A Schengen Visa is a travel document that allows a person to enter the Schengen area for a specific period of time. The Schengen Area refers to the area that includes the European countries that are members of the Schengen Agreement and includes 26 countries issuing Schengen visas, 22 EU member states, and 4 EFTA members (European Free Trade Association).
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Schengen Visa 2023: Fees, Steps & Requirements
A valid Schengen visa issued by any of the Schengen countries allows you to travel to other Schengen countries as long as you have proof of pre-existing travel arrangements, you can enter any other country in the Schengen area with the same visa after entering the Schengen area through the country of the issuing authority.
We help you understand the requirements, collect the right documents, prepare for the interview, and apply with confidence.
We will explain the following details to you in this article:
- Schengen Visa Countries
- Schengen Visa Requirements 2023
- How to apply for a Schengen visa
- Schengen Visa Application Process
- Do I need a Schengen visa for 2023?
- Schengen visa fees
- Required documents for obtaining a Schengen visa 2023
- Schengen visa insurance
- Schengen visa map
The Schengen Area is a zone comprising 26 European countries that have abolished internal border controls and allow free movement of people within the area. Here are the 26 Schengen countries:
- Czech Republic
These countries have implemented the Schengen Agreement, which allows travelers to move freely within the area using a single Schengen visa. It’s important to note that while some countries, like Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland, are not members of the European Union (EU), they are part of the Schengen Area. On the other hand, some EU member states, such as Ireland and the United Kingdom, have chosen not to be part of the Schengen Area and maintain their own border controls.
Schengen Visa Requirements 2023
To obtain a Schengen visa, which allows you to travel within the Schengen Area, you generally need to meet certain requirements. Please note that the requirements may vary slightly depending on the specific Schengen country you plan to visit. Here are the general requirements:
Visa Application Form: Complete and sign the Schengen visa application form, providing accurate and truthful information.
Passport: Have a valid passport that is not older than 10 years and will remain valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure from the Schengen Area. The passport must have at least two blank pages.
Photograph: Submit recent passport-sized photographs meeting the specifications set by the respective embassy or consulate.
Travel Itinerary: Provide a detailed travel itinerary, including flight reservations (round trip) or other means of transportation, along with accommodation details such as hotel bookings or an invitation letter if you plan to stay with someone.
Travel Health Insurance: Show proof of travel health insurance coverage that meets the minimum requirements, including a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros for medical emergencies, hospitalization, and repatriation.
Proof of Financial Means: Demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to cover your travel expenses and stay in the Schengen Area. This can be done by providing bank statements, sponsorship letters, or a combination of both.
Proof of Accommodation: Provide documentation proving where you will be staying during your visit, such as hotel reservations or an invitation letter from a host if you plan to stay with someone.
Proof of Employment or Study: Submit documents to prove your employment status or enrollment in an educational institution, such as an employment contract, letter from the employer, or student ID.
Travel Purpose: Clearly state the purpose of your visit, whether it’s tourism, business, family visit, or any other relevant reason. Provide supporting documents accordingly, such as an invitation letter, conference registration, or family-related documents.
Additional Requirements: Depending on the embassy or consulate, you may need to provide additional documents, such as proof of ties to your home country, travel history, or a No Objection Letter (NOC) from your employer.
It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures can vary between Schengen countries, so it’s advisable to consult the website of the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Schengen visa fees 2023
The Schengen visa fees can vary depending on several factors, including the applicant’s age, nationality, and the specific Schengen country they are applying to. The fees are typically set by each individual country and may be subject to change. Here are some general guidelines regarding Schengen visa fees:
Adult Applicants: The standard visa fee for adult applicants is €80. However, in certain cases, such as for citizens of certain countries or applicants who require additional administrative processing, the fee may be higher.
Reduced Fees: Some categories of applicants may be eligible for reduced or waived visa fees. This includes children between the ages of 6 and 12, who usually pay a reduced fee of €40. Applicants from certain countries with visa facilitation agreements with the EU may also have reduced fees.
Exemptions: Certain categories of applicants are exempt from paying the visa fee. This may include children under the age of 6, students and researchers traveling for specific purposes, and family members of EU/EEA citizens.
It’s important to note that additional service charges may apply when submitting the visa application through external visa centers or agencies. Moreover, fees for specific visa types, such as multiple-entry visas or visas with extended validity, may differ.
To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on Schengen visa fees, it is recommended to check the website of the embassy or consulate of the specific Schengen country where you plan to apply. They will provide detailed information about the fees, payment methods, and any specific requirements or exemptions that may apply to your situation.
Is a Schengen visa required? Do I need a Schengen visa?
You will need to apply for a Schengen visa before visiting the countries listed above if you hold a passport from the following countries:
Afghanistan – Algeria – Angola – Armenia – Azerbaijan
Bahrain – Bangladesh – Belarus – Belize – Benin – Bhutan – Bolivia – Botswana – BurkinaFaso – Burma/Myanmar – Burundi
Cambodia – Cameroon – CapeVerde – CentralAfricanRepublic – Chad – China – Colombia – Congo Côte d’Ivoire – Cuba
Democratic Republic of the Congo – Djibouti – Dominica – Dominican Republic
Ecuador – Egypt – Eritrea – Ethiopia – Equatorial Guinea
Gabon – Gambia – Georgia – Ghana – Grenada – Guinea – Guinea-Bissau – Guyana
India – Indonesia – Iran – Iraq
Jamaica – Jordan
Kazakhstan – Kenya – Kiribati – Kuwait – Kyrgyzstan
Laos – Lebanon – Lesotho – Liberia – Libya
Madagascar – Malawi – Maldives – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritania – Micronesia Moldova – Mongolia – Morocco – Mozambique
Namibia – Nauru – Nepal – Niger – Nigeria – North Korea
Pakistan – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Peru – Philippines
Russia – Rwanda
Saint Lucia – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Samoa – São Tomé and Príncipe – Saudi Arabia – Senegal – Sierra Leone – Solomon Islands – Somalia – South Africa – SriLanka – Sudan – Surinam – Swaziland – Syria
Tajikistan – Tanzania – Thailand – The Comoros – Tunisia – Turkey – Timor-Leste – Togo Tonga – Trinidad and Tobago – Turkmenistan – Tuvalu
Uganda – Ukraine – United Arab Emirates – Uzbekistan
Vanuatu – Vietnam
Zambia – Zimbabwe
You do not have to be in the country of your citizenship to apply for a Schengen visa. You can do this from the country of your permanent residence, but you will have to provide proof of your legal status there.
Schengen Visa Application Process 2023
The Schengen visa application process typically involves several steps. While the exact procedures may vary slightly depending on the specific Schengen country you are applying to, here is a general overview of the application process:
Determine the Schengen Country: Identify the Schengen country where you will be spending the majority of your time or the first country you plan to enter.
Gather Required Documents: Collect all the necessary documents for your visa application. These may include a completed visa application form, a valid passport, photographs, travel itinerary, travel health insurance, proof of financial means, accommodation details, and any additional documents required by the embassy or consulate.
Schedule an Appointment: Contact the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country where you will be applying to schedule a visa appointment. It’s important to do this well in advance, as appointment availability may vary.
Submit Application: Attend the visa appointment in person and submit your application along with the required documents. Depending on the country, you may also be required to provide biometric data, such as fingerprints, during the appointment.
Pay the Visa Fee: Pay the applicable visa fee during the appointment. The fee amount and payment methods may vary depending on the country.
Application Processing: After submitting your application, it will undergo processing by the embassy or consulate. The processing time can vary, but it generally takes a few weeks. During this time, the authorities will review your application, conduct necessary checks, and make a decision on your visa.
Collect Your Visa: Once your visa application is processed, you will be notified to collect your passport and visa. This can usually be done in person at the embassy or consulate. Make sure to check the specific instructions provided to you during the application process.
Apply for a Schengen Visa 2023
Firstly, you will need to book your appointment in advance. It is advisable to plan it at least 15 days before your intended departure, but not earlier than 12 weeks of travel.
Fill out the application form and check that no empty fields are left. If some answers can not be given-write N / A in the appropriate field.
After making your appointment and filling out the form, double-check the documents required for the application and take a passport-type photo that meets the requirements for background, size, and so on.
Attend your appointment on time, and be prepared to answer a few questions regarding your travel plans and some personal details (you may be questioned about your education, career position, and company background).
Some countries (such as Italy and France) will require you to provide biometric identifiers (fingerprints and a digital photo) as part of the visa application process. This information will be stored on the visa information system (VIS) and can be used for your next applications for Schengen visas.
Example of the Schengen visa!
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no possibility to apply for a Schengen visa via the internet instead of going to the Consulate of the chosen country in person. You need to fill out the forms, collect all the required documents (see Schengen visa required documents below), and apply directly at the consulate.
Schengen Visa Insurance
Travel health insurance is a mandatory requirement when applying for a Schengen visa. The insurance coverage should meet specific criteria set by the Schengen Area countries. Here are some key points to consider regarding Schengen visa insurance:
Coverage Requirements: The insurance must provide coverage for the entire duration of your planned stay in the Schengen Area. It should be valid in all Schengen countries and offer a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros (or equivalent in other currencies). The insurance should include medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
Insurance Provider: The insurance policy should be provided by a reputable insurance company recognized in the Schengen Area. The embassy or consulate may provide a list of accepted insurance providers, or you can find this information on their website.
Proof of Insurance: You must submit proof of travel health insurance along with your Schengen visa application. This can be in the form of an insurance certificate or policy document that clearly states the coverage details, including the coverage amount, policy dates, and the countries covered.
Additional Requirements: Some Schengen countries may have specific requirements regarding the insurance policy. For example, they may require that the insurance covers COVID-19-related medical expenses. It’s important to check the embassy or consulate website of the specific Schengen country you are applying to for any additional insurance requirements.
Validity and Cancellation: Ensure that your insurance coverage remains valid throughout your entire stay in the Schengen Area. If you need to cancel or modify your travel plans, check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to understand any applicable refund or cancellation policies.
When purchasing travel health insurance for your Schengen visa, carefully review the policy coverage and terms to ensure it meets the required criteria. It’s advisable to choose a reputable insurance provider with experience in providing coverage for Schengen visa purposes.
Required documents for obtaining a Schengen visa-checklist
Here is a checklist of the commonly required documents when applying for a Schengen visa. Please note that the specific requirements may vary depending on the country you are applying to, so it’s important to consult the website of the embassy or consulate of the relevant Schengen country for the most accurate and up-to-date information:
Visa application form: Completed and signed.
- Passport: Valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure from the Schengen Area, with at least two blank pages.
- Photographs: Recent passport-sized photographs meeting the specifications set by the embassy or consulate.
- Travel itinerary: Detailed travel plans, including flight reservations (round trip) or other means of transportation, and accommodation details such as hotel bookings or an invitation letter if you plan to stay with someone.
- Travel health insurance: Proof of travel health insurance coverage that meets the minimum requirements, including a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros for medical emergencies, hospitalization, and repatriation.
- Proof of financial means: Documents demonstrating sufficient financial means to cover your travel expenses and stay in the Schengen Area, such as bank statements, sponsorship letters, or a combination of both.
- Proof of accommodation: Documentation proving where you will be staying during your visit, such as hotel reservations or an invitation letter from a host if you plan to stay with someone.
- Proof of employment or study: Documents to prove your employment status or enrollment in an educational institution, such as an employment contract, letter from the employer, or student ID.
- Proof of travel purpose: Supporting documents related to the purpose of your visit, such as an invitation letter, conference registration, or family-related documents.
- Additional documents: Depending on the country and your individual circumstances, you may need to provide additional documents such as proof of ties to your home country, travel history, or a No Objection Letter (NOC) from your employer.
- * All documents must be in A4 format.
It’s important to carefully review the specific requirements of the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country where you plan to apply, as additional or country-specific documents may be requested.