How to Apply for Schengen Visa
Did you know that apart from the 14.3 million short-stay visas issued by the Schengen consulates, 66,000 uniform visas were issued at the external borders by the Schengen nations in 2018? This is what information provided by the European Commission had to say. The Schengen agreement has resulted in free movement between the nations bound by the agreement, without lengthy border control procedures and only an EU state sign with the name of the countries present at the border between two nations.
To travel to a Schengen member nation, most people who are not citizens of the EU will need to apply for a Schengen visa. This visa allows you to travel to the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement for a duration of up to 90 days within a six-month period.
Types of Schengen Visa
Before applying for a Schengen visa, it is important to decide the type of visa most suitable for the nature and purpose of your trip.
- Transit Visa
A transit visa is issued to those who need to travel through a Schengen country for the purposes of changing their means of transportation for an onward journey. This visa is generally valid for up to 24 hours.
- Tourism Visa
If the purpose of your travel to the Schengen territory is leisure and sightseeing, then you can select this category on your visa application form.
- Business Visa
A business visa is suitable for you if you are traveling to the Schengen area for business-related activities, such as conferences, meetings, training courses, etc.
- Medical Visa
A medical visa is issued to those who wish to travel to a Schengen nation for medical treatment. Your medical reports and appointment letter with a doctor or hospital in the Schengen area are required for this visa.
- Visa for Visiting Friends or Family
If the purpose of your travel is to visit your friends or family living in the Schengen area, you can apply under this category. For this, you will need a letter from your relative or friend, inviting you to visit them in the specific country.
- Visa for Official Visits
This visa is issued to those traveling to the Schengen territory for official purposes.
How to Apply for a Schengen Visa?
The first step in applying for a Schengen visa is to fill the visa application form. Next, you need to submit the filled and signed application form, along with all the necessary documents. It is important to ensure that all the details in the application form are correct to the best of your knowledge. After the submission of the application form and the documents, you will need to pay the visa processing fee. The last step is to schedule and attend a visa interview.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Schengen Visa?
Generally, the processing of a visa application takes about 15 working days. However, it could take longer in some cases, especially if further processing is warranted or if the consulate in question is dealing with the peak visa season.
For additional information, it is best to contact the embassy of your destination country.