Do I Need to Apply for a Schengen Visa?

The Schengen visa Area is a group of 29 European countries, including:

Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, that have abolished border controls between each other. 

What is the Schengen visa?

Citizens of which countries need a Schengen visa?

Under the Schengen regulations, citizens of countries listed below need a valid visa to visit or travel through any country in the Schengen Area :

BotswanaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodia
CameroonCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChad
ChinaComorosCongoCôte d'Ivoire
CubaDR of CongoDjiboutiDominican Republic
EcuadorEgyptEquatorial GuineaEritrea
NamibiaNepalNigeriaNorth Corea
Northern MarianasOmanPakistanPapua New Guinea 
São Tomé and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSierra Leone
SomaliaSouth AfricaSri LankaSudan

Nationals of certain other countries must have travel insurance, but do not need a short-stay visa. These include the U.S., U.A.E., Brazil or Argentina, for example. Those requirements might change. To be certain, the best sources of information will be your embassy, consulate or travel agent.

I’m a U.S., U.K., Australia resident or green card holder, do I need a Schengen visa to go to Europe?

The U.S, U.K, Canada or Australia resident permit holders and green card holders who are not citizens, and hold a passport from a state that does not have its own visa-free travel agreement with the Schengen Area, should apply for a Schengen Visa via the nearest consulate.
If you are a U.S, U.K, Canada or Australia citizen then you do not need to apply for a visa if you are spending no more than 90 days in the Schengen states. This is because these countries and the Schengen Area have a visa-free travel arrangement. You should, however, ensure that your passport is valid up until at least three months after your planned return home.
It is worth noting that from 2023, citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before they travel, which can be obtained online and will cost €7 ($7.82).

Do I need an Airport Transit Schengen visa?

Under the Schengen regulations, citizens of countries listed below need a valid Airport transit visa to change the airplane at an airport in Europe:

AfghanistanBangladeshCongo (DR)
PakistanSomaliaSri Lanka

How to apply for a Schengen visa?

You must have a passport valid for at least six months after your return from your trip, and pay a visa fee of €80 for adults and €40 for minors (free for children before 6 years old).
In addition to this, you will need two recently taken passport-style photos, travel and medical insurance covering you up to costs of €30,000, a cover letter stating your itinerary and the purpose of your visit, as well as a flight itinerary and proof of accommodation during your stay, proof of your civil status, like a marriage certificate, and proof you have means of subsistence during your stay. You may also need additional documents, proving an offer to work or study in the Schengen Area if this is the purpose of your trip.
However, there are specific regimes for individual countries - including different requirements for means of subsistence, or to receive permission to work or study. If you require any additional information concerning the Schengen Visa procedure, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate.

What do I need from my travel and health insurance?

To obtain a Schengen Visa, your travel and medical insurance must be valid for all 29 countries in the Schengen Area, even those you have no plans to visit, and cover accidents and illnesses, covering costs up to a minimum of €30,000 ($33,000).

Why choose AXA Insurance?

AXA offers several Schengen Visa compliant insurance policies, such as the low-cost option, which costs as little as 22€ (24$) per week of your trip. Taking out insurance is a legal requirement and will cover you for any emergencies that occur during your travels. None of these policies will require you to pay an excess fee on medical costs. AXA travel insurance policies are accepted in all the embassies and consulates of Schengen Area countries.

Related topics on Schengen visa

Frequently asked questions about Schengen Visas

Where do I apply for my Schengen Visa?

You should apply at the embassy or consulate or visa application center representing the country where you will spend the majority of your stay.

Will my visa allow me to travel to other European countries?

Yes Providing they are one of the 25 other countries within the Schengen Area.

What should I do if my Schengen Visa is refused?

If your visa is refused you have the right to appeal to the authorities in the Schengen member state where you applied.