What is Schengen Visa? Full Information on Schengen Visa
Introduction to Schengen Visa
A Schengen visa is a necessary document for certain non-Europeans to visit the 27 countries in the Schengen area. With this visa, travelers can freely cross borders without undergoing identity checks. The most common type is the short-stay visa, which permits a maximum of 90 days of travel or stay within a 6-month period from the entry date specified on the visa.
Purpose and Significance
This visa is extremely important as it serves as a special pass for Indian travelers in the Schengen Zone. It simplifies the travel process, enabling people to cross borders without the usual visa complications.
Multiple Country Access
The Schengen Visa allows travelers to freely travel across multiple European countries. Remarkably, a single visa provides access to all 27 nations in the Schengen area, making it very convenient for those who want to explore different European destinations.
Schengen Visa Application Requirements
- A passport with at least two empty pages. The passport should have been issued within the last 10 years and must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure from the Schengen territory.
- A completed and signed visa application form. If there are other individuals listed in your travel document, they must also complete a separate application form. For children under 18, the form must be signed by a parent or guardian.
- A recent identity photograph that meets ICAO standards.
- In countries where the Visa Information System is operational, your fingerprints will be collected when you submit your application, unless you fall under specific exemption categories.
- A visa fee is required when submitting your application. Additionally, if you are requested to submit your application at a service provider’s office, a service fee will also apply.
- You must have travel medical insurance that covers emergency medical, hospitalization, and repatriation (including in case of death). The minimum coverage should be 30,000 EUR, and it must be valid for the entire Schengen area and the duration of your stay.
- You will need various documents related to the purpose of your stay, as well as evidence of means of support and accommodation during your stay.
Contact GT Visa Guru for the complete list of required documents. During the processing time, additional information or documents may be required on a case-by-case basis, or you may be contacted for an interview.
Schengen Area Countries
You will have access to the following countries after having a Schengen Visa.
Schengen Visa Application Process
Here are the steps to apply for your visa:
- Determine the type of visa you need.
- Find out where to apply for a visa in India. Pay attention to the embassy/consulate/VAC of the country you are applying to and the jurisdiction you fall under.
- Apply for your visa at least 15 days before your travel date. You can also apply up to 6 months in advance.
- Collect the necessary travel documents for your visa application.
- Schedule an appointment for your visa application interview. You can do this by phone, online, or in person.
- Attend the visa application interview at the embassy or consulate in India. Be prepared to answer relevant questions.
- Pay the visa application fee. The visa fees are fixed and synchronized across all Schengen states.
- Wait for your visa to be processed. This step can be challenging but exciting. It may take around 15 days to find out if your visa has been approved or rejected.
Types of Schengen Visa
The Schengen visa type A or Airport Transit Visa is required for citizens of non-Schengen countries who need to transit through or wait for their connecting flight in the international zone of an airport located in one of the Schengen countries. This visa is mandatory for those traveling from a non-Schengen country to another non-Schengen country and have connecting flights in a Schengen country’s airport. However, holders of type A visa are not allowed to enter the Schengen country itself.
The type B Schengen visa, which was previously used for journeys lasting fewer than five days, has now been replaced by the type “C” visa with the condition of “transit”.
The type C Schengen visa, also known as the short-stay Schengen visa, is the most common one. It is issued by the visa services of a country belonging to the Schengen area, such as embassies, consulates, or appointed external providers. This visa allows the holder to stay or travel freely within the Schengen area for a period of less than 90 days within a 180-day period.
For citizens of certain countries, the type C Schengen visa is mandatory. To determine if you need this visa category, please refer to the Schengen visa entry requirements.
Depending on the purpose of your trip, the short-stay category C visa can be:
- Single-entry visa: It allows one entry in the Schengen area. Once you leave the area, even if the validity period of the visa is not over, it expires. In other words, any exit is considered final.
- Double-entry visa: Allows two entries into the Schengen area during the visa’s validity period. You can leave and re-enter the area within that time frame. However, once you leave the area for the second time, your visa expires.
- Multiple-entry visa: Allows multiple entries and exits as desired. This authorization is valid for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.
The national visa, also known as the type D long-stay Schengen visa, is required for foreigners who want to study, work, or live in a Schengen country for more than 90 days (up to 1 year). This visa allows the holder to travel and stay in the Schengen area outside of the initially chosen country for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period, as well as throughout the entire validity of the visa.
The following purposes can justify applying for a type D visa:
- Tourism or private visits
- Professional activities
- Studying, participating in a training program, or completing an internship
- Family reasons
The national visa, or type D visa, is issued by the consular authorities of the intended Schengen country in accordance with national laws. It is important to contact the country’s services to learn about the specific conditions and requirements. Depending on certain conditions, the visa can be granted as a single-entry or multiple-entry long-stay visa.
Your Schengen Visa will take a minimum of 15 days to be processed, but the processing time may vary depending on your situation. In certain cases, embassies may require up to 30 days to process a visa, and in exceptional circumstances, it could take as long as 60 days for the Schengen Visa to be processed.
The Schengen Visa is like your pass to freely wander around 27 awesome European countries. You get 90 days within 6 months. Just gather your paperwork, have a chill chat during the visa interview, and you’re good to go for an epic European adventure. No stress, just pure exploration in these places.