What is the Schengen Area?
So if you’re not already familiar with the term Schengen, it is actually a tiny village in Luxembourg where the Schengen Agreement began originally over 30 years ago and has grown to what it is now. Basically, it references the EU passport-free zone that covers 26 European countries that have collectively agreed to remove internal border controls within their mutual member zone. Collectively it functions like a single jurisdiction with no passports required and a common judicial system as well as police in an effort to allow free and just so happens to be the largest free travel area in the entire world.
What is a Schengen Visa?
This is a short-term tourist or business visa that allows a person to travel freely to any members of the Schengen Area for stays up to 90 days. In other words, there are no border controls within the Schengen Zone so you can enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any of the Schengen member countries.Please note, if you’re planning to study, work, or live in one of the Schengen countries longer than 90 days, then you must apply for a national visa for that European country instead. The Schengen Visa described above will not be applicable.
For More Information:Schengen Visa
What are the Schengen Countries?
The Schengen Area covers 26 European countries, including all EU countries except Ireland, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Cyprus. Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein are included in the Schengen Area but aren’t part of the EU. The full list of countries is as follows: Austria, Belgium, 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.
While it is always advised that you consult your travel agent, consulate, or embassy about determining which visas will be required and how to obtain ALL of them beforehand, it can be possible to apply for them abroad in the desired country’s embassy or consulate located in most of Europe’s capitals if necessary. Of note, South Africans seem to have the hardest time accessing visas, and will need a Schengen visa for entry to most EU countries. If headed to Russia or Moldova you will need a visa in most cases and in Turkey you’ll probably be required to have an e-visa prior to entry. It must be stated that political climates are always in a state of flux and therefore subject to change so please do your diligence ahead of time and confirm your complete itinerary to determine what visas are required for your country of origin. A helpful website called Project Visa has great info on most European countries and their requirements.
GOV.UK 2021 Travel
ETIAS- British Tourists
|Canada||ETIAS- Canadians |
Government of Canada
smartraveller.gov.au- Europe Destinations
|New Zealand||ETIAS- New Zealanders |
|South Africa||Schengen Visa Info|