Schengen Visa

  • A Schengen visa is a document allowing you temporary access to the Schengen area; all 26 member states. Travelers with Schengen visas can remain within the Schengen area for a short stay-up to 90 days within a 180-day time period.

Schengen Area

  • The Schengen area refers collectively to the 26 European countries united by a landmark multilateral agreement allowing free travel within and across its member states. The countries within the Schengen area have removed border control for travelers crossing between their borders as per the Schengen Agreement. All the Schengen countries are located in mainland Europe, with the exception of Iceland and Malta.

Who Should Apply for a Schengen Visa?

  • Only nationals from certain countries are exempt from possessing a visa when travelling across the external borders of the Schengen states. If you are from one of the 103 countries which is not exempt, and are planning on travelling to a Schengen state, you will likely need to obtain a Schengen visa. Additionally, nationals from those same countries may need to obtain a Schengen transit visa if they are transiting through international airports located in the Schengen area.
  • The following is a list of the 103 countries whose citizens need a visa to enter the Schengen area:

1.     AFGHANISTAN

53.   LAOS

2.     ALGERIA

54.   LEBANON

3.     ANGOLA

55.   LESOTHO

4.     ARMENIA

56.   LIBERIA

5.     AZERBAIJAN

57.   LIBYA

6.     BAHRAIN

58.   MADAGASCAR

7.     BANGLADESH

59.   MALAWI

8.     BELARUS

60.   MALDIVES

9.     BELIZE

61.   MALI

10.   BENIN

62.   MAURITANIA

11.   BHUTAN

63.   MONGOLIA

12.   BOLIVIA

64.   MOROCCO

13.   BOTSWANA

65.   MOZAMBIQUE

14.   BURKINA FASO

66.   NAMIBIA

15.   BURMA/MYANMAR

67.   NAURU

16.   BURUNDI

68.   NEPAL

17.   CAMBODIA

69.   NIGER

18.   CAMEROON

70.   NIGERIA

19.   CAPE VERDE

71.   NORTH KOREA

20.   CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

72.   OMAN

21.   CHAD

73.   PAKISTAN

22.   CHINA

74.   PAPUA NEW GUINEA

23.   COMOROS

75.   PHILIPPINES

24.   CONGO

76.   QATAR

25.   COTE D’IVOIRE

77.   RUSSIA

26.   CUBA

78.   RWANDA

27.   DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

79.   SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

28.   DJIBOUTI

80.   SAUDI ARABIA

29.   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

81.   SENEGAL

30.   ECUADOR

82.   SIERRA LEONE

31.   EGYPT

83.   SOMALIA

32.   EQUATORIAL GUINEA

84.   SOUTH AFRICA

33.   ERITREA

85.   SOUTH SUDAN

34.   ETHIOPIA

86.   SRI LANKA

35.   FIJI

87.   SUDAN

36.   GABON

88.   SURINAME

37.   GAMBIA

89.   SWAZILAND

38.   GHANA

90.   SYRIA

39.   GUINEA

91.   TAJIKISTAN

40.   GUINEA-BISSAU

92.   TANZANIA

41.   GUYANA

93.   THAILAND

42.   HAITI

94.   TOGO

43.   INDIA

95.   TUNISIA

44.   INDONESIA

96.   TURKEY

45.   IRAN

97.   TURKMENISTAN

46.   IRAQ

98.   UGANDA

47.   JAMAICA

99.   UZBEKISTAN

48.   JORDAN

100.VIETNAM

49.   KAZAKHSTAN

101.YEMEN

50.   KENYA

102.ZAMBIA

51.   KUWAIT

103.ZIMBABWE

52.   KYRGYZSTAN

 
  • Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.

When to Apply for a Schengen Visa

  • You should apply for a Schengen Visa at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.

Processing Time for Schengen Visas

  • The general processing time for a Schengen visa ranges from 15-30 days. Some people receive a visa in under two weeks; in rare cases, the consulate can take up to 60 days.

Where to Apply for a Schengen Visa

  • Applications for Schengen visas can be submitted via at the consulate/embassy of the Schengen state where you will be spending the most time during your stay.
  • Applications for Schengen visas should be submitted at either a consulate, embassy, or a visa application center that has a relationship with the country you are applying to.
  • Ideally, you will lodge your application in the country where you legally reside.
  • If you must apply through a consulate/center located in a country where you are currently legally present, but where you do not legally reside, you must have a valid reason for doing so.
  • In countries where there is no consular presence for the country you are applying to, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing that state’s consular interests.

Schengen Visa Fees

All Schengen visas cost the same; no purpose, type, or entry number is more expensive than another.

  • The standard Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 EUR.
  • Children between 6-12-years-old pay a reduced fee of 40 EUR. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees.
  • Additionally, external service providers may charge an additional processing fee, separate from the cost of the Schengen visa application. Please note that all fees are non-refundable. If your application is rejected, you do not get your money back.

Click here for more information about: Schengen Visa Fees.

Basic Required Documents

Click here for full information about: Basic Required Documents.

Categories of Schengen Visas

  • Uniform Schengen Visa (USV): Allows you to access the entire Schengen area; all Member States. USVs can be obtained for the following number of entries:
    • Single Entry (valid for just one entry to the Schengen area).
    • Double Entry (valid for two entries to the Schengen area).
    • Multiple Entry (valid for unlimited entries to the Schengen area).
  • Limited Territorial Visas (LTV): Limits your access to a specific Member State(s).

Click here for more information on visa categories.

Types of Schengen Visas

  • Short Stay (Type C): Allows for a period of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
  • Airport Transit (Type A): Valid exclusively for transiting through airports in the Schengen area, and not valid for access to any area outside of the airport.

Additionally, National Visa (Type D) is a long stay visa which is not a Schengen visa. It allows access to a specific country rather than the entire Schengen area, and can be valid for longer than 90 days.

Click here for more information about: Schengen Visa Types.

Schengen Visa Purposes

Click here for more information about: Schengen Visa Purposes.

Schengen Visa Validity

  • Schengen visas are valid for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Also known as the 90/180 rule, this means that you can stay in the Schengen area for a total of 90 days with a Schengen visa.
  • Validity is different from duration of stay. Schengen visas are generally valid for a period longer than duration of stay (i.e. 90; the number of days you are legally allowed to stay in the Schengen area).

Learn more about: Schengen Visa Validity Period and Schengen Visa Calculator.

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa

  • The procedure for applying for a Schengen visa varies by country. Contact your selected country’s consulate/embassy for more detailed information about how to apply for a Schengen visa for that specific state. The following steps are a general guideline for Schengen visa applications to all 26 Schengen countries:
  • Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
  • Step 2: Determine how many Entries to the Schengen area you need.
  • Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
  • Step 4: Schedule a Schengen visa appointment (if applicable).
    • Schedule an appointment to submit your application, or;
    • Drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours.
  • Step 5: Fill out your application.
    • Different consulates/visa processing centers may provide different ways of accessing applications. Access the application either through:
  • Step 6: Pay the application fee.
  • Step 7: Submit your Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months).
    • In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through.
    • Most applicants must also submit biometric data (fingerprints).
    • After submitting your application, you may be notified of your need to attend an in-person interview at the consulate/center where you applied.

Click here for detailed information about: How to Apply for a Schengen Visa to a Specific Country.

Schengen Visa Application Form

  • Schengen Visa Application Form is a must requirement that needs to be fully filled and signed by each applicant irrespective of the age. Each Schengen country will have their own application form even though they are all requesting the same information from the applicants. Some of them will request you to register on their online system in order to fulfill your application form while most of them will require to download it only.
  • Click here to access the Schengen Visa Application Form per the country that you want to apply for.

Schengen Visa on Arrival

  • Uncommonly, Schengen visas may be granted upon arrival to the Schengen area.
  • In almost all cases, these visas are available for a limited duration of 15 days.
  • Visas will only be granted on arrival to applicants who can credibly prove that they were unable to apply for a Schengen visa beforehand due to circumstances outside their control, such as a death, or for humanitarian purposes.
  • As most Schengen countries are unwilling to grant visas on arrival, it is advisable that you apply for a Schengen visa prior to showing up at the border.

Schengen Visa Sticker

  • A Schengen Visa Sticker is what you will receive if you are approved for a Schengen visa. Essentially your Schengen visa, it is pasted onto one of the free pages of your passport, providing you access to enter the Schengen area.

Click here for more information about: Schengen Visa Sticker.

Appealing a Visa Rejection

  • If you your application for a Schengen visa is rejected you have the right to an appeal. The appeal process is different for every country, but generally involves submitting a letter to the consulate/embassy where you originally applied within 3 weeks of receiving a negative decision.

Overstaying Your Visa

  • The penalties for overstaying your Schengen visa are significant. If you do not leave the Schengen area in time, you may be subject to one, some, or all of the following:
    • Monetary fine.
    • Instant deportation.
    • Multi-year ban from the Schengen area.
    • Immediate denial of future Schengen visas.

Schengen Visa Calculator

  • The Schengen Visa Calculator is a tool allowing you to find out how much time is left on your visa and determine if you are in compliance with the ’90 days/180-day’ rule and prevent you from overstaying your visa.

Click here to learn more about: Schengen Visa Calculator.

ETIAS

  • The travel authorization known as ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) does not launch until the end of 2022, so you do not yet need to get one yet. ETIAS is an IT system meant to identify unique threats posed by visa-exempt travelers to the Schengen area and is only valid for those from visa-exempt countries to the Schengen area.

Click here for full information about: ETIAS.