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A Traveler’s Guide to getting a Schengen Visa

Europe is one of the most visited destinations in the world; firstly, due to one of most important cultural heritage of the world and secondly, due to lots of attractions. Travel to Europe might require a Schengen visa depending on the passport you are holding. However, not every country follows the same rules for Schengen visa or for travel to Europe.

Schengen visa came into existence after the Schengen agreement that led some countries in Europe to abolish borders and allow free movement for visitors. Travelers who need Schengen visa can use one Schengen visa to visit multiple countries in Europe.

Countries that fall under Schengen area are; Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Are there any countries of European Union that are not a part of Schengen area?

Yes. There are other EU members that have yet not joined Schengen area. UK & Ireland are still main opt outs but Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia & Cyprus are required to join Schengen area soon.

Here’s the list of countries that need a Visa to travel to the Schengen area:
 

AFGHANISTAN
ALGERIA
ANGOLA
ARMENIA
AZERBAIJAN
BAHRAIN
BANGLADESH
BELARUS
BELIZE
BENIN
BHUTAN
BOLIVIA
BOTSWANA
BURKINA
FASO
BURMA/MYANMAR
BURUNDI
CAMBODIA
CAMEROON
CAPE VERDE
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CHAD
CHINA
COMOROS
CONGO
COTE D'IVOIRE
CUBA
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
DJIBOUTI
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ECUADOR
EGYPT
EQUATORIAL GUINEA
ERITREA
ETHIOPIA
FIJI
GABON
GAMBIA
GHANA

GUINEA
GUINEA-BISSAU
GUYANA
HAITI
INDIA
INDONESIA
IRAN
IRAQ
JAMAICA
JORDAN
KAZAKHSTAN
KENYA
KUWAIT
KYRGYZSTAN
LAOS
LEBANON
LESOTHO
LIBERIA
LIBYA
MADAGASCAR
MALAWI
MALDIVES
MALI
MAURITANIA
MONGOLIA
MOROCCO
MOZAMBIQUE
NAMIBIA
NAURU
NEPAL
NIGER
NIGERIA
 

NORTH KOREA
OMAN
PAKISTAN
PAPUA
NEW GUINEA
PHILIPPINES
QATAR
RUSSIA
RWANDA
SAO TOME & PRINCIPE
SAUDI ARABIA
SENEGAL
SIERRA LEONE
SOMALIA
SOUTH AFRICA
SOUTH SUDAN
SRI LANKA
SUDAN

SURINAME
SWAZILAND
SYRIA
TAJIKISTAN
TANZANIA
THAILAND
TOGO
TUNISIA
TURKEY
TURKMENISTAN
UGANDA
UZBEKISTAN
VIETNAM
YEMEN
ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE

 

What is the process for obtaining a Schengen visa?

Travelers from above mentioned countries need to apply for a tourist Schengen visa before visiting the Schengen area. A traveler can use this visa to stay in the Schengen countries for up to the number of days/months allowed in the visa. Long stay visas for studies or work for example require a different process to be obtained.
 

Some points to keep in mind are as follows.
 

  1. If you’re traveling to one Schengen country then you need to apply to the consulate or embassy of that country only.
     
  2.  In case you’re traveling to more than two then you must apply to the consulate or embassy of your main destination where you’re planning to stay for maximum number of days
     
  3. In cases, you don’t have a detailed agenda then you can apply to the Schengen country that you’re visiting first
     
  4.  Most of the Schengen countries have the same requirements for obtaining the visa. You must have the following documents in place for that;
  • Completely & correctly filled Visa Application form
  • This application form should be duly signed
  • Your recent passport size photo
  • Your passport must have at least two blank pages and copies of previous visas if any
  • You must prepare & share your full itinerary of the trip
  • You must have a travel insurance covering a minimum EUR 30,000 or $50,000.
  • Keep all proofs of flight bookings & accommodation for your entire trip handy 
  • A covering letter explaining the reason of travel
  • A NOC from your current employer
  • A necessary amount of money in your bank account used as proof of means of existence for the duration of stay in the Schengen Area. (this may vary depending on the country you are applying from).

Any countries that do not require a Schengen visa for entry?

There are quite a lot of other countries that do not require a Schengen visa to enter Schengen area. If the passport they hold is valid at least valid for 3 months beyond the period of intended stay, they can enter the Schengen countries without a Schengen visa for up to 90 days within 6 months. Some of these key countries are;
 

  1. USA, CANADA
  2. Malaysia, JAPAN, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau.
  3. Australia & New Zealand
  4. UAE - From May 7, UAE citizens who hold diplomatic, special, service and ordinary passports will be able to travel without a visa to EU countries which make up the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days (within any 180-day period of one year).
  5. United Kingdom - Citizens from UK do not need a Schengen visa. They have EU citizenship on which they can travel through Schengen area as many times as they want to.
     

Can travelers visit non-Schengen area countries with a Schengen visa?

If you’re a Schengen visa holder you are still allowed to go in some non-EU countries or other EU countries that are not in The Schengen area and where you usually need a visa for travel. Some of the countries are; Albania, Antigua & Barbuda, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Columbia, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Gibraltar, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Sao Tome & Principe, Serbia & Turkey.

Getting a Schengen visa is not very difficult if you follow the steps and submit correct & current documents. There are always chances of a Schengen visa getting rejected but one must always keep important documents ready and stay prepared with extra money back up and security.

We at myeasyvisa.com will provide information on visa requirements basis your passport. Visit MyEasyVisa map - http://www.myeasyvisa.com/ for more.

Through this article we have tried to cover most important information about Schengen visa & will always keep updating you with new visa policies around the globe.

Should you have any queries please fell feel to drop a comment and our team or other users can give their feedback on it. In case you’ve visited Europe on a Schengen visa; please do write about your experience.

image source: google images

 

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