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How to apply for a Schengen Visa

    What is the Schengen Visa?

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    The Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any member state of the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passports and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.

    The Schengen Area operates very much like a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy.

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    If you’re planning on traveling to a Schengen country, you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa. Here’s how:

    1. Gather the required documents. In order to apply for a Schengen Visa, you will need to have a valid passport, two passport-sized photos, and proof of travel insurance. You will also need to fill out an application form and provide any additional supporting documents that may be required by the particular embassy or consulate where you are applying.

    2. Choose the country you will apply in. If you are unsure which Schengen country you should apply in, you can consult the Schengen Visa Code, which outlines the rules and regulations for Schengen Visas. In general, you should apply in the country where you will be spending the most time.

    3. Submit your application. Once you have all of the required documents, you can submit your application at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you have chosen. You may be required to provide additional documentation or undergo an interview as part of the application process.

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    4. Pay the visa fee. The Schengen Visa fee is currently €60 (about $67 USD) and must be paid in order to have your application processed.

    5. Wait for a decision on your application. The processing time for Schengen Visa applications can vary depending on the embassy or consulate, but it is generally around 15 days. You will be notified by the embassy or consulate if your application has been approved or denied.

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    Schengen Visa applications can be a bit of a hassle, but as long as you have all of the required documents and information, the process should go smoothly. Be sure to start the application process early so that you have plenty of time to gather everything you need and make any necessary arrangements.

    What Are The Types of Schengen Visas?

    There are two types of Schengen Visas: the Schengen Airport Transit Visa and the Schengen Area Visa.

    The Schengen Airport Transit Visa is required for anyone passing through a Schengen country airport on their way to another non-Schengen destination. This type of visa allows you to stay in the international transit area of the airport for up to 24 hours. If you need to leave the transit area during your layover, you will need to apply for a Schengen Area Visa.

    The Schengen Area Visa is required for anyone planning on traveling to one or more Schengen countries for business, tourism, or other reasons. This type of visa allows you to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. If you plan on staying in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa.

    What Are The Schengen Countries?

    There are 26 countries in the Schengen area: 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. These countries have all signed the Schengen Agreement, which allows for the free movement of people within the Schengen area.

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    What Countries Can I Visit With a Schengen Visa?

    If you have a Schengen visa, you can visit any of the 26 Schengen countries: 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.

    Uniform Schengen Visas (USV): are visas issued by Schengen Area Member States with uniform Schengen Visa requirements. USVs are subdivided into two categories: Schengen Airport Transit Visas (A-visas) and Schengen Visas for short-term stays (C-visas).

    Schengen Airport Transit Visas are only required if you are changing flights in a Schengen Area airport and do not plan to leave the airport’s international transit area. Schengen Visas for short-term stays, on the other hand, allow their holders to enter and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

    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 as an exception to a Uniform Visa and is only issued for international obligations or humanitarian reasons in general.