Thursday, March 31, 2011

Visas// Part One---What is Schengen Visa and how to apply for?

 The Schengen Visa has made traveling between its European member countries much easier and less bureaucratic. Traveling on a Schengen Visa means that the visa holder can travel to any (or all) member countries using one single visa, thus avoiding the hassle and expense of obtaining individual visas for each country. This is particularly beneficial for persons who wish to visit several European countries on the same trip. The purpose of the visit must be leisure, tourism, or business. Upon the issuance of the visa, the visa holder is allowed to enter all member countries and travel freely throughout the Schengen area.  A Schengen visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen countries for a maximum stay of up to 90 days in a 6 month period.

All Schengen countries are in Europe. However, it should not be confused with the EU (European Union). Schengen and European Union are two different agreements between European countries. A total of 30 countries, including all European Union countries (except Ireland and United Kingdom) and three non-EU members (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) have signed the Schengen agreement.

The first step, you should download an application guide and get an application form. Form as in the following two pictures. In general, Application forms need to get with the consulates of the respective country.


Schengen countries / territories

The name "Schengen" originates from a small town in Luxembourg where in March 1995, seven European Union countries signed a treaty to end internal border checkpoints and controls. More countries have joined the treaty over the past years. At present, there are 22 Schengen countries, all in Europe. On the 21st December, the Schengen zone was expanded to include nine new countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia. Schengen States are a group of European countries which have signed an agreement to allow free circulation of people within the territory of the member countries.

Please note that the UK and Ireland are not a part of the Schengen agreement.

Where to apply for Schengen visa?

A Schengen Visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen Space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.

When to apply for Schengen visa?

If you require a Schengen Visa you need to apply before travelling.

UK residency requirements when applying for a Schengen visa.

Generally you need to have at least three months left on your UK immigration visa at the time you return from your holiday. (Example: Your visa expires on 12 December 2010 you can only apply for a visa up to 12 September 2010.)

Multiple Schengen visa

A multiple entry Schengen visa will allow the holder several entries into the Schengen area, allowing you to return to the UK and then re-enter the Schengen area at a later date. Not all embassies issue multiple entry visas some prefer to only issue a single entry visa to cover you for the specific trip you are going on.

Next post I will teach you how to fill in application forms and provide some information of popular countries such as how to apply for, what documents need to be prepared, etc.


  1. Thanks Chantel~I may need this~ and if I have any enquries I will ask you, don't hide~lol~


  2. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post