The Schengen Visa Area
The Schengen Area is made up of the following 26 countries:
- Czech Republic
Who needs a Schengen Visa?
Foreign citizens from a country that is not part of the EU may need to apply for the Schengen Visa if they intend to travel to a country that is part of the EU. Currently, if you are from one of the following countries, you do not need a Schengen Visa to enter the Schengen Area. Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua,
Panama, Paraguay, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
What can I do with a Schengen Visa?
The Schengen Visa allows you to travel freely around the 26 Schengen countries as single entry or multi-entry visa and is valid for 3, 6 or 12 months. Within the Schengen Area internal borders have almost completely disappeared, and you will rarely be checked within the Schengen Area. The purpose of the visit must be leisure, tourism, or business.
Types of Schengen Visas
There are several different types of Schengen Visas:
- Type A: This transit airport visa for travelers not staying in a Schengen country other than an overnight stay or airport transfer.
- Type B: This is also a transit visa that lasts a little longer for 5 days.
- Type C: This is a short stay visa, valid for up to 90 days within a 6 month period. You can make several trips or just one.
- Type D: This is a national visa that allows you to travel from a non-Schengen country to a Schengen country within 5 days. You then would need to obtain residency when you enter a Schengen country that you want to stay in before you can travel to any other Schengen country. It can also be combined with the Type C Schengen Visa.
How to Apply for the Schengen Visa
Applying for a Schengen Visa is a fairly simple process if you complete and submit the correct documentation. You apply at the local Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen Country where you will be spending the most time on your trip. To avoid any stress, make sure to apply for the Schengen Visa at least 6 week before the start of your trip.
If you want the best chance of approval check out the Schengen Visa Application Guide. I’ve read through it myself and it’s a great guide with practical advice, step-by-step instructions and even letter templates for you to use in your application!
Or if your coming from the UK, check out this special Schengen Visa Application Guide UK!