A Schengen Visa allows the holder to freely visit all member nations of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement was originally signed between just five countries in Europe. However, since that time the number has grown to 25 member nations including; Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherland, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. By obtaining the most popular and common type of Schengen Visa, Category C, an individual is allowed to stay in any of these nations for 90 days within a period of 6 months. This means that a person can stay up to 90 days in any of these nations and freely move between them without having to obtain different visas for each country. While those 90 days do not have to be consecutive they are only available for the six month period after first entering a Schengen Nation. There a number of different types of Schengen Visas available in Thailand to individuals who complete the necessary application process.
Types of Schengen Visas: There are a number of Schengen Visas available to Thai applicants. The following are a list of the different types of visas offered by member nations. However, Category C is the most common type of visa and is the one recommended to travelers.
· Category A Visa: Some nationals are required to have this visa allowing the individual to travel through the international transit areas of Schengen Nations airports. However, this does not apply to Thai citizens and is most likely not necessary for travelers.
· Category B Visa: This visa allows individuals to single, double or multiple transits to Schengen Nations for a period of 5 days of less.
· Category C Visa: This visa is the most popular type of Schengen visas and provides the individual holder the ability to travel within Schengen Nations without obtaining additional visas. The visa is good for 90 nonconsecutive days. However, those 90 days must be used within six months of the date of first entering a Schengen Nation.
· Category D Visa: This visa is issued by individual Schengen Nation and allows a holder to stay in that country for the length of time provided by that individual nation. The holder of this visa may travel within other Schengen Nations for up to 90 days within the six month period of first arriving.
· Category FTD and FRTD: These visas are only special visas for road and rail lines between Mainland Russia and Kalingrad Oblast which borders the Baltic Sea.
Filing Documents: To complete an application for a Category C Schengen Visa the following documents should be provided:
1. A completed application available online or at Schengen Nations’ embassies.
2. A passport and a copy of that passport. The passport must be valid for at least three months after the planned return from Schengen Nations
3. A photograph or photographs of the applicant’s face that was taken within six months of applying. The amount of photographs required may vary so it is advisable to have a few available.