A Schengen Visa is the document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to and within the Schengen Area.
The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the EU and the other 4 are part of the EFTA.
Schengen area covers the majority of European countries, except for the United Kingdom and countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland soon to be part of the agreement. However, there are countries that are not part of the EU like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein yet do belong in the Schengen area and cherish the free movement policy.
The citizens of the non-Schengen member countries are requested a mandatory Schengen Visa in order to enter the Schengen Zone. There are exceptions to this rule, however: for some countries that are not part of the Schengen Agreement yet aren’t required a visa to enter the Schengen zone.
In order to travel to one or more of the Schengen Zone countries, as aforementioned, one needs to apply for a Schengen visa at the designated embassy/consulate. There are however, certain requirements similar to every embassy/consulate that have to be met in order to pursuit the application. A unified exemplar of the requested documents with the additional information is meticulously described and listed at Schengen Visa Application Requirements section.
Regarding the nature/purpose of the travel, there are several types of a Schengen visa issued by the designated embassy/consulate.
Uniform Schengen Visas (USV):
The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry. According to the purpose of traveling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the three categories, “A”, “B” and “C”.
Limited territorial validity visas (LTV):
This type of visa obtained allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen States specifically mentioned when applying for the visa. Apart from these Schengen countries, this specific visa is invalid to any other Schengen country not specified prior.
3. National Visas
The national visa of “D” category is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries. The national visa can be of a single entry, granted for the people who are in need of residing in the Schengen country for a certain period of time, or for a sole purpose after which they shall return to their country.
When applying for a Schengen visa there is a non-refundable mandatory visa fee every applicant must pay. The visa costs vary depending on the type of visa and age of the applicant as well as some other exceptions stated in the text.
The regular fee (in Euro)
|Airport transit visa||60.00 EUR|
|Short stay visa, less than 90 days||60.00 EUR|
|Long stay visa, more than 90 days||99.00 EUR|
Anyone travelling temporarily to a Schengen area from a country that is subject to visa requirements, be it an individual or group visitors, tourists, or business travelers is required to purchase travel insurance that covers the number of days he/she will be spending in the Schengen Area.
The insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage must be EUR 30,000!