What Is Schengen Visa Policy, Types & Processing Time For Non-EU Citizens!

Posted on November, 23, 2017 By : iqfares

The Schengen Visa was introduced to make travel faster and easier between all the EU countries without any hassle. Passport holders of other countries, who wish to enter in Europe, apply for visa application. Once a visa is granted, a traveler can enter and travel through all the countries within the Schengen area.

What Is Schengen Visa?

A Schengen Visa is the document issued by the appropriate authorities that any interested traveler can enter into Schengen Area or country.

  • You can also call it “Short stay Visa”.
  • Schengen visa validity: It permits the holder to stay within the Schengen countries for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days.
  • This enables the travelers to enter freely into any of the Schengen countries without getting a separate visa for each country.

This is for those individuals who want to visit Schengen Area as a tourist, a student, a traveler, or for business purpose. The traveler cannot stay longer than 3 months or 90 days.

And, if you plan to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days, then take up employment or establish a business, trade or profession.

The Schengen Area

Schengen Area member countries provide the Schengen visa to move freely within the whole Schengen Zone area (European Union Schengen members and the EFTA Schengen members) up to the limited period of time.

Schengen Area:

The Schengen Area comprises 26 member countries, out of which 22 are the EU members and 4 are the non-EU member states.

Schengen Area (Need Schengen Visa) Non-EU Schengen Area
EU Schengen Members/States/country Non-EU Schengen States Or EFTA Schengen members/Country
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, & Sweden. Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK.


The Non-EU Member States have joined the Schengen Agreement and honor the free movement policy within the Schengen Area. But, the countries are outside the Schengen zone area are not required the Schengen Visa.

The Schengen Visa Policy

There is the number of rules that are set by the European Union. And that is:

Rule No. 1:

The citizens from some non-EU countries need a Schengen Visa for traveling to the Schengen Area.

Rule No. 2:

The Schengen Area covers the 26 countries (“Schengen States”) like:

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

 Rule No. 3:

The citizens must have a Schengen visa for crossing these borders and can travel freely throughout the Schengen Area.

Rule No. 4:

The citizens of the countries of the Schengen Zone as well as the citizens of the countries that don’t need a visa to enter the Schengen zone

Rule No. 5:

Generally, a short-stay visa issued by one of the Schengen States entitles its holder can travel throughout the 26 Schengen States for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visas for visits exceeding that period remain subject to national procedures.

Schengen Visa Types

A Schengen visa provides by any of the Schengen Area member countries. The holders can travel throughout these countries for the limited period of time.

But, there are different types of visa with the different restrictions, which are applied by any Schengen country in accordance with the nature of traveling and other relevant circumstances. So, here is the list of main types of Visas:

No.1: Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)

The Uniform Schengen Visa stands to allow the traveler to stay in desired country or territory for a certain period of time. The holders can stay for or up to 90 days each six month period, which starts from your date of entry.

There are 3 categories of this visa which applies to the holder:

Category “A” (Airport Transit Visa):

It allows the individual to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Country Area. This is mandatory for those passengers who are traveling from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state through a change of flights in a Schengen Country airport.

Category “B” (Transit Visa):

It is valid for only 5 days. And it allows the holder to travel through the multiple Schengen countries or area to a non-Schengen country by his/her own way (car, coach, or plane).

Category “C” (Short-term visa):

It also considered as short term visa which allows the traveler to live in a Schengen Country (Schengen Area) for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity. This particular category depends upon the holder’s purpose of the travel. And that can be:

Single-entry visa ·        Enter in a Schengen Area only once.

·        Re-entry is not allowed even if the visa is still valid.

Depend on your visa validity.
Double-entry visa ·        Provides 2 entries to enter into the Schengen Area.

·        Re-entry is not allowed after the 2nd exit from Schengen Area even if the visa is still valid.

Depend on your visa validity.
Multiple-entry visa ·        Allow the number of entries into the Schengen Area.

·        The day of the first entry into the Schengen Area counts as first day of visa validity.

Validity is limited to 90 days within six months.

No. 2: Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)

It allows you to travel only in the Schengen State that has issued the visa for the certain State you specifically mentioned when applying for the visa. This visa will not be valid in any other Schengen Area countries.

  • This type of visa is generally issued under humanitarian reason or international obligation. It is considered an exception to a Uniform Visa
  • The individuals who don’t possess a valid travel document yet have to travel to a Schengen area on an emergency of any kind can apply for this visa.

No. 3:  National Visas

This is also called a “D” category visa. This is granted in the special cases for the purpose of the study, work or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries.

Single-entry visa ·        Stay in Schengen country for a certain period of time & plan to return home once visa expires.
Multiple-entry visa ·        Allowing holders repeated re-entries into the Schengen country.

·        Travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.

The multi-entry national visa is granted in the following cases:

  • An international student can study for the duration of up to 1 year, with the possibility of extension.
  • A professional who is traveling with the purpose of sharing its expertise.
  • A pedagogical work at a higher institution or research center, regarding the person and its close family members.
  • Emergency cases, such as medical conditions, which are limited to a specific period of time.

Other Types of Visas:

Tourist Schengen visa:

It permits the travelers to visit any Schengen Country for pleasure to meet friends or families who live in the Schengen countries. The traveler can stay up to maximum of 90 days in the period of 6 months.

Business Schengen visa:

The holder of this type of visa is allowed to do business in the country of destination. Restrictions regarding his/her business activities will be stated on the visa.

Student Schengen visa:

This visa allows the individual to stay and study in the country which granted the permission for enrolment that is issued by the school. The individual is not permitted a permanent residence and involves certain restrictions.

Working Schengen visa:

It is allowed to stay and work in the selected country within the Schengen Area. EU citizens and the citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland can apply for a working visa upon their entry in the Schengen Area.

Schengen Visa Requirements

Schengen Visa Documents Checklist:

  • Duly filled and signed the Schengen visa application form.
  • Recent passport-size and colored photograph with white background and size is about 35 mm x 45 mm with 80% face close up.
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months after departure with at least 2 blank pages.
  • You should have your ticket itinerary with hotel reservation.
  • Medical insurance policy with covering expenses.
  • Bank statements or official affidavit of support for the last 6 months.
  • Mentioned the purpose of the visit and duration of travel in a letter.
  • Income tax returns for the past 3 years.
  • If you are an employee, then attach the appointment letter and reference letter.
  • Proof of legal entity, bank statements, and tax returns if you are self-employed.

Schengen Visa Processing Time

The processing time of Schengen Visa is approximately 10 – 15 working days.

  • If a more detailed examination of your application and/or additional documents is required, then this period may be extended up to 30 days and, exceptionally, 60 days.
  • The consultation process may take up to seven calendar days.

The above information will assist you with the policies of Schengen visa. And help you to aware you about the what is Schengen visa, its processing time, types of the Schengen visa, and on which area the traveler can travel with this visa.