Fancy a long, country-hopping trip throughout Europe? Then make sure you know all about the Schengen Visa. Europe is a huge continent with a diverse range of stunning destinations. Obtaining multiple visas for all the European countries you want to travel to can be quite the hassle. And therein comes the very convenient ‘Schengen Agreement’, a treaty signed by 26 European countries that allows you to travel within the ‘Schengen Area’ on a single visa – the Schengen Visa. The Schengen Area comprises of 26 European countries that allow entry for travellers holding a Schengen Visa. An all-inclusive Europe visa is of great convenience and the Schengen Visa is exactly that.
1. Which countries accept a Schengen Visa?
The following 26 countries in Europe are Schengen visa countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein.
A few points about the Schengen countries to keep in mind:
- Three countries that are included in the Schengen Area but are not part of the European Union: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland
- Three territories that have their borders within the Schengen Area but do not accept a Schengen Visa: Vatican City, Monaco and San Marino
- There are 6 more countries in Europe that still do not accept a Schengen Visa: UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus. Out of these, the UK and Ireland have opted out of the Schengen Agreement while the others are in the process of joining.
Thus, it is important to keep in mind that some countries, even though they are within the Schengen Area, or those that are part of the European Union, will require a separate visa. It is best to check well in advance whether the country you’re visiting accepts a Schengen Visa.
2. Visa Type
If you wish to travel to the Schengen countries, you are required to apply for a short-term Schengen tourist visa, which are usually of two types:
- Type A
- Type C
This tourist visa gives you a single entry or multiple entry access, depending on the kind of visa you are applying for. The multiple entry visa is valid for up to 3 months.
3. Schengen Visa Requirements
People wishing to obtain a Schengen Visa need to submit the following documents:
- The duly filled Schengen Visa Application form
- Two recent, passport sized photograph
- Valid Passport with at least 2 blank pages that is valid for at least three months after the expiry of the visa you’re applying for
- Complete itinerary of your visit to the Schengen Area including your onward and return journey flights bookings with specific dates and flight numbers.
- Travel Health Insurance Policy that covers expenses of at least 30,000 Euro
- Proof of hotel booking or other accommodation planned during the entire stay in the Schengen Area
- Proof of sufficient means available to cover one’s own expenses for the duration of the stay. The actual amount depends on country to country
Also Read: Common Reasons For Your Visa Rejection
4. Schengen Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a must while applying to obtain a Schengen Visa. It is required to cover any costs that arise due to emergency medical situations. The insurance coverage should be for at least 50,000 USD or 30,000 EURO. The insurance certificate is required to be submitted while submitting the visa application at the embassy. In case your visa is rejected for some other reasons, you can request the Embassy to provide you with a proof of refusal so that you can cancel your travel insurance and get your money refunded.
5. How long the Schengen Visa take?
The processing time for a Schengen Visa is approximately 5 – 15 working days. Sometimes it depends on country to country and hence it is advisable to finish all your visa formalities 14 to 21 days before departure.
6. How will Akbar travels help you!
Being an industry leader, Akbartravels.com promise world-class services at all times. We will guide you through the process of your visa application right from applying online to the approval of your Schengen Visa and do everything we can to ensure you enjoy your trip and create endless memories.
Now that you know everything about a Schengen Visa, plan your Europe vacation exactly the way you want; visit your favourite countries and hop from one breathtaking destination to the next. Armed with the powerful Schengen Visa, no one can stop you.
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