The Schengen area consists of 26 nations out of which 22 belong to the EU and 4 to the EFTA. These countries allow free movement of its citizens within the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers major European countries except UK and also Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Croatia and Romania which are yet to fall under the Schengen agreement. The countries like Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein are not part of the EU countries but still enjoy the free movement policy.
If you belong to a country other than those which come under the Schengen area or the exceptional cases mentioned above, you need a visitor visa. This is called a Europe Schengen visa which allows you to enter freely into the region.
Schengen Tourist Visa
While applying for a Schengen Visa, it should be kept in mind that this visa is valid for a maximum period of 90 days. You can freely travel all the 26 countries with this visa if your purpose of visit is leisure or visiting kith and kin . With the Schengen Tourist Visa You can enter into even those Schengen countries which impose border restrictions. Under the Schengen Treaty, if you plan to visit more than one nation, you must first apply for the main country where you plan to stay.
Schengen visa Eligibility
- Purpose of visiting should be vacation or visiting friends and family
- Should not engage in any sort of work during your visa-free stay
- Should not have criminal or police records
Schengen Visa Requirements
- Valid passport which acts as your travel document
- Sufficient funds to support your stay
- Hotel reservations along with tickets for onward and return trips
- Adequate health coverage, amounting to 30,000 Euros minimum
- Covering letter in support of your visit
- Information to support your intention of leaving the country you want to visit before the expiry of your visa