Necessary Requirements for the Schengen Visa
When it comes to planning trips, understanding visas can be confusing and they can also be a bit of a “faff” to organise. To get a basic idea of how they work, the main thing you need to understand is which countries require them and which do not. In this blog post you will find out about the requirements for the Schengen visa.
The Schengen Area consists of 25 European countries that have officially abolished border control at their mutual borders. This means that travellers can move around freely within the Schengen Area, without needing to show their passports. The zone is named after the city of Schengen (in Luxembourg) where the original agreement was signed, which created this borderless European space of circulation. The countries in the Schengen Area have strict border controls in place when travellers enter the unique Schengen Area from an exterior border (a country that is not a member of the Schengen Area).
We recommend you have a look at this website to check if you need a visa.
The countries in the European Union that are NOT in the Schengen Area are: Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Therefore, all these countries require a short-stay visa when you are visiting.
With a Schengen visa, you can travel to whichever – or all of – the countries that are members of
the Schengen Area, for as long as the visa is valid. You may stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of three months within a period of six months. You do not need a specific visa for every country and you do not need to show your passport when you cross the borders between countries in the Schengen Area.
The Schengen visa is a single-entry visa, which means that you are only allowed to enter the Schengen Area once. If you want to enter and leave the Schengen Area more than once during the period of validity of your visa, you need to apply for a multiple entry visa. This visa will allow you to enter the Schengen Area multiple times during the period of validity.
An essential requirement is that the applicant must have legal residency in the country from which they submit the request.
As well as the application form for the visa, you will need to provide two recent passport photos that are taken on a white background and are printed in colour. You will also need documentation outlining the purpose of your visit, proof of medical travel insurance for the trip, bank statements and documentation from the place of study or work if this is the case. It is extremely important that all the paperwork is sent at the same time, otherwise your application could be rejected.
Countries in Central America
Other requirements for the Schengen visa depend on your nationality. Citizens of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama are allowed to visit Schengen countries as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. For stays that exceed three months, you will need a residency permit and/or a work permit.
Tourist visas will be issued for stays of a touristic nature, that will only involve recreational activities. The tourist visa does permit professional activity or civil registration activity.
Business visas and university visas
These will be issued for visits of a professional nature (business trips and talks, educational studies, civil registration matters, cultural exchanges, sport exchanges, religious exchanges, and humanitarian aid).
Visas for private visits
These will be issued to Russian nationals or foreign nationals holding a residency permit in the Russian Federation, residing in Russia.
These will be issued for those who are in transit and must travel through the Russian Federation to get to their final destination. This visa is only required for foreigners who will have to go through passport control when they are in transit. Foreigners who are in airport transit and do not need to leave the airport do not require a visa. Similarly, those who fly over Russian territory without a stopover do not require a visa.
Translated and Edited by Leeds University student; Florence Little, Novemeber 2017