who are not returning to Japan after the stay in Schengen should therefore apply 3 months before leaving for Schengen.
  7. Personal appearance: Appear at the Embassy in person, on the date and time of your appointment. Please come precisely on time. There is no waiting space inside the Embassy. Remember that you cannot apply at the Embassy without an appointment and without having finalized the VSS online application process. You will be rejected if you come to the Embassy without an appointment.
  8. Biometric recording: As of 12 October 2015, applicants need to appear in person for the collection of biometric data: Ten fingerprints and a photograph are collected from persons applying for a visa. Before the recording of the photo applicants may be asked to remove glasses or adjust head coverings if they hide facial features. The introduction of biometric data is part of the Schengen Visa Information System (VIS). For more information about VIS, fingerprints, data protection and legal background, please see Visa Information System (VIS). Certain categories of applicants are exempt from the requirement to give fingerprints, including: A) Children under the age of 12. B) Persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible. C) Heads of State and members of national governments, and members of their official delegations when invited for an official purpose.
  9. Submit documentation. While at the Embassy, submit to the Embassy staff: A) Your valid passport. (The Embassy will keep your passport during the application period unless agreed otherwise.) B) The cover letter which you have printed and signed from the VSS website. C) The rest of the required documentation listed in the ‘Schengen Visa Documentation Checklist’.
  10. Embassy assessment: The Embassy staff will check your documents and conduct a short interview. Failure to submit all relevant documentation may result in delays or rejection of the application. You may be asked to submit further documents. Usually, the submission deadline for additional documentation is set to 5 days. Please see the section “processing time” below. If your application is accepted for processing, you will receive a receipt.
  11. Processing time: If the fee has been paid online and all required documentation is valid, correct, and submitted on time, the visa case processing procedure normally takes maximum 15 days. During the initial case processing, the Embassy will make an assessment of your case based on the submitted documentation. If, for some reason, the provided documentation is insufficient to make a decision, you will be contacted via telephone or email and requested to submit further documentation. If you receive a request for further documentation, and submit the necessary documents within 5 days, the processing time can usually be kept within the 15 days. However, in case of when further scrutiny of the application is needed or in cases of representation where the authorities of the represented Member State are consulted processing time may be extended to 30 days. Exceptionally, when additional documentation is needed in specific cases, the period may be extended up to a maximum of 60 calendar days. Please note that nationals of certain countries are subject to prior consultation in one or more Schengen countries before a visa may be issued. The processing time in these cases will usually be 10-12 days as a minimum. For more information about the rules and regulations for processing time, please see the website of the Danish Immigration Service.
  12. During case processing: If you need your passport during the visa application period, you must collect the passport yourself (for example by sending a prepaid envelope) and you must also make sure to return the passport to the Embassy in time. The Embassy takes no responsibility for any delays caused by your own use of your passport during the visa case processing. Please note: It is very important that you submit your final travel schedule at the time of application. If you change your travel schedule during the case processing, it is very likely that this will result in a delay in the case processing.
  13. How to receive the decision: The Embassy will contact you when a decision has been reached, that either a visa has been granted or refused. There is no need to contact the Embassy to inquire about the status of your case during the first 15 days of case processing. You cannot hurry the process by contacting the Embassy, and inquiries about the status of the case may not be replied until the end of the 15 day period. If you have a relevant comment or question, you must write an email to All telephone calls regarding visa will be rejected, unless the Embassy has specifically instructed you to call about your case. Please note: A refusal will be notified to the applicant in writing. The refusal decision will state the reasons on which it is based and that the applicant whose application is refused has a right to appeal, with information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal, including the competent authority, as well as the time limit for lodging an appeal.
  14. How to get your visa and passport: When you have been notified by the Embassy that a decision has been made in your case, make an appointment to pick up your passport. If you prefer to have your passport sent to you by postal mail, you must submit a prepaid return envelope with your address clearly written on the envelope. The Embassy recommends the Japan Post Letter Pack envelope which you can buy at the post office.
  15. Understanding duration of stay and period of validity: Your visa will be issued with a “duration of stay” and a “period of validity”. Duration of stay is the number of days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area. Period of validity is the period of time between two dates, in which you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area. Your travel to the Schengen area must be within the limits of both the duration of stay and the period of validity. Further details about the conditions and limitations of a visa can be found in the information sheet for visa holders which is found in this link. Applicants who wish to apply for a long-term visa (multiple entries with 90 days stay for every 180 days) must specify this wish with a separate note attached to the application documents. However, applicants in Japan can under normal circumstances only be issued up to 9 months validity. This is due to an unfortunate combination of Danish and Japanese re-entry permit rules. Only applicants in possession of a 3- or 5-year re-entry permit to Japan, can apply for a visa valid for more than 9 months validity. Visa to Iceland falls under the same rules.
  16. 15 days of flexibility: The Schengen visa regulations allow visas to be issued with a period of validity of 15 days more than the duration of stay. The purpose is to give the traveller some flexibility in case of delayed departure to Schengen. Please note that the 15 days of flexibility do not extend the total number of days the traveller can stay in the Schengen area – it only gives the option of postponing the departure to Schengen in case of delay. For example, a visa which allows the traveller a duration of stay of 10 days in the Schengen area, the traveller can stay in Schengen for 10 days, but the stay can be scheduled within a period of 10 + 15 days = 25 days. In other words, the traveller can delay the entry into Schengen up to 15 days after the original travel schedule and still stay in Schengen for the full 10 days.If the traveller needs to postpone the entry into Schengen more than 15 days, the number of days of stay in Schengen must be reduced equally, in order not to violate the last legal date of departure from Schengen. In the example above, if the traveller postpones the entry into Schengen with 20 days from the original schedule, the stay in Schengen must be reduced by 5 days and the traveller can then only stay in Schengen for 5 days without violating the terms of the visa.
  17. Further information: In the links in the menu on the left, you can find details about Visa Self-Service, online payment as well as the Schengen Documentation Checklist. Further details about the Schengen Visa regulations are found on the website of the Danish Immigration Service. If you cannot find the answers to your questions on the page you can find contact information on the same website.