Schengen Visa Information
What is Schengen?
The Schengen area is the area of the EU in which there is no need for a passport to travel. Most European countries are part of it. It is the largest area in the world in which one can travel freely.
What is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to all countries in the Schengen area for a maximum period of 90 days for tourism or professional purposes.
The Schengen visa is the most common visa for Europe. It allows its holder to enter the Schengen area, to circulate freely within it and to leave it from any of the member countries. There are no border controls in the Schengen area.
However, if you plan to study, work or live in one of the Schengen countries for more than 90 days, you must apply for a national visa from that European country and not a Schengen visa.
More than 15 million people used their Schengen visa in 2019 to travel to Europe.
Who needs a visa to enter Europe?
All third-country nationals who have not yet concluded a visa waiver agreement with Schengen member states must obtain a visa before arriving in Europe.
To check if you need a Schengen visa to travel to one of the Schengen member countries, here is the list of countries whose nationals must apply for a Schengen visa before traveling to the EU.
Travel documents and entry requirements for third-country nationals
You will need to present several documents when entering the Schengen area in order to be allowed entry if you are a national of a non-EU/Schengen country, whether or not you are visa-exempt.
Here is the list of documents you will need to provide when entering the Schengen area:
- A valid passport. Issued less than 10 years ago and valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU.
- A Schengen visa. If you are a national of one of the third countries requiring a visa.
EU/Schengen border guards may also ask for other information and documents such as sufficient money, proof of accommodation, intended duration of your stay, return flight ticket , purpose of your entry, travel insurance, letter of invitation, etc.
Please check that the border guard applies an entry stamp in your passport when you enter the Schengen area. Without this stamp, you could be fined or incarcerated.
Which countries in Europe issue Schengen visas?
The Schengen area includes the 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement, which allows citizens of member countries to move freely within the area, without using a passport and without being checked at borders.
Each member country of the Schengen area can issue Schengen visas.
Member States of the Schengen area:
- Czech Republic
Types of Schengen visas for short stays in Europe
You must apply for a Schengen visa if you intend to visit one or more European countries in this region for the following reasons:
- Professional reasons.
- Visiting friends or family.
- Tourism and vacation.
- Cultural and sporting events.
- Airport and maritime transit.
- Official visits.
- Medical reasons.
- Studies and research for a short period.
Depending on the reasons and the frequency of your visits to the Schengen countries, the consulate can issue you a single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry Schengen visa.
The validity of your single-entry visa depends on the number of days you plan to spend in the Schengen area indicated on your visa application form and the actual decision of the consulate issuing your Schengen visa.
If you are a frequent traveler, you can apply for a visa to enter the EU valid for up to 5 years, but you must bear in mind that you cannot spend more than 90 days in the Schengen area on the period of the previous 180 days, even if you hold a multiple entry visa for Europe valid for up to 5 years.
How to apply for a visa to enter Europe?
To apply for a Schengen visa to travel to Europe, you must first determine whether or not you need one based on the purpose of your trip and your nationality. If so, you need to make your travel plan, calculate the number of days you plan to spend in the Schengen area, the countries you are going to visit (if there are several), the country of entry and exit country of the Schengen area.
Once you understand this, then you should go through all the Schengen visa application requirements and request a visa application appointment at one of the Schengen consulates present in your country.
How much does a European visa cost?
The cost of a Schengen visa is €80 per adult. However, depending on the applicant’s age, nationality and other factors, certain categories of people will have to pay a lower fee or no fee at all.
Consult the list of Schengen visa fees which will tell you precisely the categories benefiting from the reduction of visa fees or from free.
What is a flight itinerary for Schengen visa application?
The flight itinerary is a confirmed document verifiable on the internet for the schedule of a given flight.
What is travel insurance for a Schengen visa?
Your travel medical insurance must be valid for the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen area, with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000 to cover medical emergencies.
Learn more: How to obtain insurance for a Schengen visa?
You must present a confirmed document indicating where you will be staying for the duration of your trip to the Schengen area.
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