- How To Apply For Europe Tourist Visa
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How To Apply For Europe Tourist Visa – A Schengen visa is a type of visa that allows you to travel freely within the Schengen area. According to the United Nations, Europe consists of 44 countries. 27 of these countries are part of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement abolished internal borders between these 27 countries.
The Schengen visa is a unified visa for short stays (up to 90 days) for these 27 European countries. Therefore, the Schengen visa is the only visa you will need to travel to any of these 27 countries.
How To Apply For Europe Tourist Visa
After obtaining a Schengen visa, you can travel freely between Schengen member states without any border controls. For example, if you enter France and want to go to Germany, you will not go through passport control at the France-Germany border.
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Note that the Schengen visa policy only applies to the Schengen area and not to the entire EU.
There are currently 27 countries in the Schengen area that you can visit with a single Schengen visa. Below is the list of countries.
In addition to the above 27 Schengen member countries, you can travel visa-free to 50 non-Schengen countries with a Schengen visa.
Those intending to visit Schengen countries for tourism must either obtain a visa exemption or obtain a valid Schengen visa from the embassy.
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For this guide, we will focus only on visas for the purpose of tourism, namely the Type-C uniform Schengen visa.
Example: If your trip is from March 10 to March 20, your passport must be valid at least until June 20.
Palestine and Kosovo are not recognized by at least one Schengen member state. If you are a citizen of Palestine or Kosovo, please inquire with your nearest Schengen consulate about the visa requirements for your passport.
Currently 62 nationalities can enter the Schengen area without a visa. Although you do not need a visa, you should consider the total duration of your stay in the Schengen area and carry the required documents.
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Non-EU passport holders who are visa-exempt are allowed to stay in Schengen area countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. This “90 days in any 180 days” applies to all short-stay visitors to the Schengen area.
You can use the Schengen calculator to determine how many days you are allowed to stay in the Schengen area. Here’s how to use the Schengen calculator.
Currently, 104 non-EU nationals require a visa to enter the Schengen area. These nationals must have a Schengen visa when entering the Schengen zone.
First time application: If you are applying for the first time, your visa will be valid for the number of days you have applied for. In some cases, you may get a few buffer days as an extra.
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As a first-time visa applicant, I recommend adding a few extra days to your itinerary so that you get a few extra days over your visa validity. This way, you can have some flexibility in your travel plans.
Subsequent applications: If you are applying for the second or third time, you may get a visa for 90 days. A visa can potentially be multiple entry.
Visa Requirement Passport holders are allowed to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. This “90 days in any 180 days” applies to all short-stay visitors to the Schengen area.
Most tourists plan to visit more than one country during their trip to Europe. A Schengen visa is valid for 27 countries, so you must first determine the Schengen country of your application. This helps a lot in avoiding visa delays and denials.
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Case 1: If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply for your visa at the consulate of that particular country.
Example: If you are only traveling to Spain, you must apply for your visa at a Spanish embassy or consulate.
Case 2: If you plan to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for your visa at the consulate of your original destination country (the country where you will spend most of your days).
Example: If your itinerary is 10 days with 4 days in Spain and 6 days in France, you will need to apply for your visa at the French Consulate as you will be spending more time in France.
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Case 3: If you plan to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination (same amount of days in each country), you must apply for your visa to the consul of the country of your first point of entry. Apply in the box.
Example: If your itinerary is for 10 days, of which you will spend first 5 days in the Netherlands and then 5 days in France, you will need to apply for a visa at the Netherlands Consulate because the Netherlands is your entry point. The first is the port.
You must apply for your Schengen visa 15 days before your trip. Otherwise, your application will not be accepted.
You can apply for your visa up to 6 months in advance. So, apply as soon as possible to avoid delays, denials and disappointments.
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There is a plan to implement an online Schengen visa system. But so far, the visa can only be applied in person. Visa application is a 4 step process.
You can apply for a Schengen visa through a visa/travel agency in some countries. Travel agencies that offer holiday packages to Europe are usually allowed to apply for a visa on your behalf.
Filling the application form can be done online or offline depending on the Schengen country. For example, for France the application form is online while for Spain, it is paper.
Photo should be 4.5cm x 3.5cm. That is 4.5 cm high and 3.5 cm wide. The face should be 3.2 to 3.6 cm or 70-80% of the image.
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Submission of travel medical insurance is mandatory for Schengen visa. You must attach a certificate of travel health insurance with 100% coverage in the Schengen area or worldwide with no deductibles or co-payments.
You can buy Schengen travel insurance from any online provider. If your visa is rejected, you can cancel and get a refund. Once you have purchased travel insurance for your desired dates, you can download a visa letter that you can submit with your visa application.
The Schengen visa fee for an adult is approximately €80 EUR. For children aged 6 to 12, it is €40 EUR. Children under 6 years of age are exempted from paying visa fee.
Fees must be paid in local currency, in cash or bank money order. Most Schengen consulates outsource the visa process to VFS or BLS. Therefore, apart from the visa fee, you may also have to pay fees for biometric collection and courier services.
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Schengen visa processing can take anywhere from 15 calendar days to 45 calendar days depending on the consulate, country or agent. Do not apply more than 15 days before your trip. Otherwise, your application will not be accepted.
You do not need to fill out an arrival/departure card when entering the Schengen area. Don’t panic if your flight attendant didn’t give you an arrival/departure card on your flight.
At immigration, you will usually be asked about your final destination, the places you will be visiting and the number of days you plan to stay. You may also be asked if this is your first time in Europe.
The immigration officer will stamp your passport on arrival. The number of days you are allowed to stay will not be marked on your passport.
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As always, carry a copy of your return ticket and hotel booking. If you are traveling on a one-way ticket, don’t forget to get the onward ticket proof.
You must go through passport control when exiting the Schengen area. You will not be asked any questions unless you have overstayed your visa. Passport control is fairly quick, about 10-15 minutes depending on the airport.
The minimum bank balance required for a Schengen visa depends on the country you are applying from and the length of your stay. As a general rule, you should have at least €60 per day to stay in the Schengen area. It should cover your travel expenses including accommodation, food and transportation.
Yes, the Schengen visa covers Switzerland. Switzerland is a member of the Schengen area. You can travel to Switzerland and other Schengen countries with a single visa.
Europe Tourist Visa Process
There is no specific Schengen visa that is considered the most difficult to obtain. But visa refusal statistics show that Norway, France and Belgium have the highest refusal rates.
Processing time for a Schengen visa may vary depending on the country you are applying from and the purpose of your visit. However, some countries may have faster processing times than others. For example, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are known for relatively fast transit times.
There is no particular country that gives the easiest Schengen visa. But visa refusal statistics show that Finland, Hungary, Estonia and Poland have the lowest refusal rates.
No, US citizens do not need a visa to enter Schengen.