What is Schengen Area?
Schengen is a group of 27 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. The agreement allows for free movement of people between the countries.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel within the 26 countries of the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. The visa is issued by one of the Schengen countries and allows the holder to move freely within the area without the need for additional visas or border controls.
Who Needs a Visa to Enter Europe?
Citizens of some countries need a visa to enter the Schengen Area in Europe, while citizens of others do not. The visa requirements vary based on a number of factors, including the country of origin, the purpose of the trip, and the length of stay.
In general, citizens of countries in the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Area. Citizens of other countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. However, for longer stays or for different purposes (such as work or study), a visa may be required.
Travel Documents and Entry Requirements for non-EU Nationals
For non-EU nationals, the following documents are generally required for entry into the Schengen Area:
Passport: A valid passport with a validity of at least three months beyond the intended stay.
Schengen Visa: If required, a Schengen visa issued by the country of the main destination or the country of longest stay.
Travel Insurance: Proof of travel insurance with coverage of at least €30,000 for medical emergencies and repatriation.
Means of Support: Evidence of sufficient financial means to cover the cost of the trip and stay, such as bank statements or a letter of support from a sponsor.
Purpose of the Trip: Proof of the purpose of the trip, such as a letter of invitation or confirmation of hotel reservation.
Return Ticket: A return ticket or evidence of onward travel arrangements.
Which European Countries issue Schengen Visas?
The 26 European countries that are part of the Schengen Area and can issue Schengen visas are:
Austria Belgium Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland.
Schengen Visa Types for Short-Term Visits in Europe
- There are several types of Schengen visas for short-term visits in Europe, including:
- Tourism visa: For travel purposes such as tourism, visiting friends and family, or cultural and sports events.
- Business visa: For attending business meetings, conferences, trade fairs, and other business-related activities.
- Study visa: For participating in a short-term study program or course in a European institution.
- Medical visa: For receiving medical treatment in a European hospital or clinic.
- Transit visa: For travelers who need to transit through a Schengen country en route to a non-Schengen destination.
- Cultural, Film, Sports visa: For participating in cultural, film or sports events.
How Long Does the Schengen Visa Allow Me to Stay in Europe?
A Schengen visa allows a person to stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. The 180-day period is calculated from the first day of entry into the Schengen Area. The exact length of stay may vary based on the specific circumstances of the trip and the type of visa issued.
Note: Stays exceeding the 90-day limit within the 180-day period may result in legal and financial consequences, including fines, deportation, and a ban on future travel to the Schengen Area. It is important to check and comply with the specific regulations and requirements of each Schengen country.
How to Apply for a Visa to Enter Europe?
To apply for a visa to enter Europe, the following steps are generally required:
Determine Eligibility: Check the visa requirements and eligibility criteria for the country of the main destination or the country of the longest stay.
Gather Required Documents: Prepare the required documents, including a passport, travel insurance, and evidence of the purpose of the trip and means of support.
Complete the Application Form: Fill out the visa application form and attach the required documents.
Pay the Visa Fee: Pay the applicable visa fee, which may vary based on the type of visa and the country of application.
Schedule an Interview: Attend an interview at the embassy or consulate of the country of the main destination or the country of the longest stay.
Wait for a Decision: Wait for a decision on the visa application, which may take several weeks or longer.
How Much Does a European Visa Cost?
The cost of a European visa, also known as a Schengen visa, varies based on the type of visa and the country of application. In general, the visa fee for adults is around 80 EUR, although it may be higher or lower for specific types of visas and countries. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from the visa fee, while children between the ages of 6 and 12 are charged a reduced fee.
What is a Flight Itinerary for EU Visa Application?
A flight itinerary for a European Union (EU) visa application is a document that shows the applicant’s planned travel dates, flights, and destinations within the Schengen Area. It is used to demonstrate the purpose and details of the trip and is a required document for most Schengen visa applications. The flight itinerary can be either a confirmed ticket or a reservation, but it should show the departure and arrival dates, flight numbers, and airports of the planned journey.
What is Travel Insurance for Schengen Visa?
Travel insurance for a Schengen visa is a type of insurance that provides coverage for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events during a person’s trip to the Schengen Area. It is a required document for most Schengen visa applications and is intended to protect the traveler in case of emergencies or unexpected events. The travel insurance should be valid for the entire duration of the trip in the Schengen Area and should provide coverage of at least 30,000 EUR.
Does everybody need travel insurance?
No, not everybody needs travel insurance. However, it is strongly recommended for travelers to have travel insurance, especially for international trips, as it provides protection for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events.
Some countries, including most countries in the Schengen Area, require travelers to have travel insurance as a condition of entry and as a requirement for obtaining a visa. In these cases, it is necessary to have travel insurance to comply with the entry requirements.
Where do I purchase travel insurance?
Travel insurance can be purchased from a variety of sources, including:
Insurance Companies: Many insurance companies offer travel insurance as a standalone product or as an add-on to other insurance policies. These companies can provide a range of coverage options and can be found online or through a local insurance agent.
Travel Agents: Travel agents often offer travel insurance as part of the travel package, making it convenient for travelers to purchase insurance at the same time as booking their trip.
Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces, such as travel insurance comparison websites, allow travelers to compare different insurance policies and coverage options from multiple insurance providers.
Airlines: Some airlines offer travel insurance as an optional add-on when booking a flight.
What is Proof of Accommodation for a Visa application?
Proof of Accommodation is a document that shows where a person will be staying during their visit to a foreign country for visa purposes. It can be a hotel reservation, rental agreement, hostel booking, or a letter from a host inviting the visitor to stay with them. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate that the visitor has a guaranteed place to stay during their stay in the country.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa Around the World?
To apply for a Schengen visa, follow these steps:
- Determine the country you want to visit or reside in and check their visa requirements.
- Collect the required documents, including a passport, proof of financial means, travel insurance, and proof of accommodation.
- Find the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit and book an appointment.
- Submit the completed application form, required documents, and pay the visa fee.
- Attend the visa appointment and answer questions, if required.
- Wait for the processing time, which may take several weeks.
- Collect the visa from the embassy or consulate if approved.