When traveling to the Schengen region, citizens of certain countries that are not members of the EU are needed to have a valid Schengen visa. The Schengen area is a collection of European nations that permits a person who has been accepted to the Schengen region to travel without any additional form of border control inside the Schengen Area. However, citizens of certain countries that are not members of the EU are required to have a valid Schengen visa.
The following countries are currently members of the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
A Schengen visa is a visa for short stays, which means stays of up to ninety days or less, and it grants its bearer the ability to travel freely throughout the Schengen Area.
During a single journey to the Schengen Area, a visitor is required to get a Schengen visa from the Mission of the Schengen State that will serve as the primary destination (that is, the place where the visitor would spend the majority of their nights).
When an applicant enters the Schengen Area, remains there for the allotted amount of time, and then ultimately exits the Schengen Area, this is regarded to be a single journey.
If a single journey will be taken to the Schengen Area during which the same number of nights will be spent in each of the various Schengen States, then the Schengen visa must be acquired from the Mission of the Schengen State that will be entered first.
The documentation pertaining to the means of travel and accommodation must cover the entire itinerary of the single trip to the Schengen Area. This means that travel tickets must be provided not only for the travel from and to the Schengen Area, but also for the travel between the different Schengen States, in the event that more than one Schengen State will be visited during the course of the single trip.
Each application for a Schengen visa must completely conform with the documentation necessary for the particular visa category being sought, and applications may only be made up to six months in advance of the applicant’s scheduled date of departure.
Even if a Schengen visa application and the necessary supporting papers are accepted by VFS, this does not ensure that the applicant will be granted a Schengen visa.
It is entirely up to the discretion of the Mission to decide whether or not to issue a Schengen visa, as well as the length of time that the visa is valid, the number of times it may be entered, and the number of travel days it allows.
In the event that a visa application is sent back to the applicant by the Mission seeking missing papers or any other missing or erroneous information, the applicant is expected to take full responsibility for any potential delays in the processing period of their visa application.
Even if an individual has a valid Schengen visa for a particular Schengen country, they are still subject to immigration control upon arrival in the Schengen Area. Furthermore, even if an individual has a valid Schengen visa for one of the Schengen nations, they are not necessarily assured entrance into any of the Schengen countries.