The Schengen Visa - Embassy.am




What is The Schengen Visa

A Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries ("Schengen States") without border controls between them. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

A Schengen visa is an authorisation issued by a Schengen State with a view to:
  • transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Schengen States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180 days period ("short stay visa"),
  • transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen States ("airport transit visa").

Where and How to Apply

You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate of the country that you intend to visit, or – if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the Consulate of the country where you will spend the longest period.

If you intend to visit several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area.

As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate with territorial competence for the country in which you legally reside. You can find where to apply list here or contact the central authorities (Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Immigration Office) of that country. There you can get information on whether that Schengen State is represented by another in the country where you reside.

How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a Visa?

Nationals of countries with which the EU has concluded Visa Facilitation Agreements shall pay a fee of 35 EUR. ( Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia on the facilitation of the issuance of visas )

The visa fee is waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:
  1. pensioners;
  2. children under the age of 12;
  3. members of national and regional governments and of Constitutional and Supreme courts, in case they are not exempted from the visa requirement by this Agreement;
  4. persons with disabilities and the persons accompanying them, if necessary;
  5. close relatives – spouse, children (including adopted), parents (including custodians), grandparents or grandchildren – of citizens of Armenia legally residing in the territory of the Member States, or citizens of the Union residing in the territory of the Member State of which they are nationals;
  6. members of official delegations, including permanent members of official delegations, who, following an official invitation addressed to Armenia, shall participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of one of the Member States by intergovernmental organisations;
  7. pupils, students, post-graduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purposes of study or educational training, including exchange programmes as well as other school-related activities;
  8. journalists and technical crew accompanying them in a professional capacity;
  9. participants in international sport events and persons accompanying them in a professional capacity;
  10. representatives of civil society organisations and persons invited by Armenian community non-profit organisations registered in the Member States when undertaking trips for the purposes of educational training, seminars, conferences, including in the framework of exchange programmes or Pan-Armenian and community support programmes;
  11. persons participating in scientific, academic, cultural or artistic activities, including university and other exchange programmes;
  12. persons who have presented documents proving the necessity of their travel on humanitarian grounds, including to receive urgent medical treatment and the person accompanying such person, or to attend a funeral of a close relative or to visit a seriously ill close relative.
Member States also apply other optional visa fees waivers. You can obtain detailed information on that from the consulate where you intend to apply. If you submit the application at an external service provider, you will be charged a service fee. This fee shall be proportionate to the costs incurred by the external service provider while performing its tasks and shall not exceed EUR 30.

The Member States shall maintain the possibility for all applicants to lodge their applications directly at their consulates.

Entry and Stay in the Schengen Area

Your short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At border or during other controls you may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in the Schengen State, and why you are visiting the Schengen State.

In some cases, such checks may result in a refusal for the visa holder to enter the Schengen State or the Schengen area.

It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay). This will help to make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.

The definition of short stay of non-EU citizens in the Schengen area is "90 days in any 180 days period" The short-stay calculator can be used for calculating the period of allowed stay.

How Long Does the Visa Procedure Take?

As a general rule, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 10 days.
This period may, in individual cases, be extended up to 30 days and, exceptionally, 60 days, if a more detailed examination of your application and/or additional documents are required.

How long before the start of the intended visit should I apply for a visa?

Applications can be lodged no more than three months before the start of the intended trip.

It is advisable to lodge an application at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit.

However it is also recommended that you lodge the visa application taking into account national holidays of the Schengen State of destination and in the country where you apply for the visa.

Holders of a multiple-entry visa (valid for a period of at least six months) may lodge the application for a new visa before the expiry of that visa.

My visa has been issued by, for example, the German Consulate. Could I use this visa to make a trip to other Schengen States?

Yes. According to the Schengen rules, the Schengen visa is generally valid for all the countries in the Schengen area.

Please note, however, that you always have to apply at the consulate of the country which is your primary destination (see above - Where and How to Apply). The territorial validity of your visa is indicated on the visa sticker under the heading "Valid For". You will find information on how to read your visa sticker below.

How to Read the Visa Sticker

  • DURATION OF STAY………DAYS - indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included.
  • FROM …UNTIL - The period of time between "FROM …UNTIL" is usually longer than the number of days printed in the "DURATION OF STAY" field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the "DURATION OF STAY …DAYS" field. No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the "UNTIL" field."

My passport expires in two months’ time. Can I apply for a visa?

In principle you cannot. It is a requirement that the expiration date of your passport is 3 months AFTER your return from the Schengen State. However, in justified cases of emergency, the Consulate may deviate from this rule.

Can my Visa be Extended?

When applying for a visa extension, you must show that due to force majeure or for humanitarian reasons or for serious personal reasons it is not possible for you to leave the territory of Member States before the expiry of your visa or the authorized period of stay.

As a rule, the visa can only be extended if you have stayed less than 90 days the Schengen area, in the course of the past 180 days, and if your current visa is not expired.

Required documents

In order to apply for a visa, you need:
  • a passport with at least two empty pages. The passport should have been issued within the last 10 years. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen territory, or, in the case of multiple journeys, the date on which you intend to leave after the last stay.
  • a visa application form completed and signed.
    Any person appearing in your travel document must complete a separate application form. The visa application form for a child under 18 must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • a recent identity photograph conform to ICAO standards
  • in the countries where the Visa Information System is operational your fingerprints will be collected when you submit your application (exemptions exist for specific categories of applicants).
  • a visa fee to be paid when you submit your application
  • a service fee to be paid if you are requested to submit your application at the offices of a service provider.
  • a travel medical insurance covering emergency medical, hospitalisation and repatriation (including in case of death). The minimum cover should be of 30.000 EUR. This insurance must be valid for the entire Schengen area and throughout the duration of the stay.
  • various documents relating to the purpose of your stay, evidence of means of support during your stay and your accommodation.
The complete list of documents can be consulted on consulate. During the processing time the consulate may, in individual cases, ask you to submit additional information or documents or you may be contacted for an interview.

Documentary evidence regarding the purpose of the journey
The complete list of documents can be consulted on consulate. During the processing time the consulate may, in individual cases, ask you to submit additional information or documents or you may be contacted for an interview. For the following categories of citizens of Armenia, the following documents are sufficient for justifying the purpose of the journey to the other Party:
  1. for close relatives – spouses, children (including adopted), parents (including custodians), grandparents, grandchildren visiting citizens of Armenia legally residing in the Member States, or citizens of the Union residing in the territory of the Member State of which they are nationals:
    — a written request from the host person;
  2. for members of official delegations including permanent members of such delegations who, following an official invitation addressed to Armenia, shall participate in meetings, consultations, negotiations or exchange programmes, as well as in events held in the territory of one of the Member States by intergovernmental organisations:
    — a letter issued by a competent authority of Armenia confirming that the applicant is a member of its delegation, respectively a permanent member of its delegation, travelling to the territory of the other Party to participate in the aforementioned events, accompanied by a copy of the official invitation;
  3. for pupils, students, post-graduate persons and accompanying teachers who undertake trips for the purposes of study or educational training, including in the framework of exchange programmes as well as other school-related activities:
    — a written request or a certificate of enrolment from the host university, college or school or student cards or certificates of the courses to be attended;
  4. for persons travelling for medical reasons and necessary accompanying persons:
    — an official document of the medical institution confirming necessity of medical care in this institution, the necessity of being accompanied and proof of sufficient financial means to pay for the medical treatment;
  5. for journalists and technical crew accompanying them in a professional capacity:
    —a certificate or other document issued by a professional organisation or the applicant’s employer proving that the person concerned is a qualified journalist and stating that the purpose of the journey is to carry out journalistic work or proving that he/she is a member of the technical crew accompanying the journalist in a professional capacity;
  6. for participants in international sport events and persons accompanying them in a professional capacity: — a written request from the host organisation, competent authorities, national sport federations or national Olympic committees of the Member State;
  7. for business people and representatives of business organisations:
    — a written request from the host legal person or company, organisation or an office or a branch of such legal person or company, state or local authorities of the Member States or organising committees or trade and industrial exhibitions, conferences and symposia held in the territories of one of the Member States, endorsed by the competent authorities in accordance with the national legislation;
  8. for members of the professions participating in international exhibitions, conferences, symposia, seminars or other similar events:
    — a written request from the host organisation confirming that the person concerned is participating in the event;
  9. or representatives of civil society organisations and persons invited by Armenian community non-profit organisations registered in the Member States when undertaking trips for the purposes of educational training, seminars, conferences, including in the framework of exchange programmes or Pan-Armenian and community support programmes:
    — a written request issued by the host organisation, a confirmation that the person is representing the civil society organisation or participating in Pan-Armenian or community support activities and the certificate on establishment of such organisation from the relevant register issued by a state authority in accordance with the national legislation;
  10. for persons participating in scientific, academic, cultural or artistic activities, including university and other exchange programmes:
    — a written request from the host organisation to participate in the activities;
  11. for drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services to the territories of the Member States in vehicles registered in Armenia:
    — a written request from the national association (union) of carriers of Armenia providing for international road transportation, stating the purpose, itinerary, duration and frequency of the trips;
  12. for participants of the official exchange programmes organised by twin cities and other municipal entities:
    — a written request of the Head of Administration/Mayor of these cities or municipal authorities;
  13. for visiting military and civil burial grounds:
    — an official document confirming the existence and preservation of the grave as well as family or other relationship between the applicant and the buried.

For the purposes of this Article the written request shall include the following items:
  1. for the invited person: name and surname, date of birth, sex, citizenship, passport number, time and purpose of the journey, number of entries and where relevant the name of the spouse and children accompanying the invited person;
  2. for the inviting person: name, surname and address;
  3. for the inviting legal person, company or organisation: full name and address and:
    — if the request is issued by an organisation or authority, the name and position of the person who signs the request,
    — if the inviting person is a legal person or company or an office or a branch of such legal person or company established in the territory of a Member State, the registration number as required by the national law of the Member State concerned.

Refusal of a Visa and Appeal

The decision to refuse a Schengen visa and the reasons for the refusal are notified to the applicant using a standard form. The decision to refuse the visa must include the reasons on which the refusal was based, and the procedures and deadlines for submitting an appeal.

When a Member State represents another for the purpose of issuing visas (e.g. France represents the Portugal), the appeal procedure will be that of the Member State who took the final decision, i.e. the representing Member State which is in this example, France.

You are free to re-apply again if your application has been refused earlier. However, it is recommended that you take note of the reasons for the earlier refusal before submitting a new application and make amendments, where necessary.

The visa fee is not refunded if the visa is refused. The visa fee covers the cost of the examination of the visa application. For information on appeal procedures, please contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Schengen State you intend to visit.

Schengen Visa Information is provided by Embassies, Consulates, EU, IATA and other websites. Embassy.am cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information displayed. You should confirm the information before travel and any activity that could be affected by changes in visa information.