An agreement among many European countries whereby the borders between them may be crossed without border formalities but for which citizens of various other countries need an overall visa.
The Schengen Area is an area in Europe inside which there are no systematic passport controls. Apart from a few special cases, a visa for any participating country allows travel anywhere in the Schengen area.
Many questions about Schengen visas have been asked before. Please consult the list below and search before asking. If you didn't find an answer, please mention the questions you consulted and explain how your question is different.
As of 2017, the countries inside the Schengen area are:
austria, belgium, czech-republic, denmark, estonia, finland, france, germany, greece, hungary, iceland, italy, latvia, liechtenstein, lithuania, luxembourg, malta, monaco†, netherlands, norway, poland, portugal, san-marino†, slovakia, slovenia, spain, sweden, switzerland and vatican-city†.
† Not a signatory of the agreement, but has an open border with a signatory.
If your question is specific to a particular visa issuing country, you may use one of the country-specific tags in addition to schengen: france-schengen-visas germany-schengen-visas greece-schengen-visas italy-schengen-visas netherlands-schengen-visa. For questions about long stay visas, see schengen-d-visas and [schengen] on Expatriates Stack Exchange.
Where should I apply?
- Can I apply for a Schengen visa at a country where I'm not a citizen? If so, under what conditions?
- Schengen visa appointments not available for 3 months. What are my options?
- What is the minimum bank balance for getting a Schengen visa?
- How recent should my bank statement be when applying for a Schengen visa?
- Is a bank statement needed to apply for a German visa if I have an invitation?
Calculation of days
- How are days of stay calculated for Schengen visas issued for less than 90 days?
- Do layovers count in the 90-in-180 Schengen rule?
- Long-term visa expiration + Count towards Schengen tourist days?
Requirements for entry
- Can I travel through the Schengen area if my passport expires in less than 6 months?
- Can you enter the Schengen area without a return ticket?
- Is it obligatory to have a return/onward ticket while traveling between Schengen member states?
- Entering the Schengen area 12 days before my visa expires
Traveling within the Schengen area
Switching from long-term visas to short-term ones and vice-versa
- How to switch from Resident visa to Tourist visa status in the Schengen area?
- Do I have to leave the Schengen area if I have a short term (C) visa that will expire right before my National Visa (D) officially starts?
EU Family Member visas
Country that issued my visa vs. countries I'm actually visiting
- At which embassy should I apply for a Schengen visa when staying a few days in several countries?
- Should my first trip be to the country which issued my Schengen Visa?
- Can I travel to Paris for a day with a single entry visa for Schengen from Switzerland? (Can you visit other Schengen countries on a single-entry visa)
- Does a multiple-entry Schengen visa allow visiting other Schengen countries later, without going via the issuing country?
- Can I use my single entry Schengen visa to go to a different Schengen country than originally planned? (Same, but for single entry visa)
- Can I use my Schengen visa for a completely different purpose and entry point?
- Can I apply for a Schengen visa at a consulate of a country I don't really intend to visit? Is such visa shopping acceptable?
Transiting through the Schengen
- Do I need a visa to transit (or layover) in the Schengen area?
- Does one need a visa to transfer between two airports during a transit through the Schengen area?
- Is a Schengen visa/transit visa required for a transit flight through two Schengen airports?
- Can I use my German Transit Visa to transit in Netherlands?
- Do holders of refugee documents need a transit visa for the Schengen area?
Can I arrive the night before and wait airside until I pass through immigration?
- Arriving at night before Schengen visa valid date? (for FRA)
- Arriving in Zurich the night before Schengen visa validity begins
- Can I take a flight that departs after midnight of the day my Schengen visa expires? (the reverse - depart a few hours after visa expires)
- Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable
- Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided (similar to above, different formulae)
- Is changing your passport a good strategy for removing a negative immigration history in Schengen?
- Schengen visa refusal on threat to public policy, security, health
- Schengen tourist visa refused. Can I appeal for reconsideration?
- Can I get a Schengen visa to visit Estonia if previously my German visa was refused?
- I have a Schengen visa valid for longer than my allowed duration of stay. Can I ignore the duration and overstay?
- Should I follow what was mentioned in the “duration of stay” or in the "validity of the visa"?
- Is it possible to extend a tourist Schengen visa (12 more days)?
Multiple Schengen visas at the same time / Overlapping Schengen visa
- I have been issued an overlapping Schengen Visa, would there be an issue?
- Can I apply for two Schengen visas if I have two subsequent trips within a short period?
Using visas from other countries to enter the Schengen area
- Can you enter the Schengen area with a UK visa?
- Do I need a Schengen transit visa as a US Green Card holder?
Using Schengen visas to enter other countries
- Which are the non Schengen countries that allow entry for Schengen visa holders?
- Visa for Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania
Getting a Schengen visa but not using it
Getting a multiple-entry for two separate trips to the Schengen area
- Applying for a Schengen visa when there is a gap between trips to main destination and country of entry
- How to fill questions 25, 29 and 30 for Multi entry Schengen visa form
- Entering Schengen area twice within 90 days
- Going to Italy for 2 days then back to UK for 4 days then to France for 2 weeks. Which embassy should I apply to for my Schengen visa?
- Schengen visa for two subsequent short trips: One visa or two?
- Visiting two Schengen countries, coming back home in between, do I apply for single-entry or multiple-entry visa?
- Can I get a multi-entry Schengen visa if travelling to two different countries on two separate trips?
- Schengen visa for separate 1-week travels with 3 months in-between
- Does time spent in non-Schengen European microstates count against the available 90-day Schengen time?
- Countries with no visa requirements on its visitors