What Is A Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a visa issued by a country within the European Union (EU) that forms part of the Schengen State. Foreign citizens from a country that is not part of the European Union require a Schengen visa if they intend to travel to a country that is part of the EU or European Free Trade Association (AEFTA). A Schengen visa enables the passport holder entry into countries that form part of the Schengen State who are then able to travel freely throughout the Schengen zone. Internal border controls have disappeared and there are little or no stops and checks within the zone.
Do I need a Schengen visa?
Citizens from the following countries do not usually require a Schengen visa: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia & Herzogovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Sant Kitts and Nevis, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Taiwan*, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City and Venezuela. *conditions apply
If you are not from one of these countries, however, you will need to apply for a Schengen Visa.
Do I Qualify For A Schengen Visa?
In order to qualify for a Schengen Visa you need to show that you have enough funding for the duration of your trip, be resident in the United Kingdom, have a paid-for hotel reservation or if staying with friends or family have an invitation letter from them, and have a confirmed return ticket and travel insurance. If you are in employment you will require 3 months’ payslips and 3 months bank statements and a recent letter from your employer. If you are unemployed you will need to show that you have enough maintenance to cover the duration of your trip.
Period of Validity
If you have a Schengen Visa, you will be permitted to transit through a Schengen State, including transiting through international airports and visit a Schengen State for up to 90 days in any six-month period (short-stay visa).