The Schengen Area is a group of 27 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of controls at their mutual borders. It is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement. The countries that are part of the Schengen Area are:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, 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.
If you are a citizen of a country outside of the European Union and you want to visit the Schengen Area for a short stay (90 days or less), you will need to apply for a Schengen visa. The process for applying for a Schengen visa is generally the same for all countries, but the specific requirements may vary depending on your country of citizenship.
Here are the steps you need to follow to apply for a Schengen visa:
- Determine the type of visa you need: There are several types of Schengen visas, including tourist visas, business visas, and transit visas. You will need to determine which type of visa is appropriate for your trip.
- Find out where to apply: You will need to apply for your visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you will be staying in for the longest period of time, or the country you will be visiting first if you are staying in multiple countries for equal amounts of time.
- Collect the required documents: You will need to gather a number of documents to support your visa application, including a valid passport, a completed visa application form, passport-size photographs, proof of travel insurance, and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay. You may also need to provide other documents depending on the purpose of your trip and your country of citizenship.
- Submit your application: You will need to submit your application in person at the embassy or consulate where you will be applying. You may also need to pay a visa fee at this time.
- Wait for a decision: It may take several weeks for your application to be processed. You will be notified by the embassy or consulate when a decision has been made on your application.
It is important to apply for your Schengen visa well in advance of your trip, as the process can take several weeks. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and documents that are required for your specific country of citizenship.
READ: HOW TO OBTAIN A SCHENGEN VISA: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE