The Schengen Area is a passport-free zone that covers most of the European countries, making it the largest free travel area in the world. It consists of 26 European states, including Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Estonia, and more.
Having a Schengen visa allows the holder unrestricted access to these member states, which are home to some of the world’s top tourist destinations like Paris, Spain, Greece, and Portugal.
All Nigerians planning to visit Europe need to obtain a Schengen visa before their arrival. There are various types of Schengen visas based on the purpose of the visit:
- Business Visa
- Tourism Visa
- Invitation Visa
- Sport Competition Visa
- Medical Treatment Visa
- Religious Purposes Visa
- Transit Visa
- Airport Transit Visa
All Schengen visas are short-term visas that allow the holder to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period (the 90/180 rule). If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, you would need to apply for a residence permit.
General Requirements for Schengen Visa:
- Application for Schengen Visa – Completed and signed application form.
- Original passport valid for travel to the Schengen Area with at least three months validity beyond the planned stay.
- Photocopies of the original passport, except blank pages.
- If not a resident of Nigeria, provide a justification for lodging the application there.
- Previous passport in original if a new passport has been issued within the last three years.
- Photocopy of the national ID card (both sides).
- One colored photo not more than six months old, passport size (45 mm x 35 mm), full face, and taken against a white background.
- Proof of medical travel insurance covering at least EUR 30,000 and valid for the duration of the stay.
- Preliminary ticket booking or travel itinerary (flight details, hotel reservations, etc.).
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the expenses during the stay.
- Additional requirements for minors (under 18 years), including a birth certificate, consent letters, and school-related documents.
Types of Schengen Visas:
- Single-Entry Schengen Visa: Allows one entry into the Schengen Area within the specified period.
- Double-Entry Schengen Visa: Allows two entries into the Schengen Area within the specified period.
- Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa: Allows multiple entries into the Schengen Area within the specified period.
Schengen Visa Fee:
The visa fee for short-term visas for adults is 60 EUR, which is approximately 21,900 Naira. Additional fees may apply for children going on tourism.
Embassies Where You Can Get a Schengen Visa:
You can apply for a Schengen visa at any of the embassies of the member states, including:
- France Application Center (Abuja)
- Netherlands Application Center (Lagos or Belgian Embassy in Abuja)
- Finland Application Center (Abuja)
- Belgium & Italy Application Center (Lagos and Abuja)
- Norway Visa Application Center (Abuja)
For each visa type, specific documents and requirements may vary, so it is essential to check with the relevant embassy or consulate for precise guidelines and application procedures.