What is the Schengen zone and what are the Schengen visa rules

The Schengen visa started with seven countries in Europe who signed a treaty in 1985 to end internat border checkpoints and controls. Since then, more countries have joined the treaty. In total, there are 25 countries and all of them are European countries.

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are all Schengen countries. Norway and Iceland are not members of the EU.

The UKĀ and Ireland are members of the European Union, but are not members of the Schengen area.

Read who needs a Schengen visa.

After your application for Schengen visa, you can enter one country and travel anywhere within the Schengen zone. Internal border controls have been abolished and there are practically no stops and checks. Internal air, road and train travel are handled as domestic trips, just like traveling within the same country from state to state.

Although it makes travelling easier, there are a few rules to take into account.

Schengen visa rules

Passport and border control

You will most likely be asked to show your passport when you are travelling through Schengen countries. This is to check if your Schengen visa is still valid.

  • You should also bring original papers, sponsorships, and other official papers to make the check easier and to avoid delays. You should not be someone of whom an alert has been issued for refusing a visa.
  • Your passport should be valid for 6 months more after your visa expires.

Visa types

For us, an airport transit visa (A) is the most important. It allows you to travel through the Schengen zone without entering the Schengen territory.

Other visa’s are transit visa’s, short stay visa’s, circulation visa’s and long stay visa’s.

Get your visa

Get your visa now by filling in the Schengen visa form.

View also this Schengen VISA information.