A total of 26 nations make up the Schengen Area. Within this area, citizens of these nations or travellers holding a Schengen Visa, are permitted to move freely among one or more of these countries, as they so choose. Among the 26 countries that abide by the Schengen Agreement, a total of 22 nations are members of the European Union (EU), while 4 are members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
Countries that are Members of the Schengen Area
While most of the countries in Europe fall under the Schengen Area, with the exception of the United Kingdom, certain nations such as Switzerland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland do not belong to the European Union, but are still considered Schengen states. Other countries like Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia are on their way towards becoming Schengen Member states. The list of Schengen countries are mentioned below:
- Czech Republic
All citizens of countries that are not a part of the Schengen Area are mandatorily required to obtain a Schengen Visa to gain access to any of the countries comprising of the Schengen Zone. However exceptions apply to certain nations that do not yet fall under the Schengen jurisdiction, but whose citizens can travel freely within the Schengen Area without the need of a visa.
Citizens of most Asian, African, Central American and South American countries are required to acquire a Schengen Visa before travelling to any of the countries within the Schengen Area. However, obtaining a Schengen visa does not permit an individual to stay within the Schengen Zone beyond the stipulated time, which is usually not more than 90 days for every 6 months, nor does it grant them the freedom to work or study in any of the Schengen states.
Citizens of the following countries are compulsorily required to hold a Schengen Visa in order to travel to any of the Schengen member countries.
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Ivory Coast
- Dominican Republic
- Cape Verde
- Equatorial Guinea
- Marshall Islands
- North Korea
- Northern Mariana’s
- Papua New Guinea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
Schengen Visas are issued to travellers based on the reason or intended nature of their travel to the Schengen area. The different types of Schengen Visas issued are as follows:
Uniform Schengen Visa (USV)
Travellers who are granted this type of visa are permitted to travel or stay within any of the countries that are members of the Schengen Area for a duration that does not exceed more than 90 days for every half a year, commencing from the date of their entry into the Schengen Area. This visa is applicable to all travellers who fall under the A, B and C categories, and is granted based on the nature of their intended travel.
Limited Territorial Validity Visa (LTV)
Under this type of visa, travellers are allowed to only travel or reside in the Schengen State or States that has granted them the visa. This visa is considered invalid when travelling to any other Schengen State that was not previously specified at the time of application.
Individuals looking to study, work or seek permanent residence in any of the Schengen member states are required to apply for a national visa under the D category.
Documents Required to Apply for a Schengen Visa
While the documents required to apply for a Schengen Visa may differ depending on the purpose of travel, the basic set of mandatory documents required are as follows:
- A completed application form signed by the visa applicant
- A declaration stating that the documents that have been submitted are completely genuine
- Two passport sized photographs taken as per Schengen specifications
- A valid passport as well as a copy of the same
- Travel medical insurance proof
- Documents showing sufficient funds that can cover the duration of travel
- Proof or receipt of fees paid
Schengen Visa FeesAll applicants for Schengen visas are required to compulsorily pay a visa fee that is strictly non-refundable. The fee may vary depending on the visa type applied for or any other exception specified. The fees applicable are as follows:
- Travellers applying for a short stay visa, with a travel duration of not more than 90 days are required to pay a visa fee of 60 euros
- Travellers applying for a long stay visa, with a travel duration of more than 90 days are required to pay a visa fee of 99 euros
- Travellers applying for an airport transit visa are required to pay a visa fee of 60 euros
Passport Requirements for Obtaining a Schengen VisaTravellers who wish to acquire a Schengen Visa are required to have their passports fulfill the following criteria:
- The passport should have a validity period that is a minimum of three months beyond the intended period of travel/stay to the any of the Schengen states
- The passport should have a minimum of two pages that are completely blank
- The total validity period of the passport should not be more than ten years
- Any passports wherein the data entered is unclear or not readable shall be considered unacceptable
- Every individual applicant is required to possess a passport of their own. This rule is applicable to minors as well
- Should a passport contain any additional pages, no visas shall be issued on these particular pages.
Difference between Single and Multiple Entry Schengen Visa
- Single Entry Schengen Visa
By procuring this type of Schengen visa, applicants can enjoy an uninterrupted stay in any of the Schengen countries. However, once the individual leaves, he/she cannot come back to any of these countries without obtaining a new Schengen visa. This visa is useful for those who wish to travel to for just a few days.
- Multiple Entry Schengen Visa
This visa allows holders to enjoy multiple stays in more than one Schengen country as long as the total duration of their stay does not exceed 90 continuous days in the given 180 day period from the first entry date. This stay can be spread over numerous visits within the visa validity period, or can be one continuous period. But these entries cannot exceed the number authorized by the Schengen visa.
This type of visa is usually valid for a year. In case the entries show ‘02’, then individuals can avail two entries. If the entries show ‘MULT’, then over 2 entries are allowed.
Even if the individual has not stayed in any of the Schengen countries for more than 90 days, he/she will not be allowed to stay once the validity of the visa is over. Also, a Schengen visa expires once the total exits made by the individual equals the number of entries, regardless of whether the individual has stayed for the number of days as per the visa authorization.
FAQS for Schengen Visa
- What type of Visa is C?
Type C Visa is a Schengen Visa, which allows people to enter Schengen countries for purposes such as business, tourism or family visits. This Visa is valid for a period of maximum 90 days in the course of 180 days.
- What does Type C Schengen Visa mean?
Type C Schengen Visa is a short term stay Visa that permits people to enter Schengen countries for family visits, tourism or business purposes.
- How long is a Schengen tourist Visa valid for?
The Schengen tourist Visa is valid for stay for 90 days within a given period of 6 months. If you have a multiple entry Visa, then you can enter and leave the country more than once within the 180 days period. You have to ensure that your total stay period in the area should not be more than 90 days.
Related Topic About Schengen Visa
- What type of Visa is C?