In light of Brexit and the various ways in which each Schengen country chooses to implement the unified Schengen visa code, we can provide practical advice to guide our clients through the maze.
What is a Schengen Visa?
Before embarking on your travels to a country in the Schengen travel area you should check whether you will require a Schengen Short-Stay Visa.
Depending on your nationality, the type of passport of you hold and the purpose of your travels, each Schengen country has different requirements and considers applications separately.
The general rule is that you must apply to your main destination country or the country of your first entry if you plan to visit multiple countries in the Schengen Zone.
A Schengen Short-Stay Visa allows you to travel throughout the Schengen area as a visitor.
List of Schengen countries include:
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.
What requirements do I need to satisfy?
The specific requirements would depend on your individual circumstances and the country which is considering your application, but they can be generally summarised as follows:
- You must show proof of your travels;
- You must show proof of your accommodation;
- You must show you have sufficient funds for the intended trip;
- You must show your Socio-Economic Status;
- You must have sufficient medical travel insurance.
How long will my visa be valid for?
Depending on your reasons for travelling and the availability of evidence, the validity of the visa which you may be granted (3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) will vary.
The validity of the visa is different from how long you will be allowed to stay in the Schengen area. With a Schengen Short-Stay visa, generally you will be allowed to stay in the Schengen area for 90 days in any 180 day period. The 180 day period is calculated on a rolling basis. Please ensure that you check your travel dates and your actual visa endorsement carefully to ensure that you are compliant with the Schengen visa rules and are not overstaying in the Schengen area.
At Gherson we have experience in assisting our clients with submitting full application bundles with a view to obtaining Schengen visas valid for longer periods where possible, although the final decision is always at each Consulate’s discretion.
Travel Document Holders
It is important to note that post-Brexit, some Schengen countries have chosen to impose visa requirements on holders of Travel Documents issued by the UK Home Office.
Please note that you may subject to visa requirements even though you may have travelled to certain countries visa-free in the past. Should you have any doubts as to whether you need a Schengen visa, please contact us for help.
We offer our clients the service of obtaining clarification from the relevant authorities on whether they are subject to visa requirements for particular Schengen countries.
Our complex litigation team also advises those who hold UK refugee status on the risks of travelling to a third country and how to mitigate that risk.
For more information about us and our Global and Personal immigration services, please contact a member of the team.