Knowing the Schengen Visa Types, Requirements, and validity is important before making your decisions. Let’s look at the different types of visas you can use when traveling within the Schengen area, what you need to do to get one and how long it stays valid.
The Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises 26 nations that have agreed on the abolishment of passports and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The Schengen Area operates as a single country for international travel, with some exceptions.
All travelers need a visa or acceptable travel document to enter the Schengen Area regardless of nationality. You will need a new visa when your current one expires.
Suppose you have a multiple-entry Schengen visa that is still valid. In that case, you can enter and leave the Schengen Area as often as you like during its validity period, even if your passport has expired in the meantime.
If you hold a national long-stay visa from a Schengen country, you do not need a new visa to travel within the Schengen Area as long as your visa is still valid.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a visa that allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Area. A Schengen Visa allows you to enter any Schengen country and move freely between them for up to 90 days.
There are 2 classes of Schengen Visas types: a short-stay and a long-stay visa. A short-stay visa permits you to stay in the Schengen region for up to 90 days, while a long-stay visa allows you to stay longer.
Types of Schengen Visas Based on Reasons for Travel
There are six types of Schengen visas: airport transit, business, tourist, cultural, sports, and medical. Depending on the purpose of your travel, you will need to apply for the appropriate visa.
Airport Transit: An airport transit visa allows you to transit through the international zone of a Schengen area airport. This type of visa is not valid for entry into the Schengen territory and is only valid for layovers of less than 24 hours.
Business: A business visa allows you to travel to the Schengen area for meetings, conferences, or other business purposes. This type of visa is typically valid for multiple entries over 90 days.
Tourist: A tourist visa allows you to travel to the Schengen area for leisure. This type of visa is typically valid for multiple entries over 90 days.
Cultural: A cultural visa allows you to travel to the Schengen area for cultural or educational purposes. This type of visa is typically valid for multiple entries for up to 90 days.
Study: Student visas are for those who need to travel to the Schengen area for study purposes. This could include attending a university or other educational institution.
Medical: A medical visa allows a person to receive medical treatment in a Schengen country. This type of visa requires a letter from a doctor or hospital in the Schengen country confirming the need for medical treatment and proof of medical insurance.
Social visit: A visiting family and friends visa allows a person to visit family or friends living in a Schengen country. This type of visa requires an invitation from the family or friends in the Schengen country and proof of financial means to support oneself while in the country.
Schengen Visa Types
There are many different types of Schengen visas, so choosing the right one for your travel needs is important.
Uniform Schengen Visas
The uniform Schengen visa (USV) validates travel to all 26 Schengen countries. It can be issued for a maximum of 90 days and allows multiple entries into the Schengen area.
The double-entry visa
The double-entry visa allows two entries into the Schengen area within 90 days. It is valid for travel to all 26 Schengen countries. You will be able to visit the area once more after you leave it using this visa.
The single-entry visa
The single-entry visa allows one entry into the Schengen area within 90 days. It is valid for travel to all 26 Schengen countries. This one-time visa – can only be used for a single visit.
The multiple-entry visa allows multiple entries into the Schengen area within 90 days. It is valid for travel to all 26 Schengen countries. You can choose the 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year multiple entry visas based on your reasons for travel.
National visas are the most common type of visa issued to foreigners who want to visit or live in one of the Schengen countries. National visas allow for a stay of up to three months and can be extended once, for a total stay of six months.
Limited Territorial Validity Visas
Limited territorial validity visas (LTV) are also known as residence permits or long-term resident permits. They are issued to people who have been living in one Schengen country for a certain period, usually five years. After that time, they must apply for another LTV if they want to continue living there.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa?
If you’re planning to travel to any 26 Schengen countries, you must apply for a Schengen visa. To apply for a Schengen visa, you will need to submit a completed application form, along with documents such as your passport, proof of travel insurance, and proof of financial means.
The processing time for Schengen visa applications is usually around 15 days. However, applying for your visa well in advance of your planned trip is advisable, as processing times can vary depending on the embassy or consulate where you apply. Once your application is approved, your visa will be valid for up to 90 days from the date of entry into the Schengen area.
How Long is a Schengen Visa Valid for?
The validity of a Schengen visa depends on the type of visa that you have. A short-stay visa is typically valid for 3 months, while a long-stay visa can be valid for up to 1 year. A transit visa is only valid for the duration of your transit through the Schengen area, and an airport transit visa is only valid for 24 hours.
If you’re planning to visit the Schengen Area, familiarize yourself with the different types of visas and their requirements. With the right type of Schengen visa advice and consultation, you can successfully fast-track Schengen visa applications for your travel needs. Talk to experts today.