To understand the nitty-gritties of Schengen Visa, it is first important to understand what Schengen is. It refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries. It should also be mentioned here that it is the largest free-travel area in the world.
So, what actually is a Schengen visa?
If you are planning to visit one of the member countries of the Schengen region for business or travelling, you can apply for the Schengen visa. In other words, a Schengen visa is a short-stay visa that permits holders to stay for up to 90 days in any of the member countries. In fact, the holder of this visa can move freely between European countries who are the members of the Schengen region.
However, if the holder is planning to study, work or live in one of the regions, you have to have the visa of the respective country.
Schengen visa specification
All nationals of third world countries who have not reached a visa-liberalization agreement with the Schengen committee, need to get a visa to enter Europe. Non EU nationals are subject to restrictions depending on their nationality. The documents that are mandatory for admission into the EU region are:
A Valid Passport: It should have been issued within a period of 10 years and should continue to be valid for 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU.
Schengen Visa: If you are a national of one of the third countries in need of a visa.
Some of the other documents that are required at the entry point include proof of sufficient funds, proof of accommodation, the intent of stay and the term period of staying, the round-trip flight booking, purpose of entry, invitation letter and more. Having said that, it is important to get the documents stamped when you enter the Schengen state. Without a stamp, one could even be detained.
Applying for a Schengen visa
For any short-term visit, one would require a Schengen visa. And for that, the following documents are required:
The visa application form: This needs to be duly filled and signed by the party.
Recent photos: Three recent passport photos, clicked in the last 3 months, should be submitted.
Travel Insurance policy: It is an important document to help you out in the times of unwarranted situations like demise or accidents. This document will also prove that you have travel health insurance covered for the entire EU region.
Proof of accommodation: This document shows that you have a place to live in when you land in the country. This could be anything between a rental agreement with your house owner or a hostel booking and a letter of invitation from a host who could be inviting you at their house.
Financial statement: This is evidence of the fact that you have enough money for your stay and trips around the Schengen countries. These bank account statements should not be older than 3 months. If you have a sponsorer, the latter should be able to provide you the same as a proof of intent.
Evidence of paid visa fee: €80 for adults and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.