What is a Schengen visa?
A Schengen visa allows its bearer entry to the 25 member States of the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
It also allows entry to Monaco, Andorra, Lichtenstein and San Marino.

Where should I apply for a Schengen visa?
Only GNIB card holders (valid Irish residency permit) are entitled to apply for a Schengen visa at the embassy of France in Ireland. Visa applications must be submitted in the embassy corresponding to the main destination country. Is considered as main destination the country where you will spend the longest period thoughout your next trip. Number of days and if necessary number of nights are taken into consideration.

For example : During one trip you plan to visit Belgium (3days), France (6days) and Italy (4days). France is considered as your main destination and you must apply for a visa at the French embassy.

In case of multiple main destinations :
In case it is not possible to determine only one main destination, you will have to apply for a visa at the embassy corresponding to the country you will first enter among your main destinations.

For example : During one trip you plan to travel to Germany (3days/2nights), Spain (5days/4nights), France (5days/4nights). As you plan to spend the same number of days and nights in both Spain and France, you must apply at the Spanish embassy (frist entry among the 2 main destinations).

In case of multiple trips :
In case you plan at least 2 trips, you must apply for your visa at the embassy corresponding to the main destination of your first trip. You are entitled to apply for a visa covering all your trips if you provide details of your next trips (flights bookings, accomodation bookings, travel plan...).

Do I need a Schengen visa?
Obviously, citizens of the member states of the area do not need a visa to go from one country to another. This also applies to Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA).
From 2 January 2012 , following European Convention 2004/38, the foreign spouse or family member of an EU national may enter France without a visa if they are in possession of :

  • a valid travel document ;
  • a valid residency permit (GNIB card) with the endorsement "EU Fam" (this endorsement is compulsory in order to be visa exempted) ;
  • if they are joining or travelling with the EU national.

    Most nationals from other countries will require a visa. Some of them, though, are exempted. See the list of Schengen visa exempted nationalities->doc2010] .

    N.B.: Holders of an Irish Travel Document for Refugees (28 July 1951-Vienna Convention) do not need a visa for a short stay in France. The Irish Travel Document For Apatrid (28 September 1954 - New York Convention) and the Irish Travel Document are not recognized by France.

Published on 17/07/2014

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