What is a Schengen Visa ?
A Schengen Visa is the document which is issued by the Schengen countries authorities to the Travellers interesting to visit Schengen countries or travel within the Schengen Area.
The total number of Schengen countries consists of 26 countries. The total area of Schengen countries occupy is 4.312 million km² and this area is called Schengen Zone These Schengen countries have a agreement to allow free movement of their citizens and visa holders in Schengen zone.
Among the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 Schengen countries are part of the EU(Europen Union) and the other 4 are part of the EFTA(European Free Trade Association).
List of Schengen Countries
There are 26 countries in the Schengen zone including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Schengen area covers the most of the European countries except for the United Kingdom .There are some other countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland who are not part of the agreement but soon they will become Schengen countries. Schengen countries including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are not part of EU but they belong in the Schengen area and cherish the free movement policy according to EFTA..
Types of Schengen Visas
The Schengen visa holder can visit all the countries including AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, HUNGARY, ICELAND, ITALY, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MALTA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND.
The Schengen Visit visa is can be divided in to three different categories depending on the purpose of travel.The categories includes the Schengen visa Category A, Schengen visa Category B and Schengen visa Category C.
Schengen visa Category A
The Schengen visa category A category stands for the Airport Transit Visa .The Schengen A category visa allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Country Area. Airport transit visa is compulsory for the people travelling from one non-Schengen state to another by changing a flight in a Schengen Country airport.
Schengen visa Category B
“B” category Schengen visa allows Schengen Visa holder to transit within maximum of 5 days through more than one Schengen country by car, coach or plane on the way to a non-Schengen country.
Schengen visa Category C
The “C” category Schengen visa is a Short-term visa which allows its travellers to reside in a Schengen Country for a certain period of time depending on the validity of the visa. The Schengen tourist visa, Schengen family visitor visa and Schengen Business visa are all types of Schengen visa Category C
.There are three forms of Schengen visa C category including Single entry,double entry and multiple entry Schengen visa.
Difference between between Single entry,double entry and multiple entry Schengen visa.
Single entry Schengen Visa
Single entry Schengen Visa holder can enter a Schengen country only once for the certain period of time. Once the Schengen visa holder leave the certain Schengen country he entered the visa validity expires no matter if the time period of Schengen visa is is not over yet.
Double entry Schengen Visa
Double entry Schengen visa allows the Schengen visa holder to enter the Schengen country twice for the certain period of time allowed by his visa .The double entry Schengen visa holder can enter the Schengen country, leave and reenter Schengen country. The second time he enters the Schengen country the Double entry Schengen Visa Shall expires.
Multiple entry Schengen Visa
Multiple entry Schengen visa allows the Schengen visa holder to enter the Schengen country multiple times for maximum 90 days within half the year .
Schengen visa category D/ Schengen National visa.
The Schengen visa category D or Schengen National visa is granted to the individuals who are enter Schengen Zone for Studying ,working residing permanently in one of the Schengen countries. The D visa also has single entry and multiple entry visa types.
The national visa or Schengen visa category D can be of a single entry It is granted to the people who need to reside Schengen country for a certain period of time and after that period of time they intend to return to their country
The multiple entry D visa allows the Schengen visa holder to leave and enter the Schengen country multiple times.
The Schengen D visa holder can also travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.
There are certain criteria and limitation for D visa holder.
An international student program will grant a visa for a period of not more than one year. An international student is issued a Schengen visa for a period of one year with the possibility of D visa Extension.
An international worker will grant a visa for a period of not more than one year with the possibility of D visa Extension.
Medical condition that prevents the individual to leave the Schengen Area at the designated time frame may . D visa Extension.
Sportsmen, Artists and other experts of field are also granted a D visa for purpose of sharing their expertise for a specific period of time.
Documents required for Schengen Visa
There are many documents require for Schengen visa .The documents includes applicants passport, Visa specific forms, Documents related to travel including hotel details, ticket, host details in Schengen country, financial stability documents, documents describing financial ability to afford the trip, documents for financial sponsorship, invitation letters, travel plan, identification documents, bank statements, business relate documents, Tax registration and payment documents, membership certificates, Schengen visa specific photographs, Schengen visa fee payment proof, Schengen travel and medical insurance documents.
The requirements of all the above mentioned documents varies according to case type.
Schengen Visa fee including Schengen Visa categories A, B, C and D.
|Visa Type||Amount in EUR|
|Schengen Airport transit visa||60.00 EUR
|Schengen Short stay Schengen visa C, less than 90 days||60.00 EUR
|Schengen Long stay visa D, more than 90 days||99.00 EUR
|Children between the age of 6 and below 12 years old.
|Nationals from, Georgia, Kosovo, Russia, and Ukraine.
|students, post Graduates Students and the accompanying Teachers and Professors who are travelling for the purpose of studying or educational training.
Researchers of the third-world countries Visiting Schengen Zone for the purpose of scientific research
Representatives of non-profit organizations who are 25 years or less participating in seminars
Schengen Visa forms
The Schengen C and D visa applications use different visa forms. The Schengen Visa is little different for each country for example Norway has online application system which generate a filled Schengen form once The online forms are completed.
Schengen C visa forms require information about the applicant name, passport details, contact details, work details, travel details, date of travel, numbers of days of stay in Schengen country, purpose of visit, details of host in Schengen country, previous Schengen zone travels details and details of a relative who is EU national All the applicants need to Sign the forms they submit in Embassy.
Schengen Visa process
The Schengen visa can be processed through designated companies which send Schengen visa applications, documents and passports to Embassy and they are also responsible for the return of documents and passports. Different countries have visa drop boxes . In Pakistan Gerry Fexex is responsible for most of the Schengen Countries visa process.
Schengen Visa photo Requirements
For Schengen visa including A, B, C and D categories applicants need specific photo size with white background .The photo must be sharp, clear and must be printed on high quality paper with high resolution and it must not be old than 6 month. The photo size for Schengen visa must be minimum 35-40 mm (approx. 1 1/2 inch) wide.Schengen visa photo must have a strong contrast between the background and applicant face.The photo must show the entire head and the top of the shoulders. The face must occupy 70-80 % of the photograph.
Eyes must be open and there should be no hair covering the eyes . Applicant must be looking straight into the camera. If a applicant is looking away such photographs will be rejected.
Applicants head should not be turned or at an angle or his mouth must also not be opened. The only accepted pose is a neutral look in which the eyes are focused directly on camera.
For Schengen visa photo the applicant can wear lenses and glasses but the glasses must not be colored and eyes must be visible through the glasses, Secondly lenses must not be tinted and there must be no reflection in the eyes.All the applicants must avoid posing with a hat or any head wear that covers your face and which make your face shadowed by head wear, as none of them are allowable. There is only one religious reason that if applicant is wearing such headwear or Hijab even then, the face must be clearly visible from the forehead to chin..
A visa photo is required for a baby or newborn. Make sure when the photo is taken then the eyes must be opened. You can lay the baby straight on a floor and take the photograph.You can use a white bed sheet for background color.You can even take the picture in the car seat.
Schengen Visa Insurance
The Schengen visa insurance or Schengen travel health insurance is compulsory for every applicant.It helps applicants for health care needs during the stay in Schengen country.
All the applicants are required to enclose the Schengen insurance with their application before the visa issuance. The cost of Schengen travel insurance varies depending on the numbers of days of stay and type of insurance cover. The insurance companies offers different kinds of covers including lost luggage, flight cancelation at last moment, travel agency or accommodation bankruptcy etc.