Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
A Schengen visa is a document issued by a Schengen State that allows you to stay in the Schengen Countries for no more than 90 days in any 180-day period (“short stay visa”), and a transit through the Schengen States international transit zones (“airport transit visa”). You may also stay for longer than 90 days under a Schengen national visa / residence permit. These all fall under Schengen Application when you apply.
Please ensure you apply well in advance of your travel as most Embassies / Visa Centres are experiencing high demand.
What is the Schengen Agreement?
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty that led to the founding of Europes Schengen Area, which has largely eliminated internal border checks. It was signed by five of the ten member states of the then European Economic Community on June 14, 1985, and enacted a decade later, with all nations in the European Union (EU) except the United Kingdom and Ireland joining over the next several years. Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland are among the European countries that have joined but are not members of the EU.
Border checks at the signatories shared borders inside the area have been eliminated, allowing people to travel freely within the territory. It allows residents in border areas to cross borders away from permanent checkpoints and has standardised visa procedures, making it possible to obtain a Schengen Visa for stays of less than 90 days. There are 26 ‘Schengen countries‘ who have signed the Schengen agreement.
All Schengen countries require the same standard set of documentation to be included with visa applications:
Valid passport with at least 3 months remaining validity
Residence permit (where applicable)
Confirmed Flight Ticket / Itinerary
Proof of sufficient financial means
Proof of employment / occupation
Travel Medical Insurance covering all Schengen countries
If you want to go sightseeing in a Schengen country, you can apply for a Schengen tourist visa, which is specifically designed for this purpose and can be issued by any Schengen country. The Schengen tourist visa allows you to travel to more than one Schengen nation.
Meetings, events, fairs, business initiatives, and commercial activities are all covered by a Schengen Business visa. The visa allows the holder to visit any Schengen nation for 90 days during a 180-day period.
Transit Visas in the Schengen Countries
A Schengen transit visa is a permission required of particular nationalities who will transit via a Schengen country to a non-Schengen country, even if they do not leave the airports international transit zone. If your second destination is also a Schengen country, youll need a standard Schengen visa. Its crucial to keep in mind that certain Schengen countries have their own visa listings with additional countries.
For detailed information on specific parts of the visa process, you can refer to the links to the right to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us via email.
There are 26 Schengen member countries that all follow the same policies. The countries in the Schengen zone can be found in the table below:
What does this mean for visitors to Europe?
It means that the visa process for short visits is reasonably straightforward and uniform, and that once you get a Schengen Visa for one country, such as France, you can automatically travel to other Schengen countries, such as Germany and Italy, on the same visa.
It also means that obtaining a Schengen Visa is relatively standardised, and youll need the same supporting documents to travel to any Schengen state: a passport, passport photographs, a travel itinerary and proof of accommodation, a letter of invitation (if applicable), and proof of means of subsistence. Youll also need travel and medical insurance that covers you for up to €30,000 in expenses and is valid across the Schengen Area, not just the country youre visiting.
This depends on a number of things such as whether or not you have had a Schengen visa in the past or how many countries you intend to visit. Generally you first Schengen visa will be issued for the duration of your stay. Future Visa Applications may be granted for multiple entry for a number of years.
You can expect an update on any Visa Applications within 3 days of submission. You can choose express processing at checkout for a response within 24 hours.
Once you attend your appointment, your visa can take up to 15 working days to be processed by the Embassy.
You must submit an application to the embassy of the nation where you want to spend the majority of your vacation. Your visa may be refused if you apply to the wrong embassy, or you may have to reapply to the correct embassy.
Youll need to apply for a Schengen Visa with multiple entries. These can be double- or triple-entry visas, as well as longer-term visas that allow you to travel many times over the course of a year, three years, or five years.
Non-citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia having a passport from a country that does not have its own visa-free travel agreement with the Schengen Area should apply for a Schengen Visa at the nearest consulate.
If you are a citizen of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are staying in the Schengen countries for less than 90 days. This is due to a visa-free travel agreement between these nations and the Schengen Area. However, you should make sure that your passport is valid for at least three months after your return date.
Its worth mentioning that beginning in 2021, citizens will be required to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver, which may be obtained online for €7 ($7.82).
You have the right to appeal to the authorities in the Schengen member state where you applied if your visa is denied.