The Schengen area refers to the EU passport-free area which covers many European countries. It is also the largest free traveling area in the entire world. The Schengen area has an extensive history of Europeans living side by side. Thus, it is extremely easy to travel within the Schengen area.
What Is A Schengen Visa?
If you want to enter the Schengen and are not a citizen of a country that is a part of the Schengen area, then, you will need a Schengen Visa. So, what is a Schengen visa exactly? It is a short-stay visa which permits a person to travel to the Schengen area. This means that a person holding a short-stay visa would be allowed to visit to any of the member countries in the Schengen zone. Generally, the visa permits stays for up to 90 days. The visa can be acquired based on tourism or business purposes. It is the most common type of visa for a trip to Europe. It allows the holder of the visa to enter the Schengen area, freely travel within it, and to leave the Schengen area from any other Schengen member country. Moreover, there are no borders controls within the Schengen area.
On the other hand, anyone planning to live, work, or study in any of the Schengen countries for over 90 days would need to apply for a national visa from the European country they intend to reside in rather than a Schengen visa. Millions of people around the world travel to Europe on a Schengen visa every year.
Who Requires A Visa For Entering Europe?
Third country nationals belonging to a country that does not have a visa-liberalization agreement with the Schengen area would need to first obtain a Schengen visa prior to arrival in Europe. Make sure to visit the official Schengen visa website to find out if your country requires a Schengen visa or not. Generally, if you come from a economically and politically strong country, then, chances are that your country has a visa-liberalization agreement with the Schengen area.
Which Countries Constitute The Schengen Area?
The Schengen area consists of 26 countries which have signed the Schengen agreement. Thus, their citizens are allowed to travel and live within the Schengen area freely, without the need to pass through passport and border control. Each Schengen member country can issue a Schengen visa. The countries included in the Schengen area are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Keep in mind that there are other 19 countries which are not part of the Schengen area, but still allow foreigners to enter and stay in their country if they have a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa. It is not necessary to have a national visa to enter or stay in these countries temporarily. Hence, you get to travel to many more countries with a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa.