The Schengen Area is a region in which 26 European nations have eliminated their internal borders to allow for the unhindered and unlimited movement of persons following agreed regulations for policing external borders and combating crime by enhancing judicial and police cooperation.
Except for Ireland and the nations that will shortly join the Schengen Area—România, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Croatia—the Schengen Area encompasses most of the EU member states. Countries like Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein are a part of the Schengen area while not being EU members.
What is Schengen?
26 European nations that make up the Schengen region have formally removed all passport checks and other forms of border control at their shared borders. As a component of the EU’s larger freedom, security, and justice policy domain, it primarily operates as a single jurisdiction with a unified approach to visa requirements for foreign travel.
The 1985 Schengen Agreement and the 1990 Schengen Convention, both signed in Schengen, Luxembourg, inspired the area’s name.
What is a Visa?
A visa is a temporary permit that allows a foreigner to enter, remain in, or depart the territory of a country. An individual’s capacity to work in the country in question may be a requirement for a visa, as well as restrictions on the length of the foreigner’s stay, the parts of the country they may enter, the dates they may enter, and the number of trips they are allowed.
Visas are related to the request for permission to enter a territory and are, therefore, in most countries, separate from the legal approval for an alien to enter and reside in the country.
What is Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is also called a Europe visa. This visa allows eligible individuals to travel freely within the 26 participating Schengen Area countries. This means Europe travelers will not be subject to border checks at internal Schengen borders.
Border checks remain in place for travelers crossing external borders.
Eligibility for Schengen Visa:
An individual must meet specific eligibility requirements to apply for a Schengen Visa, which enables travel to any of the Schengen Zone’s member nations. Although the requirements may fluctuate slightly depending on the embassy of a particular Schengen nation, they are generally similar and can be satisfied by submitting supplementary documents.
One can obtain a Schengen visa for both a single-entry and multiple-entry travel itinerary, enabling one to visit numerous Schengen nations. In addition to identification and financial status documents, applicants must provide such documents as necessary and as instructed by the embassy or consulate of a particular Schengen nation.
An applicant is urged to schedule an appointment at least 15 days before departure because the application procedure could take some time, depending on the embassy or consulate. The Schengen nations currently require the following standard papers for the visa application process:
- Filled in the visa application form
- One passport-size photograph
- Copy of the passport with at least two blank pages and three months of validity
- Copy of previous visas
- Flight itinerary with dates and flight numbers
- Copy of the travel health insurance policy, which covers medical emergencies and is also valid for all Schengen countries (if the visa application is rejected, the policy can be canceled for a refund)
- Proof of accommodation.
- Proof of sufficient funds to support the expenses during the travel.
The Required Documents for Schengen Visa:
The fact that you are one of the Schengen countries does not mean that you will not have a visa to the neighboring country you want to enter. Having a Schengen visa depends on your stay in the neighboring Schengen country. However, if you are moving to any of your Schengen neighboring countries to spend six months and above for any reason, you must have a visa for your traveling to the country. Therefore, the following list of documents is required when applying for a Schengen visa:
Visa application form.
Electronic submissions of Form DS-160 are made to the Department of State website over the Internet. Consular officers use the information provided on the DS-160 to process visa applications and establish a candidate’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa in conjunction with a personal interview.
Two recently taken photos must be attached.
According to the visa photo requirements, both photos must be taken within the last three months.
A valid passport.
Not older than 10 years, and it should be valid for at least three more months beyond the date you plan to leave the Schengen area. Older passports with visas on them (if you have any).
Round trip reservation or itinerary.
It must include dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from the Schengen area.
Travel insurance policy.
A document that proves you have travel health insurance for the whole Schengen territory, with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros in case of any medical emergency such as illnesses, accidents, and even repatriation in case of death. Insurance policy can easily be purchased online from Europ Assistance.
Proof of accommodation.
A document that shows where you will reside throughout your stay in Schengen. This can be one of the following:
- A hotel/hostel booking.
- A rental agreement.
- A letter of invitation from a host whose house you will be staying at.
Proof of financial means.
Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself financially throughout your stay in the Schengen. This can be one of the following:
The bank account statement shows you have enough money for the trip. The statement shall be no older than 3 months.
Sponsorship Letter – by another person confirming they will financially support your trip to the Schengen. For this letter to be valid, it must be accompanied by a bank statement of the sponsor, no older than three months.
A combination of your bank account statement and a letter of sponsorship.
Proof of paid visa fee. €80 for adults and €45 for children from 6 to 12 years old.
Apply for an Italy Schengen visa has several procedures or steps, which will be summarized thus:
Determine your Purpose for traveling to Italy. This has to do with your reason for the country. This will tells the consulate the visa you apply for.
Determine the number of Entries to Italy/the Schengen area you need.
Gather your Required Documents for the visa concerning what you want to do in Italy.
Schedule Italy Schengen Visa appointment (if applicable).
Applications for Italian Schengen visas must almost always be submitted in person. Additionally, you may have to schedule an appointment to submit your application. Alternatively, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during regular operating hours. Contact your consulate/visa center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment to submit your application.
Fill out your application for your Italy Schengen Visa.
Different consulates/visa processing centers provide different ways of accessing applications.
Depending on where you are applying from, you may be able to apply online through Italy’s E-application system here. Complete and print out the online form.
Alternatively, you can download, complete, and print out this standard Schengen visa online form, available here. In both cases, you will submit your forms to whichever consulate/visa center you apply to.
Pay the application fee for Italy Schengen Visa.
The first thing you need to do after receiving your NVC Welcome Letter is paying your processing fees. There are two processing fees:
Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee
Affidavit of Support Fee.
You will need a bank routing number and a checking or savings account number from an Italy-based bank.
To pay your fee, log into your case in CEAC and click the ‘PAY NOW’ button under Affidavit of Support Fee.
Submit your Italy Schengen visa application (at least 15 days before traveling, not before 6 months).
Different Italian consulates/processing centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through.
When you submit your application, you will likely be asked to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Children younger than 12 years are likely exempt from having their fingerprints collected. If you have previously submitted fingerprints (within the last 59 months), you likely will not need to resubmit them.
Please note: after submitting your application, you may be asked to return later for a personal interview to provide additional information/materials related to your trip.
Italy Schengen Visa is an article that explains the meaning of Schengen, what visa means, Schengen visa, the eligibility, the requirements, and how to apply for a Schengen visa.