Citizens of some non-EU countries are required to hold a valid Schengen visa when travelling to the Schengen area, which is a group of European countries that allows a person, who’s been admitted to the Schengen Area, to travel without any further form of border control within the Schengen Area.
Current Schengen States are: 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 short stay visa, i.e. for stays up to 90 days, allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen Area.
A Schengen visa has to be obtained from the Mission of the Schengen State, which will be the main destination (i.e. where the most nights will be spent) during a single trip to the Schengen Area.
A single trip is considered when an applicant enters the Schengen Area, stays there for a certain period and eventually leaves the Schengen Area.
If an equal amount of nights will be spent in different Schengen States during a single trip to the Schengen Area, then the Schengen visa must be obtained with the Mission of the Schengen State, which will be entered first.
The documentation related to the means of travel and accommodation must cover the complete itinerary of the single trip to the Schengen Area; i.e. 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, when more than 1 Schengen State will be visited during the single trip.
Each Schengen visa application must fully comply with the documents required for the respective visa category and can only be submitted up to 3 months before the intended departure date.
The acceptance of a Schengen visa application and supporting documents by VFS does not guarantee the issuance of a Schengen visa.
The issuance of a Schengen visa, the Schengen visa validity period, the number of entries and amount of travel days are at the sole discretion of the Mission.
If a visa application is returned by the Mission requesting missing documents or any other missing/ incorrect information, the applicant must accept responsibility for any delay that may occur in the visa application processing time.
Holders of valid Schengen visas are still subject to immigration control upon arrival in the Schengen Area and are not necessarily guaranteed entry into any of the Schengen countries, even though they may hold a valid Schengen visa for these countries.
**MAIL-IN APPLICATIONS- Please be advised that applicants who enrolled biometrics within past 59 months can submit their applications via mail in San Francisco and Washington DC location. Click Here to know more.
Following visa categories are considered Short stay visas: