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Schengen Visa

General Information

The Schengen Treaty was signed between five countries that are members of the European Economic Community (France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) in the Schengen town of Luxembourg in 1985 to completely eliminate police and customs controls at border crossings.

In 1990, a new process began with the adoption of the convention for the implementation of this agreement. Although the provisions of the treaty were separate from European Union law until 1997, they were incorporated into community law by the Treaty of Amsterdam made on that date.

The free movement of persons under the agreement is a fundamental right guaranteed to EU citizens. Every EU citizen has the right to travel, work and live in any EU country without special formalities. The Schengen cooperation aimed to create a more libertarian structure by enabling citizens to cross internal borders without being subjected to border controls.

The unrestricted Schengen zone grants free movement rights to more than 400 million EU citizens and many non-EU citizens who are legally on EU territory, businessmen, tourists or other persons.

                Conditions for Joining The Schengen Area

Joining the Schengen area is not just a political decision. Countries must also meet the requirements of the preconditions. These prerequisites are:

  • To co-operate on behalf of other Schengen countries in controlling borders and issuing uniform Schengen visas
  • Cooperate with law enforcement agencies of other Schengen states to ensure high levels of security after border controls between Schengen countries are lifted,
  • Inclusion in the Schengen Information System (SIS) to enforce Schengen rules such as land, sea and air borders (airports) controls, visa issuance, police co-operation and protection of personal data,
  • To be involved in the process of “Schengen evaluation” before joining the Schengen area and periodically to ensure proper implementation of the legislation.

 

Common Visa Policy

With a short-term visa issued by one of the Schengen states, you can travel for up to 90 days in 26 Schengen countries in any 180 days. Visas for visits exceeding this period are subject to national procedures.

VIS visa Information System

Along with emerging technology, large-scale IT systems have been developed to collect, process and share information on EU, border management. The visa Information System, which supports the implementation of the common EU visa policy, is one of these tools.

The visa Information System (VIS) consists of a central IT system and a communication infrastructure connecting this central system to national systems, providing data exchange for visa information between Schengen states.

This system connects consulates in non-EU countries and all external border crossing points of Schengen states. It processes data and decisions on short-term visa applications for visiting or crossing the Schengen area. The system can implement biometric matching for fingerprint identification and verification purposes.

SCHENGEN Countries

Today, the Schengen zone covers most EU countries except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. Bulgaria and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen area. From non-EU countries Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have joined the Schengen area.

Currently, the Schengen Area consists of 26 member countries.

From member countries;

  • 22 members fully implement the Schengen acquis,
  • Four of them, members of EFTA, implement the Schengen acquis through specific agreements related to the Schengen Agreement,
  • Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are members of the Schengen area, but not members of the EU,
  • Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican have opened their borders, but they are not members of the visa-free zone,
  • The Azores, Madeira and The Canary Islands are private members of the EU and are part of the Schengen area, even if they are outside the European continent,
  • Five other EU member states have not joined the Schengen area, including Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus.

 

The external borders of the Schengen area are 50,000 km long, of which 80% is the sea and 20% is the land border. In an area of 4,312,099 km2, there are hundreds of airports and seaports, many crossing points and 419,392,429 citizens.

Application Centres

If you plan to visit several Schengen countries and the stays will be of equal length, you should contact the Consulate of the first country to cross the external borders when entering the Schengen area.

As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the consulate with regional competence for your country of residence.

The application must be submitted to the Consulate at least 15 days before the intended visit and not more than three months before the start date of the journey.

Visa applications are delivered by the institutions authorized by the countries and forwarded to the relevant consulates.

In this context, institutions and application centres authorized by countries are as follows:

COUNTRY AUTHORIZED INSTITUTION APPLICATION CENTRES
Belgium VFS Global Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep, Antalya, Bodrum
Austria VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Bursa, Edirne, Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Mugla (Bodrum), Gaziantep und Trabzon.
Czech Republic VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir
Denmark VFS Global Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Gaziantep
Estonia VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Ayvalık, Bodrum, Bursa, Cesme, Edirne, Gaziantep, Kusadası, Marmaris, Trabzon
Finland VFS Global Ankara, Istanbul, Antalya
France VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Izmir
Germany İdata Istanbul Avrupa (Gayrettepe), Istanbul VIP (Harbiye), Istanbul Asya (Altunizade), Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Gaziantep, Antalya, Trabzon
Mobile Application Offices: Adana, Malatya , Diyarbakır, Sakarya, Kocaeli, Çorlu, Kahramanmaraş
Greece Kosmos Visa Istanbul
Greece VFS Global Ankara, Antalya, Ayvalık, Bodrum, Cesme, Edirne, Izmir, Gaziantep, Kusadası, Marmaris
Hungary AS Visa Solutions Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir
İceland VFS Global Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Gaziantep
İtaly İdata Istanbul Avrupa (Gayrettepe), Istanbul VIP (Harbiye), Istanbul Asya (Altunizade), Bursa, Trabzon
Latvia VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum, Bursa, Edirne, Gaziantep, Trabzon
Lithuania VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum, Bursa, Edirne, Gaziantep, Trabzon
Luxembourg VFS Global Istanbul Ankara, Izmir
Maltese VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum, Bursa, Edirne, Gaziantep, Trabzon
Netherlands VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum, Bursa, Edirne, Gaziantep
Norway AS Visa Solutions Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir
Poland VFS Global Istanbul (Beyoğlu/Altunizade), Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Gaziantep, Trabzon
Portugal AS Visa Solutions Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir
Slovakia VFS Global Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya
Slovenia AS Visa Solutions Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir
Spain BLS International Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya
Sweden VFS Global Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya
Switzerland TLS Contact Ankara, Istanbul
Liechtenstein VFS Global Ankara, Istanbul, Gaziantep, Antalya, Bodrum

Required Documents

  1. Passport: The passport must have been issued in the last 10 years and must contain at least two blank pages. The passport must be valid at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the Schengen territory or, in the case of more than one trip, until the date you intend to leave after the last stay.
  2. Application form: anyone who appears on your travel document must fill out a separate application form. For children under 18 years of age, the visa application form must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  3. Photo: an ID photo should be dated and conforming to ICAO standards.
  4. Appointment: In countries included in the visa information system, your fingerprints will be collected (exemptions are available for certain categories of applications). For this reason, applicants who have not applied for a Schengen visa after 2014 must go to the appointment centre in person and give fingerprints.
  5. Travel Health Insurance: A travel health insurance covering emergency medical intervention, hospitalization and return (including death) must be provided with a minimum of EUR 30,000. This insurance must be valid for the entire Schengen area and the duration of the stay. The insurance period must cover one day before the start date of travel and one day after the end date.

f.             Documents indicating your purpose of stay and travel: various documents relating to the purpose of stay, reservations for your stay and accommodation should be provided.

Visa Fees

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