Since the Schengen Visa was introduced, it is far simpler to travel in Europe. This unified visa gives the visitor a lot of advantages. You can now enter one country and then travel right through the Schengen area. There are no internal controls at borders, and there are few if any checks within the zone.

Road, air and train travel are now regarded as domestic travel. This is similar to travelling between the different US states.

The Schengen area is made up of 25 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


The United Kingdom and Ireland are part of the European Union but do not belong to the Schengen area. Countries such as Iceland and Norway are part of the Schengen area but are not European Union member countries. Furthermore, for the Netherlands and France the Schengen regulations apply only to their European territories.

The Schengen area is an area of free movement of persons with no checks carried out when crossing internal borders. Rather checks are carried out only when an external border is being crossed, when that member State, operates on behalf of all of the other States of the Schengen area.

Decide which country will be your main destination, and apply for a Schengen visa at the Consulate or Embassy in that country. Alternatively, if intending to visit many of the Schengen countries, and not necessarily having a main destination, and then make a visa application at the Consulate or Embassy of the first country you intend to visit.

Different types of Schengen visas may be applied for including: short-stay, single-entry, multiple-entry and transit visas.


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