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Schengen visa information

What does the term Schengen mean?

Schengen refers to the EU countries that have the freedom to move within the Schengen area without passport and border controls. It is the largest travel and movement-free space in the world.

What is the Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member state of the Schengen area for tourist or business purposes for up to 90 days.

The Schengen visa is the most commonly requested visa for Europe. It enables its holder to enter the Schengen area from any Schengen member state and to move freely from country to country, as there are no border controls within the Schengen zone.

However, if you plan to study, work or live in one of the Schengen countries for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a national visa of the relevant European country and not a Schengen visa.

In 2019, over 15 million people traveled across Europe using the Schengen visa.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa?

All third country nationals who have not yet concluded a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen member states must apply for a visa before arriving in Europe.

To check whether you need a Schengen visa to enter one of the Schengen member countries, here is the list of countries whose citizens must apply for a Schengen visa before entering the EU.

Travel documents and entry requirements for non-EU citizens

You have to present several documents in the Schengen border control area in order to be allowed to enter if you are not an EU citizen, regardless of whether you are exempt from the visa requirement or not.

The documents that you must present when entering the Schengen area are as follows:

  • Valid passport. Issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months from the date on which you intend to leave the EU.
  • Schengen visa. If you are a citizen of one of the third countries that require a visa.

EU / Schengen border guards can also request other information and documents, e.g. B. Sufficient funds, proof of accommodation, length of stay, return ticket, purpose of your entry, travel insurance and letter of invitation.

Please ensure that the border officer gives you an entry stamp in your passport when you enter the Schengen area. Without the stamp, you could be fined or imprisoned.

Which European countries issue a Schengen visa?

The Schengen zone includes the 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement, which enables the citizens of the member states to move freely within the zone without having to go through passport and border controls.

Any member country of the Schengen zone can issue a Schengen visa.

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary

Schengen visa for short stays in Europe

You must apply for a Schengen visa if you want to visit one or more European countries in this area for the following reasons:

  • Business purposes,
  • Visits to friends and relatives,
  • Tourism and travel,
  • Cultural and sporting events,
  • Airport transit visa and port transit visa,
  • Official visits,
  • Medical reasons and for
  • Short term studies and research purposes.

Depending on your reasons for visiting the Schengen countries and the frequency of your visits, the Schengen Consulate may issue you a single-entry visa, a double-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa.

The validity of your entry visa depends on the number of days you specified on your visa application form that you will be spending in the Schengen area. The consulate that issues you the Schengen visa makes the final decision of the consulate.

If you travel frequently, you can apply for an EU visa that is valid for up to 5 years. Please note, however, that you cannot stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in a 180-day period, even if you are in possession of a multiple visa for Europe, which is valid for up to 5 years.

How do I apply for a Schengen visa to enter Europe?

To apply for a Schengen visa to enter Europe, you first need to find out whether you need one or not, depending on the purpose of your travel and nationality. If so, you need to put your itinerary together. You have to indicate how many days you would like to spend in the zone, which countries you would like to visit (if several), which country you will enter first and from which country you will then leave.

Once you find out that you need a visa, you need to review all of the Schengen visa application requirements that you need to meet. You can then start arranging a visa appointment at one of the Schengen consulates in your home country.

What documents do I need for a Schengen visa?

You must bring certain documents with you on the day of your appointment at the embassy or consulate for your visa application:

  • Schengen visa application form (completed and signed),
  • two current biometric passport photos,
  • Copy of your passport, which is valid for at least three months after your Schengen visa has expired and has at least two free pages,
  • a reason for entry / purpose,
  • Return tickets,
  • Proof of accommodation,
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for your travel period,
  • and proof of travel health insurance (compulsory).

Depending on the purpose of the trip, you may have to submit additional documents.

How much does a Schengen visa cost?

The fee for a Schengen visa is € 80 for adults. However, depending on the applicant's age, nationality and a few other factors, there are categories that may have a lower or no fee.

Check the list of Schengen visa fees, which details which categories of visa fees are reduced or even exempt from the fee.

What is a flight schedule for applying for an EU visa?

The flight plan is evidence or confirmation that can be checked online about the flight plan of a particular flight.

You can find more information here: How to get a flight plan for applying for a visa!

The travel insurance for the Schengen visa application?

Your travel health insurance should be valid for your entire stay in the Schengen area and offer a minimum protection of EUR 30,000 for medical emergencies.

More information on: How to Get Schengen Visa Travel Insurance!

Proof of accommodation for applying for a visa?

You will need to provide a verified document showing where you will be accommodated throughout your journey in the Schengen area.

More information about: How to get proof of accommodation to apply for a visa!