What is Schengen visa
5 min

What is Schengen visa

5 min
Uploaded on
Jun 1, 2023
Last updated on
Mar 20, 2023
Uploaded on
Jun 1, 2023
Last updated on
Mar 20, 2023
What is Schengen visa
Schengen is no shenanigans!

A Schengen visa allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Zone, a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passports and other border controls. To make sure that your travelling on a Schengen visa doesn't turn out to be a shenanigan trip, we've put together some quick-to-go-through information that will help you!

What is Schengen?

Schengen refers to the European passport-free area, which mostly includes European countries. The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed in the village of Schengen in Luxembourg that sets out the rules for the free movement of people within the European Union (EU). 

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa is a type of short-term visa that allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen area of Europe for 90 days, which consists of 26 countries that have agreed to allow passport-free travel across their borders. This area is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement. The agreement allows citizens of participating countries to move freely between them without the need for visa or passport control at common borders.However, if you plan to study, work, or reside in one of the Schengen countries for more than 90 days, you should apply for a national visa for that European country instead of a Schengen visa.

Types of Schengen visa

There are different types of Schengen visas for different short-term reasons.

Business purpose

A business visa is an authorisation from a designated destination country within the Schengen Agreement, issued to citizens of a country with mandatory visa requirements from a Schengen country, solely for the purpose of carrying on business within the EU.
Holders of this type o visa do not need to be citizens of the designated country to pursue their business agenda. However, there are restrictions on such visa approval as well. Also, you’ll need some extra documentation at the time of filing the application, which is a cover letter explaining the purpose of your visit and proof of financial means in which it must be stated that one of both parties ( applicant or the company representative) will be covering the applicant’s travel expenses during the stay.

Schengen visa for Visiting friends and family

The country nationals not under the Schengen visa agreement and wishing to visit family, friends or relatives living in the Schengen area may be eligible for the visa scheme.

Tourist Schengen visa

The Tourist Visa allows third-country nationals to enter the Schengen areas for up to 90 days in any six-month period to travel or visit Europe.

Schengen visa for Cultural and sports events

Third-country nationals travelling to the Schengen area to attend cultural/sports/religious events or film crews must apply for a short-stay visa.

Transit Schengen Visa

A transit visa is a permit for those who need to enter the Schengen area in order to change their means of transport. There are two types of transit visas.

  • Airport Transit Schengen Visa
  • Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers

Also, you’ll need extra documentation for a tourist visa, which is the document related to the onward journey to the final destination.

Medical Schengen visa

A visa for medical reasons allows its holder to enter any of the Schengen countries and receive treatment for a medical condition. This visa is for those who need medical care in Europe for up to 90 days. If medical therapy or treatment is expected to last longer, you should instead apply for a national medical visa in the country concerned. This allows you to stay longer.

Short-term study and research Schengen visa

A visa for students is an entry permit into the Schengen area and is issued to third-country nationals who wish to enter one of the member countries for study purposes and stay there for a short stay. This visa allows the holder to stay in a Schengen country for up to three months. If your study or training continues beyond that, you must apply for a long-stay visa at the respective country's embassy.
You also need to carry your academic qualification and the offer letter/ letter of acceptance from the European union college in order to get a student visa.

Schengen Visa

Schengen visa countries

The Schengen visa zone includes 27 European and Non-European countries that have signed the Schengen agreement, allowing citizens or members to travel freely within the common boundaries.

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Polan
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein

Documents required for Schengen visa

The Schengen areas have developed a list of documents required to enter this territory for any purpose. These requirements are approximately the same for a stay in each Schengen country.

  • Visa application form - completely filled and signed
  • Two photos - must have been taken within the last three months
  • A valid passport - older than 10 years will not be accepted
  • Round trip bookings or itinerary - must include the dates and flight numbers, explaining entry and exit from the Schengen area
  • Travel insurance policy - A document which proves you have travel insurance for the Schengen area with a minimum coverage of €30000 
  • Proof of accommodation A document showing where you will be staying throughout your stay in Schengen countries.
  • Proof of financial means - Some evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in Schengen areas.
  • Proof of paid visa fee - fee receipt 

Cost of Schengen visa

The standard fee for a Schengen visa is €80. Children from 6 to 12 pay a reduced rate of €40. Children under the age of 6 are completely exempt from the fee.
You pay this amount when you submit your visa application at the embassy/consulate or visa application centre. If you do not pay the visa fee at the time of application submission, your application will be rejected.

How to apply for a Schengen visa?

The application procedure to obtain a European Schengen visa is mandatory for free movement in the region. Therefore, one should be very careful during the visa application process. To get a Schengen visa, you need to follow the following steps:

  • Find out the type of Schengen visa you need from the above list
  • Choose from where it will be easy to apply. The options you have is
  1. Their Embassy
  2. One of their consulates
  3. A visa centre to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced visa submission
  4. Embassies/consulates of other Schengen countries entrusted by the destination country's embassy to issue visas
  • Find a suitable time to apply. The recommended time for applying for the visa is three weeks before your trip
  • Book an appointment to proceed with your visa. Most countries have the option to book online. However, in all other cases, reservations must be made directly with the embassy or consulate of the destination country.
  • Fill out the visa application form
  • Gather the necessary documents as mentioned above
  • Attend the visa interview
  • Pay the visa fee
  • Wait for an answer to your visa application

If your visa application was rejected, read the reasons why your visa was not granted and try to comply with your next application, or appeal the visa denial if you feel your application was correct and the decision to reject it was wrong.

This is all we gathered to make your visa procurement process much easier. Hope you’ll find this information resourceful too. Also, if you are a student travelling to Europe and are afraid of the language barriers that you may face while living there, check out these quick tricks to learn a language within a month. If you are someone who is stressed about choosing accommodation in a completely strange place, read our blog for a list of the things you must consider before choosing student accommodation.