Travelling to Europe has been easier for globetrotters since Schengen visas were introduced. With a Schengen visa, you can travel to any of the 26 countries in Europe that are members of the Schengen agreement namely 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, Switzerland and Sweden. As you can travel freely from one country to another without having to get individual visas for each country, it is a popular choice for visiting Europe. But, did you know? You can also travel visa-free to Non-Schengen countries when you have a Schengen visa. Your valid Schengen visa allows you to enter countries outside of the 26 Schengen visa countries and some of these are not even in Europe!
Schengen visas are generally thought to be only valid within the Schengen Area. However, some non-Schengen countries recognize the Schengen visa as their own. Simply put, if you hold a valid Schengen visa, you are not restricted to visiting only Europe; you can visit specific countries through your Schengen visa, without requiring their own visas. Around 45 countries do not belong to the Schengen zone countries,but they accept Schengen visas for entry. However, there are restrictions, visa type, and eligibility criteria to consider as not all countries have the same visa policy. Certain nationalities may not have access to this benefit. Each nation has its own eligibility and border control rules which need to be confirmed before departing on your journey. Also, most countries grant entry only if the Schengen visa is a multiple-entry visa. Check out this list of Non-Schengen countries that allows entry for tourists with a valid Schengen tourist visa.
Apply for a Schengen visa and visit the following Non-Schengen countries in Europe:
You can stay 90 days on a Schengen visa once used at a Schengen country.
With a Schengen visa from Spain or France, you can get a visa-free entry for 90 days.
Citizens of certain countries can enter Belarus if they have visited the visa issuing country and arrive or depart from Mogilev Airport, Airport Minsk, Brest Airport, Gomel Airport, Vitebsk Airport, or Grodno Airport.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
All Schengen visa holders, except Kosovo nationals, have access for 30 days.
Bulgaria, Georgia, and Croatia
All nationalities can visit for 90 days.
All nationalities (except Azerbaijan and Turkey) can visit for 90 days.
China, India, Morocco, Mongolia, and Russia nationalities can enter for 21 days.
All nationalities can enter for 15 days.
Moldova, Romania, Serbia
A 90-day access is granted to eligible nationalities.
The country can be accessed through France, hence a valid Schengen visa is enough to explore the country.
All nationalities get 30-day entry to the destination
You can stay for 15 days provided the visa extends 5 days beyond the intended duration of the visit.
All nationalities can stay for 30 days. Border entry and exit are through Italy only.
This Eurasian country just recently made it possible for travellers to explore the country with the help of Schengen visas and visa on arrival programs. While it is not a visa-free entry, certain nationalities can still enter without the hassle of applying for visas.
Schengen visa holders can enter the world’s smallest country for a day. Visiting the Vatican City is always done through day trips from Italy, so a Schengen visa for Italy would suffice to visit Vatican City.
If you have a Schengen visa and wish to explore the American continent’s charms, head to these destinations
- Mexico – Get access to this destination with a multiple-entry Schengen visa.
- Belize – All nationalities can get a 30-day entry into this destination.
- El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras – Only certain citizens with a valid Schengen visa can enter this country. An additional entry fee applies for those arriving by air at El Salvador.
- Nicaragua – Eligible countries are granted visas on arrival for 30 days. Additional visa charges will apply for a visa on arrival, municipal taxes, border migration fee, etc.
- Panama – Anyone holding a valid Schengen visa except the visa issued for Non-EU countries – Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein can get 30-day access.
Plan a chillout escape at the Caribbean with a valid Schengen visa
- Antigua and Barbuda – Visa on arrival can be obtained for all nationalities
- Aruba – All nationalities get 30-day access.
- Bahamas – Indians with a valid Schengen visa can get entry to this fabulous destination.
- Bonaire – All nationalities can stay for 90 days.
- Cuba – All nationalities with a Schengen visa(except the one issued by Iceland, Norway,
- Switzerland, Liechtenstein can explore Cuba with a tourist card.
- Curaçao – All nationalities can visit for 30 days.
- Dominican Republic – All nationalities with a Schengen visa and a tourist card can visit for 30 days.
- Haiti – Citizens of Colombia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Cuba can enter with a Schengen visa and Tourist card for 90 days
- Jamaica – Certain citizens with a Schengen visa can be granted entry for 30 days provided the Schengen visa is valid for 30 days after arrival in Jamaica.
- Sint Maarten – All nationals with a Schengen visa validity of 30 days on arrival are allowed to enter.
- Peru – Citizens of China and India get 180 days access into Peru on a Schengen visa.
In Asia, South Korea also allows entering their land on a Schengen visa provided you arrive from or depart to a Schengen nation. For Indians with a Schengen visa, the Philippines and Singapore are easier to visit without obtaining a national visa.
For Schengen visa holders, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia also offer ease of travel. These are not visa-exempt, but visas on arrival for a certain period are provided.
So, now you know! Taking advantage of the Schengen visa might be the best way to explore a country that differs from the usual European holiday destinations tourists book with this visa.