A Schengen Visa is the document issued by the appropriate authorities to the interested party for visiting/travelling to and within the Schengen Area.
The Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries that have agreed to allow free movement of their citizens within this area as a single country. Of the 26 countries bound by the Schengen agreement, 22 are part of the European Union (EU) and the other 4 are part of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).
EU: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The abolition of borders between European countries has resulted in:
- Nationals of any country, when in the Schengen Area, to liberally cross the internal borders of the Schengen countries, free from border checks;
- Shared standards for crossing the external borders of Schengen countries;
- Harmonized entry and short-stay visa conditions for all Schengen countries;
- Improved collaboration between the police of member countries;
- Privileged judicial collaboration between Schengen countries, including faster extradition of suspected criminals, and easier relocation for execution of criminal verdicts; and
- An advanced shared database, assisting member countries to quickly exchange information about people and goods between them, known as (SIS) The Schengen Information System.
If you are a non-EU, EEA or Swiss national in possession of a residence permit of one of the Schengen Countries (e.g., Malta) you do not need a Schengen visa to allow you to travel to another Schengen area country for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180 day period.
The Malta Residence and Visa Programme provides the applicant and his/her family with a Maltese residence card which allows holders to travel within Schengen under the above conditions. If you want to know more on how we can assist you to obtain such status kindly click here to see the process and other benefits of the Malta Residence and Visa Programme.