What is a Schengen Visa

Traveling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area, you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system.

With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone. Internal border controls have disappeared; there are no or few stops and checks. This means that internal air, road and train travel are handled as domestic trips, similar to travel from one US state to another. Those who traveled in Europe before Schengen know the difference.

What are the schengen Countries ?

The name “Schengen” originates from a small town in Luxembourg. In June 1985, seven European Union countries signed a treaty to end internal border checkpoints and controls. More countries have joined the treaty over the past years. At present, there are 15 Schengen countries, all in Europe.

The 15 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. All these countries except Norway and Iceland are European Union members.

Where do you apply ?

All depends on the place(s) you want to visit. If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy or Consulate of that particular country. You apply at the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the state where you live.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.

Why a Schengen Vusa ?

The Schengen countries have joined efforts to enhance the quality of their service to the public. A central database, common procedures and criteria for visa issuance and use of the same visa sticker with high-level built-in security are all assets for both our countries and you the visitor. Moreover, the use of a common visa system has enabled us to re-organize our office network. Today the Schengen countries are represented by professional and skilled staff at a much wider network than before. We now have over 1,500 offices worldwide, of which nearly 100 are located in the United States.

The Schengen visa helps promote a unified Europe, and is therefore an important symbol of the European Union

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