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  • VR TEAM | Feb 26, 2024 | 0 comments

    All You Need to Know About The Schengen Agreement

    Are you considering going to Europe? You may have started researching where to go or you might have started an application for a visa. Whatever stage you are at with your travels, you will probably have come across the word “Schengen.” This article will explain what Schengen is all about.

    Schengen Agreement
    Source: Pixabay

    The Schengen Agreement

    In a nutshell, Schengen is an agreement for free movement across Europe and Europe is known as the Schengen Area. Travelers to Europe can hold one visa and move freely between countries. 

    The Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985 in the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, was the catalyst for the creation of the Schengen Area where border checks between countries were stopped. The initial measures were to:

    1. Allow vehicles to cross borders without stopping
    2. Allow residents to cross borders without having to travel to official checkpoints
    3. Have a consistent visa policy

    Initially, only 5 countries signed the agreement – Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany, their aim being to do away with border controls. The agreement was not fully implemented by the European Union because some governments did not believe that they had the right to go ahead and get rid of border controls. In 1990, the Schengen Area was created to include:

    1. Abolition of border controls
    2. Common rules on visas
    3. Legal cooperation

    It wasn’t until 1997, that all European countries had signed the agreement and this is what we have in place today.

    The Schengen Area currently has 27 member countries which operate under a common visa policy. These countries are: 

    Austria, Belgium, Croatia, 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 

    Apart from these countries, micro nations such as the Vatican City, San Marino, and Monaco are de facto members of the Schengen area. Some territories like the Caribbean islands of France also do not require a separate visa.

    Schengen Visa Requirements

    Despite having open borders, some nationals are still required to apply for a Schengen visa, but this visa will allow you to travel across the Schengen Area freely. There are still some rules that you must adhere to when traveling in Europe:

    1. You can travel to any of the Schengen countries, but you must prove that you intend to return to your home country before the visa expires
    2. You are only permitted to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period
    3. You can only use a Schengen visa to travel to any of the countries in the Schengen Area. If you are traveling to any other countries, different visa regulations will apply
    4. You cannot extend your visa in the Schengen Area, you must return to you home country
    5. You must have a specific purpose for traveling to the Schengen Area and you must be able to prove this when applying
    6. You must provide all the relevant documentation that is required for your Schengen Visa
    7. If you are going to the Schengen Area on holiday, you are not permitted to work unless you have the correct visa
    8. You must apply at the embassy of the country you are planning to visit – in your home country

    The Schengen Visa Agreement is a good thing for those wishing to travel to Europe, you only need 1 visa!  At Visa Reservation, we provide a range of services and our experienced visa experts are available 24/7 to assist you through each step of your visa application.

    At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.

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