5 Basic Things You Need To Know About Schengen Visa

Where traveling to Europe is concerned, the Schengen visa remains to be among the most popular visa obtained by tourists – and for a good reason. A Schengen visa lets you freely enter, roam, and transit in 26 European countries, or Schengen States, that are part of the Schengen Zone without having to go through border control. Internal borders are non-existent in the zone.

Learn everything you need to know about the Schengen visa here and get ready for the ultimate European backpacking experience!

5 Basic Things You Need To Know About Schengen Visa exotic philippines travel blog blogger asia

What is a Schengen visa and what countries does it cover?

A Schengen visa is a short stay visa that affords holders the privilege of free movement within the Schengen area . This means they can enter any of the 26 member countries, leave one Schengen country for another, and enjoy traveling to as many Schengen countries as they like within 90 days.
Below are the 26 member countries within the Schengen Zone. Any of these countries can issue a Schengen visa.
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
Among them, it is said that Lithuania is the easiest to obtain a Schengen visa from, with over 98% of Schengen visa applications being approved. On the other hand, France remains to be the most popular in the zone, receiving more than 86 million tourists annually.

A Schengen visa also offers benefits for foreign travelers in non-Schengen territories. A double or multiple-entry Schengen visa allows you to enter and stay in these 18 non-Schengen countries:
  • Albania
  • Antiagua and Barbuda
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Georgia
  • Gibraltar
  • Kosovo
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Romania
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Serbia
  • Turkey

Who needs a Schengen visa?

Both business and leisure travelers can get a Schengen visa. You also meed a Schengen visa if you will are headed to the Schengen area for the following purposes:
  • Medical
  • Business
  • Leisure/ tourism
  • Sports
  • Cultural events
  • Airport transit
  • Transiting seafarers
  • Official visit
  • Study for less than 90 days
If you will be studying, working, or staying more than 90 days in the Schengen area, then you need a national visa, not a Schengen visa.

Citizens from third countries (countries that are not part of the European Union – EU, European Free Trade Association – EFTA, European Economic Area – EEA) must obtain a Schengen visa when traveling to the Schengen zone.

Types of Schengen visas

  • Single-entry visa – allows visa holder to enter Schengen zone just once, without ability to return after exiting
  • Double-entry – allows visa holder to enter Schengen zone two times. After exiting the area the second time, visa holder can no longer return to the Schengen Area.
  • Multiple-entry visa – allows visa holder multiple entries and returns to the Schengen area, provided they stay no more than 90 days in a 180-day period. Multiple-entry visas can vary from 1 year, 3 year, and 5-year multiple entry visa.

Cost of Schengen visa

Schengen visa fee is 80 euros for adults. Children and certain nationals may pay a lower fee or be totally exempted from the fee depending on the conditions. Refer to the following for the list of fees:

  • Adults – 80 euros
  • Kids aged 6-12 – 40 euros
  • Kids younger than 6 – free
  • Diplomats and holders of service or official passports – free
  • Family of EU or EEA national – free
  • Traveling for scientific research – free
  • Students and teachers on a school trip - free

How to get started

Now that you know the basics of a Schengen visa, get started. Put a trip itinerary together, including countries you wish to visit, where you wish to enter and exit, for how long, and others. Be sure to check if your passport is valid, you have enough funds in your bank account, and you have all the requirements needed before filing your application.

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