Schengen Visa Guide

The Schengen Area comprises of a majority of the European states -- 26 to be precise – which have officially abolished passport and other types of border controls between each other. For the purpose of travel, the area functions as a single jurisdiction, with a common Visa policy. The area is named so after the Schengen Agreement, which was signed on 14 June 1985 in Schengen city of Luxembourg. The states in the Schengen Area, though, have very strong border controls with non-Schengen countries.22 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states are part of the Schengen Area. Of the six EU members that are not a part of the Schengen Area, 4 (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania) are legally bound to join the area, while the other 2 (Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom)have opted out of the agreement. Four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements adhering to the Schengen Agreement. Three European micro-states (Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City) are de facto part of the Schengen Area. Why Is Schengen Visa Needed? A Schengen Visa lets a person travel to any member countries of the Schengen Area for a short stay, which can stretch to 90 days, for tourism or business purposes. The Schengen Visa is the most common Europe Visa for Indians. The Visa enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen area from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen area. But if you are aiming to study, work, or stay in one of the Schengen countries for over 90 days, then you must apply for a National Visa of that European country and not a Schengen Visa.

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A Schengen Visa lets a person travel to any member countries of the Schengen Area for a short stay, which can stretch to 90 days, for tourism or business purposes. The Schengen Visa is the most common Europe Visa for Indians. The Visa enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen area from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen area. But if you are aiming to study, work, or stay in one of the Schengen countries for over 90 days, then you must apply for a National Visa of that European country and not a Schengen Visa.

Schengen Visa Category Fee in EUr Fee in usd*
Adult Euro 60 USD 70
Chileld between 16-12 Euro 35 USD 41
Hilder of diplomatic official or service passports travel ing for official purpose Free Free
Family member of an EU/EEA national Free Free
Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip Free Free
Researchers traveling to perform scientific research Free Free
Nationals from, Georgia, Kosovo, Russia, and Ukraine Euro 35 USD 41

* The applicable Visa fee in USD is as per the current exchange rate, and is subject to change without notice.

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How to Check theStatus of Your Schengen Visa The Visa center where you submitted your application is responsible for providing information about tracking your application. If you submitted your application to a consulate or embassy Visa processing department, use the online application tracking tool called "Info VISA" to track your Visa status. If you submitted your application to the service provider CAPAGO, please contact the Visa application center directly. If you applied through VFS, use the VFS online application tracking tool. To obtain information about your application, please provide the reference number you were given and your surname.

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There are certain things you need to get in proper order to apply for a Schengen Visa. First of all, you need to have clarity about the type of Visa you require for the purpose of your visit to a Schengen country. Then get all your required documents ready and apply for it to the appropriate embassy. The detailed process you have to follow to apply for a Schengen Visa is as follows:

1. Figure out which Schengen Visa type you need

2. Find out where you need to apply for the Schengen Visa

3. Find the most suitable time to apply

4. Book an appointment

5. Fill out the Visa application form

6. Gather the required documents to apply for the Schengen Visa

7. Attend the Visa interview

8. Pay the Visa fee

9. Wait for an answer to your application

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Where and How to Apply for SchengenVisa? Schengen has regulated Visa submission criteria in your country of residence depending on your destination country. You will have to apply for your Schengen Visa at one of the following places:     Their embassy     One of their consulates       A Visa center to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced their Visa submission work       The embassy/consulate of another Schengen state to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced Visa     submission     Destination country means the country where you need to submit your application as per the Schengen area rules.

  •  Their embassy
  •  One of their consulates
  •  A Visa center to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced their Visa submission work
  • The embassy/consulate of another Schengen state to which the embassy of your destination country has outsourced Visa submission
  • Destination country means the country where you need to submit your application as per the Schengen area rules.

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  • If you are going to visit only one Schengen country, file your application at the embassy/consulate of hat country
  • If you are going to visit more than two Schengen countries, file your application at the mbassy/consulate of the country where you will spend most of your travel days
  • At the embassy/consulate of the country where you will enter first, if you will be spending an equal amount of days in each country of your visit duration

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While applying for a Schengen Visa from India, you will have to approach the embassy of the country which is going to be your point of entry, that means the first Schengen country you will be entering and starting your tour in. Or, you will have to apply to the embassy of the Schengen country where you will be spending the maximum duration of your trip. The Schengen Visa process takes about 2 weeks to complete and the embassy may take another 10 days to contact you. It is advisable that you apply for the Visa at least one month before your planned trip. You will have to book an appointment with the concerned embassy, get all your documents and photographs ready, attend the interview, provide your biometrics, and then patiently wait for your Visa to be processed.
 

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To apply for a Schengen Visa, you will have to first book an appointment with the appropriate embassy in order to proceed with your application. Most of the Schengen countries give you a chance to book your appointment online. But some of the countries require you to book the appointment in person at the embassy or consulate of your destination country.
 

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The following documents are required for a short-term Schengen Visa application:

 

  • Visa application form, duly filled and signed. 
  • Two photographs taken in the last three months must be attached to the Visa application.
  • A valid passport not older than 10 years, and it should be valid for at least 3 months more than the planned duration of your stay in
  • the Schengen zone.
  • Older passports with Visas on them, if any.
  • Round trip reservation or travel itinerary, which must include dates and flight numbers of entry and exit from Schengen.
  • Travel insurance policy, which proves that you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen zone, with a minimum
  • coverage of Euro 30,000.
  • Proof of accommodation, which shows where you will be staying throughout your stay in Schengen, such as a hotel booking, a
  • rental agreement, a letter of invitation from a host at whose house you will be staying.
  • Proof of financial status which shows that you have enough money to support yourself financially during your stay in Schengen,
  • such as a bank statement of the last three months, or a sponsorship letter by another person that confirms they will be financially
  • supporting your stay in Schengen.
  • A proof of paid Visa fee.

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You need to fulfill the criteria mentioned below to be eligible for the Schengen Visa:

  • You must be a citizen of a non-European country
  • The purpose of your travel and its time-frame should be justified.
  • You must have a passport valid for at least 3 months after the Visa application date.
  • You must have medical insurance of a minimum of Euro 30,000.
  • You must have your bank statements of the last 3 months.
  • You must have a proof of accommodation. Your stay can be sponsored by friends or relatives residing in Schengen, or you will have to provide hotel booking confirmation, etc.
     

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When you apply for a Schengen Visa, the Visa center where you submitted your application is responsible for providing information about tracking your application. If you submitted your application to a consulate or embassy Visa processing department, use the online application tracking tool called "InfoVISA" to track your Visa status. If you submitted your application to the service provider CAPAGO, please contact the Visa application center directly. If you applied through VFS, use the VFS online application tracking tool. To obtain information about your application, please provide the reference number you were given and your surname.
 

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The Schengen Zone consists of a majority of the European states (altogether 26) which have done away with passport and other types of border controls between each other. For the purpose of travel to Schengen Visa Countries, this zone functions as a single jurisdiction with a common Visa policy. The area derives its name from the Schengen Agreement, which was signed on 14 June 1985 in Schengen city of Luxembourg. The countries in the Schengen Zone have strong border controls with non-Schengen countries. Twenty-two of the 28 European Union (EU) member states are part of the Schengen Zone. Of the six EU members that are not a part of the Schengen Visa Countries, four (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania) are legally required to join the zone, while the other two (Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom) have chosen to opt out of the agreement. Four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements to stand by the Schengen Agreement. Three European micro-states (Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City) are also a part of the Schengen Visa Countries Zone.

The Schengen Visa Countries signifies a zone where 26 European countries abolished their internal borders for the free and unrestricted movement of people, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening the common judicial system and police cooperation. The Schengen Visa Countries zone covers most of the EU countries, except the UK, Ireland and the countries that are soon to be part of it, that is Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus. Although not members of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also part of the Schengen Visa Countries zone.

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The Schengen visa countries list has 26 members, which are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
 

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  • Currently, the Schengen country zone consists of 26-member countries. All of these countries are located in Europe, from which:
  • Twenty-two members fully implement the Schengen Aquis
  • Four of the Schengen countries, members of the EFTA, implement the Schengen Aquis through specific agreements related to the Schengen agreement
  • Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also members of the Schengen area but are not members of the EU
  • Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City have opened their borders with, but are not members of the visa-free zone
  • The Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands are special members of the EU, and are a part of the Schengen Zone, although they are located outside the European continent
  • There are six more EU members, that have not joined the list of Schengen countries. They are: Ireland and United Kingdom, who maintain opt-outs, and four others (Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus) who are required to join the Schengen countries list.
  • The external borders of the Schengen countries area cover a distance of 50,000 km, of which 80 percent is water and 20 percent is land.

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What is Schengen Tourist Visa?
A Schengen Tourist Visa permits non-European-country nationals to enter the Schengen area countries for a maximum of 90 days during the course of a 6-month period, for the purpose of traveling or visiting Europe for tourism.

Duration of Schengen Tourist Visa

A Schengen Tourist Visa is commonly valid for durations of no more than 90 days. If you are planning to travel a lot and not only in one Schengen country, it is recommended that you apply for ‘multiple entry’ gap in the application form. This way you will be able to enter and leave Schengen Zone as you please for the amount of time allowed as per the Visa issues to you.

Cost of Schengen Tourist Visa

The cost of a Schengen Tourist Visa is 60 Euros. Some embassies also charge around Rs. 300 for sending the passport via courier.

Eligibility Criteria for Schengen Tourist Visa

You need to fulfill the criteria outlined below to be eligible for getting a Visa for any of the Schengen countries.

  • You must be a citizen of anon-European country.
  • The purpose of travelling and the time-frame should be justified.
  • You must have a passport valid for at least 3 months after the Visa application date.
  • You must have medical insurance of a minimum of 30,000Euros.
  • You must have your bank statement of the last three months
  • You must have your proof of accommodation handy. Your stay can be sponsored by your friends or relatives residing there, or you will have to provide hotel booking confirmation etc. to apply for the Visa.If you are travelling for business purpose, you must provide proof of legal entity of the company and a reference letter from your employer.
     

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There are certain things you need to get in proper order to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa. First of all, you need to have clarity about the type of Visa you require for the purpose of your visit to a Schengen country. Then get all your required documents ready and apply for it to the appropriate embassy. The detailed process you have to follow to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa is as follows:

1. Figure out which Schengen Visa type you need

2. Find out where you need to apply for the Schengen Tourist Visa

3. Find the most suitable time to apply

4. Book an appointment

5. Fill out the Visa application form

6. Gather the required documents to apply for the Schengen Tourist Visa

7. Attend the Visa interview

8. Pay the Visa fee

9. Wait for an answer to your application

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  • The Schengen Tourist Visa requirements include the below list of documents for visiting any Schengen country:
  • Visa application form, fully completed and signed.
  • Two recently taken photos must be attached. Both photos must be taken within the last three months, according to the documents required for Schengen Tourist Visa.
  • A valid passport. Not older than 10 years, and it should be valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Schengen.
  • Round trip reservation or itinerary. It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
  • Travel insurance policy. A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency as illnesses, accidents and even repatriation in case of death. A policy from Bharti AXA can be very handy in this regard.
  • Proof of accommodation is an important document required for Schengen Tourist Visa. It shows where you will be accommodated throughout your stay in Schengen.
  • Proof of financial means is also an important document required for Schengen Tourist Visa. Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen.
     

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While applying for aEurope Tourist Visa from India, you will have to approach the embassy of the country which is going to be your point of entry, that means the first European country you will be entering and starting your tour in. Or, you will have to apply to the embassy of the country where you will be spending the maximum duration of your trip. Thetourist Visa for Europe from Indiaprocess takes about 2 weeks to complete and the embassy may take another 10 days to contact you. It is advisable that you apply for the Visa at least one month before your planned trip. You will have to book an appointment with the concerned embassy, get all your documents and photographs ready, attend the interview, provide your biometrics, and then patiently wait for your Visa to be processed.

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You will have to submit your Schengen Tourist Visa application at the embassy / consulate / Visa center of your main destination in the Schengen Area. Main destinationmeans that when you are going to visit only one Schengen country, submit your application at the embassy / consulate / Visa center of that country. And if you are going to visit more than one Schengen country, submit your application at the embassy / consulate / Visa center of the country in which you will be spending the maximum number of days, or the country of your entry in the Schengen area. Be careful about how the authorities of your main destination have regulated Visa submission in your country. Make sure to apply at the embassy, consulate or Visa center of your destination country, under the jurisdiction of which the area where you live falls.
 

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When you apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa, the Visa center where you submitted your application is responsible for providing information about tracking your application. If you submitted your application to a consulate or embassy Visa processing department, use the online application tracking tool called "InfoVISA" to track your Visa status. If you submitted your application to the service provider CAPAGO, please contact the Visa application center directly. If you applied through VFS, use the VFS online application tracking tool. To obtain information about your application, please provide the reference number you were given and your surname.

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Basic Types of Schengen Visas

A Schengen Visa procured from any of the Schengen area member countries allows its holder free movement throughout the whole Schengen zone, which includes a majority of the European Union countries. As per the type of Visa issued by a certain embassy of a particular Schengen area country, different restrictions are applicable in accordance with the nature of travel and any other relevant circumstances. The basic types of Visas are:

Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)
The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen area member countries to transit or reside in the desired territory for a maximum period of 90 days every six month from the date of entry. Holders of this Visa can travel to these countries:

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Single-Entry Visa
A single-entry Visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen area only once, within the given period of time as mentioned in the Visa. Once the Visa holder exits the Schengen territory, they can no longer go back, even if they have not spent the number of days permitted by the embassy that issued the Visa.

Double-Entry Visa
A double-entry Visa works the same way as the single-entry Visa. The only difference between single-entry and double-entry Visas is that the latter gives you the chance to go back once more to the Schengen area once you have left it. In this case, once you leave the Schengen area for the second time, you no longer have the right to go back, even if you have not completed the number of days you were permitted to remain there.

Multiple-Entry Visa
A multiple-entry Visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen area as many times as they wish, as long as they do not violate the 90/180-day rule. Depending on the frequency of your travel to the Schengen zone, you may apply and procure one of the following multiple-entry Visa types:1-year multiple-entry Visa; 3-year multiple-entry Visa; or a 5-year multiple-entry Visa.

Limited territorial validity Visas (LTV)
This type of Visa allows you to travel only in the Schengen country that has issued the Visa or in some other cases, in the certain Schengen states specifically mentioned in the Visa. Apart from the countries mentioned in the Visas, this specific Visa is invalid for any other Schengen country

National Visas
The national Visa of the “D” category is granted to individuals who are coming to study, work or permanently reside in one of the Schengen countries. The National Visa can be of a single entry, granted to the people who need to reside in the Schengen country for a specified time and for a sole purpose, after which they shall return to their country. But a multi-entry National Visa is also granted to some individuals, allowing the holder to travel in and out of this Schengen country as they please and also travel through the whole Schengen Area without additional Visa requirements.
 

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When applying for a Schengen Visa there is a non-refundable fee every applicant has to pay. The Schengen Visa fees for Indian passport holders is Rs. 4400, or Euro 60.The Schengen Visa fees vary depending on the type of Visa and age of the applicant, as well as some other exceptions stated in the table below.
 

Schengen Visa Category Fee in EUR Fee in USD*
Adult Euro 60 USD 70
Chileld between 16-12 Euro 35 USD 41
Hilder of diplomatic official or service passports travel ing for official purpose Free Free
Family member of an EU/EEA national Free Free
Pupils, students and accompanying teachers during a school trip Free Free
Researchers traveling to perform scientific research Free Free
Nationals from, Georgia, Kosovo, Russia, and Ukraine Euro 35 USD 41

* The applicable Visa fee in USD is as per the current exchange rate, and is subject to change without notice.

Despite the fact that these fees are fixed until the Schengen member countries decide otherwise, there are some categories which are exempt from paying this amount. The Visa fees may also be waived for people aged 25 years or less who visit for seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events, organized by non-profit organizations. This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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  • It is mandatory for any visitor to the Schengen area to get travel and medical insurance for Schengen member countries which meets the following criteria:
  • Minimum coverage of at least Euro 30,000 (equivalent to USD 50,000).
  • It should cover all member states of the Schengen Area.
  • Cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.
  • The travel insurance policy must cover the entire period of their stay in Europe, regardless of whether they go there for business, tourism, studying, tourism, or other reasons. A policy issues by Bharti Axa would take care of all this, leaving you free to travel without any worries.
     

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