What is the Schengen area?
The Schengen area gathers 25 European countries : Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain , Sweden and Switzerland. This is an area of free movement of persons. According to the Treaty implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985, the 24 Member States have abolished checks on persons at the time of crossing of their internal borders. Henceforth the checks on persons is only carried out at the time of crossing of the external border of a Member State, which then acts on behalf of all of the other States of the Schengen area.
What is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa is a permit granted in the form of a sticker. It enables its holder to enter the territories of the 15 Schengen States to pay an uninterrupted visit (single-entry visa) or several visits (multiple-entry visa), whose duration is indicated on the sticker with a maximum of three months (90 days) in any half-year as from the date of first entry in the Schengen area.
Can I extend my visa?
A visa may be extended if new facts have arisen since the visa was issued. Applications to extend a visa must be duly substantiated by force majeure, humanitarian grounds or serious occupational or personal reasons. A visa extension may not result in the duration of the stay exceeding 90 days. The Schengen State which is competent to extend the visa is the one where the applicant happens to be when the extension is requested.
Where do I apply?
You must apply with the visa section of the embassy or the consulate which is responsible for your application. Processing the visa application belongs to the embassy or the consulate of the Schengen country in whose territory the main destination of the visit is situated. If the country of main destination cannot be determined, then the embassy or the consulate of the Schengen country of first entry will have to process the application. In most cases the main destination is determined by the number of days the applicant plans to stay in one of the Schengen countries. If you intend to spend an identical number of days in various Schengen countries, then the embassy or the consulate of the Schengen country of first entry will be in charge of processing the application.
If the State responsible has no diplomatic mission or consular post in a certain country, the visa may be issued by representation by the mission or post of the State which represents the interests of the State responsible in the given third country. The visa is then issued on behalf of the Schengen State that is being represented, subject to its prior authorisation.
How do I apply?
The following documentation is required :
- a passport whose validity must exceed that of the visa by three month.
- a duly completed visa application form : view and use the harmonised Schengen visa form.
- the documents supporting the purpose and the conditions of the intended trip, see table below :
|Purpose of the trip
||Conditions of the trip
|Tourism or private reasons
||invitation from host
||hotel reservation, lease, title-deed
||invitation from company or public body
||airline return ticket, car rental
||certificate of enrolment
||Means of subsistence
||cash, travellers' cheques, credit cards
||entry ticket, proof of organized trip
||valid travel insurance
How much is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa costs 60 €. This legal fee is not refundable in the event of visa refusal. Schengen visas are issued free of charge to the spouse and the children under 21 years of age of a European Union citizen.
Why do I need to purchase a travel insurance?
Since June 2004, a travel insurance is required by the European law to obtain a Schengen visa. Visa applicants must show that they are in possession of a valid travel insurance with a minimum cover of 30,000 € in order to face any expenses which may arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention or emergency hospital treatment.
Can I change the period of insurance cover?
The period of insurance cover may only be changed prior to the coming into force of the travel insurance contract. The present application form must be used. Please bear in mind that cover dates will only be modified once the concerned Embassy or Consulate has been duly informed of the changes occurred.
Can I get refunded if my visa was denied?
Should your visa be denied by the competent authority, your travel insurance may be refunded prior to the coming into force of the contract, on the condition that you provide us with an official proof of the denial in question. The refund will always exclude the transaction costs and the possible money transfer and currency change costs.
Do I need a Schengen visa?
Unless you are a resident of one of the Schengen countries, you need a Schengen visa if you are a national of one of the following countries :
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
SAO TOME AND
ST KITTS AND NEVIS
ST VINCENT AND THE
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES