What is a Schengen visa? And do you need it? Take the worry out of your European vacation and read on for tips on how to obtain a short-stay visa, exactly what it is, and if you need one.
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How to Get a Schengen Visa for Europe
If you’re planning a European vacation soon, you may need to process a short-stay visa. This is one of your most important preparations for the trip. This document allows you to enter, travel within, and leave any European nation that’s a Schengen member country.
Check the visa requirements off your list and pack your bags for a worry-free trip through Europe. Read on as we share ways on how you can get a short-stay Schengen visa for Europe.
Need travel inspiration? Take a look at these Top European destinations.
Which European Countries Issue Schengen Visas?
The first step, what countries are under the Schengen zone and where to submit your application for a Schengen visa? The 26 countries in the Schengen visa countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Each member of the zone can issue these short-stay visas.
Depending on your itinerary and purpose of travel, you may be required to process different Schengen visa types.
The category A visa type, also known as the airport transit visa, is required from non-Schengen country citizens with a flight connection entering the airport of a country in the Schengen zone before flying out to their next destination. That destination can be another Schengen country or a non-Schengen country.
The category C type of Schengen visa is the short-stay visa needed for your stay in a Schengen member country. Depending on the purpose of your travel, your short-stay visa can be further classified as a tourist visa, a visitor visa, a business visa, a cultural visa, or a medical treatment visa.
Submit Your Schengen Visa Application
Okay, now you know which countries issue Schengen visas and if your destination country requires one. The next step is to apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country you want to visit.
Does your travel itinerary involve visiting and staying in more than one country? Then you’ll need to apply for a visa from the embassy of the country where you will be staying the longest. If you have equal lengths of stays in two Schengen countries, apply at the embassy of the country you’re visiting first.
Prepare the Visa Application Requirements
To process your Schengen visa application smoothly, check off this list of important requirements:
- valid passport
- completed short-stay visa application form
- photos that meet Schengen guidelines
- travel medical insurance for your entire stay in Europe
- proof of your visa fee payment
- biometric data
- flight itinerary
- Schengen visa cover letter
- proof of financial status
- proof of accommodation
If you have traveled to any Schengen member country before, you’ll also need to submit copies of your previous visas. The list of requirements may be long, but these are necessary for the approval of your short-stay visa application.
Pre-Planning is Crucial
Preparing important travel documents is an important preplanning step for international travel. The necessary documents in-hand might just save your trip.
As early as a few months before your travel date, make it a point to accomplish all the documents needed, including your visa if you are visiting Europe. You’ll be rewarded with a journey without worries and full of great experiences and memories.