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Schengen information

Schengen information

VisaPoint is a fully licensed agent at the French Consulate General and TLScontact Center in London. License number: AP2011/120


What is Schengen?

 

The Schengen Convention abolished checks at the borders of signatory states and created a single external frontier with checks to be carried out in accordance with a common set of rules.
This freedom of movement within the EU was accompanied by measures that included implementing a common visa regime, improving coordination between the police, customs and the judiciary and taking additional steps to combat problems such as terrorism and organised crime.

 

Countries currently signatories of the Schengen Convention


The original signatories were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Norway.


Slovenia signed up to the Schengen agreement in December 2007, along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta.

The Schengen agreement does NOT cover the United Kingdom and Ireland. Please see the notes below for further information.

 

Schengen visas

 

Travelling 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. Generally speaking, with a Schengen visa you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of the visa. Internal border controls are limited, with no or few stops and checks.

 

A Schengen visa may be applied for at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights during your trip to the Schengen Area. If you are only visiting one country during your trip then you should apply for your visa at the consulate of that Schengen country.

 

Travel insurance, including medical cover and repatriation, is required when you apply for your Schengen visa (an actual repatriation clause must be shown to the consulate). This must cover the duration of the requested visa - annual insurance may be required if you are requesting a multi-entry visa.

 

A multiple-entry Schengen visa entitles the holder to several entries into the Schengen area, allowing you to return to the UK and then re-enter the Schengen area at a later date.

Not all embassies issue multiple-entry visas - some issue only a single-entry visa covering a specific trip.

 

Generally, you should have at least three months left on your UK immigration visa at the time you return from your holiday. If, for example, your UK visa expires on 12 March 2016 you can only apply for a visa up to 12 December 2015.