What is the Schengen Agreement?
The Schengen Agreement signed on June 14, 1985, is a treaty that led most of the European countries towards the elimination of their national borders, to build a Europe without borders known as “Schengen Area”. Signed in Luxembourg, initially by only five EU countries, the agreement remains one of the world’s biggest areas that have ended border control between member countries.
The Agreement was signed by the five (5) following European countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, in Schengen, a small village in Southern Luxembourg on the river Moselle. The Schengen Area concept experienced an incessant expansion, as on 27 November 1990 Italy, on 25 June 1991 Portugal and Spain and on 6 November 1992, Greece joined.
Since then, the Schengen Area breathed a fast developing and expanding trend. Thus, on 28 April 1995 Austria, on 19 December 1996 Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden were the new five countries to join. On the other hand, led by a sample of seven aforementioned countries, in October Italy and in December 1997 Austria abolished their internal border controls.
The enlargement of the Schengen Area continued its prosperous journey as in January 2000 Greece and March 2001 Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, on 16 April 2003 Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia and in October 2004 Switzerland were the new fifteen countries (15) that joined. This successful story did not end there, as in December 2007 the same nations declared the elimination of their land and sea, and in March 2008 of the airport border controls.
In February 2008, Liechtenstein was the 26th and the last country so far to sign the Schengen Agreement and become part of the Schengen Area.
Schengen States Territories that are not part of the Schengen
Apart from the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands, no other country that is located outside of the European continent is not part of the Schengen Area or have not signed the Schengen Agreement.
Schengen Visa Types we offer & Validity
A single-entry visa allows its holder to enter the Schengen Area only once, within the given period of time, as mentioned in the visa sticker affixed to their passport. Once the visa holder exits the Schengen territory, he or she can no longer go back, even if they have not spent there the number of days as permitted by the embassy that issued them the visa.
Some people confuse the single-entry visa, thinking that it is about the number of countries the visa holder is permitted to visit and that it allows them to enter one single country. In fact, the territory you are permitted to visit is given close to the “Valid for” tag in your visa sticker, whereas the time you are permitted to stay is given close to the “Number of entries” tag.
In general, a double-entry visa applies the same way as the single-entry visa explained above. The sole difference between a single-entry and a double-entry visa is that the second gives you the chance to go once more back to the Schengen territory once you have left it.
You should be very careful not to exceed the number of days you are permitted to stay in the Schengen Zone, as well as the period within which you can spend these days in the EU. Once again, do not mix the “double-entry” tag with the number of countries you are permitted to enter and remain within the given time.
With this visa, when you leave the Schengen Area for the second time, you no longer have the right to go back, even if you have not spent all of the days you were permitted to remain there. However, if you have obtained a double-entry visa more than once, and you are a frequent traveler to the Schengen zone, you are more likely to be granted a multiple-entry visa, as explained below.
A multiple-entry visa allows its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as many times as he or she wants, as soon as they do not violate the 90/180 rule.
Based on how frequently you travel to the Schengen zone, you may apply and obtain one of the following multiple-entry visa types:
1-year multiple-entry visa
3-year multiple-entry visa
5-year multiple-entry visa
1-year multiple-entry Schengen visa
The 1-year MEV visa gives you the right to enter the Schengen Zone as many times as you want, as long as you do not remain more than 90 days within this period.
3-year multiple-entry Schengen visa
The 3-year MEV visa gives the right to its holder to enter the Schengen Area as many times as they wish within a period of three years. However, even in this case, the visa holder is limited to remaining in the EU no longer than 90 days within a 180-day period.
5-year multiple-entry Schengen visa
5-year MEV visa permits you to enter 26 countries in Europe as many times as you wish, within five years, as soon as you do not violate the 90/180 days rule.
Schengen Visa Types according to the purpose of travel
Credit to the SchegenVisaInfo