Do I need a Schengen visa?
Depending on what country you are from, you will need a Schengen visa to enter Europe, which contains all the countries in the Schengen visa area. The 27 Schengen visa countries share a visa policy; if you need a Schengen visa to enter one Schengen state, you can use that same visa to enter the others. Whether or not you need a visa depends on your nationality. Certain nationalities enjoy visa-free access to the zone, while others require a Schengen visa to enter. See the following list to check if your nationality grants you visa-free access to Schengen Area or you need to apply for a Schengen visa:
- The nationals of the following countries are excluded from visa-free access to Schengen area, and need to apply for a Schengen visa:
14. BURKINA FASO
19. CAPE VERDE
71. NORTH KOREA
20. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
74. PAPUA NEW GUINEA
25. COTE D’IVOIRE
27. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
79. SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
80. SAUDI ARABIA
29. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
82. SIERRA LEONE
32. EQUATORIAL GUINEA
84. SOUTH AFRICA
85. SOUTH SUDAN
86. SRI LANKA
- Third-party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.
- Those who do require a visa may learn more about the Schengen visa application process below.
Who can apply for Schengen visa
In theory, anyone who requires a visa to enter the Schengen visa area may apply for one (see Do I need a Schengen visa, explained above). In practice, only those who meet the visa requirements are approved for Schengen visa. Meeting the requirements involves submitting all the Schengen visa required documents, paying the Schengen visa fees, and completing the rest of the steps which comprise the Schengen visa application process. Successful applicants are granted access to the 27 Schengen visa countries for a period not exceeding 90 days.
How to apply for a Schengen visa
- Would-be travelers should follow these 10 steps to complete the Schengen visa application process:
- Decide when to travel
- Choose one of the Schengen visa countries as your primary destination
- Select your Schengen visa type
- Select your entry category for the Schengen visa area
- Find your application destination (physical location where you will submit your Schengen visa required documents)
- Access your Schengen visa form
- Submit your Schengen visa required documents
- Pay your Schengen visa fees
- Attend a visa interview
- Receive your visa decision
Where you need to apply
The Schengen visa application process occurs at the foreign embassies and consulates of Schengen visa countries; you will apply for your Schengen visa through the embassy or consulate of your primary destination in the Schengen area. There are 27 countries in the Schengen visa area; your primary destination in the zone is the country in which you intend to spend the most number of days. Once you know your primary destination, you will apply for your visa through that country’s embassy or consulate in your country of residence. This is where you will submit your Schengen visa required documents, pay your Schengen visa fees, and complete all tasks associated with the Schengen visa application process.
Schengen visa type you need
- There are many types of Schengen visas. When you fill out your basic application form (one of the major Schengen visa required documents) you will need to indicate which type you need. Determine your Schengen visa type by thinking about why you are traveling to the Schengen visa area. Your reason for travel should match one of the available Schengen visa types: