What is the Schengen Area?
The Schengen Area established in 1995 offers a great freedom of movement for 26 Member States. It essentially means that holder of the Schengen Visa is permitted to cross the border of a Member State without being subjected to border checks and with reduced risk of such obstacles like complicated formalities and permits.
The area doesn’t cover the whole EU though, as there are some countries that are not in the EU but are enjoying the benefits of Schengen and some that are in the EU but doesn’t participate in the freedoms.
|EU – Yes / Schengen – Yes||EU – No / Schengen – Yes|
Credit: European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/schengen_map.jpg
Schengen Zone explained by the European Commission’s DG Migration and Home Affairs:
Even though some of the EU states are not in the Schengen Zone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to apply for a Visa and that you can travel only with a valid ID or passport.
How to apply for a Schengen Visa?
It is mandatory for the citizens of non-Schengen states to acquire a Visa in order to enter the Schengen Zone. Are you wondering how to apply for a Schengen Visa from a non-Schengen state, like the UK? It’s not that complicated!
To apply for the tourist Schengen Visa from the UK, you have to:
– Download and fill in the application form
– Provide one recent photo (passport size).
– Prove that you have the right to remain in the UK with current UK Visa or Biometric ID.
– Show a copy of confirmed flight booking.
– Provide a sample of travel information, like departure day and the destination.
– Buy travel insurance.
To apply, you are obliged to book an appointment with the adequate Consulate or Embassy in London. You can go at the relevant office in person or you can use help from the third party companies, like Immigration and Migration, that are ready to provide you with a free consultation and help with filling in the Schengen Visa application form. This reduces the time required to obtain the permit.
When to apply for the Schengen Visa?
You can request your Visa up to 3 months before the planned visit. The best time to apply for the Schengen Visa from the UK is a fortnight before. That still guarantees to receive the document on time.
The fees will vary depending on the age of the interested party. It costs about 30£ for children aged between 6 to 12 and around 50£ for adults (the price is determined by currency fluctuations). Children younger than 6 years of age are guaranteed to get the Schengen Visa free of charge.
If you’re struggling with understanding how to apply for the Visa or just don’t have time to do so personally, ask a third party company for help. There are many people that will be happy to support you!