This article is the first part of a series of articles on Schengen Visa. It explains the Schengen, its zone and types of Schengen visas.
The Schengen state is made up of 26 countries and these countries are referred to as the Schengen states, this means that a holder of a Schengen visa can visit any of these states. A Schengen visa allows free movement to the whole Schengen Zone which is made up of the European Union Schengen members as well as the European Free Trade Association members.
There are different restrictions that apply to a particular visa in accordance with the nature of travelling and other relevant circumstances. This depends on the type of visa issued by the embassy/consulate of a Schengen state.
The Uniform Schengen Visa is a type of visa which allows the holder to stay in one of the Schengen member countries in the desired territory for a certain period of time. The embassies grant the visas depending on the number of days requested or the number of days they deem appropriate for your trip. The maximum number of days is 90, which starts from the date stated on your visa.
Holders of a Uniform Schengen Visa are eligible to travel to the following Schengen 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 for a short stay is classified under two categories. These categories are A and C and the purpose of traveling with the Uniform Schengen Visa applies to these two.
“A” category stands for the Airport Transit Visa which allows its holder to travel through the international zone of the Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Area. This means that the traveler can only stay in the airport but would not get the opportunity to visit the Schengen state.
An airport transit visa is mandatory for travellers from one non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state through a change of flights in a Schengen country airport. For example, a person traveling to Cuba on a KLM flight would need a transit visa at the Holland Embassy because the flight would transit through the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. For example, a person traveling to Cuba on a KLM flight would need a transit visa at the Holland Embassy because the flight would transit through the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
“C” category visas are Short-term visa which allows its holder to reside in a Schengen Area for a certain period of time depending on the visa validity. This category is issued as a:
Single-entry visa, Double-entry visa and Multiple-entry visa. The next part of this article would discuss the categories of visas in detail and also the duration for such visas.
Mustapha Jimah. [email protected] The writer is a former consular officer at the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana and currently the CEO of Musjima Ventures. His interest is in travel matters and migration issues. For enquiries call or whatsapp me on 0262677946.