Information about Schengen Visa Countries
26 countries in total form the Schengen Area by entering into a mutual agreement to allow the free movement of all Schengen nationals, remove the internal borders and strengthen the external ones. 22 of those countries are European Union members, while other 4 are part of the EFTA (European Free Trade Association).
The United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus are part of the European Union but do not form part of the Schengen agreement. You will find detailed information regarding the short-term visas for each of these countries below.
Following is a list of the Schengen Member States that will require non-European nationals, who currently do not need a short-term entry visa, to apply for ETIAS travel authorization, should they travel to any of the ETIAS countries listed below:
Types of Schengen Visa
A Schengen Visa, issued by any of the Schengen Member States authorizes its holders to travel freely and cross the internal borders of any EU Schengen countries. It also grants the right to enter all the EFTA Schengen countries. The European Union member countries that are not part of the Schengen countries also grant a visa-free entry to third country nationals, as long as they hold a valid Schengen visa and the non-Schengen European country has a visa-waiver agreement with that given country (refer to the information per country above).
Тhere are 3 types of Schengen Visas:
1.- UNIFORM SCHENGEN VISA (USV)
The Uniform Schengen Visa is a permit, issued by one of the Schengen Area member countries, to reside in the desired Schengen country for a maximum of 90 consecutive days, for every 3 months from the entry date. USV can also be used as a transit visa.
There are 3 subcategories of the Uniform Schengen Visa:
Single-entry visa: This Uniform Schengen Visa allows its holder to enter a Schengen country once for a limited period of time. After the foreign visitor exits the country, the visa expires automatically.
Double-entry visa: The regulations mentioned above apply to the double-entry visa as well. The only difference is that a double-entry visa holder can enter a Schengen Member State twice. After the second exit (second crossing of an external Schengen border), the visa expires automatically.
- Multiple-entry visa: Holders of a multiple-entry visa can enter and exit the Schengen Member States any number of times, during the validity period of the visa. However, their stay may not exceed 90 consecutive days for every 6 months starting from the entry date into a Schengen country from a non-Schengen Member State.
2.- Limited Territorial Validity Visa (LTV)
Holders of the LV may only enter the Schengen Member Country that has issued the visa. They will not be able to enter any other Schengen countries, unless previously authorized during the visa application process. Holders of an LTV visa cannot enter nor transit to any other country but the one that issued the visa.
3.- NATIONAL VISA
National Visas are granted to individuals who will be studying, working or permanently residing in any of the Schengen Area countries. Under normal circumstances, the National Visa is a single entry visa for a limited period, which would cover the exact purpose of the applicant’s visa request whether it is employment or educational related.
Following are the requirements to apply for a multi-entry National Visa:
- An official document, confirming the international educational program with a maximum of 1 year right to remain.
- The candidate is applying for a pedagogical work at a higher research or educational center
- The applicant is a professional who is traveling to Europe due to his/hers proficiency in sports, art or any other profession, related to sharing expertise
- An emergency prevents the individual from returning to his home country and is required to remain in the Schengen Area for a specific period of time
- EU Schengen Area
- Non-Schengen EU States
- Non-EU Schengen States
Apart from those 22 Schengen states, there are 6 non-Schengen European Union members:
United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
Most nationals from visa-exempt Schengen Area countries can also enter the United Kingdom without the need to previously make a visa application. Such countries are:
- United States
- South Korea
Citizens from the countries listed above do not require a visa when traveling to the United Kingdom for a short-term stay of a maximum of 90 consecutive days.
Even though no previous visa application is required, travelers should be able to provide proof of sufficient financial means or an official current residential address document at the passport control check. Following is a list of the types of documents that will allow the border control officers to better determine the traveler’s eligibility to cross the British border:
- A bank statement or an official letter from the applicant’s employer with proof of earnings will help prove the traveler’s financial situation and ability to support themselves, while in the U.K.
- Proof of legal residence such as residential card or a bill with the traveler’s name and address clearly visible
- Proof of employment or ongoing studies
- Travelers who are under 18 years of age are advised to provide a birth certificate as well as a letter from their parents, confirming the reason for the trip such as: living arrangements and financial situation, a copy of the parent’s passports may be required
These are the general border crossing regulations for citizens of visa-exempt countries. Similar type of proof is asked of Standard Visa applicants for the U.K.
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland is still not part of the Schengen Area. However, there is a rather large number of countries whose citizens can enter Ireland without having to apply for a visa. These countries are:
- United States
- South Korea
- Japan, and more.
Although citizens from the countries mentioned above currently do not need a visa to travel to Ireland, it is very probable that in the near future that will change and they will require an ETIAS visa waiver to cross Ireland’s border. To learn more about the visa regime in Ireland, visit the official Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website.
Similar to the rest of countries on this list, Romania is not yet part of the Schengen Area. However, Romania is a member of the European Union. The Romanian Government has decided to authorize foreign nationals who have a Schengen visa to enter Romania for a short-term stay, as long as they have they meet all of the requirements.
US citizens are not required a visa to enter Romania for a period of up to 90 days, every 180 days (6 months). However, once the ETIAS application is implemented and operational, this will change and citizens from countries that currently do not need a visa to enter Romania, including the US, will need to apply for an ETIAS visa.
On January 25, 2012, the Bulgarian Government decided that all Schengen visa holders may enter and exit Bulgaria freely. However, there are a few requirements to be followed:
- Third country nationals must carry a valid Schengen visa
- The number of entries and time they may remain in Bulgaria may not exceed what the validity of the Schengen Visa.
- Those who have exceeded the number of entries and/or days to remain within the Schengen Area stated in their Schengen Visa will not be allowed in Bulgaria with that same visa
- A valid short-term national visa for Ireland, the UK, Cyprus, Romania or Croatia will not allow its holder to enter Bulgaria.
Once the ETIAS travel authorization system is implemented all citizens from the 59 countries, including the US, who currently do not need a visa for Bulgaria, will be required to complete an ETIAS online application.
Croatia is one of the few countries that does not require visas from US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and EU nationals even before joining the European Union in 2013. Currently there are over 50 other countries that can enter and exit Croatia without a visa, but because Croatia is part of the ETIAS agreement, this will soon change, and citizens from the visa waiver countries will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization.
Cyprus, similar to the rest of the countries in the non-Schengen European list, does not require citizens from over 50 different countries to apply for a visa before their trip to any of the Schengen Member States. However, this is about to change and soon they will also require an ETIAS visa from all visitors.
There are 4 Non-EU Schengen States:
There are 3 countries, that are not part of the Schengen Area or the European Union but have opened their borders to Schengen members:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Requirements for Schengen Tourist Visa
Following is a guide on the general requirements for a visa Schengen. However, it is advisable to consult the local embassy/consulate for further information regarding each application as well as where the Schengen visa interview will take place.
- Complete and sign the visa application form.
- Attach a recent passport-style photo that shows a full, clear, and front view of your face with a white or off-white background
- The passenger’s passport along with photocopies of all previous Schengen visas. The passport must have at least 2 blank pages and be valid for a minimum of 3 months, prior to the departure.
- Round trip reservations such as hotel/room/flight bookings, together with their identifying reservation numbers. The flight information must clearly indicate the traveler’s entry and exit dates from the Schengen Area.
- A travel health insurance, covering the whole travel period within the Schengen Member States.
- Proof of sufficient financial means to support oneself, during the trip.