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Factsheet Schengen visa

03 March 2021

The Schengen visa route is a short-stay visa which permits its holder to travel to and between Schengen countries. The visa permits the holder to travel to the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within any 180 days for tourism, business, work, study or transit purposes, depending on the type of visa they have applied for and been granted.

Schengen member countries

The Schengen Area member countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Which nationalities need to apply for a schengen visa?

Citizens of the Schengen member countries are not required to hold a Schengen visa to travel to other countries within the Schengen Area. They may however require a residence permit for the relevant country should they intend to live and work in another Schengen member country.

Citizens of some countries benefit from Schengen visa exemptions, and while they remain bound by the Schengen visa rules, they do not need to apply for the visa prior to travel. Citizens of the following countries are exempt from the requirement to apply for a Schengen visa:

Albania

Andorra

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Australia

Bahamas

Barbados

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Brazil

Brunei Darussalam

Canada

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Dominica

 

North Macedonia

Georgia

Grenada

Guatemala

Vatican City State

Honduras

Israel

Japan

Kiribati

Malaysia

Marshall Islands

Mauritius

Mexico

Micronesia

Moldova

Monaco

Montenegro

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Palau

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Samoa

San Marino

Seychelles

Serbia

Singapore

Solomon Islands

South Korea

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and The Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago

Tuvalu

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United States of America

Uruguay

Vanuatu

Venezuela

United Kingdom

 

 

Citizens of all other countries will need to apply for a Schengen visa to travel to the Schengen Area.

Do UK nationals require a Schengen visa?

British citizens travelling to the Schengen Area for short-term tourism, business, work, study or transit purposes are not required to apply for a Schengen visa.

What are the permissions of a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa will permit the holder to travel to the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 days.

The permissions of the individual will depend on the category of Schengen visa that they have applied for and been granted.

Tourist Schengen Visa

Visa holders can visit any country within the Schengen Area for tourism purposes. Holders of this type of visa are not permitted to carry out any business activities, study or obtain employment.

Business Schengen Visa

Visa holders can visit any country within the Schengen Area for business purposes. Any restrictions to their business activities will be stated on the visa itself. It should be noted however that work is prohibited for Schengen visa holders and additional permissions will need to be applied for if their professional activities exceed those permitted by the Schengen visa in each country.

There is no set list of activities which are deemed to be ‘business activities’ for the purpose of this visa type, but broadly speaking, it could include any temporary activity relating to the business interests of the individual’s employer. Examples include:

  • Attending internal and external business activities
  • Attending conferences and seminars
  • Negotiating business deals
  • Undertaking sales or marketing activities
  • Performing internal or external client audits
  • Exploring business activities
  • Attending and receiving training

Some Schengen states implement more specific definitions of what can constitute a business activity, and may have additional work registration requirements based on the business activities being undertaken. This is however assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the activity and country.

Student Schengen Visa

Visa holders can visit any country within the Schengen Area to study. They are issued by educational institutions and are subject to restrictions.

Working Schengen Visa

Visa holders can stay and work in a selected country within the Schengen Area.

Transit Schengen Visa

Visa holders can transit to a non-Schengen Area country via the Schengen Area. This visa type is issued either as a:

  • A-type Transit Visa: the individual is not permitted to leave the airport.
  • B-type Transit Visa: the individual is given a transit visa valid for 5 days

 

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