What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that allows a person to travel to any members of the Schengen Area, per stays up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
Who Needs a Visa to Enter Schengen Area Countries?
All nationals of third countries, which have yet not reached a visa-liberalization agreement with the Schengen member states, need to obtain a visa prior to their arrival in Schengen area countries in European Union.
If you currently live in the UK with temporary or indefinitely leave to remain in the UK permission (such as work visa, spouse visa, study visa etc.), you have to apply for a Schengen visa before entering the Schengen area countries in the European Union.
Which Countries are in Schengen Area Agreement?
The 26 Schengen 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.
Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are associate members of the Schengen Area but are not members of the EU. They are part of the EFTA and implement the Schengen acquis through specific agreements related to the Schengen agreement.
Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City have opened their borders with, but are not members of the visa-free zone.
The Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands are special members of the EU and part of the Schengen Zone even though they are located outside the European continent.
There are four more EU members, that have not joined the Schengen zone: Ireland – which still maintains opt-outs and Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia that are seeking to join soon. The UK is also out of the EU but are not member of the schengen visa-free zone.
Schengen Visa Types for Short-Term Visits in European Union
You need to apply for a Schengen Visa if you intend to visit one or more European countries of this area for the following reasons:
- Tourism and holidays
- Visiting friends and family
- Business purposes
- Cultural and sports events
- Airport transit and transit for seafarers
- Official visit
- Medical reasons
- Short-term study and research purposes
Depending on your reasons for visiting the Schengen countries and the frequency of your visits, the Schengen consulate can issue you a single-entry visa, double-entry visa, or multiple-entry visa.
The validity of your single-entry visa depends on the number of days you stated you are going to be in the Schengen zone on your visa application form and the actual decision of the consulate that issues you the Schengen visa.
If you are a frequent traveller you may apply to obtain an EU visa valid for up to 5 years, but you have to keep in mind that you cannot stay within the Schengen Area for more than 90 days in a 180-day period of time even if you hold a multiple-entry visa for Europe valid for up to 5 years.
How to Apply for a Visa to Enter Schengen Area Countries in Europe?
To apply for a Schengen Visa to travel to Schengen area countries in Europe, you first need to figure out whether you need one or not depending on the purpose of your travel and nationality. If you do, then you have to put together your travel plan, how many days you plan to be in the zone, the countries you are going to visit (if more than one), the country where you are going to enter, and the country where you’re going to exit.
Once you have that figured out, then you need to get a contact to Advise Legal Consultancy for getting assistance for your Schengen visa application and the application requirements you need to fulfill and start the process of setting up a visa appointment at one of the Schengen consulates in the UK or in your home country. Advise Legal Consultancy would provide visa consultancy services to you whether you live in the UK or another country in the World.