Did you know that 14.3 million short stay visas were issued by Schengen states in 2018. This is according to information provided by the European Commission. If you are traveling to Europe, then you are probably going to need a Schengen visa.
A Schengen visa allows you to travel across the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement. The Schengen visa allows you to stay for a duration of 90 days within a six-month period in the Schengen area, for the purposes of tourism, business, education, or medical purposes. This visa allows travelers to move between two Schengen states without needing to go through extensive border checks.
Do You Need a Schengen Visa?
The requirement of a Schengen visa is primarily based on your citizenship or residency status. Citizens of various countries are required to acquire a Schengen visa to be able to enter the Schengen zone, regardless of which country they might be visiting in that region. However, there are certain conditions under which nationals of these same countries are not required to obtain an airport transit visa, such as:
- If the individual has been issued a residency permit from a Schengen nation, or a short stay or long stay Schengen visa.
- If the individual has a residency permit of a country that guarantees their whereabouts, such as Canada, Japan, San Marino, or the USA.
- Family members of an EU citizen.
- If the individual has been granted a visa for traveling to one of the EFTA countries, as well as Canada, Japan and the United States.
Apart from this, holders of diplomatic, service, or other official passports do not require a visa.
What Documents are Needed for a Schengen Visa?
- Visa Application Form
You would be required to submit a completely filled and signed visa application form. The form can be downloaded online as well be acquired in person from the embassy of your destination country.
Two recent photographs taken against a light background.
- Valid Passport
You must have a passport that is valid for at least two months after the completion of your intended trip. The passport must have at least two blank pages for the visa stamp.
- Travel Health Insurance
Travel health insurance of at least €30,000, valid across the entire Schengen area. You need to submit the confirmation of coverage letter, along with the visa application form.
- Cover Letter
A cover letter mentioning the details and purpose of your visit.
- Financial Documents
Documents proving that you are financially capable of supporting yourself for the entire duration of the trip, such as pay slips, bank statements, etc.
- Proof of Civil Status
Documents, such as marriage certificate, birth certificate and ration card, can be used as proof of civil status.
- Travel Itinerary
You must also provide a travel itinerary that mentions all the places you intend to visit during your stay. Documents such as trip tickets, tickets of organized tours and hotel bookings can be used for this purpose.
For further information, it is advisable to contact the embassy of your destination country.