Schengen Tourist visa

When an individual needs to visit any of the Schengen Area to meet his/her family/friends or for tourism, he/she needs to apply for a Tourist Schengen Visa. Once the visa is approved, the visa holder can reside in a Schengen country for a maximum of three months, unless the visa mentions different. This type of visa doesn̢۪t allow the visa holder to work in the Schengen Zone, unless the visa mentions differently.

The citizens from the specified countries are required to apply for a short-term Tourist Schengen Visa when they wish to travel to any of the Schengen Zone. Whether the visa is obtained under the single-entry or multiple-entry scheme, the visa holder is not allowed to stay for more than 90 days in a six-month period from the date of entering the Schengen Zone.

The Schengen Area/Zone is defined by the Schengen Agreement where the members allow free and unrestricted movement of people, goods, services, and capital, based on common rules. The members share common travel and movement rights which helps them in controlling external borders by strengthening the common judicial system and police cooperation.

The Schengen Zone consists of the following members :-

Austria Hungary Poland
Belgium Iceland Portugal
Czech Republic Italy Slovakia
Denmark Latvia Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania Spain
Finland Luxembourg Sweden
France Malta Switzerland
Germany Netherlands Liechtenstein
Greece Norway  


Features of the Schengen Zone

The abolition of borders between the members of the Schengen area benefits the citizens and the governments in various ways. Few of the features of the Schengen Zone are listed below -

  • Within the Schengen Zone, the citizens of any country can liberally cross the internal borders without any border checks (subject to valid Schengen Visa or permit).
  • The members share common standards for crossing the external borders.
  • Police and Judicial collaboration to fight crime effectively.
  • The presence of Schengen Information System (SIS), a unique database to share information pertaining to individuals, goods, criminals, etc.
  • Borders checks can be introduced for a maximum of 30 days, if required.


Security System of the Schengen Zone 

The Schengen Zone has implemented strong security systems to protect the citizens from fraud, criminals, etc. The security system consists of Visa Information System (VIS), Schengen Information System (SIS), and European Dactyloscopy (EURODAC) that helps the members in developing and sharing a database for various reasons. The databased helps the members in accessing information of people entering the Schengen Zone, people who are flagged for criminal activities, and people who banned from entering the Schengen Zone. The details of each of the systems are listed below -

  • Visa Information System (VIS) - Collects and exchanges information of short-stay visa applications.
  • Supports Visa Issuance and Border Check Processes
  • Protects Schengen Travelers
  • Supports with Asylum Applications
  • Improves security measures
  • Schengen Information System (SIS) - Collects and exchanges information of people who are suspected to be criminals along with data of people who are not allowed to enter/reside in the Schengen Zone. Moreover, it collects information pertaining to stolen/lost assets and missing people.
  • Allows Collaboration of Border Control and Law Enforcement
  • Supports Vehicle Registration Collaboration
  • European Dactyloscopy (EURODAC) - A fingerprint database to identify asylum seekers and illegal border-crossers.
  • Supports applications of Asylum Seekers
  • Supports VIS
  • Avoids, identifies, and explores crimes, terrorism, and other threats


Documents Required For Tourist Schengen Visa

Along with the filled in application form, the following details/documents are required for the application process -

  • One passport format photograph with a light background where the complete face is captured.
  • A valid passport with three months of validity from the departure date. The passport must have at least two blank pages.
  • Copy of the confirmed airline ticket for the return journey.
  • Travel visa insurance policy which is valid in all Schengen countries. In the event of visa application rejection, the applicant can claim for a refund after cancelling it.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Latest bank statement for the past six months.
  • Official affidavit of support is applicable for applicants who will require financial support for their visit.
  • Details of the travel plan.
  • First-time travelers need to submit additional documents.
  • Invitation letter, if applicable.


Depending on the particular Schengen country the applicant will be entering first and residing the most number of days during the visit, the visa application will need to be submitted at that particular consulate/embassy in India. Applicants are advised to apply for the Tourist Schengen Visa at least two weeks prior to the departure date of the travel.


Tourist Visa Validity

The Tourist Visa allows the visa holder to reside in the Schengen Zone for a maximum of 90 days. Based on whether it’s a single-entry or multiple-entry visa, the visa holder can enter and leave the Schengen zone accordingly. If the visa holder needs to reside in a Schengen Zone for more than 90 days, he/she will need to apply at the consulate/embassy again.  

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