Schengen Visa to Unlock Several Countries
Everyone dreams to explore Europe, Specially 90’s generation people are inclined towards Europe because of Bollywood movies in which main roles explore Europe countries and most of the songs were picturized in Europe. Movies like Dil Wale Dilhania Le jaenge is on top of the list. In this article we will focus on guiding you how to get a short stay visitor visa for your next Europe tour. What are the steps to keep in mind while applying and normal FAQS.
Europe is a beautiful continent of around 27 countries which is full of extensive history, beautiful landscapes, Those who loves to explore the world, unlocking new places out of their bucket list, But let me tell you one thing getting a Schengen Europe visa is not a piece of cake for everyone.
What Is a Schengen Visa?
It’s important to understand about Schengen visa before applying, It’s a short stay visa for Europe that’s allows the visa holder to travel across the whole region for during of either a certain travel period or over a period of 90 days which you can travel with 190 days span time.
In Schengen Europe region there are 27 countries, All these countries have internal contracts to allow visitors to explore all the countries through different modes of transport and all the countries exhibit same policy, there are nominal changes in policies towards law and order in all the countries.
What Countries Can I Visit With a Schengen Visa?
Schengen visa is considered to be a jackpot or a Aladdin ginnie which enables you to travel hasstle free in the below mentioned countries.
However, there is also a list of non-Schengen countries that allow you to enter with a valid Schengen visa, such as:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- North Macedonia
- Sao Tome and Principe
What Are The Types of Schengen Visas?
To visit Europe through Schengen visa, you can apply for a visa if your purpose of visit fall under below mentioned categories.
To transit through the airport of a country in the Schengen zone in order to take the plane to your Schengen destination country.
- Tourism visits and sightseeing.
- Business visits
- Visiting family members and friends
- Travel as part of cultural exchange program, sports or research
- Medical visits
- Short term study courses.
- Official visits
*The Airport transit visa is a Category A visa, but all visas that are issued for different purposes fall into the C category.
Depending on the number of entries and the number of countries you can visit, you could be issued a Uniform Schengen visa or a Limited Territorial Validity visa.
Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)
The Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) allows its holder to travel and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days every six-month period. There are three types of Uniform Schengen visas:
- Single-entry visa. With a Single entry visa, you can enter a Schengen country only once and stay until the expiration of visa validity. If you leave before the expiration, you are not allowed to enter the country again since the visa is considered to have expired once you leave the country.
- Double-entry visa. With a Double entry visa, you can enter a Schengen country twice within the time of visa validity. If you enter the country twice, and the second time you leave before the expiration, you are not allowed to enter the country again since the visa is considered to have expired once you leave the country for the second time.
- Multiple-entry visa. The Multiple entry visa allows you to enter and leave the Schengen Zone as many times as you please as long as your visa is valid.
Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)
The Limited Territorial Validity (LTV) visa allows its holder to travel only in the Schengen member country that has issued the visa. If, i.e., France has issued you the visa, then you are permitted to stay only in France. You are not even allowed to transit from one country to another with the LTV visa. This visa is considered an exception to a Uniform Visa and is only issued for international obligations or humanitarian reasons in general.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
To have a successful Schengen visa application, you must go through these simple steps:
- Fill the Schengen Visa Application form.
- Make an appointment.
- Complete the documents file.
- Show up at the appointment.
- Provide biometrics.
- Verify the documents.
- Pay the visa fees.
Fill the Schengen Visa Application form
Complete the application form online carefully and correctly, print it twice and sign it at the end. The form contains questions for basic information such as your name, date of birth, country of birth, passport number and nationality. You will also have to answer questions regarding your trip, such as how long are you planning to stay in each country, where you’re staying, etc.
Make an appointment
Appoint an interview through the website of the consulate or embassy of the country you are planning to visit, in your country of residence.
Complete the documents file
Make sure you have all the necessary documents for a Schengen visa as required, all of them in two copies. Organize them so on the appointment day you will not have a mess in your hands. You will need to leave your passport at the consulate of the Schengen country where you apply for a visa. If you withdraw your passport while your application is being processed, your Schengen visa application will be canceled.
Show up at the appointment
Show up at the appointment center on time. Remember that if you are late even for a few minutes, then they will probably cancel your appointment. The submission process takes around 10 minutes to complete.
You will also have to get your fingerprints scanned at the consulate’s office if you have never before applied for a visa to Europe. If you have, then you don’t have to do it again since the consulate should be able to look it up.
Verify the details
After the verification of your application, your information will be entered into the online system and you will receive a printed copy of your application, which process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After you get the printed form, please make sure to verify all the details are correct and sign the form.
Underage applicants must be accompanied by their mother/father/legal guardian.
Pay the fees
The cost of a Schengen visa application for adults is 80€. Whereas the visa fee for children from the age of 6 years to the age of 12 years is 45€.
After you pay the fees, you will be issued a receipt which you have to keep in order to collect your processed application. In the case of visa application rejection, the fee will not get reimbursed. If you apply again for a visa, you will have to pay the fees again.
What Does a Schengen Visa Look Like?
If the authorities decide to grant you a Schengen visa, they will attach it in the form of a sticker to the blank pages of your passport. This is what a Schengen visa looks like:
Where Should You Submit Your Application for a Schengen Visa?
You should apply for a Schengen Visa at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you are planning to visit.
If you are planning to visit more than one country during the same trip and spend an equal amount of time at all of them, then you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you plan to spend more time. But, if you are planning to spend equal time in two or more countries, i.e., five days in France and five days in Germany, then you have to apply at the embassy of the country where you are planning to land first.
When Should I Apply for a Schengen Visa?
The applications for a Schengen visa must be submitted at least 15 days before the intended travel and not earlier than 6 months before the start of your intended travel.
Keep in mind that you need to make an appointment before submitting your visa application. Depending on where you are applying from, appointments may need to be made weeks in advance.
Who Is Entitled to Accelerated Schengen Visa Procedure Free of Charge?
Applicants belonging to one of the categories below are entitled to an accelerated visa procedure free of charge:
- You are a family member of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, and the EU/EEA citizen is either traveling to or residing in a different member state than their own.
- You are accompanying the EU/EEA citizen or intending to join them in the Schengen State they are traveling to.
What Additional Documents Do I Need to Present at the Schengen Port of Entry?
When entering the Schengen Area, in addition to your passport with the visa sticker on it, you will need to present additional documents at the port of entry. The additional documents include the following:
*Some countries might request you to present all three mentioned documents, while others may only require one or two. The requirement differs from one Schengen country to another.
How Long Can I Stay In Europe With a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa allows you to stay within the whole Schengen territory for 90 days within 6 months. This means that the total duration of stay is a maximum of 90 days in any period of 180 days . The specific duration of your visa’s validity is stated on the visa sticker itself under the section titled “Duration of visit.”
Sometimes, authorities issue you a visa for the amount of time you have sought, and sometimes for a longer or shorter period, depending on how they see it as reasonable. The embassy not only appoints the number of days you can stay in Schengen but also the earliest date you can enter and the last date when you can leave, which sometimes is confusing for many people.
Read: Schengen stay calculator
What If You Need to Stay for More Than 90 Days?
If you wish to stay longer than 90 days in the Schengen Area, you will generally need to apply for a long-stay visa or a residence permit from the specific Schengen country where you intend to stay. The European National Visas are granted to individuals coming to one of the Schengen member countries for stays longer than 90 days, like working or studying.
In order to be eligible to apply for the D visas for Europe, you should be in one of the following categories:
- An international student in a program that grants Schengen visas.
- International student about to start full-time studies in Europe.
- Teacher at a higher education institution or research center in Europe.
- Professional traveling to Europe with the purpose of sharing expertise.
- Traveler in the Schengen Area who is experiencing an emergency, as a medical condition that prevents departure at the end of your National Visa.
Can I Convert My Schengen Multiple Entry Visa Into a National Visa?
No, you cannot convert a C multiple entry visa into a type D national visa. Schengen visas are specifically intended for short-term stays and travel within the Schengen Area. They do not grant the right to live or work in a specific country; long-stay (type D) visas do.
You can’t either apply for a residence permit in a Schengen country that you entered with a Schengen visa.
If you want to get a D visa, you will need to apply from the country of your residence.
Can I Get My Schengen Visa Extended?
A Schengen visa can be extended only under exceptional circumstances. Therefore, in order to get your visa extended, you must have a very strong reason behind it, such as:
- Force majeure.
- Humanitarian reasons.
- Serious personal reasons.
You must show strong proof that you cannot leave the country before the expiration of your visa. As a rule, you can only get a visa extension if you have stayed for less than 90 days in the Schengen Area within a 180-day period. If you have stayed in the Schengen area for more than 90 days within six months, then your chances of getting your visa extended are almost zero. Keep in mind that you have to apply for a visa extension before the expiration of your visa.
Read more on How to Extend a Schengen Visa?
What Happens if I Overstay in Europe?
If you exceed the allowed duration of your stay in Europe, there can be serious consequences. However, penalties and outcomes vary depending on the country and the length of the overstay.
Potential repercussions for overstaying in Europe include:
- Entry bans.
- Legal action leading to deportation or removal.
- Negative effects on future visa applications or immigration records.
Why Would a Schengen Visa Application Be Denied?
A Schengen visa application may be refused for different reasons. However, here are some of the most common reasons why Schengen visa applications are rejected:
- You present false, counterfeit, or forged travel documents.
- The required documents do not meet the criteria set by the embassy.
- You do not provide a reason for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay.
- Insufficient means of subsistence.
- There is an alert in the SIS for refusal of entry.
- You are considered a threat to public policy, internal security, or public health.
- Invalid Travel Insurance.
Read more on Reasons for Schengen Visa Rejection.
What Can I Do In Case of Schengen Visa Rejection?
If the embassy or consulate of the destination country you have applied to refuses your Schengen visa, you have the right to appeal the decision. You will receive a paper that indicates the reasons behind the visa denial on the day you go to receive your answer regarding your application. The paper will also provide information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal.
The appeal must be conducted against the Schengen Member State that made the final decision on your visa application and in accordance with the national law of that country.
Can I Reapply if My Schengen Visa Application Has Been Rejected Once?
Yes, even if your Schengen visa application has been rejected once, you can always reapply for a new visa. In such situations, you should consider the first refusal as a guideline of what not to do on the new visa application and avoid repeating the same mistakes. Embassies typically encourage applicants to carefully consider the reasons for the initial denial and make any necessary modifications. If you choose to reapply, you will be required to pay the visa fees once again, as they cover the cost of processing the Schengen visa application.