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European Visa for Chinese citizens
In general, a Chinese citizen who wishes to enter an European country is required to apply for a Schengen visa. There are several types of Schengen visas: studying abroad, visiting family or friends, short- term tourist visa, and business visa etc. The Schengen visa can also be further classified based on the number of entries into a country and length of stay, such as: single or multiple-entry visa, short-term visa (up to 90 days) or long-term visa (over 90 days).
A Schengen visa holder can enter the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
For the purpose of studying abroad or long-term employment in the Schengen countries, a long-term visa is required:
The conventional approaches of applying a Schengen visa are:
- Apply in person at the Schengen countries’ consulate in China. Specific procedures can be found in the respective official websites of those consulates;
- Through education intermediaries.
- Although a Schengen visa holder is free to travel to and from each Schengen country, the application of a long-term visa must be lodged with the consulate of the country where you will be staying long-term. Such application cannot be processed in other Schengen countries.
- Every EU country has different requirements for long-term visa application; same applies to the processing time. In Germany for example, long-term visa application usually takes 2 to 3 months to process. Therefore, all required documentations pertaining to the long-term visa application must be prepared as soon as possible, so as not to delay your travel.
On April 1st, 2014, the European Commission issued a new proposal on EU visa regulations in simplifying the EU visa application process for Chinese people who wishes to enter Europe. The main elements of the proposal are: the processing and decision time for visa approval should not take more than 10 days; a new "touring visa" with one year validity; minors under 18 years should no longer have to pay a visa fee; the issuance of multiple-entry visas for frequent travelers to Europe that is valid for several years, and so on. If these simplified visa procedures are implemented, the current number of international entries into the EU is expected to increase by 4.6 million in 2015, and at the same time, creating more than 500,000 jobs.