The term visa processing refers to all of the steps that are involved in having you enter or leave an area with little restrictions. This includes things like gathering documents, verifying identities, and ensuring that there is no criminal activity taking place within the country you will be traveling to.
In early 2014, twenty-two European nations signed what is known as the Treaty of Lisbon which allowed for two main things; unrestricted travel and the introduction of common visas. These new international agreements were put into action beginning in March of 2015 when Germany opened its borders to travelers from the rest of Europe. Since then, more countries have joined this group including Switzerland, Iceland, and Andorra.
The length of time it takes to process your visa has slightly changed since then. It was originally three months before extended passovers of six months. Now, however, it can take anywhere up to eight weeks depending on how many people need to be processed and verified. This article will go over some tips and tricks to help you navigate the system faster!
Reminder: Before heading out, make sure you are fully prepared by checking online listings, talking to friends and family who have traveled recently, and looking at past events at airports to see how they sped up the process. Also, remember that not every embassy runs their systems like ours do so you may find yourself waiting longer than expected.
The process of getting a Schengen visa can sometimes seem like an uphill battle! This is especially true if you are traveling during busy times or at a time when there are more applications than available visas.
When this happens, your options become limited- you can either apply later (very expensive) or early (free but with very long waiting periods).
The best way to avoid this problem is by applying as soon as possible after knowing that you will be travelling from the country where you have already obtained residence status. This means that you only need to stay in one country for a few days and then you’re good to go!
However, staying for just a couple of hours longer than necessary could still cost you quite a bit of money because most people find out about Schengen visa requirements at least two weeks before their travel date. During those two weeks, additional documents and paperwork must be gathered, submitted, and verified which takes time.
After 90 days in any 180 day period, you must leave Europe! This is referred to as the ‘maximum duration’ for your visa. You can apply for an extension if you have a valid reason for staying longer, but it will be at the government’s discretion whether or not they agree.
There are different maximum duration rules depending on which country you are visiting from. For example, countries like Switzerland and Austria allow one year for their visas, while other places only give six months!
It is very important to know what the regulations are before arriving in Europe so that you don’t waste time waiting around for permission to remain.
In most cases, your proof of health coverage will be through your employer or the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) you have access to via the Medical Expense Reimbursement Program (MERP).
If you are traveling outside of Europe as an EU citizen, then you do not need to prove that you have medical insurance while in the country of entry. You can reenter any other Schengen member state without having to repeat this step.
However, if you enter another Schengen nation after staying longer than 30 days within the original border area, you must show evidence of adequate medical coverage before moving forward with travel.
This could include showing receipts for out-of-pocket costs, bills, or documents confirming employee group medical coverage, among others. It is also helpful to know what kind of medical coverage you have so that we can confirm it exists.
While some countries may require you to be covered by national healthcare, which cannot easily be verified, almost every country in the Schengen zone requires at least basic medical coverage. This includes coverage for hospital visits, doctor’s appointments, and medication.
The proof of return flight is one of the most important documents you will need for your trip to Europe. This document proves that you have enough money to come back home if needed, and also confirms that you plan to stay in the area after your visa expires.
It is very common to be asked about the length of time you will remain in the country after your visa expires during this stage of application processing. Some countries require you to leave within a certain amount of time, while others don’t. Read on to find out what happens in both cases!
If there are no objections, we recommend staying for at least two months in any case. That way, you can spend the rest of the time exploring the surrounding areas as well as taking some more substantial trips outside of the country.
Stayting longer than two months should only be done when you really planned ahead and have made arrangements for afterwards.
In most cases, proof of your intended stay in an EU country is not required during visa processing for a Schengen visit. Only if you cannot provide adequate proof that you will be staying at a certain location or have access to money to pay for lodging can additional documents be requested.
Schengen countries typically require one document per person applying for the visa. This includes residence cards, passports, driver’s licenses and invoices proving where you are staying. If none of these exist, then it may be necessary to prove other forms of employment or source of income.
It is very important to understand the differences between tourist visas and business/work visas. A tourist visa does not need to be job related, while a work visa does. More information about this can be found here.
Most Visas take 2-4 weeks to process once all documentation has been reviewed.
Before you even begin applying for your visa, you need to make sure you have all of your important documents ready. These include proof of citizenship or residency in the country you’re traveling from, proof of sufficient funds for your stay, and proof of health insurance or other means to cover significant medical costs while you are in Europe.
It is very difficult to get your passport back once you leave it somewhere so be sure to keep copies as well as possible!
While some countries may be included automatically when you apply for your Schengen visa, others require you to explicitly state that they belong to you.
In fact, most European countries have their own visa system that is separate from what we call the Schengen Area. These non-Schengen nation visas are not part of the Schengen Agreement, so they take much longer to process than a Schengen country visa.
Non-Schengen country visa processing times can be quite long depending on how busy the consulate or embassy is at any given time. This means it may take several days for your passport to get back after you leave!
It’s important to remember that even if your passport doesn’t arrive in Europe until two weeks later, you don’t need to worry about missing anything because everything you want to do is probably covered by your tour group ticket or personal travel insurance.
What you should watch out for once your passport does come back is if there are any problems with it. If your passport gets stolen while inside Schengen area national borders then you will likely face additional hurdles getting another one made as soon as possible.