The Schengen Agreement - What It Is and Which Documents are Required to Travel to Schengen Countries
The Schengen Agreement
is basically a treaty signed on June 14, 1985 near a town of Schengen in Luxembourg
The various countries that signed this treaty are some 26 European
Countries that became part of the party agreement. The agreement
basically tells us that when one enters a Schengen country or a country
that signed the Schengen treaty, you may continuously enter for up to
90 days between that country and other member countries. However, you
should not confuse the European Union (EU) agreement. They are both two
different agreements between European countries.
Before 1914, it was possible to travel from Paris
to Saint Petersburg
without a passport. When the First World War came to an end, the
practice of issuing passports and performing routine passport controls
at national frontiers remained and became the norm in Europe until the
creation of the Schengen Agreement in 1985.
In the same fashion, in 1922, the Irish Free State and United
Kingdom passed laws that treated the other country as part of their own
thereby eliminating border controls and separation. Then in 1944, the
government - in - exile of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg
signed an agreement to also eliminate border controls between them.
Similarly, in 1952, the Nordic Passport Union was established and gave
permit for free travel amongst Nordic countries such as Denmark,
Finland, Iceland, and etc.
After all of this, the Schengen Area Agreement was born and
signed by only some signatories. It was created independently from the
European Union because of the lack of consensus between them. In 1990,
before the formal implementation of the agreement, a Convention was
attended by the signatory countries so as to implement the abolition of
international boarders and to conduct the same visa policy, police and
judicial cooperation. Then, on 1995 the Agreement was formally
implemented together with the signatories of the whole agreement.
Over the years, the number of countries has increased to 26
compared to the original 5 countries. All in all, there are 26
countries that signed the treaty and are still in effect today.
Schengen Countries List
With this agreement, people are able to travel to these
countries easier and less expensively since getting a visa for each
country is no longer required. The countries that are included in this
Documents for Travel to the Schengen Countries
No visa is required
if the purpose of the visit should be Tourism / Leisure or Business.
However, all other purposes including study, work, or internship,
require travelers to obtain appropriate visas before leaving the United
States. Be sure to verify the foreign entry requirements
for each country you plan to visit. You also need a passport valid for at least three months beyond your proposed stay
. For example, if you plan on having a holiday for two months, your passport must be valid (not expired) for 5 months.
If your passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, you may be
refused boarding by the airline at your point of origin or while
transferring planes. You could also be denied entry when you arrive in
the Schengen area. For this reason, we recommend that your passport
have at least six months' validity
remaining whenever you travel abroad.
It is much safer to have your passports stamped if it is your first
time to visit a country under the Schengen Area. However, many borders
do not have staff or immigration officers with this function, so it is
best to have your passports stamped at an official entry point if you
want proper documentation of your entry in that country. Without a
certain stamp, you may be questioned to prove how long you have been
staying in the Schengen Area.
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