Schengen Visa : All You Need to Know About it to Travel Europe

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A European holiday is a dream for most people around the world. The lush natural landscapes, the interesting history, the unique architecture, the diverse cuisines, and the varied culture are some of the things that attract people to Europe. Apart from all this, with one Schengen visa, a person can visit most of the European countries, especially the ones that are included in the Schengen zone. But not everyone needs to have a Schengen visa. Here we would take a look at the countries that need to have a visa and the ones that do not need to have a visa to visit the European countries belonging to the Schengen zone.

Which are the Schengen Countries?

The Schengen countries are those that signed the Schengen Agreement, which abolished internal border controls amongst these countries. Here is the list of 26 countries that belong to the Schengen zone:

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Travel to Europe?

If you belong to one of the following countries, you would have to get a Schengen visa before you visit any of the above mentioned Schengen countries.

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burma/Myanmar
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Core D’ivoire
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uganda
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

This visa is a short-term visa that gives you the chance to stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days. It can be used for tourist and business purposes. You need to submit a visa application form along with supporting documents to get your Schengen visa. It can take around 2 weeks for you to receive your visa once you have applied for it and paid the fee.

Who Doesn’t Need a Schengen Visa to Travel to Europe?

Here is the list of countries that are eligible for Schengen visa on arrival to travel to Europe:

  • Albania (only for holders of biometric passports)
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (only for holders of biometric passports)
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Georgia
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Holy See (Vatican City State)
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong S.A.R (passport holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Macao S.A.R (passport holders of Região Administrative Especial de Macau)
  • Malaysia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro (only for holders of biometric passports)
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • North Macedonia (only for holders of biometric passports)
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent
  • Samoa
  • Serbia (only for holders of biometric passports)
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan (only for passports that contain an identity card number)
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

Visitors applying for Schengen visa should also be aware of Schengen visa validity rules. Citizens of countries that are eligible for visa on arrival in the Schengen countries can stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days. Moreover, this visa can be used only for tourism or business purpose. If you have to visit the Schengen zone for work or studies, you need to apply for a separate visa before you travel to the place. Citizens of these countries also have to carry certain documents to gain entry into the Schengen zone.

Who Needs Schengen Airport Transfer Visa?

Citizens of the following countries would need to apply for a Schengen airport transfer visa if they have to visit the Schengen zone airport only to catch a connecting flight:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Congo (Drc)
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka

There are exceptions for these countries too. If the citizens of one of these countries have a valid Schengen visa; a residency permit of Canada, Japan, Andorra, USA, or San Marino; a valid visa of Japan, Canada, or USA; or a family member who is a EU citizen or a diplomatic passport, they would not have to apply for a Schengen airport transfer visa.

The process of applying for a Schengen visa may be different in different countries. It would be best to approach a visa agent or company, who will take care of all the formalities required to apply for a Schengen visa.

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