Common Information Sheet
WHAT IS A UNIFORM SCHENGEN VISA?
It is an authorisation issued by one of the Member States of the Schengen Area with a view to transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of first entry in the territory of the Member States.
TO WHICH COUNTRIES CAN I TRAVEL ON THE BASIS OF MY UNIFORM SCHENGEN VISA ?
AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, HUNGARY, ICELAND, ITALY, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MALTA, NETHERLANDS, NORWAY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND.
CAN I APPLY FOR A SCHENGEN VISA IN CHINA?
Chinese nationals and third-country nationals who are legally present in China.
Third-country nationals legally present but not residing in China, if the applicant provides
justification for lodging the application in China.
WHICH MEMBER STATE IS COMPETENT FOR EXAMINING AND DECIDING ON MY VISA APPLICATION?
The Member State competent for examining and deciding on an application for a uniform visa shall be:
(a) the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of the visit(s).
(b) if the visit includes more than one destination, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay.
(c) if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross in order to enter the territory of the Member States.
WHICH CONSULATE OF THE MEMBER STATE IN CHINA (IF THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE) IS COMPETENT FOR EXAMINING AND DECIDING ON MY VISA APPLICATION?
Please check the website of the Member State.
WHERE CAN I LODGE MY APPLICATION ?
Applications can be either lodged to an external service provider or directly at consulate of the destination country. Please check the web site of the Member State through the links below.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPLICATION IS LODGED WITH THE MEMBER STATE OR THE CONSULATE THAT IS NOT COMPETENT FOR EXAMINING AND DECIDING ON MY VISA?
When an application has been lodged, the consulate verifies whether it is competent to examine and decide on it. If the consulate is not competent, it shall, without delay, return the application form and any documents submitted by the applicant, reimburse the visa fee, and indicate which consulate is competent.
Applicants shall pay a visa fee of EUR 60.
Children from the age of six years and below the age of 12 years shall pay a visa fee of EUR 35.
Nationals from the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
(FYROM), Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania and the Republic of Moldova shall pay a visa fee of EUR 35.
The visa fee must be paid in local currency.
APPLICANTS EXEMPTED FROM VISA FEE
The visa fee shall be waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:
(a) children under six years;
(b) school pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training;
(c) researchers from third countries travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research as defined in Recommendation No 2005/761/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005 to facilitate the issue by the Member States of uniform short-stay visas for researchers from third countries travelling within the Community for the purpose of carrying out scientific research;
(d) representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.
Note: some Member States grant additional visa fee waivers for specific categories of applicants. Please check the website of the Member States through the links below.
An additional service fee will be charged by an external service provider.
HOW LONG BEFORE THE START OF THE INTENDED VISIT CAN I APPLY ?
Applications shall be lodged no more than three months before the start of the intended visit.
Holders of a multiple-entry visa may lodge the application for a new visa before the expiry of the visa valid for a period of at least six months.
HOW LONG BEFORE THE START OF THE INTENDED VISIT SHOULD I APPLY ?
It is advisable to lodge an application at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit.
However it is also recommended that you lodge your visa application taking into account national holidays of the country of destination and China. Please note that during holidays the operation of certain consular services may be reduced.
Please check the website of the Member State through the links below.
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT FOR SUBMITTING MY APPLICATION?
Applicants may be required to obtain an appointment for the lodging of an application.
SHOULD I HAVE A STAMP ON MY PASSPORT INDICATING THAT MY VISA APPLICATION IS ADMISSIBLE ?
When an application is admissible, the competent consulate stamps the applicant’s travel document.
This stamp indicates the Member State examining the application (i.e. FR), the date of application (i.e. 22.4.2010) and the authority examining the visa application (i.e. Consulate of France in Guangzhou).
This stamp has no legal implications, and when a visa is issued, the sticker is placed on the page where the stamp has been affixed.
Diplomatic and service passports are not stamped.
WHAT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS ARE TO BE ATTACHED TO MY APPLICATION?
Check the harmonized list of supporting documents to be submitted by applicants (link) and the web site of the Member State through the links below.
Please note that during the examination of an application the consulate may request additional documents.
DO I HAVE TO GO THROUGH AN INTERVIEW AT THE CONSULATE?
Please note that during the examination of an application the consulate may call the applicant for an interview.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE CONSULATE TO DECIDE ON MY APPLICATION?
Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application which is admissible.
That period may be extended up to a maximum of 30 calendar days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed.
Exceptionally, when additional documentation is needed in specific cases, the period may be extended up to a maximum of 60 calendar days.
WHAT CAN I DO IF THE VISA IS REFUSED?
As of 5th April 2011, applicants who have been refused a visa shall be informed by an official refusal letter and may have the right to appeal in accordance with the national law of the concerned Member State.
Appeals shall be conducted against the Member State that has taken the final decision on the application and in accordance with the national law of that Member State.
Each Member State shall indicate the references to the national law and the procedure relating to the right of appeal, including the competent authority with which an appeal may be lodged, as well as the time limit for lodging such an appeal.
You will find this information in the form for notifying and motivating refusal that you will be given for such purpose.
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I HAVE TO TAKE WITH ME WHEN I TRAVEL ON A SCHENGEN VISA?
Mere possession of a Schengen visa does not mean that the holder has an automatic right to enter the Schengen Area (i.e. the territory of the countries that issue Schengen visa).
At the external border, the visa holder may be requested to produce documents justifying the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and that they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the period of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third state into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully.
WHAT RULES APPLY IF MY FAMILY MEMBERS ARE EU OR EEA NATIONALS?
If you are a family member of an EU/EEA you may qualify for an accelerated free visa procedure as long as you meet the following criteria:
1.- You are a family member (this includes a spouse, registered partner, child who is under 21 or a depending family member) of an EU/EEA or Swiss national (or of his/her spouse/registered partner); AND 2.- That EU/EEA national or Swiss national is residing in another Member State than that of which he/she is a national or travelling there to take up residence; AND
3.- You are accompanying the EU/EEA national or planning to join him/her for residence..
The visa should be applied for at the Embassy of the country of future residence of the EU/EEA national or Swiss national, not at the Embassy of his/her country of origin.
If you think you qualify for visa facilitation you will need to show proof that you meet these criteria when you submit your visa application.