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Schengen visa

The Schengen Visa is a short-stay European visa that permits holders to travel anywhere within the Schengen Area.

This visa enables you to travel to any Schengen country for up to 90 days in total during a 180-day period.
For support and guidance with Schengen visa applications, contact total Law today at +1 844 290 6312 or through our other contact methods.

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    What is the Schengen Visa?

    Nationals of eligible nations can travel for a short duration within the Schengen Area using a Schengen Visa. The Schengen Area consists of 26 European countries that have agreed to abolish all internal borders and have a common visa policy. However, there may be differences in application procedures and required documentation.

    The Schengen Area is currently the most extensive free travel territory in the world as there are no border controls within member countries. A Schengen visa is required for entry into any of the member nations by citizens of any country that is not a member of the Schengen Area and does not have a Visa Facilitation Agreement with the EU. Those under the visa-free regime will be required to apply for ETIAS starting from May 2023.

    The Schengen Visa is the most common type for entering Europe and allows you to travel freely within member States. The Schengen Visa is a short-stay visa only valid for 90 days. You cannot use this visa to live, study, or work in Europe. To do any of these activities, you must apply for a national visa for the European country where you wish to stay.

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    Schengen Member Countries

    You can visit every Schengen area member state with a valid Schengen visa. The countries listed below are Schengen countries;

    • 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

    Besides these Schengen countries, certain non_Schengen countries will permit you entry with a valid Schengen visa. These include;

    • Albania
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Belarus
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Bulgaria
    • Colombia
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Georgia
    • Gibraltar
    • Kosovo
    • North Macedonia
    • Montenegro
    • Romania
    • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Serbia
    • Turkey

    Types of Schengen Visas

    There are majorly two categories of Schengen visas. These visas differ based on the number of European countries you can visit and the number of entries you are allowed.

    Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)

    The USV allows holders to travel and stay in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days every six months.

    There are three types of Uniform Schengen visas:

    • The single-entry visa that allows holders to enter a Schengen country only once and stay until the expiration of the visa validity. Single entry visas do not permit you to re-enter the country once you have left, even if your visa has not expired.
    • The double-entry visa that allows holders to enter a Schengen country twice within the time of visa validity. You are not permitted to re-enter the nation if you enter it twice and depart the second time before the visa expires since the visa is deemed to have expired after the second exit.
    • The multiple-entry visa that allows holders to enter and leave the Schengen Zone as often as they please as long as their visa is valid.

    An Airport Transit Visa is a subcategory of the Uniform Schengen Visa that allows nationals of non-Schengen countries to change their flight in one of the airports of this zone.

    This visa applies when the visitor has to wait overnight in the Schengen country or transit within the country to an airport where they can take their next flight.

    Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)

    The holder of a visa with limited territorial validity (LTV) is only permitted to travel inside the Schengen member state where the visa was issued. The LTV visa does not allow transiting from one nation to another. This visa is considered a Uniform Visa Exception and is only granted for specific international commitments or humanitarian causes.

    What is the National Visa?

    Individuals who plan to live permanently, work, or study in one of the Schengen Area nations are issued national visas.

    The National Visa is ordinarily a single-entry visa with a short validity. This would detail the particular objective of the applicant’s visa application. However, certain circumstances allow travellers to apply for a multi-entry National Visa.

    These include cases where the applicant is;

    • enrolled in an international educational program with a maximum length of 1 year, demonstrated through an official document;
    • applying for pedagogical work at higher research or academic center
    • A professional who is travelling to Europe due to their proficiency in sports, arts, or any other profession related to sharing expertise
    • An emergency prevents the applicant from returning to their home country, and they are required to remain in the Schengen Area for a specific period.

    The application process for a Schengen Visa

    Applying for the Schengen visa requires that you complete the following steps.

    Step 1: Fill out the online Application form and book an appointment

    First, you must complete the Schengen visa online application form. Ensure that you provide correct information throughout, then print two copies of the submitted form and sign them. Afterward, book an interview appointment with the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit. Ensure to do this from your country of residence.

    Gather supporting documents

    As part of your application, you will be required to submit specific supporting documents. Ensure that you have all of these documents gathered and filed properly, as any missing documents could prolong the time to get your visa.

    Attend the Appointment and Provide Biometrics

    Ensure you arrive for your appointment on time to submit all your documents. If you have never applied for a visa to Europe before, your fingerprint will be scanned at the consulate’s office.

    Pay the fees

    After submitting your documents to the consulate, you must pay the visa fee. This fee is typically 80€ and 45€ for children between the ages of six and twelve.

    After paying the fees, you will receive a receipt, which you must keep to pick up your processed application. The cost will not be reimbursed if the visa application is denied. You will have to pay the costs once more if you reapply for a visa.

    You must submit your application at least 15 days before you intend to travel to the Schengen area. However, you cannot apply earlier than three months before your planned date of travel

    Supporting Documents for Schengen Visa Application

    As part of your application for a Schengen visa, you must submit specific documents supporting your application. These documents include;

    • A valid passport with at least two empty pages. Your travel documents must have been issued within the last ten years and be valid for at least three months after the date you leave the Schengen Area.
    • Your completed visa application form.
    • Evidence that you intend to return to your home countries, such as a purchased return ticket or enough funds to buy one.
    • Two recent photographs conforming to International Civil Aviation Organization standards.
    • Proof of paid application fees
    • Travel insurance that covers any emergency medical and repatriation
    • Complete itinerary, including details of booked accommodation and means of transport within the Schengen Area
    • Evidence that you can support yourself financially during your trip.

    You must submit your passport with the visa sticker at a Schengen port of entry. Border agents might inquire about your travel in more detail. They will give you an entry stamp in your passport before permitting you to enter the Area. Without it, you may be fined or detained when leaving the EU. Additionally, your fingerprints may be taken to collect data for the Visa Information System used in some nations.

    Processing Times

    After completing your application, the consulate usually takes fifteen days to process it and send you a decision.

    However, in cases where the consulate requires further information, the processing times may take longer.

    If you want the consulate to process your application faster, you will have to pay extra for faster decisions.

    However, you may be able to receive faster decisions free of charge if;

    • you are the family member of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, and your EU/EEA citizen family member is travelling to or is residing in a member state other than that of which they are a citizen.
    • You are accompanying the EU/EEA citizen or planning to join them in the Schengen State of destination.

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      Schengen Visa Validity

      You can only stay in the entire Schengen region for 90 days within six months.

      Authorities might grant you a visa for the time you requested, or they might grant you a visa for a longer or shorter period, based on what they deem appropriate.

      Extending the Length of Stay on a Schengen Visa

      The Schengen visa cannot typically be extended. However, under certain circumstances such as; force majeure, humanitarian reasons, or severe personal reasons like health challenges, you may be allowed to extend your stay in the Schengen Area.

      You must apply for the visa extension before the expiration of your visa. If you have stayed in the Schengen area for more than 90 days within six months, you will not be allowed to extend your visa. When applying for an extension, you must show strong proof that you cannot leave the country before the expiration of your visa.

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        How can Total Law Help?

        Total Law’s team of expert immigration lawyers is always on hand to help you with your visa troubles. The requirements of the Schengen visa can be pretty perplexing. However, we aim to ensure you have a seamless application process and get your visa without hassles.

        Our immigration attorneys will help you determine your eligibility for this visa, gather supporting documents, and file the most robust application on your behalf. We will be on hand 24/7 to answer all your questions and address your concerns.

        Do not hesitate to call us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use the online form to get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  If the embassy or consulate of the destination country you have applied to refuses your Schengen visa, they will inform you in writing why they rejected your application. You can appeal against the decision or make a new application. Total Law’s attorneys can help you through the appeal process or file a stronger new application. Ensure to contact our immigration attorneys for expert help in the case of a rejection

                  If you overstay the validity of your visa, you will first be deported and, in addition, risk never receiving a Schengen visa again. Ensure to depart Europe once your visa expires.