What is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa is a visa that allows its holder to cross and travel across the various borders of the Schengen countries completely freely and without the need to review transit records within the internal borders of the Schengen area. It is only necessary to review transit records when crossing the external borders of the Schengen area, which includes 26 countries, 22 of which are from the European Union in addition to 4 countries from outside.
The European Union countries that operate the Schengen visa system are: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
As for the countries outside the European Union that work with this system, four are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
As for the countries that do not operate in the Schengen system, they are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and the United Kingdom. This means that visiting any of these last five countries does not require a Schengen visa.
Who can move completely freely within the Schengen area?
Individuals who can move completely freely within the Schengen area are
- Citizens of countries operating the Schengen visa system.
- Holders of permanent residence visas in any of the Schengen countries.
- Citizens of European Economic Area countries.
- Citizens of countries outside the European Union who are allowed to move within the Schengen area without a visa, (such as UAE citizens) and who can move within the Schengen area for less than 90 days without a Schengen visa.
- Citizens of any country in the world who hold a Schengen visa.
It is necessary to know that if you are one of the countries whose citizens are allowed to enter and move within the Schengen area without a Schengen visa, it is necessary to possess a valid passport. It is also necessary to obtain a stamp on your passport when entering the Schengen border, in order to know how long you have stayed within the Schengen later.
What are the types of Schengen visas?
Schengen tourist visa
It is the type of visa intended for tourist activities in any of the Schengen area countries, or it can be for visiting any of the relatives or friends residing in any of those countries, and the holder of this type of visa can stay in any of the Schengen countries and even move between those countries For any period not exceeding 90 days.
Schengen business visa
It is designated for businessmen who visit any of the Schengen countries out of professional, commercial or economic activities.
It is granted to students who travel for academic purposes, and the holder of this type of visa is not considered a resident even if the period of his studies is long, and some restrictions are imposed on him throughout the period of his stay, and of course the duration of this visa varies according to the person’s academic program.
It is the one that allows its holder to practice some professional activity within a specific Schengen country, and a visa of this type also requires a residence permit and is not considered a residence in itself even if the work requires permanent residence.
Schengen transit visa
These are of different types
- A type A visa, which allows its holder to move within the transit area only, i.e. within the airport, and is for people who will move from one plane to another within an airport in the Schengen countries, and they are not allowed to reside or move within the country.
- A type B visa, which allows its holder to move within any of the Schengen countries for a period of 5 days, until he reaches his desired destination.
- Or a type C visa, and this also includes many types depending on the purpose of travel, such as a one-time transit visa, a dual-transit visa, or a multiple-transit visa within 90 days.
A visa with limited geographical validity
These are issued in special cases and allow the bearer to reside in specific Schengen countries, not all countries.
Type D visa
It is a national visa issued in special cases for purposes related to study, work or residence, such as
- For residency reasons after the end of a certain period, such as students whose academic program has expired, and as a consequence their residency and the visa period they hold has expired.
- It is issued for other cases, such as studying in short-term programs, for people who conduct research activities, for the purpose of treatment in any of the Schengen countries.
These are the main types of Schengen visa and their classifications, which are usually granted to different individuals from different countries of the world depending on the purpose of their travel.
How to apply for a Schengen visa?
When do you apply for a visa?
According to the European Commission, it recommends submitting the application at least 15 days before the date of travel that the person wants. In addition, the consulate or the authority to which you apply may need additional information or documents when submitting your application, and therefore you may need more time, so it is preferable to submit your application 30 to 60 days before your travel date.
In any case, you can apply for a visa earlier than that, but it should not be more than 90 days before your travel date.
Where do you apply?
Your application for a Schengen visa is made directly to the embassy or consulate of the country you intend to travel to from the Schengen countries, regardless of which country you reside or reside in.
If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country during your trip, your application is as follows
- If you are planning to visit one of the Schengen countries, you apply directly to the embassy or consulate of that country.
- If you intend to visit more than one country of the Schengen area, you apply to the embassy or consulate of the country in which you intend to stay for the longest period.
- If you plan to stay in all the countries that you intend to visit for an equal period of time, then you must submit your application to the first Schengen country that you will enter.
- In the event that there is no embassy or consulate for the country you intend to apply to, then you must apply here to the honorary embassy or consulate that represents this country. An honorary embassy is the embassy of another country, but it performs the functions of a second country’s embassy on behalf of that embassy.
What are the requirements for a Schengen visa?
The requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa vary between each of the Schengen countries that you intend to visit, so it is always recommended to confirm the requirements from the embassy of the country you intend to visit, the official website of the embassy or the European Commission and its various channels of communication.
But in general, the requirements that can be requested by the various embassies and consulates include:
- A visa application form for each person who intends to travel, filled out and signed by the person himself, and can be obtained from the embassy.
- A passport that is valid for at least three months after the expiry date of the Schengen visa you intend to obtain.
- Personal photos (usually two photos are required).
- Fingerprints for people who have never visited any of the Schengen countries.
- The application fee, which ranges from 30 to 60 euros, cannot be refunded if the application is rejected.
- Medical insurance for the entire period of the trip, according to the conditions and laws of the Schengen countries.
- Other documents explaining your goal of traveling there and proving the relationship of kinship if the travel is for visiting relatives or relatives, documents about the work contract if the travel is for work, documents to prove your ability to secure round-trip travel costs, and the cost of living and accommodation there during the travel period.
- Parental consent documents as well as an escort for persons under the age of 18.
These requirements that must be attached to the application for obtaining a Schengen visa from any embassy or consulate you apply for. It is mentioned that some embassies and in some countries require more documents about it, but in general these requirements are common to all embassies and consulates of the Schengen countries of all kinds.
It is always preferable to check the requirements from the embassy that you intend to apply to, well in advance of your travel date so that you can extract any additional documents and documents that the embassy may require.
Thus, we will get acquainted with everything related to the Schengen visa in terms of the countries that operate this system and what are those countries in addition to the types of visa and how it can be obtained and the requirements for that, in case you have any other inquiries, tell us about it in the comments and we will try to answer them as much as we can. Don’t forget to share the article to spread the benefit.