Schengen Visa- Types and how to apply

You may be planning a trip to one of the countries in Europe without knowing that you need a Schengen visa.

Currently, there are specific visas for every country you wish to visit. Also, for every purpose of your travel, there are still specific visas slated out for it by the country.

The Schengen visa may be the right visa you need for that travel to a European country or some other country that joined the agreement.

Supposed you need to know all about the Schengen visa and how to apply for it, this article will bring you up to speed.

What is a Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa is a European short stay visa. This kind of visa allows you to stay in any part of the Schengen area in Europe.

About 26 countries in Europe came together and agreed to take away their border regulations and create a common policy.

These countries signed a treaty among themselves for their citizens to travel around the member states without a visa.

However, other nationals that are not part of this agreement will need to apply for a Schengen visa to visit any of those countries. More so, with your Schengen visa, you can stay for 90 days in any of those countries.

Countries you can visit with a Schengen visa

These countries require that you visit with your Schengen short-stay visa.

  • Belgium
  • Estonia
  • Austria
  • Czechia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Iceland
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Liechtenstein
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • Slovakia
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Slovenia

Other countries also joined the treaty. Joining the treaty made them a Schengen area.

Types of Schengen visas

Now, this type of visa has different types and what each is used for.

That is, the type of Schengen visa you need depends on your reasons for traveling.

So, there are:

Airport transit visa

The Schengen airport transit visa is a document you must carry with you as a non-Schengen area national.

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This visa is necessary if you must land in an airport in the Schengen area before proceeding to your destination with another flight

Moreover, you can just apply for the regular Schengen visa if you need to alight in more than one Schengen area.

Medical visit visa

Obtaining a medical treatment visa signifies that you want to visit a Schengen area for medical appointments.

Since this type of visa has a 90-day short stay, you must be sure that your medical appointments fall within that duration.

Notwithstanding, should your medical appointments and treatments surpass the 90-day limit, you can leave the medical treatment visa and apply for a national visa.

Visitor visa

If the idea is to visit any family member or friends living in the Schengen area, you must apply for a visitor visa.

Your visit must be planned around the 90-day visiting window. 

The embassy sticks a sticker on your passport as a visitor visa. At the border, you present the pasted sticker page to the border guards for further assessment.

Meanwhile, your stay duration may be less than the regular 90-days. 

Not everybody gets the 90 days privilege on their Schengen short-stay visa.

Tourism visa

The Schengen tourist visa permits you to enter any of the Schengen areas for a 90-day tourism visit. Contrarily, tourists visiting other member states do not need to apply for a visa through any 26 countries.

Business visa

Business purposes have their type of visa. Everyone visiting any of these countries but not a national of any must apply and obtain this visa.

It will allow you to go to these countries and facilitate any business you have in mind, so long it is legal.

Cultural visa

The cultural visa covers any event that includes: religion, sports, culture, and film. Visiting any program with these events must need a cultural, film, sports, and religious visa.

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What is the Uniform Schengen Visa?

Now, this type of visa comes in three different forms. More so, it is for people that travel within these areas every six months.

That is, going to the Schengen area, staying for 90 days, going back to your country of residence, and repeating every six months.

The uniform Schengen visas are:

The single entry visa

Your single entry visa will keep you in your choice Schengen area for 90 days. After which you can leave.

So, we advise you to stay until your visa’s date is due, then you can leave.

The double entry visa

The double entry Schengen visa permits you to visit the country twice, so long the visa stays valid.

For instance, you can visit the country of your choice, leave the country, and come back again before your visa expires.

This is undoubtedly contrary to the single entry visa that permits only one visit.  Even if you leave before your single entry visa expires, you can not come back a second time.

Multiple entry uniform Schengen visa

Suppose you travel in and out of the Schengen area regularly and for short periods. You can apply for a multiple entry visa.

Interestingly, this visa allows you to visit the countries and leave as many times as you wish so long as your visa stays valid.

Limited Territorial Validity Visa

Now, this type of visa limits you to visiting only the Schengen country that offered you this visa. Unlike the other Schengen visas that allow you to go to any Schengen area of your choice. The Limited Territorial Validity Visa keeps you in the country you visited until your time elapsed.

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How can I apply for a Schengen visa?

There are steps that you must follow and regulations you must meet before you get these visas. So, if you wish to apply any time soon, you must:

Download and fill out the Schengen application form 

You must fill out this form online and accurately. Then, download and print it out.

Gather your documents

All your documents must be ready. The appropriate documents include:

  • Valid Passport
  • Application form
  • Passport photographs
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of accommodation

Book an appointment

You can book an appointment online from the website of the country you want to visit. When you do, you will receive a confirmation mail. 

On the day of your appointment, make sure you are bright and early. Lateness may spoil your plans for you.

Furthermore, you can submit your visa application at the embassy or consulate near you. Whether you want to spend time in multiple Schengen areas, you can submit your application to the country you want to land first.

By the way, your application should begin at least a few months before you plan to travel. That way, you’ll have enough time to take things easily and travel in style.

Pay your visa fees

Schengen visas have a fee of 80 euros attached to them. This amount is not the same for children. 

The visa fee for children till 12 years old is 45 euros. The embassy will give you a receipt for your visa fee. Also, the amount you paid remains non-refundable.

To summarize, your visit to Europe may require any of these visas. Also, your visit’s purpose will help you know the kind of visa you need. And if your country of travel is in the Schengen area, remember to pack a bag that will last you 90 days. 


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