name "Schengen" originates from a small town in Luxembourg. In June 1985, seven
European Union countries signed a treaty to end internal border checkpoints and
controls. More countries have joined the treaty over the past years. At present,
there are 25 Schengen countries, all in Europe.
25 member countries (22 European Union states and 3 non-EU members)
The 25 Schengen countries are: 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.
All these countries except Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are European Union members.
Traveling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen
visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area, you will enjoy the many advantages of
this unified visa system. Download the
SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION and apply
With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the
Schengen zone. Internal border controls have disappeared; there are no or few
stops and checks. This means that internal air, road and train travel are
handled as domestic trips, similar to travel from one US state to another. Those
who traveled in Europe before Schengen know the difference.
The Schengen countries have joined efforts to enhance the quality of their
service to the public. A central database, common procedures and criteria for
visa issuance and use of the same visa sticker with high-level built-in security
are all assets for both our countries and you the visitor. Moreover, the use of
a common visa system has enabled us to re-organize our office network. Today the
Schengen countries are represented by professional and skilled staff at a much
wider network than before. We now have over 1,500 offices worldwide, of which
nearly 100 are located in the United States.
The Schengen visa helps promote a unified Europe, and is therefore an important
part of Europe cooperation and the European Union.
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