A schengen visa is a type of visa that allows people from outside Europe the right to travel freely within the Schengen member countries. In order words, a schengen visa gives you the right to move to countries like Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (but not Ireland and the United Kingdom) plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Many people wish to apply for a schengen visa but do not know the requirements and how to go about the process. This post is going to address these issues.
Who can apply for a schengen visa?
You can apply for a schengen visa if you are not a European citizen and you intend to study in Europe. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to obtain a residence permit. Please note that if you are a citizen of the countries listed below, you don’t need to apply for a schengen visa:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
Application forms and supporting documents
- A Valid passport or travel document
- At least 2 passport-sized photos
- Travel itinerary
- Medical/travel insurance
- Acceptance/invitation letter from a university
- Supporting document regarding accommodation. However, you may be exempted from providing the required documentation if you have sufficient financial means to support your stay and accommodation costs while in Europe.
- Documented proof of financial resources. You will need to show proof that you can support your stay in Europe. The following proof can be presented; cash in convertible currency, travelers cheques, cheque books for a foreign currency account, credit cards or any other means that guarantees funds in hard currency.
- Please contact the consulate or embassy of the country you are submitting your application form to, for additional documentation.
What is the validity period of a schengen visa
A schengen visa is valid for 90 days or 3months. If you intend to study for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a residence permit. Some countries allow you to apply for the residence permit once you are in Europe. You may use your residence permit to move freely to other schengen member countries countries.
Where to submit a schengen visa application
You should submit your visa application and the supporting documents to the country’s consulate or embassy you’re travelling to. Once you’ve submitted your application, it can take 4 to 8 weeks to receive the visa.
List of countries under the schengen area
A total of 25 European countries make up the Schengen area and they include the following:
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (but not Ireland and the United Kingdom) plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.