The Schengen Visa

The Schengen Visa is compulsory for many foreign nationals wishing to enter France, or any other country in the Schengen area. This visa allows the holder to enter a member state and freely travel to any country inside the Schengen area as long as the entire stay lasts less than three months. Depending on your nationality, you might not need a visa. Before you get into any paperwork, make sure you actually do need a visa.

A short-stay visa

With a short stay-visa or “Schengen Visa“, a foreign national may not stay in the Schengen area for over three months within a six month period. If you wish to stay any longer, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit. Visas and residence permits don’t give you the same rights but they go together: you can’t get a residence permit if you aren’t in possession of the visa that allowed you to enter the Schengen area. So what does the Schengen visa look like? It’s a sticker a member state will place on the traveler’s passport. What about the visa fee? €60 for a grown up, €35 for a child between 12 and 6 years old, free for a child under 6.

Who is the Schengen visa for?

For nationals of many countries, the Schengen visa is absolutely necessary, so check what these countries are. This type of visa is generally issued for people going on tourism, business or family visits. A foreign national will be able to get a job in a member state only if holding a work permit.

Find out more about the Schengen visa:

The European commission website provides further insight on the Schengen area visas. Find some more practical information on the Schengen visa portal .

Date of publication Nov 23 2012

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