Types of Schengen Visa
by Chris Chaplow
Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)
The Uniform Schengen Visa stands for a permit of one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or visit for a maximum of 90 days every 180 days.
“C” category stands for a Short-term visa which allows its holder to reside in a Schengen Area for the period of time specified on the visa validity. It can be Single-entry visa, Double-entry visa or Multiple-entry visa for 1, 3, 5 years. The Multiple entry visa allows the holder to enter and leave the Schengen Zone as many times as wanted as long as the holder does not remain in Schengen for more than 90 days in any 180 day period.
The old type B visa related to journeys lasting fewer than five days and has been replaced by type “C” with the condition “transit".
“A” category is for nationals of certain countries that will need a visa just to travel air side (international side) of an airport of a Schengen country. This does not permit the holder to go land side. This visa could be needed if travelling from a non-Schengen state to another non-Schengen state and changing a flight in a Schengen country airport.
The EU list of A visa countries is Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka. Additionally, each EU country maintains a list of further A visa country nationals. For Spain this is Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leona, Syria, Togo.
Limited territorial validity visas (LTV)
A special type of visa issued in cases such as a humanitarian reason that allows the holder to travel in the issuing country only
“D” category is granted to the certain individuals who are to be studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen countries. The national visa can be single or multiple entry and permits travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.
Criteria for National Visas include:
An international student program for no more than one year or a full course more than one year.
A professional who is traveling in any of the Schengen countries due to its expertise be it a sportsman, an artist or any other professional of its kind with the purpose of sharing its expertise.
Emergency cases as a medical condition that prevents the individual leave the Schengen Area at the designated time frame.
A Schengen Visa form should be available from the website of the consulate of the country or visa application center you are applying to visit.
As an example, applications for a Spanish Uniform Schengen Visa here are the instruction in English on the Los Angeles Consulate website as a guide.
A Schengen Visa Costs 80€
You can apply for your Schengen visa at the earliest 3 to 6 months prior to the date of your trip and at the latest 15 calendar days before your departure date.
You are required to obtain travel and medical insurance which must cover you in the whole Schengen Area and cover accidents, illnesses, and emergency treatments, as well as repatriation in case of death, for a minimum of €30,000.