A Complete Guide to Schengen Visa Types, Validity Periods and Stay Duration
If you are heading to any of the Schengen countries, you may be a citizen of a country that requires a visa to be able to enter and stay in your chosen destination. The visa you apply for will depend on the reason you are traveling. To help you apply, here’s a guide to the types of Schengen visas available.
Uniform Schengen Visa
With a Uniform Schengen Visa, you will be permitted to travel to any of the Schengen countries up to a maximum of 90 days. There are two categories of this type of visa:
- Type A – This visa is called an Airport Transit visa and certain nationalities will need this type of visa if they are traveling to a non-Schengen country and transiting through a Schengen country airport. Travelers of the following countries need an Airport Transit visa: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka. Travelers must remain in the international zone of the airport. Citizens of the above countries and all other travelers must apply for the correct visa if they wish to leave the airport and enter a Schengen country.
- Type C – This visa is a short-term visa which will allow travelers to enter and stay in their chosen Schengen country for as long as the visa is valid for, up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period. These types of visa are issued as single, double or multiple entry.
Single Entry Visa
If you are issued a Single Entry visa, you will be permitted to enter any of the Schengen countries once for as long as the visa is valid for. If you enter a country and then leave, you cannot use the visa again even if the visa is still valid
Double Entry Visa
The Double Entry visa will allow the holder to enter a country twice during the time the visa is valid for. Therefore, you can enter a Schengen country, leave and then enter a second time. Again, if you have entered two times and then leave, you will not be permitted to enter again unless you apply for a new visa. Remember, you can only enter the Schengen Area up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period regardless of how many times you can enter.
Multiple Entry Visa
If you plan to travel to the Schengen Area a lot, you may apply for a Multiple Entry visa which will allow you to enter any of the Schengen countries as many times as you like within the duration of the visa. This type of visa may be useful for business travel, but stays should still not exceed the maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. Multiple Entry visas can be valid for 1, 3 or 5 years.
Limited Territory Visa
The Limited Territory visa allows people to travel to only the Schengen country that the embassy has specified and agreed to. Holders of this type of visa will not be allowed to enter any other Schengen country other than the one that is stated on the visa issued.
National visas or Type D visas are available for travelers wanting to stay in the Schengen Area for longer than 90 days for such purposes as study, work or living there. With a National visa, you can stay for up to 1 year.
Types of National Visas
Once you have been issued a National visa, you may apply for a residence permit if you plan to stay longer than 1 year. National visas are usually issued if you are planning to go to the Schengen Area for any of the following reasons:
- If you have enroled on a study program for longer than 3 months
- To work in any of the Schengen countries
- To live in any of the Schengen countries if you are married to an EU citizen
- To retire
- For investment purposes or are setting up a business and have to be in Europe to do this
Visa Types for Purpose of Travel
The reason why you are traveling to the Schengen Area is the most important aspect when applying for a visa. This will determine what type of visa you need to apply for. When making a visa application, you need to apply for the correct visa type otherwise your application could be rejected.
Tourist/Visitor Visa – this visa is for tourism purposes only. If you are going on holiday or as part of a tour and the sole reason for travel is as a tourist, this is the visa you will apply for.
Business Visa – if you are planning on visiting the Schengen Area to conduct business, attending a meeting with your company. You will need proof of the type of business you are planning to carry out in order to get this visa
Airport Transit Visa – if you are traveling to a non-Schengen country, but changing planes in a Schengen airport, you may need an Airport Transit visa. You are not permitted to leave the international zone of the airport. If you want to do this, then you must be in possession of a Schengen visa to be able to enter the country
Student Visa – this visa is required if you want to study in any of the Schengen countries for a maximum of 3 months. If you plan to study for longer, then a long-stay visa or National visa will be more suitable. You will need proof of the study program to apply for this visa
Cultural / Sports/ Religious events – there are visas available to apply for if you are attending a cultural, sports or religious event in the Schengen Area. These visas are usually valid for up to 90 days and you will need a letter of invitation and details of the event
Visa for official visits – these type of visas are for people who have received an official invitation to go to any of the countries in the Schengen Area for meetings or consultations, negotiations and exchange programs
Working Visa – there are no Schengen visas that permit you to work in Europe, so if you want to work in Europe, the only type of visa you can apply for is a National Visa. You will need this type of visa if you are planning to do any of the following kinds of employment:
- Working as an Au Pair
- Professionals who have experience and/or specialist knowledge
- Working on a self-employed basis
- Starting up a business
Visa for medical purposes – if you need to go to a Schengen country for medical purposes, this is the visa you should apply for
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides, Visa Packages and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.