We decided to go on a Schengen journey of exploring what led to this Visa, what it consists and many other exciting benefits that it holds for Indian citizens. While most of you have already heard about the Schengen Visa, for people who don’t about it yet – you are about to discover the most brilliant Visa that ever existed!
WHAT IS A SCHENGEN VISA?
Schengen Visa in simple terms is a visa required to travel for a short duration to any or all of the 26 Schengen countries. The reason why a common visa works for all of these countries is because these countries have no border controls between them. Here is the exciting part – All the 26 Schengen countries are a part of Europe! This basically means it is possible to go on Europe trip without having to struggle for a Visa every time you wish to be in some other part of Europe.
Be it just one of the Schengen countries (e.g. Spain) or a group of Schengen countries (e.g. Spain, France, Germany) or all the Schengen countries, you will require a Schengen Visa on your Indian Passport. You may visit only those Schengen countries that your Visa is valid for.
WHY IS IT CALLED SCHENGEN VISA?
The Schengen Visa is a result of the Schengen agreement signed between 22 European Union (EU) countries for a simplified traveling across Europe and to boost the economy. The convention for this agreement was signed on June 19, 1990 in a little village called Schengen in Luxembourg. The agreement thus came to be known as the Schengen agreement which in turn led to the name – Schengen Visa.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE COVERED BY THE SCHENGEN VISA?
The Schengen Area consists of 26 countries in the European continent.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF SCHENGEN VISAS?
1) Based on geographical validity
– Uniform Visa: You may travel to all or any of the Schengen countries for a valid duration.
– Limited territorial validity: You may travel only to the country mentioned on the visa sticker, but not to any of the other Schengen States.
2) Based on number of entries:
– Single Entry visa:
You will be allowed to enter the Schengen territory only once for a period of 90 days. To enter again, a gap of 180 days from your first day of the visit, and a new Visa will be required.
– Multiple-entry visa:
You may enter twice or multiple times in one or more Schengen nations. Each visit can be of maximum 90 days stay starting from the day of entry. These 90 days can be either a continuous stay or it can be spread over several visits. However, in a period of 6 months your total duration cannot be more than 90 days. This period of 6 months begins on the first day of your entry in the Schengen territory. E.g.: if you enter the Schengen territory on 1st June and exit in 20 days, you will have 70 more days left (till the end of 180 days from 1st of June). After the end of 180 days, you will be allowed 90 days of stay again for the next set of 180 days.
Confusing? You might want to check out the Schengen Calculator which makes it easy to calculate your days in the Schengen territory. This especially comes in handy when you are traveling and wish to make sure that you are in the territory in your legal and valid period.
Also, note that once your visa expires, you won’t be allowed to stay in any of the Schengen countries, even if your 90 days stay isn’t complete at that point of time.
APPLying for SCHENGEN VISA for Indian Citizens:
In India, applying for a Schengen Visa will mean providing all the information – from your flight details to your hotel bookings. Thus, it can be a long & expensive process to get the Schengen Visa for Indian Citizens. It can take around two weeks to two months to arrive. You can read more about the fees, the complete process and some quick tips in our post about applying for a Schengen Visa from India: A step by step guide.
While we have tried to make sure to include all as well as correct information, we would love to know about your experience or suggestions too. Be it any interesting fact related to Schengen Visa for Indian Citizens or an equally interesting question, the comment box is all yours!