What You Ought to Know About Schengen Visa

People who are planning to travel might’ve encountered the word "Schengen visa" while researching for the best place to visit in Europe. 


So what exactly is the Schengen visa, and how does it work? Here’s the ultimate guide of what needs to be known about the Schengen visa.


What is Schengen area and Schengen Visa?


Schengen may be quite hard to pronounce, but they are not necessarily hard to understand. 

The Schengen area refers to the 26 participating countries that allow its citizens to travel in and out of the county passport-free.


On the other hand, schengen visa or otherwise known as the Europe visa is a short-stay visa that allows an eligible person to travel freely to any of the Schengen Area’s participating countries without the need to obtain a separate visa for each country. This can be either for business or vacation purposes


Schengen visa holders can freely travel in an out any of the Schengen countries without going through border checks. The majority of Schengen members belong to the European Union countries.


Who needs Schengen Visa?


Schengen visa requirements depend primarily on the citizenship or nationality of the travelers. Aside from a valid passport, nationals of all third-world countries need to get a schengen visa before they travel to Europe.


Before applying for a Schengen visa, travelers need to know which category of visa they need to avail. Here are the categories or options of Schengen visa:


  • Category A: This refers to an Airport Transit Visa for individuals that pass through a Schengen country airport when traveling from a non-Schengen country to another.


  • Category B: Refers to a Transit Visa that allows individuals to travel from multiple Schengen countries to a non-Schengen country that lasts less than five days.


  • Category C: Refers to a Short-term Visa that will enable travelers to have a single, double, or multiple entries to Schengen countries for up to 90 days within the half-year following the first entry.


  • Category D: Refers to a National Visa that can be combined with a category C Schengen visa. This visa allows individuals to study, work, or reside permanently in a Schengen country for a specific period.


People that are planning to travel to any of the Schengen countries for tourism or vacation purposes most probably only need a category C Schengen visa.


Application for a Schengen Visa


Typically, individuals that want to apply for a Schengen visa need to submit their request at least 15 days before the trip. In some cases, the application process may take up to 30 to 60 days if the consulate requires more documents for assessment. So it’s a good idea to apply as early as 60 days before the actual trip.


However, the applicant can’t submit their application earlier than three months before their trip.


Here are some of the steps needed when applying for a Schengen visa:


  •  Identify whether a Schengen visa is required for the trip.

  • Identify which Schengen country to travel for the trip.

  • Figure out what type of Schengen visa to apply.

  • Book the most suitable time for the appointment, either online or in-person.

  • Download the application form and fill it up accurately.

  • Prepare all the required documents, including the supporting documents (if any).

  • Attend the visa interview on time as per booked appointment.

  • Pay for the visa application fee (non-refundable).

  • Wait for the approval or rejection of the visa application.


Applying for Europe visa might be time-consuming, expensive, and daunting. However, the opportunity to travel between several Schengen countries with just a single visa will make the application process worthwhile.