by Adeyinka Adekanbi/October 29 10:05 AMLast updated on Schengen refers to the EU passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries. It?s the largest free travel area in the world. Schengen consists of 26 European states including Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Estonia and much more. Possessing a Schengen visa gives the holder unrestricted access to the area?s member-states. With some of the world?s top tourist destinations like Paris, Spain, Greece and even Portugal, Schengen is a tourist paradise. All Nigerians need to obtain a visa prior to their arrival in Europe.
How to Apply for Schengen Visa
We will match you with an experienced consultant that will guide you through your Schengen visa process. Save your time, energy and let us help you process your Schengen visa now. Read on benefits of using a travel consultant to apply for a visa. Click below to apply for your preferred visa. We charge a N950 fee (less than $3) to match you with a consultant. Note that we do not help people get jobs abroad nor provide work permits or residency visa if you do not have a job abroad. Read on to see the visa that is best for you.
Types of Schengen Visa
[table id=93 /] Please note, all Schengen Visas are short-term visas which enables you to remain in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180 days period (see, 90/180 rule for more information). If you wish to stay in the country longer than 90 days you would need to apply for a residence permit. The validity of your single-entry visa or double-entry visa depends on the embassy. General Requirements for Schengen Visa
The following are the basic documents required to receive a Schengen visa; Application for Schengen Visa - Application form (completed and signed) Original passport valid for travel to the Members States to visit. The passport validity must exceed the planned stay in the Schengen Area with at least three months. The passport must have been issued within the last ten years. Complete photocopies of original passport, except blank pages. If the applicant is not a resident of Nigeria, a justification for lodging the application there must be provided. Previous passport in original if a new passport has been issued within the last three years. Photocopy of the national ID card (both sides). One coloured photo (*) not more than six months old, passport size (45 mm x 35 mm), full face and taken against a white background. Click here for specifications. If you are self-employed, you need to provide a Business Registration Certificate. If you are employed, please provide the employer?s letter with details like position in the Company; leave duration, etc. Individual medical travel insurance which covers all costs that could arise as a result of emergency medical assistance, emergency hospitalization, medical repatriation or repatriation in case of death. The insurance should cover costs of at least EUR 30,000 and be valid for the duration of the stay in all the Schengen countries. Preliminary ticket booking or travel itinerary (it is not necessary to buy a flight ticket at this stage). Payment or proof of payment of the visa fee(*) Additional requirements for minors (under 18 years) Original and copy of birth certificate Copy of both parents ID-cards and passports if applicable (all pages containing any type of information) Legalized written consent letter from both parents if the child is travelling alone, or from the parent that is not accompanying the child when travelling. If either one of the parents is absent or deceased this must be supported by the information on the birth certificate or a death certificate when applicable If the legal guardian is someone else apart from the biological parent as stated in the birth certificate a custody order must be submitted proving the legal guardianship A letter from school containing the child?s name, the name of parents, grade, number of years at school, school holidays, contact details, date and name of school representative. If the child is travelling with a group please submit a complete list of names of all group members travelling and the name of the person in charge of the group Uniform Schengen Visa
Permits entry into any of the 26 member states for a maximum of 90 days every 6 months from the date of first entry. Its categories include A, B, C. Category A: Airport Transit visa (will not permit entry into the country).
Category B: Transit Visa; Permits entry into more than one Schengen countries for a maximum of 5 days.
Category C: Short-term visa; permits entry into the Schengen state by just for the period of the visa validity and this has a subcategory which includes Single-entry, double entry, and multiple entry visas.
Single-Entry Schengen Visa
A single-entry visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen Area only once, within the given period of time, as mentioned in the visa sticker affixed to their passport. Once the visa holder exits the Schengen territory, he or she can no longer go back, even if they have not spent there the number of days as permitted by the embassy that issued them the visa.
Double-Entry Schengen Visa
A double-entry visa applies the same way as the single-entry visa explained above. The sole difference between a single-entry and a double-entry visa is that the second gives you the chance to go once more back to the Schengen territory once you have left it. You should be very careful not to exceed the number of days you are permitted to stay in the Schengen Zone, as well as the period within which you can spend these days in the EU. With this visa, when you leave the Schengen Area for the second time, you no longer have the right to go back, even if you have not spent all of the days you were permitted to remain there.
Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa
A multiple-entry visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as many times as he or she wants, as soon as they do not violate the 90/180 days rule . [sta_anchor id="#180"]The visa 90/180 days rule[/sta_anchor] was established by the Schengen Acquis which is the European community law. The 90/180 days rule means that once the visitor has spent a total of 90 days in the Schengen zone (either consecutively or separately) within any half year, he or she must leave the Schengen zone. Based on how frequently you travel to the Schengen zone, you may apply and obtain one of the following multiple-entry visa types: 1 year multiple-entry visa 3 year multiple-entry visa 5 year multiple-entry visa 1 Year Multiple-Entry Schengen visa
You can obtain this visa if you have been traveling to the Schengen Area more often, and you have also been in possession of at least one Schengen double-entry visa. When you apply for this visa, you will need to show proof that you are a regular traveler, as well as why you need this visa in the future. The 1-year MEV visa gives you the right to enter in the Schengen Zone as many times as you want, as long as you do not remain more than 90 days within this period.
3 Year Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa
The 3-year MEV gives the right to its holder to enter the Schengen Area as many times as they wish within a period of three years. However, even in this case, the visa holder is limited to remaining in the EU no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period. When you apply for a 3-year MEV you will have to present evidence that you are a frequent traveler to at least one of the countries of the Schengen. You will also have to explain and prove why you need a visa with a validity of three years.
5 Year Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa
5-year MEV is granted to people that travel a lot to the Schengen Zone, especially for business. This visa will permit you to enter 26 countries in Europe as many times as you wish within five years, assuming you do not violate the 90/180 days rule. You will need to show very strong proof that you travel frequently to any of these countries and why you travel. In addition, you will need to show evidence why a visa with a validity of 5 years is necessary for you. When an applicant fills the Schengen Visa application form, he or she will also have to select one of the following reasons/purpose why he or she is applying to enter the Schengen territory; Airport Transit ? this purpose of entry is for people who need to travel through the international zone of a Schengen Country Airport without entering the Schengen Country. Transit ? for foreign travellers, who only need to stop for very short periods. Tourism ? for people who are planning to visit any of the countries in this territory for sightseeing and experiencing their culture. Visiting Family or Friends ? for people who have family members or friends legally residing in the Schengen area, can apply for this visa if they wish to visit them. There are some special requirements for this visa that the applicant must fulfil in order for the application to be successful, like i.e. a letter of invitation. Business ?for business purposes. Official Visa? for people who are traveling to the Schengen Area on an official duty. Medical Reasons ? If you are traveling to any of the member states of the Schengen territory to seek medical treatment, you should select ?medical reasons? in your application form. This visa enables patients to get the medical care they need at any medical clinic or hospital for a period of three months within 180 days. Study Purposes ? pupils and students that wish to attend any type of educational institutions, as university courses, language courses and other, for a period shorter than three months, can apply for a Schengen study visa. Cultural Sports and Film Crews ? a visa established for people living outside of the Schengen area, wishing to travel to Europe for the purpose of attending a Cultural / Sports / Religious Event and Film Crews. Other? If your purpose of entry to the Schengen Area does not match any of the purposes given above, you will have to tick the ?Other? option in the application form. Schengen Visa Fee
[table id=94 /] This fee does not include visa service charge. Our Visa service costs between 80 USD to 275 USD, that is, about 30,000 Naira to 100,000 Naira on the average.
Embassies Where You Can Get a Schengen Visa
You can apply for a Schengen visa at any of the embassies of its member states including the following;
France Application Center
Address: Sterling Bank Plaza, 3rd floor, Plot 1083 Mohammadu Buhari Way
Central Business District, Abuja-Nigeria.
Netherlands Application Center
Address: Dutch Schengen visa can be applied for at VFS Globa in Lagos or Belgian embassy in Abuja.
Finland Application Center
Address: Embassy of Finland, Nigeria, 9 Iro Dan Musa Street. Asokoro, Abuja
Belgium & Italy Application Center, Lagos
Address: VFS Global, Manor House, Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way, (Opposite Treasure Garden Estate, 3rd Roundabout, Lekki-Epe Expressway). Lekki Phase I, Lagos.
Belgium Visa Application Center, Abuja
Address: 38, Lobito Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja. Website: http://www.vfsglobal-be-ng.com/
Italy Website: http://www.italy-ng.com/
Norway Visa Application Center, Abuja
Address: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Abuja. 54, T.Y. Danjuma Street, Asokoro, Abuja, Nigeria.
Frequently asked questions
The following are frequently asked questions individuals ask about Schengen and Schengen visas.
Which countries are part of the Schengen Area?
The Schengen area covers 26 countries ("Schengen States") without border controls between them. These countries are 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. These countries apply the common visa policy for short stay visas. What is a Schengen visa?
A transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Schengen States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180 day period ("short stay visa"), A transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen States ("airport transit visa"). Generally, the visa issued allows you to visit any of the Schengen States during the same trip, within the validity of the visa. A Schengen visa is not appropriate, if you wish to remain in a Schengen country for longer than 90 days, take up employment or establish a business, trade or profession.
I am a family member of an EU-citizen. Are the standard requirements applicable to me?
Family members of EU citizens who have exercised their right of free movement (meaning that the EU citizen resides in or travels to a Member State other than his/her country of origin) benefit from certain procedural facilitations. The basic criteria to be fulfilled are the following: The EU citizen has exercised his/her right of free movement. The family member (applicant) belongs to one of the categories covered by Directive 2004/38/EC. The family member (applicant) accompanies the EU citizen or joins him/her in the Schengen State of destination. Where do I submit my visa application?
You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate of the country that you intend to visit, or ? if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the Consulate of the country of your primary destination (i.e. main purpose of stay or longest stay).
If you intend to visit the several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area. As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate with territorial competence for the country in which you legally reside.
Can I enter the Schengen area in country X, while the visa was issued by Schengen country Y?
As a general rule, you may cross any Schengen border with the visa issued by any Schengen country. However, the short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. How long can I stay in the Schengen area on the basis of my visa?
The Schengen visa is a short stay visa and takes the form of a sticker affixed to the travel document. The definition of ?short stay? is a stay of "90 days in any 180 days period". This means that the total duration of stay is of maximum 90 days, in any period of 180 days.
The precise length of validity of your visa is indicated on the visa sticker under the heading ?Duration of visit?. With a single-entry visa, you can enter the Schengen area only once. This is indicated on the visa sticker under the heading "Number of entries" by "1". A two-entry or a multiple-entry visa allows for two or several entries during the validity of the visa. This is indicated on the visa sticker by "02" or "MULT" under the heading "Number of entries".
How long does the visa procedure take?
As a general rule, once a Schengen visa application is submitted to the Consulate, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 calendar days. This period may be extended up to 30 days or 60 days. How long before the start of the intended visit should I apply for a visa?
Applications can be lodged no more than three months before the start of the intended trip.
It is advisable to lodge an application at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit. However, it is also recommended that you lodge the visa application taking into account the national holidays of the Schengen State of destination and in the country where you apply for the visa. Holders of a multiple-entry visa (valid for a period of at least six months) may lodge the application for a new visa before the expiry of that visa.
My passport expires in two months? time. Can I apply for a visa?
In theory, you cannot. It is one of the requirements that the expiration date of your passport is 3 months AFTER your return from the Schengen. In justified cases of emergency, the Consulate may deviate from this rule. Which documents do I need to provide when submitting my visa application?
Information on the documents to be submitted can be found above: General Requirements for Schengen Visa. Can I leave the Schengen area and return again with my Schengen visa?
Schengen visas are either single-entry or multiple entries. With a single-entry visa, you can enter the Schengen area only once. However, with a multiple entry visa, you can enter the country multiple times but you must follow the 90/180 rule.
With a visa allowing for two or multiple entries, you may enter twice or several times during the validity of the visa.
I have a valid long stay visa/residence permit for a country that is part of the Schengen area. Do I need another visa to travel to other Schengen states?
No. A long stay visa or a residence permit issued by a Schengen State allows you to travel or stay in the other Schengen States while respecting the maximum duration of a ?short stay? (a stay of "90 days in any 180 day period"). Do I have to present any other document at the Schengen external borders apart from my travel documents and Schengen visa?
The short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At the border, you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation. For example information on that, you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay). I have connecting flights, with a stop at a Schengen state airport. Do I have to apply for an airport transit visa or a short stay visa?
It is important to distinguish between two situations:
transit through the international transit area of an airport. transit through the territory of a Member State albeit limited to an airport. An airport transit visa permits you to pass through the international transit zone at an airport located on the territory of the Schengen State and to await a connecting flight to a non-Schengen country. Please note that the Airport Transit Visa does not allow you to enter the Schengen territory. Depending on your nationality, you might need a short stay visa as you enter the Schengen area ? even if the stay only lasts a few hours and you remain in the airport.
Can my visa be extended?
In order to apply for a visa extension in the Schengen State, you must provide a tangible reason. These reasons may be humanitarian reasons or serious personal reasons beyond your control that make it impossible or difficult for you to leave the territory. Your visa can only be extended if you have stayed less than 90 days the Schengen area, in the past 180 days. In order for your visa to be extended you, must also ensure that your current visa is not expired.
My visa has been refused. What can I do? Will the visa fee be refunded?
Visa fees are not refunded if the visa is refused. The visa fee covers the cost of the examination of the visa application. You may appeal against this decision. The decision and reason to refuse a Schengen visa are notified using a standard form and include the procedures and deadlines for submitting an appeal.
When a Member State represents another for the purpose of issuing visas, the appeal procedure will be that of the Member State who took the final decision. You are free to re-apply again if your application has been refused earlier. However, it is recommended that you take note of the reasons for refusal before submitting a new application and make amendments.