Schengen Visa Sticker
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Schengen Visa Sticker – How to apply

The Schengen visa sticker, similar to other permits, comes in the form of a sticker in your passport.

The sticker generally consists of texts in three (3) languages simultaneously – English, French, and German.

Among the important Schengen visa sticker details are the validity of the visa containing the start date and end date of the visa.

It is important that you know how to read your visa, as this will allow you to keep track of your permissions and ensure you do not overstay in the Schengen area.

In this article, we examine the information you may find on your Schengen visa sticker and what it means.

What is a Schengen visa sticker?

A Schengen visa takes the form of a sticker affixed to the travel document, and allows its holder to freely travel within and leave the Schengen zone from any of the 26 Schengen area countries.

Key information such as the validity period of your visa and which countries you are permitted to enter on your visa type are specified on the visa sticker by certain codes or abbreviations.

Countries you can visit with Schengen visa sticker

Generally, a Schengen visa sticker usually contains information on the countries you can enter.

The phrases “VALID FOR”, “VALABLE POUR” and “GULTIG FUR” are set before the name of the countries your visa allows you to visit.

However, if the words next to the phrases are “ETATS SCHENGEN” or “SCHENGEN STATES”, then it means that the visa is valid in all Schengen countries and you can travel throughout the Schengen Zone.

If the Schengen visa sticker contains the acronyms of these countries i.e.  SK, S, N, M, NL and PL, then it means you can only enter Slovakia, Sweden, Norway, Malta, Netherlands, and Poland.

The letters A, B, CH, CZE, D, DK, E, EST, F, FIN, GR, H, I, IS, LI, L, LT, LVA, M, N, NL, P, PL, S, SK, SVN, stand for the Schengen states you can visit:

The list of initials is as follows:

  1. A – Austria
  2. B – Belgium
  3. CH – Switzerland
  4. CZE – Czech Republic
  5. D – Germany
  6. DK – Denmark
  7. E – Spain
  8. EST – Estonia
  9. F – France
  10. FIN – Finland
  11. GR – Greece
  12. H – Hungary
  13. I – Italy
  14. IS – Iceland
  15. LI – Liechtenstein
  16. L – Luxembourg
  17. LT – Lithuania
  18. LVA – Latvia
  19. M – Malta
  20. N – Norway
  21. NL – Netherlands
  22. P – Portugal
  23. PL – Poland
  24. S – Sweden
  25. SK – Slovakia
  26. SVN – Slovenia

Schengen Visa sticker validity

The Schengen visa sticker validity states the time in which you can use your visa to enter and stay in the Schengen Zone.

Next to the labels “FROM”, “DU” and “VOM” states the first day you can enter the Schengen Area, while labels “UNTIL”, “AU”, and “BIS” states the last day you will have to leave the Schengen zone.

No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave before the date in the “UNTIL” field.”

Number of entries label on the Schengen visa sticker

The number of times you can enter the Schengen area solely depends on the type of visa you hold.

Some Schengen visas allow for only a single entry, whereas others allow the holder to enter the zone twice or several times during the validity period of the visa.

As such, the number of times you can enter the Schengen area will also be indicated on the Schengen visa sticker.

With a single-entry visa, you can enter the Schengen area only once. Alternatively, a double entry or a multiple-entry visa allows for two or several entries during the validity period of the visa.

This is indicated on the visa sticker by “01”, “02” or “MULT” under the heading “Number of entries”.

Schengen Visa Documents

To apply for a Schengen Visa there are some documents that you need to submit depending on the visa type, your nationality and your status.

However, some documents are very necessary for all non-Schengen citizens irrespective of their reasons for travelling. They include:

#1.  Valid passport

A valid passport is an important document every traveler must have. The visa confirms a person’s nationality and proves that he or she is a good citizen.

However, the passport must meet the following requirements:

  • It must have at least two empty pages in order to affix a Schengen visa sticker.
  • not be older than ten years
  • The passport must valid for at least three more months after the date you plan to leave the Schengen zone.

#2.   Passport photograph that meets Schengen guidelines

It is important you provide two copies of identical passports. These passports must be recent passports.

In addition, the passport size should be 35x40mm and it must show both edges of your face clearly.

If you wear glasses, the passport photograph must show your eyes clearly with no flash reflection off the glasses and no tinted lenses.

#3.   Schengen Visa application form

The application form requires you to fill basic information such as name and surname, date of birth, place and country of birth, current nationality, sex and marital status.

The form also contains a section where you need to fill in your passport details such as (date of issue, expiration date) the type of visa you are applying for (single, double or multiple entry).

#4Proof of paid Schengen visa fees

You must present your proof of payment for a Schengen visa before you can collect your Schengen visa. So, once you have paid for your visa, make sure that you keep your receipt intact.

#5.  Travel Medical Insurance

You must provide travel medical insurance that covers the duration of your stay in Europe. Without this, you may not be able to obtain a Schengen visa. The minimum insurance is 30,000 Euro per person.

#6.  Biometric Data

Another compulsory Schengen visa document is biometric data. This means that you must provide your fingerprints.

This will be stored in a new Visa Information System (VIS). The following people may not provide their fingerprints.

People who are exempted from the fingerprinting requirements includes:

  1. Children younger than twelve years old.
  2. Persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible.
  3. Heads of State and members of National Governments, their accompanying spouses, and their official delegation when on an official visit.

#7A Schengen visa cover letter

You must explain in details your travel plan as to when you plan to visit the country, where you will stay and what you will do when you get there.

#8.   Proof of financial status

In this situation, you must show evidence that you will be able to financially maintain yourself during your stay in the Schengen area. You can prove this by providing your bank statement of account.

The minimum amount required is different in each country. Therefore, you will have to consult with the relevant consular authority in your country.

#9.   Flight Itinerary

You need to provide a detailed flight plan on how you intend to move around Schengen zone.

More so, you need to provide evidence of flight reservations, package tour, hotel bookings among others.

#10.   Proof of paid Schengen visa fees

After the payment of the visa fee, you will be issued is a receipt. Keep it because you will have to submit it in order to collect your processed application.

Additional Schengen visa documents

Depending on your employment status, you will have to submit additional documents such as:

  1. Confirmation of employment
  2. Prove of self-employment
  3. Evidence of retirement – Pension statements over the last 6 months.

Guidelines on how to apply for a Schengen Visa

The application process to obtain a European visa is mandatory for a free and unrestricted movement in the Schengen zone.

Therefore, you should be very careful when lodging your Schengen visa application.

Step 1:   Figure out which Schengen visa type you need

The Schengen visa you need depends on the purpose you need to enter the Schengen zone. However, you can apply for any of the following Schengen visa types:

  • Tourism visa
  • Visa for Visiting Family or Friends
  • Business visa
  • Visa for Official Visits
  • Study visa
  • Transit visa
  • Visa for Medical Reasons

Step 2:  Find out the location where you need to apply

Depending on how your destination country in Schengen has structured visa submission in your country of origin. You will have to file your Schengen visa application at one of the following:

  1. Their embassy.
  2. A visa center to which the embassy of your destination country has structured visa submission.
  3. One of their consulates.
  4. The embassy/consulate of another Schengen state to which the embassy of your destination country has structured visa submission.

Step 3:   Apply for your Schengen visa

Due to the time that the Schengen embassies, consulates or visa center needs to process a Schengen visa, you have an appointed period within which you can file your visa application.

The permissible period to apply for a Schengen visa is as follows:

  • The earliest time to file a visa application: six months before you start your planned trip.
  • The latest time can file a visa application: at most 15 working days before you intend to travel.
  • Recommended time to file a visa application: at least three weeks before your trip.

Step 4:   Book an appointment with the embassy, consulates or visa application center

The next step is to book a Schengen visa appointment in order to proceed with your application. However, most countries give you the chance to book an appointment online.

You can also book the appointment in person, at the embassy or consulate of your destination country.

Step 5:   Fill out the Schengen visa application form online

Download the application form and fill it correctly. The Schengen visa application form has the same format no matter which country’s visa the applicant is applying for.

More so, you will have to provide the following information on your Schengen visa application form:

  1. Your individual information,
  2. Information on your background,
  3. Your purpose of wishing to enter the Schengen zone and
  4. Other details regarding your trip.

Step 6:   Submit the necessary documents

These documents are a crucial part of your visa application. Usually, these documents can be grouped into two sections.

  1. Standard required documents: such as visa application form, Two passport photographs, a valid passport, proof of accommodation, proof of financial means and others.
  2. Visa specific requirements: such as employment contract, leave permission from the employer, a copy of your business license etc.

Step 7:   Attend the visa interview

On the day of your appointment, you need to be punctual. There you will meet a visa consular to whom you need to give the documents as required.

They might ask some personal questions about your whereabouts, the intended trip and other travel details.

Thus, make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the application form and the other documents. The interview may last around 10-15 minutes.

Step 8:   Proceed to pay the visa fee

Of course, you will need to pay a non-refundable fee when applying for a Schengen visa, in order for your visa application to be processed.

The member countries have synchronized the visa fees to the extent that they are static and unchangeable until decided otherwise by the Schengen area countries.

Step 9Wait for an answer on your application

You need to wait until you get a response on your visa application. Although in most cases, it takes no more than 15 days for processing a visa. Additionally, there are times when this process takes quite much longer.

If you get your visa, make sure to understand carefully the labels attached to the Schengen visa sticker, including the period it permits you to remain in Europe.

Otherwise, overstaying in the Schengen zone might have consequences.

If your visa application is denied, read the reasons why the consulates or embassy didn’t grant you a visa and try to fulfil it the next time you apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen if I overstay the number of days on my Schengen visa sticker?

You could face deportation and sanctions- including a ban from the Schengen Area or a fine. It will also mean future applications take longer to process.

Do I have to stick to the purpose of visit stated on my visa sticker?

Yes. Although in practice you will not be queried for visiting family if traveling as a tourist.  However, it is best to be truthful on your application.

What is visa sticker number Schengen Visa?

This visa sticker is the “document” allowing you to enter the Schengen area.

Where is Schengen Visa sticker number?

The visa sticker number is at the top right corner of your visa sticker.

What is Type B Schengen Visa?

The type B visa is Transit Visa. This Visa allows its holder to transit through more than one Schengen country on the way to a non-Schengen country.

Conclusion

All citizens of non-Schengen nations can travel to Schengen nations with these requirements.

However, you will have to know if you need a special Schengen visa document depending on your country of origin.

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