The Area was established in 1995 and is named after the Schengen Visa Agreement. It stands for 26 distinct European states that have abrogated their internal borders with their neighbouring nations and those outside to ensure there is free and unobstructed movement of people, stuff, services and capital in togetherness with common rules for influencing outer borders and dealing with criminal activities through supporting one judicial system and working together with the police.

Through The Area, borders separating European states are only visible on maps since more than 400 million residents of the 26 nations enjoy the freedom of not needing to have a travel passport as they traverse through these countries. They are also guaranteed passport check and border check free around and outside the area.

Since there is no passport control while travelling between these 26 states, holding a valid Schengen visa or permit of residence in any of these nations gives you the freedom to visit any other country in the area.

The Area States

The area’s 26 nations include Sweden, Malta, Norway, Germany, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Portugal, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, France, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Four of these nations are non-EU members.

Just like Malta has rules that govern many EU residents, this area regulates 26 countries, 22 of which are in EU member states.

Crossing the Area Borders

To get into or depart from the area, you are required to produce your passport

  • In case you have been registered with Schengen Information System (SIS), you will not be granted permission to get into the area. Usually, people get registered with SIS after getting expelled from Norway or any other state within the area.
  • A valid visa in any of the Area states gives you freedom to visit other nations within the area
  • The visa dictates the number of times you can get into the Area
  • In case your visa is just valid for a single entry and you decide to visit the UK, Turkey, Iceland or Russia, you will not be able to get back to The Area without a new visa. This is why in your application you should state the number of times you plan to get in and out of the area.