What is a Schengen visa?
The Schengen Visa is a document that permits its holder to travel throughout the 26 countries that are part of the Schengen Area. This type of visa is issued by one of the Schengen States, and allows you to visit any of the Schengen countries for a duration of up to 90 days in total within a period of six months. When a person travels from one Schengen country to another (and he is a citizen or a resident of one of them), he or she goes under minimum border checks to verify the identity.)
Who needs a Schengen visa?
The Schengen states have common rules for issuing short-stay Schengen visas, which are valid within the entire Schengen area. These visas allow a person to stay and travel in the territories of Schengen states for a maximum of 90 days in any six month period.
Depending on the purpose of your travel the embassy or consulate of your Schengen destination country will issue you the appropriate visa. There are three main types of visas that are issued which include tourist visas, business visas, working visas, student visas and transit visas.
States whose citizens require Schengen Visa
This is the list of countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Schengen Zone.
|Cape Verde||Central African Republic|
|Democratic Republic Of Congo||Djibouti|
|Pakistan||Papua New Guinea|
|Sao Tome And Principe||Saudi Arabia|
|South Sudan||Sri Lanka|
Entities and territorial authorities not recognized as states by at least one Schengen Member State
- Kosovo (As defined by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999.)
- Palestinian Authority
Who is Exempt from Schengen Visa Requirements?
Whereas, this is the list of third countries whose nationals are exempted from holding a visa when crossing the external borders of the Schengen Territory:
|Antigua And Barbuda||Argentina|
|Barbados||Bosnia And Herzegovina*|
|Vatican City State||Honduras|
|Solomon Islands||South Korea|
|St Kitts And Nevis||St Lucia|
|St Vincent And The Grenadines||Timor-Leste|
|Tonga||Trinidad And Tobago|
|United Arab Emirates||United States Of America|
*The visa exemption applies only to holders of biometric passports.
**The visa exemption applies only to holders of biometric passports. Excluding holders of Serbian passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (in Serbian: Koordinaciona uprava
Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China
- Hong Kong S.A.R.
- Macao S.A.R.
British citizens who are not nationals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the purposes of Union law
- British Nationals (Overseas)
- British overseas territories citizens (BOTC)
- British overseas citizens (BOC)
- British protected persons (BPP)
- British subjects (BS)
Entities and territorial authorities not recognized as States by at least one Member State
- Taiwan – The exemption from the visa requirement applies only to holders of passports issued by Taiwan, which include an identity card number.
How Can I Get a Schengen Visa?
You should apply for a Schengen Visa at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you are planning to visit. If you are planning to visit two or more countries during the same trip, then you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you plan to spend more time. If you are planning to spend equal time in two or more countries, i.e. five days in France and five days in Germany, then you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you are planning to land first.
In case that in your country, there is no consulate of the Schengen country you wish to visit, then you will have to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Immigration Office of that country and get information where you will have to apply in order to get a Schengen visa.
You have to apply and make an appointment at least 15 days before the intended journey, and the earliest three months before.
There is a number of documents the embassy of your destination Schengen country will ask you to submit in order to grant you with a visa. Be careful to collect all of the necessary documents as required.
There is a fee of EUR 60 you shall pay for the application. The fee for children under 12 years old is EUR 35, whereas for children under 6 it is free. All of the Schengen Member countries have agreed on its cost. You should pay it when submitting the visa application.
Which Countries Can I Visit With a Schengen Visa?
If one of the Schengen Area member states has issued you a multiple-entry Schengen visa, then you can visit a wide number of countries in Europe. First of all you can visit the member states which are:
Secondly, there is a number of countries in Europe which are Non-EU countries, but they still accept visitors that hold a Schengen visa. These countries are:
|Albania||Antigua and Barbuda|
|Belarus||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Serbia|