Schengen Visa FAQ’s

Citizens from some non-European (EU) countries are required to hold a visa when travelling to the Schengen Area of Europe. The EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing the external borders and a list of countries whose citizens are exempt from that requirement

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area.

What countries are part of the Schengen area?

There are 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

What nationalities or passport holders need a Schengen visa?

Generally speaking, the Americas, Australia and Japan are visa-free.  The rest of the world requires Schengen visas.  The following nationalities need ot obtain a Shengen visa prior to entering a Schengen country.

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbajian, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of congo, Djibouti, Dominican Repulic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eguatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Krygyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Papau New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

What if I'm exempt from needing a Schengen visa?

The visa policy of the Schengen area as setup by the European Union allows certain countries to enter the Schengen area via air, land, or sea without a visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

What is the ETIAS system?

In 2018, the EU approved a system for electronic visas for visa-exampt visitors and named it the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System).  This system is an electronic travel visa system and will require nationals of visa-exempt countryies to apply for an ETIAS.  This system is anticipated to be implemented in 2022.

How do I apply for a Schengen visa?

Schengen visas can be issued by any country in the Schengen area. Travellers must apply to the embassy or consulate of the country which they intend to visit. If a traveler is visiting multiple countries in the Schengen area, travellers must apply to their primarydestination's embassy or consulate (the country where they intend on staying the longest).  If the main destination cannot be determined, the traveller should apply for the visa at the embassy of the Schengen country of first entry into the Schengen area.

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