There are 26 European nations that make up the Schengen Area. Twenty-two belonged to the European Union, while four were from the European Free Trade Association. These nations have eliminated necessary border checks at their shared internal borders.
The Schengen Area boasts a population of almost 400 million people and includes popular tourist destinations and economic powerhouses, such as Spain, Germany, Italy, and France. Citizens in countries not included in the Schengen Area must acquire a Schengen visa to travel and enter the region.
Here are the pros and cons of obtaining a Schengen Visa. But before that, let’s first understand what Schengen Visa is.
What is Schengen Visa?
Schengen Visa refers to a document showing that an individual can enter the Schengen Area no matter their origin. However, their stay is only limited to a short time. This kind of visa can be used for tourist or commercial purposes.
It is the most popular visa that will enable you to travel to countries in Europe. Beyond that, this paper will allow you to enter and exit the Schengen territories freely. No matter your reasons for visiting, you have requirements and criteria to pass and meet to be eligible for obtaining a Schengen Visa.
It is worth noting that a Schengen Visa is only suitable for quick visits to Europe. This means that you can’t use it to work, study, or live in the Schengen Area. On the other hand, if you plan to stay in Europe for good, it would be best to consider applying for a European national visa.
Pros and Cons of Schengen Visa
Like other types of visas, acquiring a Schengen Visa also has pros and cons. To help you weigh whether applying for Schengen Visa is best for you, here are its advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Schengen Visa
The following are the reasons that would encourage you to apply for a Schengen Visa:
Can Travel Within the Schengen Area – The main advantage of having a Schengen Visa is that you are free to enter and exit the states that belong to the Schengen Area. This applies even though you are not a European resident. However, if you have been living in Europe for several years, you must present proof of residency to travel to the Schengen Area without acquiring a Schengen Visa.
Open for Everyone – Compared to other types of visas restricting a particular group of people from applying, acquiring a Schengen Visa is open for everyone. However, you must gather and present all the required documents. Beyond that, you also have to show proof that you have a stable source of income that will fund your stay in the Schengen Area.
Affordable – Where can you find another visa type that you can apply for less than 90 US Dollars or 60 Euros? Schengen Visa is one of the most affordable types of visa that will only cost 80 euros for adults and 35 to 40 euros for children aged 6 to 12 years old. Furthermore, kids five years old and below are free to apply for Schengen Visa.
Lesser Requirements – Applying for a Schengen Visa will only require you to prepare a few requirements. Some of them are the following:
- A valid passport
- Completely signed visa application form
- Visa photo requirements
- Travel insurance policy
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of paid visa fee
- Proof of financial means
Disadvantages of Schengen Visa
Like other types of visas, applying for a Schengen Visa also has disadvantages. Some of them are the following:
Limited Stay – With the number of tourist destinations in the Schengen Area, most visitors would like to extend their visit to the place. However, you are only allowed to stay for 90 days or three months. And you have to wait for six months before you can reapply.
Long Processing Time – The processing time before your application for Schengen Visa is approved will vary depending on different situations. In some cases, you have to wait for at least a month before your application will be approved. However, there are some circumstances that will extend the processing time to longer than two months.
To sum up, a Schengen Visa allows you to travel around states under the Schengen Area. Aside from being affordable, this is one of the few visa types that is easy to obtain. However, it is worth noting that you are only allowed to stay in the Schengen Area for three months or 90 days. And you have to wait for another six months to apply for a Schengen Visa in the UK again.