The Schengen Area and Passport-Free Travel For Indians

Last Updated : 08-Feb-2024

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30 Second Summary

Schengen area is a collection of 27 countries that have chosen to eliminate internal border checks, making it easy to travel within their areas.

The benefits of the Schengen area include:

    Effortless Travel

    Simplified Procedures

    Economic Opportunities

    Cultural Exchange

    Tourism Boost

The Schengen area continues to transform the way people experience travel throughout Europe.

Travellers often face complicated visa application processes and a lot of required paperwork when they want to travel and cross borders. What if you could skip these tiresome processes? Imagine the freedom to explore multiple countries effortlessly, finally discovering the perfect destination to spend your time. This convenience is exactly what the Schengen Area provides.

What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area is a European zone where 27 countries have agreed to eliminate internal border controls among countries that have agreed to adhere to the Schengen acquis, which refers to a set of laws and regulations. This means people can move freely between these countries without facing the usual border controls. 

The rules that govern the Schengen Area countries are known as the Schengen Borders Code. The Schengen Area promotes unity and fosters economic, cultural, and social connections among its member states.

What is the Schengen Agreement?

The Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985, is responsible for creating this arrangement. Its main goal is to make travel easier and strengthen cooperation among the participating nations.

In essence, the Schengen Agreement permits citizens of Schengen States to travel effortlessly between these countries without requiring travel authorisation. The main goal is establishing a unified space free of internal border controls, allowing unrestricted movement. Once you enter any Schengen country, you can freely travel without passport checks, benefiting tourists, business travellers, and residents.

List of the Schengen countries in the Schengen Area 

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Not All Schengen Countries are EU Members: Some countries participate in the Schengen Area without being full members of the European Union. For example, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein are part of Schengen but not EU members.

The Benefits of the Schengen Area for Residents and Travellers

The Schengen zone offers significant advantages for residents and travellers within its member countries. Here are some key benefits:

    Effortless Travel: One of the primary benefits is the freedom of movement for residents and travellers. Once you enter a Schengen country, you can move freely within the area without encountering internal border controls. This simplifies travel and allows for a more seamless and convenient experience.

    Simplified Procedures: Eliminating internal border controls means that individuals do not need to undergo passport checks when crossing borders within the Schengen Area. This simplifies travel procedures, making residents and tourists quicker and more efficient.

    Economic Opportunities: The Schengen Area promotes economic cooperation by facilitating the movement of goods, services, and people across borders. This positively impacts businesses, trade, and job opportunities, contributing to economic growth and development.

    Cultural Exchange: The open borders foster cultural exchange among the diverse nations within the Schengen Area. Residents and travellers can experience different cultures, languages, and traditions without the hindrance of border restrictions.

    Tourism Boost: The Schengen Agreement has significantly enhanced tourism within the member countries. Tourists can explore multiple destinations within the area without needing separate visas or border checks, making it more appealing for those seeking diverse travel experiences.

As more countries see the advantages of unrestricted travel, the desire to join the Schengen Area grows, promising a future of easier travel and stronger connections.

What are the Types of Schengen Visas for Indians

There are three main types of Schengen Visas: Uniform Schengen Visas (USV), Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV), and National Visas. The USV includes the A and C categories for Airport Transit Visas and Short-term Visas.

The D category under National Visa is for people planning to study, work, or live in Schengen countries. If you have an LTV, you can only travel within the Schengen States that issued your visa and certain other Schengen States mentioned in your application.

    Type A Visa (Transit Visa): The Type A visa, also known as a Schengen transit visa, allows individuals from non-Schengen countries to transit through or wait in the international zone of an airport located in a Schengen country.

    Type C Visa (Tourist Visa): The Type C visa is a short-stay Schengen visa often used as a tourist visa or a business visa; it allows individuals to stay or travel freely within the Schengen region for a duration of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

    Type D Visa (Long-term Visa): The Type D visa is a long-term visa intended for foreigners planning to stay long-term. This visa is often used as a study visa, a work visa, or when residing in a Schengen country for more than 90 days, up to a year.

Can I Visit Any Schengen Country Using a Schengen Visa?

Absolutely. A Schengen Visa enables entry to any of the schengen area countries. Having a Schengen Visa provides you with the same freedom of movement within the Schengen Area as a citizen of a Schengen country. Remember that not all European Union (EU) countries are part of the Schengen Area. However, your Schengen Visa does not grant access to all EU countries.

The process to obtain a Schengen Visa is straightforward. All you need to do is accurately complete the Schengen visa application form, gather the required documents and schedule an appointment. Atlys can even help you schedule your visa appointment.

Here's a simple guide on how to book an appointment through Atlys:

    Start by applying for your visa easily using the Atlys app.

    In the app, you can pick your Schengen destination.

    A dedicated Atlys concierge will assist you throughout the process.

    Your concierge ensures your documents meet the requirements for a Schengen visa.

    Atlys helps you find a suitable visa appointment date.

By using Atlys, you can easily get your Schengen visa appointment. Atlys will also assist you by ensuring all the documents you provide are accurate.

In Summary 

The Schengen Agreement and the resulting Schengen Area shape our European travel experiences. They have removed barriers, simplifying journeys across the continent. Planning a visit to Schengen countries is an exciting adventure. 

Armed with the insights from this guide, you're well-prepared to explore and enjoy a seamless journey through Europe's captivating destinations. Safe travels!

Government Sources: 

Atlys recognises the significance of giving visa applicants precise and timely information during the visa application process. That's why all the information provided in this blog comes from reliable government sources, including:

Frequently Asked Questions

A Schengen visa is usually valid for short stays, allowing you to spend up to 90 days within a 180-day period. This means you can stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days during any 180-day span starting from your first entry. The exact validity may vary based on the visa type and the decision of the visa application centre or embassy handling your application. Reviewing your visa sticker or approval letter for specific conditions and duration is essential to ensure adherence to the permitted stay timeframe. Following the Schengen rules is important for a smooth experience across the Schengen Area.

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