The various types of Schengen visas allows an individual to freely move within the entire Schengen Zone which encompasses the European Union Schengen member countries and also the EFTA Schengen members, for as long as the visa holds its validity and time period constraints.
Various restrictions are applicable to the different visa types based on the Schengen consulate or embassy which issues them. It also depends on the nature of travel and other relevant situations.
Various Schengen Visa Categories:
- Uniform Schengen Visas (USV) – This visa category allows one to enter into one of the Schengen Area Member Countries in order to transit or live in a desired region for a specific duration of time. The stay is valid for a maximum of 90 days for every six month period from the date of entry. The countries one can travel to holding this visa includes Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland.
There are three categories under this visa- A,B and C.
A Category: Depicts Airport Transit Visa permits the visa holder to sojourn through the international zone of Schengen Country Airport without actually entering any of the Schengen areas. This visa is a must for citizens of one non-Schengen state who are travelling to another but need to halt in a Schengen Country airport for a change of flights.
B Category: Stands for Transit Visa which allows one to transit via one Schengen country by car, coach or plane to reach a non-Schengen country within 5 days.
C Category: It is a short-term visa which permits the holder to live in a Schengen country for a specified duration, depending on how long the visa holds good. It is again available in three forms as mentioned below:-
Single Entry Visa– Only allows a person to enter into a Schengen country on a one-time basis. This means that even if you leave that country within the visa validity period, you won’t be allowed to come back.
Double Entry Visa – This is similar to the above. The only difference lies in the fact that you are allowed to enter, leave and then enter a second time without any hassles. However, the visa won’t be useful once the second opportunity is lost.
Multiple Entry Visa – It permits an individual to enter and leave a Schengen country several times as he or she wishes. The only hitch is that it allows the holder to stay in a Schengen Zone for 90 days at a stretch within the first half of a year, from the day one enters the territory.
- Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV) – Allows you to travel only in a particular Schengen country or in certain cases, some other Schengen States mentioned while applying for this visa type. It is issued on humanitarian grounds and under international obligation, as opposed to USV. It is also issued to people in need of travelling to a Schengen country on emergency basis.
- National Visas – This visa of category D is issued to those who want to study, work or live permanently in any Schengen country. It is of single or multiple entry type. However, to obtain a multiple entry national visa, an individual must meet certain requirements.