Schengen Visa Types, Requirements, and Application

Do you want to apply for a Schengen visa? About visa requirements? This article is right for you!ย We will provide the ultimate guides for registration, fees, and processing time as well as some useful tips for a smooth process. Letโ€™s get started!

What is a Schengen visa?

Schengen visa is a short-term stay visa in Europe that allows its holder to travel throughout the Schengen Area. This visa is issued by one of the Schengen Countries and allows you to visit any Schengen country for a total period of up to 90 days within 180 days.

Schengen visa
Schengen visa

There are 27 countries in the Schengen Area. These countries have agreed to remove all internal borders and have a common visa policy, although there may be some minor differences in procedures and required documents. Every national of every country that is not part of the Schengen Area and which does not have a Visa Facilitation Agreement with the EU requires a Schengen visa to enter any member state.

What countries can I visit with a Schengen visa?

With a Schengen visa, you can visit all Schengen member countries:

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡นย Austria ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ชย Belgium ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธย Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐย Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Liechtenstein ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland

In addition, there are many countries that are exempt from Schengen visa for tourism purposes, you can travel throughout Europe for up to 90 days, these countries include:

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑย Albania ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡จ Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Andorra ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Kiribati ๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ Samoa
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Antigua and Barbuda ๐Ÿ‡ฝ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Kosovo ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ San Marino
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ทย Argentina ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ด Macau ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บย Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ Seychelles
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ Bahamas ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ญ Marshall Islands ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ง Barbados ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง Solomon Islands
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ Bosnia and Herzegovina ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Micronesia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ Timor-Leste
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ Monaco ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด Tonga
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Chile ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช Montenegro ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น Trinidad and Tobago
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ป Tuvalu
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Nicaragua ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Dominica ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ North Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช United Arab Emirates
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ปย El Salvador ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ผ Palau ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Georgia ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฆ Panama ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Grenada ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡พ Paraguay ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ Uruguay
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡น Guatemala ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ Vanuatu
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ณ Honduras ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ Saint Kitts and Nevis ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฆ Vatican City
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡จ Saint Lucia ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช Venezuela
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel

Schengen visa types

Uniform Schengen visa (USV)

  • Single-entry visa: You can enter a Schengen country only once and stay until the visa expires. If you leave before the expiration, you cannot re-enter.
  • Double-entry visa: You can enter a Schengen country twice within the visa validity period. If you leave after the second entry before the expiration, you cannot re-enter.
  • Multiple-entry visa: You can enter and leave the Schengen Zone as many times as you want as long as your visa is valid.

Limited territorial validity visa (LTV)

The Limited territorial validity (LTV) visa permits you to travel inside the Schengen member nation that granted it. For example, if your visa was obtained in France, you are only allowed to stay there.ย 

An LTV visa does not allow you to transit via other Schengen nations. This visa is an exemption to the Uniform Visa and is typically granted for international commitments or humanitarian purposes.

Schengen visa requirements

The following list of documents is required for any Schengen visa application:

  • Visa application form: Completed and fully signed.
  • Photo: Must attach two recently taken photos, both photos must be taken within the last three months.
  • Valid passport: No more than 10 years and must be valid for at least another three months from the date you intend to leave the Schengen area.
  • Round-trip tickets or cruise tickets: It must include the date and flight number specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
  • Travel insurance policy: Document proving you have travel medical insurance throughout the entire Schengen territory, with a minimum cover of 30,000 euros in case of medical emergencies such as illness, accident and even repatriation in case of dead. You can easily buy an Insurance policy online from Europ Assistance.
  • Proof of accommodation: A document showing where you will stay during your stay in Schengen. Includes: hotel/dormitory reservation, rental contract, invitation letter from the landlord where you will stay.
  • Proof of financial means: Proof that you have enough money to financially support yourself during your stay in Schengen. Can be one of the following: bank statement, sponsorship letter, combination of bank statement and sponsorship letter.

How to apply for Schengen visa?ย 

Here is the step-by-step guide for Schengen visa application:

Step #1: Fill out the form

Complete the application form online. Make sure you answer all questions correctly. Print it twice and sign it at the end. The form asks for basic details like your name, date of birth, country of birth, passport number, and nationality. It also asks about your trip, like how long you plan to stay and where you’ll stay.

Step #2: Make an appointment

Schedule an interview through the website of the consulate or embassy of the Schengen country you plan to visit, in your country of residence.

Step #3: Gather documents

Collect all the necessary documents for a Schengen visa, as required, in duplicate. Organize them neatly, so you have everything ready for your appointment. You must leave your passport at the consulate or embassy during the application process. If you take back your passport while your application is being processed, they will cancel your Schengen visa application.

Step #4: Attend the appointment

Arrive at the appointment center on time. They may cancel your appointment if you are late, even by a few minutes. It takes around 10 minutes to complete.

Step #5: Give biometrics

If you have not previously filed for a Schengen visa, you must have your fingerprints scanned at the consulate’s office. If you have, they should be able to look up your existing biometrics.

Step #6: Verify details

After they check your application, they will enter your information into the online system, and you will get a printed copy of your application. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After getting the printed form, make sure to check that all the details are correct and sign the form.

Underage applicants must be accompanied by their mother, father, or legal guardian.

Schengen visa fees

The cost of a Schengen visa application for adults is โ‚ฌ80. For children aged 6 to 12 years, the visa fee is โ‚ฌ45.

After paying the fees, you will get a receipt, which you must keep to collect your processed application. If they reject your visa application, the fee will not be returned. If you apply again for a visa, you will have to pay the fees again.

Processing time for Schengen visa

The processing time for a Schengen visa can depend on some factors:

  • The country you apply from
  • The time of year
  • The number of applications
  • How complete your application is
  • Your situation
Apply for Schengen visa
Apply for Schengen visa

Usually, the processing time is:

  • 15 calendar days for most cases
  • 30 calendar days for exceptional cases
  • 60 calendar days for certain nationalities

But it’s important to know that during peak travel seasons or when there are many applications, the processing time may be longer. It’s best to apply well ahead of time to make sure there is enough time for the visa to be processed.

Tips when applying for Schengen visa

To apply for Schengen visa, it’s crucial to follow the guidelines carefully and prepare a complete application to increase your chances of success:

  • Start early: Begin the visa application process at least 15 days before your intended travel date and no more than 6 months in advance.
  • Gather documents: Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as a valid passport, travel insurance, proof of accommodation, and financial means, as required.
  • Fill out forms correctly: Complete the visa application form accurately and clearly, ensuring all information matches your supporting documents.
  • Schedule an appointment: Make an appointment with the appropriate consulate or embassy well in advance, as availability may be limited.
  • Arrive on time: Be punctual for your appointment, as delinquency may lead to cancellation.
  • Provide biometrics: Be ready to provide biometric data (fingerprints) if it’s your first time applying.
  • Verify details: Carefully review the printed form for accuracy and sign before submitting it.
  • Pay fees: Pay the visa fees promptly and keep the receipt, as needed.
  • Provide more info: Respond quickly if the consulate requests more information or documents.
  • Be patient: Remain patient as processing times vary, especially during peak seasons.