Schengen Visas FAQs

Visas, Immigration & Nationality

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Schengen Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Getting a Schengen visa can be problematic with government rules and gatekeepers like immigration officers, visa application centres, getting appointments and the paperwork involved.

Some of the questions we generally get asked are the following. Others are usually related to Schengen visa applications related to and covered by our Schengen country specific pages. If they are not answered there or here, we please submit your questions below…

If you are planning to obtain a Schengen Visa for your journey, we advise that you apply for one at least 2 weeks prior to your journey. This is due to the fact that the Embassy Consulate takes 10 working days to process the documentation and the traveler's request. Please note that certain nationalities take 21 days to process.

UK is not part of the Schengen Agreement and therefore a Schengen Visa as such does not allow you to enter the UK.
If you are required to enter the UK, apply for an UK Visa with IaM.

A short stay Schengen visa allows the holder to visit the Schengen countries for multiple purposes which can include and are not limited to; tourism, business and visiting family/friends for up to 90 days within a 180 day period from the date of first entry. The stay may be either continuous or several visits depending upon whether the visa is single or multiple entry.
Check out the more information on Schengen Visa types

A multiple entry Schengen Visa allows the holder to stay in one or multiple countries under the Schengen Agreement. This only applies if the total length of the stay does not exceed 90 days in a given 180 day period from the first date of entry.
Check out the more information on Schengen Visa types

It is possible to apply for a multi-entry Schengen Visa. When going through the process of applying, you will be able to select the multiple entry application. But please note that the length and duration is the discretion of the Consulate. Some Consulates have issued visas for such a short term that they make a point that the visa is only for the length and purpose sought. IaM cannot guarantee lengths and duration but we always aim to obtain the longest permitted version of your Schengen visa where possible and we can advise on the likelihood of how long you will get and ways to increase the length obtained once you begin your application. HINT: It's all about money.

Questions about applying for a Schengen visa

Schengen visa questions about the application process:

Every person is allowed to apply for a Schengen Visa. Certain nationals, like UK, USA, Australian and New Zealanders do not need to apply for a Schengen visa. All that is needed is to prepare the documentation and submit it to an Embassy/Consulates or Visa Application Centre (VAC). You also require the financial means to support yourself during the stay in a Schengen Area.
Check out who needs a Schengen Visa and our Schengen Visa eligibility checker to see if you need one.

There are 27 Schengen Countries which are part of the Schengen Agreement. These countries include: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The best way to obtain a Schengen Visa is to contact an agency that can help you make the process simpler, such as IaM. The main parts in obtaining a Schengen Visa is to fill out the Application Form from the Embassy/Consulates, prepare the necessary documentations, submit the application form and documentation together to the specific Embassy/Consulate of the country you will be traveling to, and finally if the application is successful you can obtain the Schengen Visa.
IaM guides you through the process, including getting your appointment to submit and application preparation using our three-step Application Process Plan.

As a general rule, you are always required to attend to give your Biometric information (Fingerprints and photograph). Certain countries like France, Germany, and Netherlands do not need you to attend under certain circumstances and certain groups of people, depending on nationalities and ages also do not need to attend.
When making your application, assume you will need to attend unless advised by us as we may be able to make applications for you in your absence.

Almost all Consulates have outsourced the submission of an application to a Centre. Where you will submit will depend on whether there are practices of jurisdiction or not and if so, where you live.
It is general practice to submit your application to the nearest Consulate (where permitted) or submission centre.

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Questions About Schengen Visa Appointments

Applying for a Schengen visa requires you to attend an appointment.

It is part of the standard service and we aim to get your appointments in the required time or at the very least in time for your visa to be granted so as you can travel in time.
Please note that at peak times, the consulates and centres do not have capacity for appointments at short notice. Therefore, for the standard service, it is advised to start your application three months ahead to allow for time to secure an appointment

Yes. That comes under the Premium service where we are able to secure appointments within 24-48 hours.

Yes. Depending on the submission method chosen, you can have your documents sent back to you by Courier, picked up by you or you can arrange for the documents to be collected.

Yes. When you submit your application, you will be emailed a draft application form for you to review. At that point, we can then make any changes required. It is important that you provide all the correct details for your final completed application form that will be submitted to the Consulate as missing or incorrect information can lead to refusals.
Prior to submission you are requested to check the application so as any amendments that you request or we make can be given a green light.

Yes. We exist to make sure that your application is successful. Therefore we always check whether everything seems fine. But this is within reason. If there's information we are not aware of, we cannot check it. So please try to make as full a disclosure as possible.

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Schengen visa FAQs

Schengen visa frequently asked questions about documents, types and fees.

Yes. As part of your application, we provide template letters as a matter of course.

Here at IaM, whether you wish to proceed with the application yourself or find a list of documents, we can provide you with the necessary support.
Check out the DIY Schengen visa step by step guide for a easy process and our guide to avoid refusals.

The Schengen visa fee is €80 (equivalent to 85USD or 75GBP roughly). Children between the ages of six and twelve pay a reduced Schengen visa fee of €40 (equivalent to roughly 42USD or 35GBP)*. Children under the age of six do not need to pay a Schengen visa fee. Other categories of applicants have different fees. You can check out the full Schengen Visa fees and IaM’s Schengen Visa service fees.

  • Type A Schengen visa or Airport Transit Visa. ...
  • Type B Schengen visa. ...
  • Type C Schengen visa. ...
  • Type D Schengen visa or national long-stay visa.
Check out more on the various Schengen Visa types.

To apply for a Schengen visa from the UK you need to book an appointment with the relevant Consulate or Embassy closest to you in the UK. This can be done in three ways: By going to the Consulate/Embassy office in person. By applying via accredited agencies like IaM or through VFS, BLS or TLS.
Check out the DIY Schengen visa step-by-step guide for a easy process and our guide to avoid refusals.

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Questions about who needs a Schengen Visa

Travelling to Europe’s Schengen area? Find out who needs a Schengen visa.

British citizens do not require a visa for the Schengen Member States, if the duration of their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period. But please be aware that soon, UK nationals will need an ETIAS to travel to the EU. Check out who needs a Schengen Visa.

As a UK national, you will need an ETIAS to visit Europe starting in 2024. ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it is an electronic system that keeps records of visitors from countries that do not need a visa for Schengen, such as the UK.

Americans do not require a visa for the Schengen Member States, if the duration of their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period. But like most nationals, US citizens will need an ETIAS to travel to the EU from 2024. This is much like the US ESTA system. Check out who needs a Schengen Visa.

Australian citizens do not require a visa for the Schengen Member States, if the duration of their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period. But please be aware that from 2024, Australian nationals will need an ETIAS to travel into the EU. Check out who needs a Schengen Visa.

New Zealand nationals do not require a visa for the Schengen Member States, if the duration of their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period. But you can expect that from 2024, New Zealanders will need an ETIAS to travel to the EU. Check out who needs a Schengen Visa.

Canada passport holders do not require a visa for the Schengen Member States, if the duration of their stay does not exceed 90 days within any 180-day period. But from 2024, Canadian nationals will need an ETIAS to travel to the EU. Check out who needs a Schengen Visa.

Certain nationals can travel to Europe without having to get a Schengen Visa. These are visa exempt nationals. But even these exempt nationals can expect to need to apply for an ETIAS to travel to the EU that from 2024. Check out who needs a Schengen Visa.

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How fast can you get a Schengen visa?

Frequently asked questions about the time it takes to get a Schengen visa

Although the visa is usually granted within a day, the processing time advertised is two weeks from the time you submit your application. However, once your application and information is submitted to the Consulate, your visa may be issued swiftly. We have had visas issued in 2 day previously. But this is becoming uncommon since the pandemic. Please allow at least 14 days when applying.

If you use our premium submission appointment service, the quickest you can get an appointment is within 24 hours. This means that you can submit your biometrics, information and documents within 1 day. It does not guarantee the speed of decision making.

Getting a Schengen visa to travel to Europe can be a long, challenging, and frustrating process. Fortunately, however, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to get one quickly and easily.

Currently, Lithuania is the easiest country to obtain a Schengen Visa from, with officials granting 98.7% of applications. Although Lithuania receives less applications than countries like Germany, France, Italy or Spain, they it is a popular destination for business and tourism. Check out our list of the Easiest countries to get a Schengen visa.

A short-stay visa is a Schengen Visa that allows you to stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period - or the length of your trip. It allows you to travel to all countries within the Schengen Area. The quickest short term Schengen Visa to get is from France or Italy, with Germany and Spain coming in at second place based on our experience. The quickest time a Schengen Visa has been granted in two days including delivery. But you should ordinarily expect to get your visa in two weeks.

Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania are EU states that are not, or not yet, part of the Schengen area. The United Kingdom is also now out of the EU after Brexit. This means that a flight from one of these states to a Schengen state is regarded as an external flight and is subject to border checks.

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Questions about what you can do and where you can go with a Schengen visa

Can your Schengen visa be extended? Where can you go on a Scheneg visa and where can you get one?

No. You usually must apply for a visa to get there and must meet their visa or entry requirements to enter a non-Schengen country.

Depending on your nationality, a Schengen Visa Allows for Visa-Free Travel to over 48 Countries Across the Globe. We all know that a Schengen visa allows for free travel to all 27 countries in the Schengen region. Check out the non-Schengen countries you can visit with a Schengen visa.

If you need to travel to the Schengen area urgently, you can contact the embassy of the country you wish to visit and they will inform you if they make exceptions. A few Schengen countries will grant you a Schengen visa urgently in extraordinary circumstances. You will need to provide justification for your application.

Yes, currently only the Netherlands and Belgium permit visitors to apply for a Schengen Visa from a country that you are not resident in. You will need to contact the Consulate for the opportunity.

Yes, you can extend your Schengen visa so long as you do not exceed the 90 out of 180 day rule. This is usually done at the local immigration office of the Schengen country you are in. You can find out more about how to extend your Schengen Visa.

Yes you can. Schengen visas usually require you to have at least three months beyond your return travel. But you can apply for one if you don’t meet the requirement but can show an onward journey to your normal country of residence.

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