Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is a Schengen VISA? Requirements and state list if your passport gets it for travel, work or tourism?

The Schengen Visa has made traveling between its 25 European member countries much easier and less bureaucratic. Traveling on a Schengen Visa means that the visa holder can travel to any (or all) member countries using one single visa, thus avoiding the hassle and expense of obtaining individual visas for each country. This is particularly beneficial for persons who wish to visit several European countries on the same trip. The Schengen visa is a “visitor visa”. It is issued to citizens of countries who are required to obtain a visa before entering Europe.

The purpose of the visit must be leisure, tourism, or business. Upon the issuance of the visa, the visa holder is allowed to enter all member countries and travel freely throughout the Schengen area. It is strongly recommended to plan your journey within the timeframe of the Schengen Visa as extensions can be very difficult to obtain, thus forcing you to leave to stay in compliance with the Schengen rules and regulations. A Schengen visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen countries for a maximum stay of up to 90 days in a 6 month period. 


Member countries of Schengen VISA are:
  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Lithuania
  15. Luxembourg
  16. Malta
  17. Netherlands
  18. Norway
  19. Poland
  20. Portugal
  21. Slovak Republic
  22. Slovenia
  23. Spain
  24. Sweden
  25. Switzerland
The Schengen area is made of 25 European countries. Some countries are part of the European Union, but do not belong to the Schengen area. These are the United Kingdom and Ireland. Two other countries, Norway and Iceland, are not part of the European Union, but are part of the Schengen area following a cooperation agreement signed with the Schengen States.

In addition, with regards to France and the Netherlands, the Schengen regulations only apply to their European territories. The Principality of Monaco allows entry on its territory without any formality to Schengen visa holders. The nationals of Taiwan, holding a valid visa for all Schengen States, may also enter Liechtenstein visa free for a stay which does not exceed three months.

The Schengen area is an area of free movement of persons. In accordance with the Schengen Convention of 14 June 1985, the 25 States, which are members thereof, have abolished checks on persons at the time of crossing of their internal borders. Hence the checks on persons are only carried out at the time of crossing of the external border of a member State, which then acts on behalf of all of the other States of the Schengen area.

The Schengen Convention has implemented uniform rules of entry in all the Member States. In order to be granted entry in the Schengen area, the nationals of the European Economic Area* (EEA) must present a valid identity card or a valid - or expired - passport less than five years old.

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