Travelling through Europe has several notable features. Residents of the Schengen area can move around without special permits.
Foreigners, however, need to obtain a visa. They come in several types, so it is worth reading the information in advance, studying differences, and choosing the one necessary for you.
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Overview of the Schengen Area
Each type of permit has its peculiarities and limitations. It is worth noting that a document obtained in one of the republics of the European Union has the same weight in all member states. Let’s take a closer look at each permit option.
Type 1: Schengen Tourist Visa
If your trip involves only tourist purposes, this option is ideal. According to the rules, this permit allows you to stay in the territory of the European Union for up to 90 days within six months.
You must apply at least 14 days before your planned departure but no sooner than three months in advance. My Schengen expert Polly Johnson recommends that you familiarize yourself in advance with the information on how to get a Schengen Visa, the conditions for processing and issuance of the document, and prepare a list of necessary papers.
Indicate “multiple entries” on the form if you plan to visit several times and more than one state in the Schengen area.
Type 2: Schengen Business Visa
Business travel within Europe also requires a permit. During peak application seasons, such application forms have priority in consideration. As in the case of a tourist permit, it is necessary to prepare the following:
- Two photographs taken not earlier than 90 days before submission and complying with legal requirements;
- valid passport;
- round trip tickets, itinerary description;
- health insurance;
- proof of accommodation for the period of the trip;
- confirmation of the necessary amount of money;
- a receipt for payment of the visa fee.
The business permit also gives the right to stay in the Schengen area for not more than 90 days.
Type 3: Schengen Student Visa
The best option for students is to obtain a multiple-entry national visa category “D.” This permit gives the right to enter and leave a European country repeatedly, as well as free movement in general throughout the regions of the Schengen Agreement.
Foreigners can get such a paper for one year. If the study program lasts longer, students can apply for a visa with the possibility of an extension for a similar period.
In addition to the standard documents required for the permit, the embassy also needs a letter of admission to the educational institution.
Type 4: Schengen Transit Visa
A transit visa is required in exceptional cases. Type “A” permit does not allow entry into the country’s territory; it only provides the right to make a connection in the airport’s international zone.
If a tourist needs to wait for his flight for several days, in this case, he needs to issue a paper type “B,” which gives the right to stay in the territory of the Schengen area state for up to five days.
Other Types of Schengen Visas
There are also other Schengen visa types. The most popular are short-term visas of the category “C.” However, they are not so simple either. This category has three types of permits:
- One entry;
- two entries;
One entry visas allow only one entry into the Schengen area. After the tourist leaves, the visa is revoked. Double entry visas, respectively, allow two entries into the region during the validity of the visa.
If foreign nationals plan to leave the European country several times and come back, this type will be most suitable for them.
The national long-term “D” permit is mandatory for non-EU citizens who want to live, work, or study outside the EU. Such a paper can also be a single-entry or multiple-entry permit.
Long-term Schengen visas, which allow multiple entries into the region, can be issued for one year, three years, or five years.
There is also a territorially limited permit, which gives the right to visit a specific state. This option is resorted to in cases of emergency, so it cannot be called common.
It is necessary to clarify all visa issues beforehand to make the trip to Europe memorable with joyful and pleasant moments. Consulting agencies offer their assistance in solving all the nuances. Schengen area visas allow travel throughout the territory without additional paperwork.
However, to make the trip easy, it is worth studying the features of each type and choosing the one that best suits you. Take care to submit your application on time.
It should be done no later than two weeks before your intended tour but also no earlier than three months. Complying with all the requirements increases the chances of your application being approved.