LearnSchengen Visa: Everything You Should Know And How To...

Schengen Visa: Everything You Should Know And How To Get 1

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I’ll tell you that I’m jealous of people that are nationals of the country under the Schengen Zone. They don’t have to apply for a Schengen visa and can actually enter any of the countries that are in the Schengen zone.

Can you imagine how nice that is? To be able to enter countries like Italy with all of the amazing pizzas, the Netherlands to see the Van Gogh Museum and all the other beautiful sights of the Netherlands, Greece and its rich history, Estonia, France and so many other countries. Just imagine how nice that must be. 

Did you know that there is actually a town in Europe called Schengen and it’s in Luxembourg? The 1985 Schengen agreement actually happened in the town of Schengen in Luxembourg and the agreement was signed by five members of the European economic community.

The Schengen convention evolved from this and they proposed the elimination of internal European border controls as this convention. Even though the Schengen agreement did not come into full effect until 1999, it was actually birthed in 1995 and incorporated into European Union law with the Amsterdam treaty in 1997.

If you’ve been wondering what the Schengen zone is then you should know that the zone is a zone encompassing 26 European countries. The Schengen zone, in total, has a population of over 400 million people and about 1.7 million of those 400 million people because of work have to cross national borders every day and did you know that there are approximately 1.3 billion border crossings each year in the Schengen zone between visitors and residents? Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

To make life easy and travelling easy for nationals of this country, they have officially removed all formal border control amongst one another. If you’re travelling in countries that belong to the Schengen zone then you will not be subjected to visa checks and passports because the 26 countries under the Schengen zone function as one jurisdiction to help with international travel. I really envy how easy it is to be able to travel between these European countries.

The countries in the Schengen zone include Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Hungary, Estonia, France, the Czech Republic, Austria, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Greece. Also considered as enclaves within the existing European Union and Schengen agreement countries are San Marino, Vatican City and Monaco.

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Due to the agreement among members of the Schengen zone countries, there are no land borders and for countries like Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania the borders will be removed very soon.

All You Should Know About The Schengen Visa 

The Schengen visa allows international travellers to gain entry into the Schengen zone and the countries under it for at most 90 days.

If you’re travelling to countries in the Schengen zone, the maximum length of any trip must be less than 90 days and all your journey must be done within a maximum of 180 days. If you do travel a lot to the Schengen region, you are allowed to apply for a multiple entry visa that gives you the opportunity to be able to travel to and from Europe and not have to apply for the visa every time you do this even though your trip must still remain less than 90 days each time.

As I was talking about earlier, the Schengen visa allows you to be a proper tourist, enjoying the grace to be able to travel and go around the countries in the Schengen zone for at most 90 days and within 180 days.

There are nationals from countries that have the grace to enter the Schengen area without needing to get a visa, some of these countries include Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Georgia, Granada, Guatemala, Vatican City State, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius,

Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Timor Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela. 

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Nationals from 13 countries must apply for a Schengen visitor visa to visit countries in the Schengen zone. These countries include Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic,

Ecuador, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Nathan Mariana Islands, North Korea, Nigeria, Niger, Nepal, Namibia, Myanmar, Mozambique, Morocco, Mongolia, Mauritania, Mali, Maldives, Malawi, Madagascar, Libya, Liberia, Lesotho, Lebanon, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Kuwait, Kosovo, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, India,

Haiti, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syria, são tomé and Principe, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

There are different Schengen visa types, depending on your needs and the purpose of your travel. These visa types are;

Transit Visa, Tourism Visa, Visa for Visiting Family or Friends, Business Visa, Visa for Journalists, Visa for Culture and Sports activities, Visa for Official Visits, Study Visa, and Visa for Medical Reasons.

Visa application requirements for Schengen;
Document for short-term Schengen visa application
  • Visa application form 
  • Two passport photographs that were taken recently 
  • A valid international travel passport 
  • Return travel tickets 
  •  Travel Insurance 
  •  Proof of accommodation 
  •  Proof of funds 
  •  Proof of paid visa fees which is $80 for adults and $48 for children between the ages of 6 to 12.

Other documents that might be required based on the employment status of the visa applicant  

For the self-employed

  • Company bank statements for 6 months,
  •  income tax report,
  • And a copy of your business licence 

For employees

  • Income tax return
  • Current bank statement
  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of leave from the employer

For visa applicants that are married to a European Union citizen and unemployed, 

  •  An official marriage certificate 
  •  Valid passport of your spouse
  •  and also, your spouse’s proof of employment not older than 3 months

Did you know that as nationals of certain countries, you need an airport transit visa if you’re changing planes in Schengen countries? Some of the countries that require an airport transit Schengen visa include Afghanistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Iraq, Congo DRC, Nigeria, Eritrea, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Ghana and Sri Lanka.

Documents needed for the application for Schengen Airport Transit Visa 

Flight tickets for the country you are travelling to 

 A valid visa for the country you are travelling to.

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