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How to get a Schengen visa?
Every country wants good diplomatic relations with their neighbouring countries and to strengthen their relations they sign some free trade agreements or free visa policy to attract investors, travellers and also to help their citizens in seeking jobs abroad. There are many examples of free visa agreements like the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Bilateral Agreement between the US and Canada ,Bilateral Agreement between Nepal and India etc. So, in this blog we will talk about one of the free-visa agreements of the EU countries, “the Schengen agreement” and its visa policy.
2.What is Schengen?
Schengen is the largest free travel area in the world. It is an area which consists of 26 European Countries that have visa-free, passport-less policy and no cross-border travel restriction. They all follow the common international laws, judicial system, trade laws etc.
The Schengen agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 and it is named after a small vine making town ‘Schengen’ in Luxembourg. The first five signatories of this agreement were France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. This treaty allows its member countries to enter any member country’s territory via Land, air or Sea without any visa and stay up to 90 days within 6 months for tourism purposes.
There are 26 European countries comes under Schengen Area Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland in which 22 members are a part of European Union and remaining four members Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are legally obliged to apply the Schengen acquis(rules and regulations).
5.Visa laws of Schengen countries
A document in the form of a sticker will be affixed to the traveler’s passport while entering the Schengen port.
The tourist visa will not be applicable in case you are going to stay in this area for business purpose, employment, trade or establishment of any business.
Depending upon the frequency of visit to this area the Schengen authorities issued three types of visas namely Single-entry visa, Double-entry visa and Multiple-entry visa.
The Single-entry visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen area once, within the given period of time. Whereas Double-entry visa holders can go back once again to the Schengen area. Multiple-entry visa holders can go and return to any Schengen area country as many times you want within a period of 3 or 5 years.
An IT system called Visa Information System(VIS) works to facilitate the issuance of visas, enhance security, facilitate border checks and to share information between the member countries.
6.Changes happened in Schengen Visa 2022
- The 90 days stay rule, the so-called ‘90 day rule’ has now become more stringent and if anyone who tries to over-stays will be caught.
- After the COVID-19 the traveler must have an EU digital COVID certificate to enter into the Schengen area.
- Non-EU nationals who do not need a visa to travel to the territory have to prior apply for the E.T.I.A.S system.
- Travel and medical insurance is mandatory to enter the Schengen check post with a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros.
- Schengen authorities are going to open more embassies and consuls in more states to ensure better application and issuance of Visa.
Travel and Don’t Stop!
Contributed by: Kumar Sajal
Law Student, Interning with NomadLawyer