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Information about Schengen Countries

The Schengen Visa has made traveling between its 15 European member countries. Traveling on a Schengen Visa means that the visa holder can travel to any (or all) member countries using one single visa. This is particularly beneficial for persons who wish to visit several European countries on the same trip. 

Upon the issuance of the visa, the visa holder is allowed to enter all member countries and travel freely throughout the Schengen area. It is strongly recommended to plan your journey within the timeframe of the Schengen Visa as extensions can be very difficult to obtain, thus forcing you to leave to stay in compliance with the Schengen rules and regulations. A Schengen visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen countries for a maximum stay of up to 90 days in a 6 month period. 

The following  countries are currently active Schengen Visa members

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are all Schengen countries.

All Schengen countries are in Europe. Schengen and European Union are two different agreements between European countries. A total of 30 countries, including all European Union countries (except Ireland and United Kingdom) and three non-EU members (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) have signed the Schengen agreement. However, only 15 countries have implemented the common border control and visa provisions.

Schengen Tourist Visa

Applications for Schengen visas are generally issued in one of three categories, The Airport Transit Visa, The Transit Visa and the Short Stay Visa, although in practice, the majority of applications are for the last option.

Airport Transit visas:

These allow their holders to travel through the international transit zone in a Schengen member nation on the way to their final destination, but do not allow visitors to enter the territory of the country.

Transit Visas:

These allow visitors to travel through the national territory of several Schengen nations en route to a final destination, however, the transit period must not be greater than five days.

Short Stay visas:

A short stay Schengen visa entitles the holder to visit the Schengen countries for tourism, visiting friends/family, business etc., up to 90 days within a 180 day period from the date of first entry. The stay may be either continuous or several visits depending upon whether the visa is single or multiple entry. 

a. Single-entry visa: Allows uninterrupted stay. Once the person departs the Schengen territory, he/she can't enter again without obtaining a new visa. 

b. Multiple-entry visa: Allows multiple stays in one or more Schengen countries, as long as the total length of the stay does not exceed 90 days in a given 180 day period from the date of first entry. The stay may either be continuous or spread over several visits within the validity periods of the visa, but no more than the number of entries authorized by the visa. A multiple entry visa may be valid for 1 year. If the entries show "02", you are allowed 2 entries. If the entries show "MULT", you are allowed more than 2 entries. 
A multiple entry visa is not issued at all the embassies/consulates. 

If the validity of the visa is over while visiting the Schengen territory, the person can no longer stay in the Schengen territory even if the person has not stayed for 90 days. Additionally, the visa will expire when the total number of exits made by the visa holder equals the number of authorized entries, even if the visa holder has not used up the number of days authorized by the visa. 

Checklist for Tourist Visa Application

NOTE : Original Documents to be shown for Verification at the time of Submission of Application 

  • 3 recent passport-size photograph (white background)
  • Passport having validity of atleast 90 days
  • Travel itinerary, if not supported by Sponsorship Letter 
  • Proof of social and/ or professional status(For Example Covering Letter detailing the Purpose of the Trip, or leave authorization from the employer of the applicant,  proof of Board Membership for liberal professionals, letter from Medical Institutions in case of doctors, from University in casen of researchers, etc.)
  • Proof in Original of adequate Financial Guarantees viz. Sponsors Financial capabilty in the Host country, Legal Status in the Host Country & duly sworn in Sponsorship Letter OR Financial Report by the certified Chartered Accountant clearly certifying the Net worth of the Applicant which must include both the Movable and Immovable Assets held by the Applicant along with Documentry proof.
  1. Salary Slips/Certificates of the last Three Months
  2. Status of Personal Bank Account for the Last Six Months (along with Balance Confirmation Certificate issued by the Bank) 
  3. Income Tax Challans (Last Three Years) 
  4. Foreign Exchange Endorsement on the Passport and Receipt 
  5. Credit card copy with statement of credit limit 
  6. Bank Guarantee from the Sponsor in Host Country 
  • Confirmed Hotel Booking covering entire period of stay    
  • Sponsorship letter from the sponsor in Host Country accompanied by : Attested copy of Sponsor’s Stay Permit), Renewal slip in case Permit is expired and attested copy of the Sponsor's Passport (all pages)
  • A confirmed Return Flight Reservation.
  • Overseas Medical Insurance with Minimum Coverage of Euro30,000 - with the inclusion of a repatriation clause
  • Insurance Declaration Form
  • For children / Students (Application to be signed by both parents)In case a minor is travelling unaccompanied or with only one of the parents a No-Objection Letter from the Parent who is not travelling needs to be submitted.
  • One Photocopy of Passport (Front & Last Page)
  • Photocopy of all observations in the Passport
The above stated list of Documents is merely tentative & the requirements of individual countries in Schengen may differ.

Process Time for Schengen Tourist Visa

2 and 10 working days to get a Schengen visa 

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