Are you intereted in visiting one of the EU countries? Before you plan your trip, learn more about what you need to travel in the Schengen area. These FAQs will explain which countries are part of the Schengen area, visa requirements to travel in Europe for non-EU citizens, where and for how long you can travel. For further information, click on the links below:
Read more on FAQs [35 KB]
The Schengen visa was introduced in 1995. It is now valid for the following EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, , Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden and for the three non-EU countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
A Schengen visa issued by an Embassy or Consulate of one of the Schengen countries allows the holder to travel freely in all Schengen States.
As from 5 April 2010, the EU Visa Code came into force, gathering into a single document all legal provisions on visas. The Visa Code increases the transparency and ensures equal treatment of applicants while harmonising rules and practices for the Schengen States applying the common visa policy. The Visa Code sets out all procedures and conditions for issuing "airport transit visas" and establishes the list of third country nationals who are required to hold "airport transit visas" when passing through the international transit areas of airports situated on the territory of the Member States; covers visas issued for the purpose of "short stays", meaning stays not exceeding 3 months in any 6 months period. Legislation in relation to the issuance of visas for the purpose of long stays (beyond 3 months) remains of national competence.
The Visa Code implies that all supporting documents must be handed in along with the Schengen application form.
Where to apply for a Schengen visa?
- If visiting only one of the Schengen countries, an application should be handed in at the Embassy or Consulate of that country.
- If visiting several Schengen countries, an application should be handed in at the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which your main destination will be.
- If visiting several Schengen countries without having a main destination, an application should be handed in at the Embassy or Consulate of the first Schengen country on your travel itinerary for which a visa is required.
- Applications shall be lodged no more than three (3) months before the start of the intended visit.
- Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application
The visa fee is 60 EUR. It is non-refundable.
The visa fee is waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:
- Children under 6 years
- Children between 6 and 12 years
- Holders of diplomatic and service passports
- School pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training
- Researchers travelling for the purpose of carrying out specific research as defined in the Recommendation N° 2005/461/EC
- Representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations;
The visa fee may also be waived for participants aged 25 years or less in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events, organised by non-profit organisations. The decision will be made case by case according to the relevance of the event.
Visa Application form
A- Documents to be submitted with all visa applications
- A passport valid at least 3 months after visa period, with at least two blank pages
- National Registration Card
- 1 passport photo (required standards)
- Visa fees
- Medical insurance valid for the travel period (at least coverage of 30.000 EUR), covering
- eventual fees for health care, hospital emergencies and medical repatriation. Holders of
- diplomatic passports are exempt from this requirement
- Reservation of or return or round ticket;
- Proof of financial means in the country of residence;
- Proof of employment: bank statements;
- Proof of real estate property;
- Proof of integration into the country of residence: family ties; professional status.
- Consent of parental authority or legal guardian (when a minor does not travel with them);
- Proof of family ties with the host/inviting person.
- For non-Namibians: valid visa/residence permit for Namibia
B- Documents relating to the purpose of the journey
1. Business trips:
- An invitation from a firm or an authority to attend meetings, conferences or events
- connected with trade, industry or work;
- Other documents which show the existence of trade relations or relations for work
- Entry tickets for fairs and congresses, if appropriate;
- Documents proving the business activities of the company;
- Documents proving the applicant’s employment status in the company;
2. For journeys undertaken for the purposes of study or other types of training:
- A certificate of enrolment at an educational establishment for the purposes of attending
- vocational or theoretical courses within the framework of basic and further training;
- Student cards or certificates of the courses to be attended;
3. For journeys undertaken for the purposes of tourism or for private reasons:
- Documents relating to accommodation:
- An invitation from the host if staying with one,
- A document from the establishment providing accommodation or any other appropriate
- document indicating the accommodation envisaged;
- Documents relating to the itinerary:
- Confirmation of the booking of an organised trip or any other appropriate document
- indicating the envisaged travel plans,
- In the case of transit: visa or other entry permit for the third country of destination;
- tickets for onward journey;
4. For journeys undertaken for political, scientific, cultural, sports or religious events or other reasons:
- Invitation, entry tickets, enrolments or programmes stating (wherever possible) the name of
- the host organisation and the length of stay or any other appropriate document indicating
- the purpose of the journey;
5. For journeys of members of official delegations who, following an official invitation addressed to the government of the third country concerned, participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of a Member State by intergovernmental organisations:
A letter issued by an authority of the third country concerned confirming that the applicant is a
member of the official delegation travelling to a Member State to participate in the abovementioned events, accompanied by a copy of the official invitation;
6. For journeys undertaken for medical reasons:
- An official document of the medical institution confirming necessity for medical care in that institution and proof of sufficient financial means to pay for the medical treatment.
Please note that:
- A stamp stating place and date of application will be applied to your passport when submitting the visa application.
- All the necessary documents must be brought when applying for visa. If supporting documents are not presented promptly, your application upon examination may be refused and the visa fee lost.
- Additional supporting documentation may be requested in justified cases
- A verbal note is required for holders of diplomatic and official passports
- At the time of submission of the first application, the fingerprints of the applicant will be collected.