What you need to know while applying for Schengen Visa

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What you need to know while applying for Schengen Visa

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

The Schengen visa is the most common visa for Europe. It enables its holder to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries. There are no border controls within the Schengen Zone.

However, if you are planning to study, work, or live in one of the Schengen countries for more than 90 days, then you must apply for a national visa of that European country and not a Schengen Visa.

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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 certain period of time up to the maximum of 90 days every six month period starting from the date of entry.

Holder of a Uniform Schengen Visa can travel to these countries:

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. the Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. the Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

According to the purpose of travelling the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to all of the two categories, “A” and “C”.

  • “A” category stands for the Airport Transit Visa which allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen country Airport without entering the Schengen Area. Airport transit visa is mandatory for the citizens travelling from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state through a change of flights in a Schengen country airport.
  • “C” category stands for a Short-term visa which allows its holder to reside in a Schengen Area for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity. This particular category, according to the holder’s purpose of the travel can be obtained in a form of:
    • Single-entry visa,
    • Double-entry visa and
    • Multiple-entry visa.

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 sticker affixed to their passport. Once the visa holder exits the Schengen territory, he or she can no longer go back, even if they have not spend there the number of days as permitted by the embassy that issued them the visa.

Some people confuse the single-entry visa, thinking that it is about the number of countries the visa holder is permitted to visit, and that it allows them to enter one single country. In fact, the territory you are permitted to visit is given close to the “Valid for” tag in your visa sticker, whereas the time you are permitted to stay is given close to the “Number of entries” tag.

Double-entry visa

In general, a double-entry visa applies the same way as the single-entry visa explained above. The sole difference between a single-entry and a double-entry visa is that the second gives you the chance to go once more back to the Schengen territory once you have left it.

You should be very careful not to exceed the number of days you are permitted to stay in the Schengen Zone, as well as the period within which you can spend these days in the EU. Once again, do not mix the “double-entry” tag with the number of countries you are permitted to enter and remain within the given time.

With this visa, when you leave the Schengen Area for the second time, you no longer have the right to go back, even if you have not spent all of the days you were permitted to remain there. However, if you have obtained a double-entry visa more than once, and you are a frequent traveller to the Schengen zone, you are more likely to be granted with a multiple-entry visa, as explained below.

Multiple-entry visa

A multiple-entry visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as many times as he or she wants, as soon as they do not violate the 90/180 rule.

Based on how frequently you travel to the Schengen zone, you may apply and obtain one of the following multiple-entry visa types:

  • 1 year multiple-entry visa
  • 3 year multiple-entry visa
  • 5 year multiple-entry visa

1-year multiple-entry Schengen visa

You can obtain this visa if you have been traveling to the Schengen Area more often, and you have also been in possession of at least one Schengen double-entry visa. When you apply for this visa, you will need to show proof that you are a regular traveler, as well as why you need this visa in the future.

The 1-year MEV visa gives you the right to enter the Schengen Zone as many times as you want, as long as you do not remain more than 90 days within this period.

3-year multiple-entry Schengen visa

The 3-year MEV gives the right to its holder to enter the Schengen Area as many times as they wish within a period of three years. However, even in this case the visa holder is limited to remaining in the EU no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period.

When you apply for a 3-year MEV you will have to present evidence that you are a frequent traveller to at least one of the countries of the Schengen. You will also have to explain and prove why you need a visa with a validity of three years.

5-year multiple-entry Schengen visa

5-year MEV is granted to people that travel a lot to the Schengen Zone, especially for business. This visa permits you to enter 26 countries in Europe as many times as you wish, within five years, as soon as you do not violate the 90/180 days rule.

You will need to show very strong proof that you travel frequently to any of these countries and why you travel. In addition, you will need to show evidence why a visa with a validity of 5 years is necessary for you.

FAQ’s Related to Schengen Visa

Can I apply UK tourist visa in parallel with schengen tourist visa?

The processing time for UK as well as Schengen visa is approximately 15 days. If there is ample time prior to your trip, it is advisable to apply for your UK visa prior to Schengen because a UK visa carries weightage and would help in processing of your Schengen visa.

If you are short on time, you can use the UK High Commission’s Passport Pass-Back service where you are allowed to retain your passport while the UK visa is under process.

While your UK visa is under process, you can submit your application for a Schengen visa.

Which is the easiest country to get Schengen visa?

Latvia is heading with a 99.3% rate of Schengen visas issued – which when translated means that the rate of rejection by the Latvian Embassy is only 0.7% out of all applications received. You must be persuaded to apply already! Right behind Latvia, are positioned Iceland and Lithuania with an equal rate of visas issued – 99.1%. These twin countries are followed by Estonia with a 99% rate, Slovakia 98.4%, Poland 98.3%, Greece with 98% and Luxembourg 97.9%.

Finally, the last but not least, and evidently not so far behind, stretches out the Czech Republic with only 2.2% refusal rate meaning you have a 97.8% chance of being granted the Schengen Visa type inquired.

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How long does it take to get Schengen visa?

How long does it take to receive the visa? It is advisable to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa at least 2 weeks prior to the planned trip. The Embassy Consulate will then reply in 10 working days as common (or less as usually occurs), the time taken to proceed all the documentation and the traveller’s request.

Wishing you the best of luck!

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