Who does not fancy Europe? Everyone does, and why wouldn’t they, the natural beauty of Europe seems to have no bounds. Its natural wonders include stunning cliffs and magnificent mountain ranges that blend seamlessly with deep woods and the most pristine lakes and seas.
It may be one of the smallest continents, but what Europe lacks in size, it makes up for in diverse array: one of the gorgeous sites in Europe range from magnificent beaches, meadows of bluebells, and cliffs, to some of the majestic mountain vistas on the globe.
And to visit Europe, you will need a visa.
The Eurozone has allied with all nations, plus a few more, to establish a borderless zone known as ‘Schengen.’
That means you may travel freely throughout the Schengen zone with no border checks and only need to apply for a visa once to visit numerous countries.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is the most popular type of visa for travel to Europe. It allows you to enter, travel freely within, and exit the Schengen zone from any Schengen member country.
A Schengen visa is a short-term visa that permits a person to travel to any member of the Schengen Area for tourist or business purposes for stays of up to 90 days.
The Schengen visa is Europe’s most prevalent visa. It enables the holder to enter, freely travel within, and exit the Schengen zone from any Schengen member country.
Within the Schengen Area, there are no border restrictions.
If you want to study, work, or reside in one of the Schengen nations for more than 90 days, you must apply for a country visa of that European country rather than a Schengen Visa.
Different types of Schengen Visa
Your visit to one or more Schengen countries must fall into one of the categories mentioned on your visa, thus there is a separate visa application for each kind of stay:
- Family visit
- Events (Cultural or sports)
- Transit between airports or seafarers
- Official visits
- Medical reasons
- Study and research (to be finished within 90 days)
- a single entry visa
- double entry visa
- multiple entry visa
The Schengen Consulate will give you the optimum visa for your stay based on the purpose of your trip.
There is a 5 year Schengen Visa good for frequent travelers, however, you cannot stay in the Schengen zone for more than 90 days in a 180-day period.
Countries that issue Schengen Visa
The Schengen zone is made up of the 26 countries that have signed the Schengen accord, which allows people of member nations to freely travel throughout the zone without having to show their passports or go through border controls.
Schengen visas can be issued by any Schengen member country.
- Czech Republic
There are further 19 nations that are not members of the Schengen Zone, but they enable foreign people from other non-Schengen nations to enter and stay in their territory if they have a valid multiple-entry Schengen Visa.
You do not require a country visa from these countries to visit, transit, or remain in their territories tentatively.
How to apply?
Before you plan your trip, double-check the visa requirements.
Even if you maintain your trip before applying for a visa, you should verify with the embassy of that nation first.
Prior to making a reservation, you should ensure that you will be able to meet all of the conditions.
When you apply, you must include details on your vacation.
So, go ahead and start planning your trip, reserving tickets and accommodation.
Keep documentation of your journey as you plan it. You will be required to show such papers as verification of where and why you are traveling to a Schengen nation.
Check the duration of your stay
With this visa, you can stay in the Schengen region for up to three months, spread out over six months.
Make certain that your travel does not surpass this time frame.
Wait a few days before applying.
In most countries, you cannot apply for more than three months before your travel.
Even if you prepare ahead of time, you must wait for the visa application. It’s a smart idea to purchase travel insurance in case your visa is denied and you have to cancel your trip.
Learn how a Schengen Visa works.
You apply for a travel visa as you would ordinarily. However, as long as you stay inside the Schengen region, you do not need to apply for visas for each country.
Determine whether you require a Schengen Visa.
You only need a Schengen Visa if you are not from one of the countries listed.
You can use an inquiry tool, such as the one available on the Netherlands’ visa website, to determine whether you require one.
Citizens of the United States, for example, do not require a visa to enter this area if they hold a blue passport.
They can stay for up to three months.
Nonetheless, you should verify the passport requirements for the nation you intend to visit.
For example, your passport may need to be valid for 6 months beyond the date of admission.
However, a few nations, including Russia, Bahrain, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Turkey, Yemen, and Zimbabwe, do not enjoy this advantage.
Select the country for which you want to apply for your visa.
The first technique is to select the country in which you will spend the most time. So, if you want to spend 10 days in Germany and 5 days in France, you should apply with Germany.
If you plan to spend the same amount of time in each country, pick the one you’ll visit first.
Check to see if your entire travel will take place within the Schengen zone.
Though you can depart and return within the six-month term, you should check to see if your entire journey falls within the Schengen area’s borders.
If it does not, you may need to apply for a visa in each of the additional countries you will be visiting.
Applying for Visa
1. Download the application Form
Every European country uses the same Schengen Visa application form. You should be able to get it from the official website of the nation in which you are seeking a visa. As a result, if you want to apply in France, you may obtain it through the French government’s website.
2. Fill in the application Form
You’ll need general biographical details including your name, birth date, birth country, and current nationality.
You will also require passport information such as the kind of passport, the passport number, and the date the passport was issued.
Following that, you’ll enter information about your trip, such as how long you’ll be in each country, the sort of visa you’re seeking, and why you’re traveling.
You must also include details about where you will stay and how you will sustain yourself while there.
Finally, you must name your husband and children, as well as any family members who are visiting you and on whom you are reliant.
Documents such as your passport, proof of residency, and a passport photo are required.
You’ll also need documentation related to your trip, such as a copy of your travel schedule and confirmation that your health insurance covers you within the Schengen region, as well as paperwork proving your reason for going.
You must also produce proof of work and pay stubs from the past three months.
For a work trip, you’ll need to obtain a letter from both the firm hosting you and your own.
Both should explain why you’re traveling on business, and at least one should specify who is paying for your trip and where you’ll be lodging.
For a great vacation, you’ll need information like your hotel bookings, which contain the hotel’s contact information.
If you’re going on a tour, you should also provide that information.
If you’re visiting somebody, you may need to fill out a particular form to prove it.
In the Netherlands, for example, the form is known as the Proof of Private Accommodation and Sponsorship, and the host must get it approved by the Dutch City Hall.
A copy of the person’s passport or residency permit will also be required by the nation.
Submit the application.
Many countries need you to apply in person at their embassy or consulate in your host country.
Most of the time, you will need to schedule a visit ahead of time.
You may discover the consulate nearest you by visiting either the other country’s or your own country’s official website.
Please submit your biometrics. If you have never been fingerprinted for a Schengen Visa, you will be in the consulate’s office.
If you have done so before, the consulate should be able to search it up for you.
Pay the processing fee.
The fee will vary depending on where you are from and where you are applying to. The latest costs should be available on the foreign country’s website, or you may phone the consulate before you travel to find out.
Attend the visa interview
Arrive at the institution where you will be questioned on time on the day of your appointment.
There, you will be greeted by a visa consular, to whom you must present the necessary paperwork.
During the interview, you will be asked personal questions about your current location, planned trip, and other travel facts.
Make certain that your replies are strong and precise, and that they correspond to the information on the application form and other documentation. The interview might last between 10-15 minutes.
Wait for a response to your application.
Although most visas are processed in little more than 15 days, there are situations when this procedure takes significantly longer.
In certain nations, this term might be extended from 15 to 45 days for certain nationals.
After application approved
If you acquire your visa, be sure to thoroughly read the labels affixed to the visa sticker, including the amount of time it allows you to stay in Europe; otherwise, overstaying in the Schengen Area may result in penalties.
Travel Documents and Entry Requirements for non-EU Citizens
Everyone traveling to Europe, the Eurozone, or a Schengen country must have a valid passport that was issued within the last ten years and is valid for at least three months after the date they plan to leave the EU, as well as a Schengen visa obtained from a Schengen Consulate in their home country, depending on their nationality.
Furthermore, Schengen border officials may request additional information and documents such as:
- sufficient funds,
- proof of accommodation,
- length of stay,
- round-trip airline ticket,
- purpose of entry,
- travel insurance,
- Invitation letter, etc.
When you enter the Schengen Area, please ensure that the border officer stamps your passport with an entry stamp. You could be fined or even detained if you don’t have a stamp.
European Visa Cost
Every applicant must pay a non-refundable visa fee when applying for a Schengen visa.
The cost of a Schengen visa varies according to the type of visa and the applicant’s age, as well as some other exceptions listed below in the text. The Schengen visa fee can be paid in cash, debit card, or credit card at the designated consulate/embassy.
However, some consulates may not accept credit cards.
Schengen Visa Fee Category
- 80 € for adults
- 40 € for Child between the ages of 6 and 12 years old
- Free for a child under the age of six years old
- Free for holders of diplomatic, official, or service passports who are traveling for official reasons
- Free for a family member of an EU/EEA national.
- Free for Pupils, students, and accompanying teachers on a school excursion are
- 35 € for Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia traveling to do scientific study.
Even though these costs are fixed and irrevocable unless Schengen members vote differently, some groups are exempt from paying them.
Visa fees may also be eliminated for individuals under the age of 25 who attend non-profit seminars, conferences, sports, cultural, or educational activities.
The decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis based on the significance of the event.
Again, if the visa is rejected, there will be no reimbursement of the fees paid.
After entering the Schengen zone, you can travel across all of the alliance’s countries on the same visa. If you wish to study, work, or live in a Schengen country, you must first apply for a national visa in the country you want to visit. Any stay of more than 90 days must be approved by the country you are presently resident in. As a result, a Schengen visa is valid for 90 days.