A Schengen Visa is the document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to and within the Schengen Area.
The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the EU and the other 4 are part of the EFTA.
Schengen area covers the majority of European countries, except for the United Kingdom and countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland soon to be part of the agreement. However, there are countries that are not part of the EU like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein yet do belong in the Schengen area and cherish the free movement policy.
The Schengen Member States
- Czech Republic
Who needs a Schengen visa?
The citizens of non-Schengen member countries are requested a mandatory Schengen Visa in order to enter the Schengen Zone. There are exceptions to this rule, however: citizens of some countries that are not yet part of the Schengen Agreement don’t require a visa to enter the Schengen zone.
The list of the countries that need a visa to enter the Schengen Area can be found here.
Visa Application Requirements
In order to travel to one or more of the Schengen Zone countries, as aforementioned, one needs to apply for a Schengen visa at the designated embassy/consulate. There are however, certain requirements similar to every embassy/consulate that have to be met in order to pursuit the application. A unified exemplar of the requested documents with the additional information is meticulously described and listed at Schengen Visa Application Requirements section.
Types of Schengen Visa
Regarding the nature/purpose of the travel, there are several types of a Schengen visa issued by the designated embassy/consulate.
1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)
The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry. According to the purpose of traveling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the three categories, “A”, “B” and “C”.
2. Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)
This type of visa obtained allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa. Apart from these Schengen countries, this specific visa is invalid to any other Schengen country not specified prior.
3. National Visas
The national visa of “D” category is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries. The national visa can be of a single entry, granted to the people who are in need of residing in the Schengen country for a certain period of time, or for a sole purpose after which they shall return to their country.
Schengen Visa Fee
When applying for a Schengen visa there is a non-refundable mandatory visa fee every applicant must pay. The visa costs vary depending on the type of visa and age of the applicant as well as some other exceptions stated in the text.
The regular fee (in Euro)
|Airport transit visa||60.00 €|
|Short stay visa, less than 90 days||60.00 €|
|Long stay visa, more than 90 days||99.00 €|
Schengen Travel Visa Insurance
Anyone travelling temporarily to a Schengen area from a country that is subject to visa requirements, be it an individual or group visitors, tourists, or business travelers is required to purchase travel insurance that covers the number of days he/she will be spending in the Schengen Area.
The insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage must be EUR 30,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa obtained by any of the Schengen Area member countries allows free movement to its holder within the whole Schengen Zone regarding the European Union Schengen members as well as the EFTA Schengen members, up to its validity and timeframe.
What does EFTA stand for?
EFTA is an association of ten Fair Trade importers in nine European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). EFTA was established informally in 1987 by some of the oldest and largest Fair Trade importers. It gained formal status in 1990. EFTA is based in the Netherlands and has Dutch Articles of Association.
How does EFTA differ from EU?
While the EFTA stands for an association of ten Fair Trade importers in nine European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), the EU is a group of mostly European countries, (28 to be exact) that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official currency, the euro.
When issued a visa, for how long can I reside in the Schengen Zone?
According to the type of visa issued by the certain embassy/consulate of any Schengen country there are different restrictions that apply to the particular visa in accordance to the nature of travelling and other relevant circumstances. However, the most common type of visa issued to the travellers can reach the maximum of 90 days in every six month period starting from the date of entry.
In which occasion am I allowed to apply for a Schengen visa?
Every person is allowed to apply for a Schengen visa as long as they can get all the required documentation in order and possess the financial means to maintain themselves during their stay to the Schengen area.
What type of a Schengen visa do I need?
Depending on the purpose/nature of your travel there are three major types of Schengen visa issued by the designated Embassy/Consulate.
- The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry.
- The Limited territorial validity visa allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa.
- The national visa is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries.
What is a Uniform Schengen Visa?
According to the purpose of traveling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the two categories, “A” and “C”.
- “A” category stands for the Airport Transit Visa which allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Country Area. Airport transit visa is mandatory for the citizens travelling from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state through a change of flights in a Schengen Country airport.
- “C” category stands for a Short-term visa which allows its holder to reside in a Schengen Country (Schengen Area) for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity.
Which are the non Schengen countries that allow entry for Schengen visa holders?
There are 19 countries that are not part of the EU, nor of the Schengen Area, yet they ALLOW foreign citizens of other non-Schengen countries to enter and stay in their territories, ONLY by showing a valid Schengen Visa. Such foreigners, do NOT need a national visa issued from these countries to enter, transit and stay in their territory temporarily.
What is a flight itinerary for Visa application?
Flight itinerary is a confirmed document which can be verified online about the schedule of a given flight.