Schengen Visa Types & Validity

Schengen Visa allows its holder to travel freely in as many as 26 Schengen states without any border checks at internal borders. Depending upon nature, there are various visa types.

However, there are certain types of Schengen Visa. Depending upon the type of the visa and relevant circumstances, officials concerned apply different restrictions to that particular visa.

Below are types of the Schengen Visa:

Uniform Schengen Visas

The holder of a uniform visa is allowed to travel to the Schengen states for a period of 90 days during any 180-day period. Its holder can travel to the following countries:

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

The Uniform Schengen Visa applies to both “A” and “C” categories.

What is “A” Category?

“A” category stands for the Airport Transit Visa. This visa allows its holder to transit through the international transit areas of the issuing Schengen state or other states without entering the Schengen Area.

What is “C” Category?

“C” category stands for short-term Schengen Visa which allows its holder to live in the Schengen Area for a certain period of time depending on the validity of the visa.

This visa is valid for a maximum of 90 days in a period of 180 days. The period is calculated from the date you first crossed the external Schengen border. The visa’s validity period, the first possible day of entry and the day you must leave the Schengen area are written on the visa sticker.

“C” category is further divided into certain sub-categories depending upon the holder’s purpose of the visit. These sub-categories are:

  • Single-entry visa
  • Double-entry visa
  • Multiple-entry visa
Single-entry visa

As the name itself explains, the holder of a single-entry visa can enter the Schengen Area only once. The validity and duration are mentioned on the visa sticker affixed to the holder’s passport.

Double-entry visa

The name itself is self-explanatory. The holder of a Schengen double-entry visa can enter the Schengen Area not more than twice.

Multiple-entry visa

This visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen territory as many time as he/she wants to. Despite that, the applicant is not permitted to violate the 90/180 rule.

A multiple-entry visa is further divided into sub-categories depending upon how frequently its possessor travel to the Schengen Area. These sub-categories are:

  • 1-year multiple-entry visa
  • 3-year multiple-entry visa
  • 5-year multiple-entry visa

1-year multiple-entry Schengen visa

A person can apply for 1-year multiple-entry Schengen Visa if he/she is frequently traveling to the Schengen Area. But for applying for the aforesaid visa, the applicant should possess at least one Schengen double-entry visa.

3-year multiple-entry Schengen visa

As the name illustrates, the 3-year multiple-entry Schengen Visa allows its possessor to enter the Schengen territory as many time as he/she wants within a period of three years.

Despite that, the possessor of 3-year MEV can’t extend his stay longer than 90 days within the period of 180 days.

Just like 1-year MEV, the applicant has to prove that he/she travels to the Schengen Area more often. Besides, the applicant is also required to prove why he/she needs a Schengen Visa with a validity of as many as three years.

5-year multiple-entry Schengen visa

As the name indicates, the holder of 5-year multiple-entry Schengen Visa can enter the Schengen Area as many times as he/she wishes within a period of five years.

Despite that, the holder of 5-year MEV can’t extend his stay longer than 90 days within the period of 180 days.

However, the applicant has to prove that he/she travels to the Schengen Area more often. The applicant is also required to give a solid prove that why he/she needs a Schengen Visa with a validity of as many as five years.

Limited territorial validity visas

As the term illustrates, the holder of the Limited territorial validity visa (LTV) can enter only that specific Schengen State which has issued him/her the visa. The holder of the LTV can also enter certain Schengen states which he/she has specifically mentioned when applying for the visa at the corresponding embassy or consulate.

As discussed above, the holder of the LTV can’t enter or transit through any other Schengen state which is not specified in the visa.

National Visas

“D” category National Visa is granted to those individuals who plan to study, work or permanently reside in one of the Schengen states for a certain period of time.

The holder of the Schengen National Visa is bound to return to his/her country after completion of the purpose.

There is also multiple-entry Schengen Visa which permits its possessor to enter Schengen territory as many times as he/she wishes to. Its possessor can also travel to the other member states of the Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.

The criteria for acquiring a multiple-entry Schengen Visa is as follow:

  • An international student programme can grant MEV National Visa for a period not exceeding than one year but there exists a possibility of extending it (if need be).
  • MEV National Visa can be issued to a student who is about to be enrolled in a full course at college/university located in the Schengen territory. This type of visa can also be extended if a need arises.
  • A pedagogical work at an institution of higher education or research facility located in the Schengen territory.
  • A professional or artist traveling to work with the purpose of sharing his/her skills.
  • Emergency cases in which medical condition restrains the individual from leaving the Schengen Area within the scheduled time frame.

Schengen Visa Types according to the purpose of travel

The type of the Schengen Visa also depends upon the applicant’s nature of the purpose.

Airport Transit Visa

This visa allows its holder to transit through the international transit areas of the issuing Schengen state or other states without entering the Schengen Area.

The signatories to the Schengen Agreement have made a list of countries—albeit a short one—of whom nationals require a Schengen Transit Visa to travel from one place to the other. Nationals of the following countries require Schengen Transit Visa:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eretria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Sri Lanka.

Besides this general list, there are some Schengen states where Indian citizens are also required to acquire an airport transit visa.

Tourist Visa

Tourism remains the top purpose of traveling to the Schengen Area. Applicants who want to explore the scenic beauty and rugged history of the Schengen Area are required to apply for the tourist visa.

Visit Visa

Schengen Visit Visa also remains the top applied visa for as hundreds of thousands of travelers travel to the Schengen Area to meet their beloved one.

Schengen Business Visa

Schengen Area consists of countries that have the highest per capita income in the world. The borderless area remains the world’s leader in technology and innovation.

The perks of applying for such a visa are many i.e. being able to get a quicker appointment during the peak season of visa applications when there is a high number of people applying.

Official Visit

Government officials usually apply for the aforesaid visa.

Medical Visa

An applicant applies for the Schengen Medical Visa if he/she wants to seek medical treatment in the hospital located in the Schengen Area.

Study Visa

Thousands of students travel to the Schengen Area every year to study in the world’s top colleges and universities.

Schengen Visa Extension

Short-stay Schengen visa extensions are permitted by the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No. 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Journal of Laws of the EU of 2009 L243/1).

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