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Schengen Visa Guide

How to Read a Schengen Visa Sticker

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How to Read a Schengen Visa Sticker

How to Read a Schengen Visa Sticker. There are several important pieces of information on the Schengen visa sticker in three languages: English, French, and German. For a better understanding of the meaning of the labels attached to a Schengen visa, please read the following article.

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Countries the Visa Holder is permitted to Enter

Visa stickers always list the countries in which their holders are permitted to travel.

The phrases “VALID FOR”, “VALABLE PUR” and “GULTIG FUR” appear before the name of the territory you are permitted to enter with your visa.

It means that the visa holder can enter all Schengen states once inside the territory. If next to those words are written «ETATS SCHENGEN» or «SCHENGEN STATES», then the visa is valid in all Schengen states.

The letters A, B, CH, CZE, D, DK, E, EST, F, FIN, GR, H, I, IS, LI, L, LT, LVA, M, N, NL, P, PL, S, SK, SVN are acronyms for the Schengen countries where the visa is valid, and they stand for:

  • A – Austria
  • B – Belgium
  • CH – Switzerland
  • CZE – Czech Republic
  • D – Germany
  • DK – Denmark
  • E – Spain
  • EST – Estonia
  • F – France
  • FIN – Finland
  • GR – Greece
  • H – Hungary
  • I – Italy
  • IS – Iceland
  • L – Luxembourg
  • LT – Lithuania
  • LVA – Latvia
  • M – Malta
  • N – Norway
  • NL – Netherlands
  • P – Portugal
  • PL – Poland
  • S – Sweden
  • SK – Slovakia
  • SVN – Slovenia

This means that only Latvia, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, and Poland are permitted to enter if only the acronyms of their names are listed, e.g. LVA, M, N, NL, P, PL.

Accordingly, if the visa says “ETATS SCHENGEN (-country acronym)” – then the visa is valid for all Schengen countries, except for that country, i.e. for Sweden if it says “ETATS SCHENGEN (-S)” – the visa is valid for all Schengen countries. The country code after the minus sign will determine whether you can enter.

The visa holder is not permitted to move to the other Schengen countries if he or she does not have another visa with the label “name of country”.

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Schengen Visa Sticker Validity

Next to the labels  «FROM», «DU» and «VOM» is the first day you are permitted to enter the Schengen Area, whereas next to the labels “UNTIL”, “AU”, and “BIS” is the last day on which you must leave Schengen or the countries in which you are permitted to stay.

Number of Entries

The labels “NUMBER OF ENTRIES”, “NOMBRE D’ETNREES” and “ANZAHL DER EINREISEN” indicate how many times a person is allowed to enter Schengen.

  • As long as the holder does not exceed their permitted stay, the holder may enter the Schengen Area more than once.
  • This label allows the holder to enter the Schengen Area only once.
  • The label «2» allows the holder to enter the Schengen Area twice.

Duration of stay

The words “DURATION OF STAY”, “DUREE DE SEJOUR” and “DAUER DES AUFENTHALTS” and “DAYS”, “JOURS” and “TAGE” indicate how long a person is permitted to remain in the Schengen Zone within the validity of their Schengen visa.

A fine may be imposed if you stay longer than the number of days specified in your visa, and any future Schengen visa applications will be reviewed further and may be denied. The processing time for future visa applications may also be extended to 30-60 days. If you stay too long, you could be banned for 2-5 years.

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Visa Type

“TYPE OF VISA”, “TYPE DE VISA” and “VISA TYP” refer to the type of visa you have obtained, such as:

  • A – Airport visa, which does not allow the holder to enter the “international airport zone”.
  • This label stands for a visa type C, or a short-stay visa that allows the holder to stay in the Schengen Area for no more than three months.
  • D stands for long-term visa type D, which permits the holder to stay longer than three months.

Details about the Visa Issuer & Date of Issuance

  • “ISSUED IN”, “DILIVRE A” and “SUGGESTELLT IN” are located next to the name of the city where the embassy or consulate is located.
  • “ON”, “LE” and “AM” – are the dates on which visas are issued.

Details about the Visa Holder

  • “NUMBER OF PASSPORT”, “NUMERO DE PASSEPORT” and “NUMBER DES PASSES” – is the passport number of the visa holder.
  • The labels “SURNAME, NAME”, “NOM, PRENOM”, and “NAME, VORNAME” indicate the visa holder’s name and surname.
  • A visa holder’s purpose behind traveling to the Schengen region is indicated by the labels “REMARKS”, “REMARQUES” and “BEMERKUNGEN”.
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Conclusion 

A schengen visa sticker is crucial for travelers. This comprehensive guide deciphers the information present, including permitted countries, entry restrictions, validity dates, number of entries, duration of stay, visa type, and details about the issuer and holder. Staying within the specified limits is essential to avoid penalties and future visa complications.

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Schengen Visa Guide

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa?

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What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa?

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa? The same visa policy does not apply to every foreigner and every territory of France. Therefore, visa exemptions are heavily influenced by dissimilar factors, primarily the nationality of the foreigner, the territory of France the applicant seeks to visit, the foreigner’s residence status in the Schengen Area or specifically in France, and the purpose of the visit.

France’s territories are divided into three parts, each with its own visa policy:

  • French European Territory
  • French Overseas Départments or Regions (DOM)
  • French Overseas Territories (TOM)

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in European French Territory?

The Schengen Area includes France. As a result, its European territory complements those of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, also members of the Area.

For entry and stay in the European French Territory, you need a French Visa.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions?

For short stays (up to 3 months) to Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion, the following foreign nationals do not require a French visa:

  • Andorre,
  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brunei,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Croatia,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Ireland,
  • Japan,
  • Macao (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • Monaco,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapour,
  • South Korea,
  • St-Marin,
  • Switzerland,
  • The Holly See,
  • United Kingdom,
  • United States,
  • Uruguay and
  • Venezuela. 

Note: Those from the above countries are allowed to enter and stay in French Overseas Départments and Regions without a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals who MUST have a French Visa:

  • Individuals from the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, or Singapore wishing to work in these countries,

  • Students from the United States, citizens who hold diplomatic, official, or other service passports, and intend to stay in these French territories in a diplomatic or official mission, or journalists who intend to stay in these French territories for journalistic purposes

It is not possible for foreign nationals from the above excluded countries to enter or stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions without obtaining a French Visa through the French Visa Application process.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Territories? 

In French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependencies (Terrires Australes et Antartiques Françaises (TAAF)), Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the following foreign nationals may travel without a French Visa for short stays (up to 3 months):

  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brasil,
  • Brunei,
  • Croatia,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong * (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Japan,
  • Macao* (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapore,
  • South Corea,
  • United States and
  • Uruguay.

These countries have nationals who can enter the French overseas territories without a French visa, but cannot stay more than three (3) months or ninety (90) days:

  • Andorra,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Ireland,
  • Monaco,
  • Norway,
  • Netherlands,
  • Saint Marin,
  • The Holly See and
  • United Kingdom.

Note: Foreign nationals from the above countries are permitted to enter and stay in the French overseas territories without a French visa, with the exception of the following categories:

  • Brazilians, Canadians, South Koreans, Americans, Japanese, Australians, Malaysians, Mexicans, Singaporeans seeking gainful employment in these areas,

  • Nationals of the United States wishing to get a job there or to enter and stay there for journalistic purposes

  • In order to enter and stay in Overseas French Territory of New Caledonia, Hong Kong and Macao nationals will need a French visa.

Other foreign nationals from the above list cannot enter or stay in the French Overseas Territories without undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.

Conclusion 

French visa policies demands careful consideration of nationality, purpose, and destination. France categorizes its territories—European, Overseas Départments/Regions, and Overseas Territories—each with unique visa regulations. While some nations enjoy visa exemptions, specific categories necessitate visa acquisition for entry and extended stays.

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