Pursuant to the Visa Code (EC Regulation no. 810/2009, which entered into effect on 5 April 2010) visas are divided into three main categories:
1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV): valid for all the Contracting Parties' territories, issued for
Airport Transit (type A); Transit (type B), type of visa abolished by the above Visa Code. As of 5 April 2010 Transit visas are all type C; brief-sojourn or travel visas (type C), valid for up to 90 days, for single or multiple entry.
Exceptionally, the Schengen regulation enables important or well-known persons who frequently require a visa and who can provide the necessary guarantees, to be issued type C visas which permit a visit of up to 90 days in any half-year and are valid for one (C1), two (C2), three (C3) or five years (C5).
2. Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV): these are only valid for the Schengen State whose representative issued the visa (or in particular cases for other Schengen states where specifically named) without any possibility of access to or transit through the territory of any other Schengen States. They are issued solely for humanitarian reasons, or in the national interest, or under international obligations as an exception to the common USV system. An alien may not directly apply for these visas, which are issued in a few specific cases by the diplomatic or consular representative when it deems it appropriate to issue the visa for the reasons as stated even though not all the conditions are met for the issue of a Uniform Schengen Visa, or when the applicant does not hold a validly recognised travel document, in particular emergencies or in case of need.
3. Long sojourn or "national" Visas (NV), which are only valid for visits that are longer than 90 days (type D), with one or more entries, in the territory of the Schengen State whose diplomatic mission issued the visa. Holders of type D visas are permitted to circulate freely in Schengen countries other than the issuing one for a period of not more than 90 days per half-year and only if the visa is valid.