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What is a Schengen Visa ?

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A Schengen Visa is a visa which allows its holders to travel in the Sechengen area, without any border controls between them. This means that with obtaining such a visa you can travel freely within the european member states who have agreed the schengen area agreement. It is an area without internal borders where citizens, many non-EU nationals, business people and tourists can freely move without being subjected to border checks.

The up to date number of the schengen area members consists of 26 countries which are called the "Schengen States". The reagulation covers the majority of the EU (European Union) countries, except the UK and Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Romania and Cyprus.

The Schengen Area is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. Originally, the concept of free movement was to enable the European working population to freely travel and settle in any EU State.

Schengen Visa Application Steps

1 - First identify the country or countries you will be travelling to. It is particularly important to know

which countries you are travelling to because it determines where and how you are going to send

your application.

  • If you are intending to visit just one Schengen country, you will need to apply for the Schengen visa directly with the embassy or consulate of that particular country.

  • If you are intending to visit two or more Schengen countries, your application must be sent to the embassy or consulate of the country that shall be your main destination.

  • If you are intending to visit several Schengen countries, but do not have a main destination, you should apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the first Schengen country on your travel itinerary.

2 - Fill out an application form beforehand to obtain a Schengen visa. The form you will get from the

embassy, consulate or the travel agency your are dealing with.

Prepare all the requirements for your Schengen visa application. Depending on the consulate or

embassy, you required to show the following documents:

  • A valid national passport

  • Evidence showing the purpose of your trip (e.g. hotel reservations, flight reservation)

  • Proof of medical insurance

  • A round-trip travel ticket

  • Proof of funds

3 - When applying for a Schengen Visa, the embassy or consulate requires you to provide current bank

statements amongst other documents. They need to assess whether you have sufficient financial

means of support during the duration of your stay.

4 - Check the processing time to ensure you get your Schengen visa on time. The processing time varies

per embassy, so it is important to take the processing time into account when planning your trip.

NOTE : If you intend to stay in any of the Schengen countries for a period of longer than three months,

the Schengen visa no longer applies.

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