The Schengen Area is an area of 26 countries that are signatories of the Schengen Agreement. Schengen refers to a town in Luxemburg where the agreement was signed. Individuals with a Schengen visa can travel throughout the Schengen Area with a single visa for short term trips. There are three types of Schengen visas. There is a short stay travel visa for up to three months, an airport transit visa, and transit visa through Schengen territory for a maximum of five days.
The visa application should be submitted at the Schengen visa at the country where the applicant plans on spending the most time during the trip. If the visa applicant plans on traveling through multiple countries without a main destination, the applicant should be submitted at the embassy where they will enter the Schengen area.
Each country has their own requirements for a Schengen visa. There are two types of Schengen Visas ? A Uniform Schengen Visas (USV) allows travel throughout the Schengen area or a Limited territorial Validity Visa (LTV) which only allows travel in specific Schengen Countries. In addition, there single entry and multiple entry Schengen visas. Multiple entry visas will allow the holder reenter the Schengen area multiple times during the validity of the visa.
Every person who wants a Schengen visa must make an appointment and apply in person. The applicant can apply up to 12 weeks in advance of the trip but it is recommended that the interview occur a minimum of 15 days prior to the date of departure. The officer may interview the applicant about the purpose of the trip and the ability to support yourself during the trip.