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Obtaining the Schengen visa (2012)

The Schengen visa – the special type of visas allowing to cross borders at once of several State Parties without passing of passport control between them. The list of the countries of the Schengen agreement for the beginning of 2012 includes 25 countries. In each separate case preparation of collecting documents for the Schengen visa should be begun with visit of the official site of embassy.
Получение шенгенской визы, 2012 The Schengen visa – the special type of visas allowing to cross borders at once of several State Parties without passing of passport control between them.
The name of the visa came from the name of the small wine-making village Schengen on the Moselle River in Luxembourg. Exactly there the Schengen agreement was signed on June 14, 1985. According to the official version signing happened by the walking ship "Princess Maria Astrid".
The Schengen agreement is an agreement of several countries on cancellation of passport and customs control. Originally it was signed between five countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany). The agreement came into force on March 26, 1995 (in spite of the fact that it was signed much earlier) – by then also Spain and Portugal joined it.
The list of the countries of the Schengen agreement for the beginning looks 2012 so (25 countries):
  • Austria;
  • Belgium;
  • Hungary;
  • Germany (without Byuzingen - on - Top - Rhine);
  • Greece (without Athos);
  • Denmark (without Greenland and the Faroe Islands);
  • Iceland;
  • Spain;
  • Italy (without Levigno's enclave);
  • Latvia;
  • Lithuania;
  • Liechtenstein;
  • Luxembourg;
  • Malta;
  • Netherlands;
  • Norway (without Spitsbergen and Medvezhyi Islands);
  • Poland;
  • Portugal;
  • Slovakia;
  • Slovenia;
  • Finland;
  • France;
  • Czech Republic;
  • Switzerland;
  • Sweden;
  • Estonia.
The last country which joined the Schengen agreement is Luxembourg today – on December 19, 2011.
Are not members of the European Union, though Iceland and Switzerland enter the Schengen area Norway.
Five members of the European Union already signed the Schengen agreement, but remain out of the Schengen area as passport control was not completely cancelled (Great Britain, Ireland) or its cancellation is only planned in the future (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania). About these countries is more detailed.
In March, 2012 the entry into the Schengen area of Bulgaria was planned. According to official information of Embassy of Bulgaria in Moscow at a meeting of the government, according to the proposal of the prime minister of Bulgaria, the decision according to which before date of full accession of Bulgaria to the Schengen space Bulgaria will apply unilaterally a visa-free regime to owners of the valid Schengen visas was made. The text of this Decision is published in the State newspaper (DV) No. 9 of January 31, 2012 (dv If visit only of Bulgaria is planned, obtaining the Bulgarian visa is necessary.
Cyprus. Owners of passports of member countries of the European Union do not need receipt of a visa for entrance to Cyprus, but thus undertake to have at themselves either the valid passport, or the identity card on condition of existence in them of the photo and the indication of nationality. For citizens of Russia (even having the Schengen visa) the visa is made out within one day free of charge (more detailed information can be received on the site of Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Moscow).
Romania. Now Romania is the member of the European Union, but does not enter the Schengen area and therefore before accession of Romania to the Schengen agreement entry into this country requires obtaining the Romanian visa. The foreign citizens having the Schengen visa can pass through the territory of Romania during the period which is not exceeding 5 days without duty of receiving the Romanian transit visa. Journey through Romania without visa is allowed also the foreigners possessing the valid visas issued by Bulgaria or Cyprus. More detailed information can be received on the official site of Embassy of Romania in Moscow.

Types of Schengen visas

Visas share by number of the allowed entrances:
  • the single;
    Получение шенгенской визы, 2012
  • the double;
  • repeated (unlimited).
By the principle of action:
  • airport (it is necessary for those who makes flight through the countries of the Schengen agreement, stay only in the territory of the airport is authorized);
  • transit (driving through the territory of the countries of the Schengen agreement is possible, the maximum permissible number of days of stay in the Schengen area makes 5 days);
  • tourist (grants the right to be in the territory of all Schengen the number of days specified in the visa in the passport);
    Получение шенгенской визы, 2012
  • the national visa (permission to stay in a zone of the Schengen agreement to or more than 90 days).
The tourist visa too happens three types:
  • till 30 days;
  • from 31 to 90 days;
  • repeated (with the indication of the greatest possible number of days of stay for action of the visa. As a rule, the semi-annual visa gives the chance of stay no more than 90 days for the specified period, the annual visa allows stay for up to 180 days during the whole year).
    Получение шенгенской визы, 2012
I pay attention of readers of that the rule of "the first entrance" does not work any more. It assumed receipt of a visa in embassy of that country which border will be crossed by the first.
The visa is recommended to be received in embassy of that country in the territory of which it is planned to carry out the greatest number of time. Though it only the recommendation (if this is not about the visa working or educational).

Obtaining the Schengen visa, documents

Irrespective of the fact which you request Schengen visa, the following documents are necessary for you:
  1. The international passport which is existing not less than 3 months from the moment of return from a trip and having not less than 3 free pages.
  2. Copies of the last two Schengen visas (if those were available).
  3. Completely completed questionnaire (on the sites of all embassies there is a possibility of its free downloading).
  4. 2 (sometimes 3 – depending on a type of the visa) recently taken pictures. One is pasted on the questionnaire, the others are given so.
  5. Confirmation of a hotel booking or apartments for the entire period of the planned stay in the country. If visit of relatives/friends is supposed, as confirmation the invitation is shown. The original of the invitation handwritten, having the signature of the inviting. Sometimes the invitation can be sent by fax the inviting person. Less often sending the copy of the invitation by fax inviting in embassy is required. Irrespective of a way of sending the invitation has to contain the following information:
    • Full name of the inviting and invited person, residential addresses both, phones of both parties, e-mail addresses,
    • number of the passport invited
    • the correct indication of the period of the planned visit,
    • the indication of character of the relations inviting and invited
    • the indication of financial expenses (for example, "for stay of my school friend Vasya there and back I am ready to assume financial accommodation costs and food, and also payment of air tickets"),
    • on what bases the inviting allows stay in the territory of the house/apartment (the owner or the area rented by it).
    The copy of the passport inviting is surely attached to the invitation (a turn with the photo). In case of the invitation of family members obligatory confirmation of relationship.
  6. Confirmation of existence of return tickets. At receipt of a visa by the private invitation tickets are necessary not in all embassies.
  7. Insurance a minimum of $30 000 for the entire period of alleged stay in the country (countries).
  8. The reference with the indication of a position and level of a salary. And also the instruction that for an estimated trip will grant leave (at own expense or paid). Has to be on the letterhead with the blue press and the signature of the head, translated into country language in which embassy the visa is requested. Some embassies demand notarial assurance, some are not present – to specify in each separate case.
  9. Sometimes for secure request an extract from bank. It is important when a salary in the reference from the previous point not really big (or work is not present at all, and, respectively, you do not show the above reference) or trip term rather long. Sometimes banks provide special references for embassies for some sum. But it is quite enough simply an extract with the blue seal which to you will set bank irrespective of, for what purpose you request it. The extract can be from the card account or a contribution (and it is better from both). Important not that, in free use your means or not, and in their existence. The necessary sum calculates from 30 euros for 1 day of stay (at in advance paid hotel or by the private invitation) to 100 euros (in the presence of an unpaid hotel booking). The term of an extract has to be no more than 1 month. Not always, but the same reference is required from an inviting party in case of the private invitation.
  10. In case of request of the visa for the purpose of training (with the maximum term of stay no more than 90 days) it is necessary to provide the invitation from educational institution with the indication of the period of training for the visa, and also the document confirming preliminary payment of training.
  11. Payment of a consular fee. The coupon on payment is issued at documents acceptance in processing. Cost on average 35 euros. This sum does not come back even in case of refusal in receipt of a visa. It actually fee on processing of the filed documents. When obtaining the passport with the visa obligatory presentation of a back with a mark of bank about the made payment. Close relatives of the inviting person are exempted from payment of a consular fee.
It is necessary to consider that each embassy has individual requirements to the provided documents. And in each separate case preparation of collecting documents for the visa should be begun with visit of the official site of embassy. Often visa centers request more documents, than it is really necessary, right there promising you to help to bring together for some payment them in time. At emergence of questions it is possible to write on e-mail specified on the sites of consulates or to call directly. Services of visa departments of consulates work rather quickly.
After collecting documents it is necessary to register in reception by phone and to bring documents at the appointed time. Call to embassy the paid. On average costs 230 rubles in a minute. Payment can be made in the different ways about what will tell you the machine gun to the answer of the operator. Besides the cash card of consulate began to accept payments via terminals (for example, qiwi). If you pay with the card it is necessary to consider that prior to conversation on the card the sum of 1 000 rubles will be blocked. After conversation the operator will sound to you the exact sum. From reserved 1 000 rubles will subtract conversation cost, and will unblock other sum within a short period of time. Therefore at a call to embassy check existence of the minimum sum on the card.
Now the Schengen visa is issued in the shortest terms – 3-4 working days.

What it is necessary to know about the Schengen visa?

Sometimes in the presence of all correctly processed documents it is possible to receive at once the multi-visa (for example, the Embassy of Spain issues the multi-visa at once for half a year, but only in cases of correctly processed documents).
The receipt of a visa is possible not earlier than in 3 months and no later than 10-15 days prior to the beginning of an estimated trip. Obtaining the second visa during action of the first is in certain cases possible but on condition that the new visa will take effect not earlier than the day following behind day of the termination of the previous.
Also there is an opportunity to submit the application for annulment of the issued visa and receiving the new. It is necessary when there was a need urgently to change the principle of action of the visa. But in this case the new visa will be issued taking into account the days which are already spent in the territory of Schengen. These days will be subtracted from the most admissible days of the new visa.
As a rule, in case of refusal in issue of visa of embassy do not explain the reasons. Therefore it is necessary to show consideration for preparation of documents. All requirements have to be observed not only from the tourist, but also an inviting party. The reserved hotel has to exist really, and confirmation of armor from it to contain correct information on the lodger – all data have to coincide, since the correct writing of a name. The reference from work has to be too real because in some cases can request the reference of the personal income tax, and to think up it it will not turn out any more. The questionnaire consulates have to conform to all requirements. You should not neglect them recommendations or to show an excessive initiative. The inviting party too has to have legal situation in the country, have the stable financial income – any doubts in law-abidingness inviting can become a cause of failure.
In the presence of the Schengen visa it is possible to cross freely borders of all member countries, irrespective of what embassy of the country issued the visa. It is not simple to trace your situation. But remember that violations of the rules of stay can play not your advantage when obtaining the following visas.
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