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For the purpose of the article, we will discuss the benefits of Schengen countries and the things you need to consider when travelling.
We will also consider a few countries which are part of the European Union (EU) as well as the Schengen area, some of which even offer citizenship to non-EU citizens.
Let’s dive into how to rid immigration officials studying your documents and restricting your movement across Europe for business opportunities or leisure activities.
In one simple sentence; it grants people the right to move freely around most countries in Europe.
In a more complex sense, the Schengen visa removes the bureaucracy of obtaining a visa for each time you decide to travel.
There are 26 countries which form part of the Schengen area.
So what does this mean for those 26 countries?
Well, anyone who lives in any one of these 26 countries can easily and freely travel across other countries with no internal border checks or controls.
They wave goodbye to long waits at control points and restrictions across Europe and simply travel freely.
If you come from a developed country, odds are you can freely enter any of the Schengen countries without having to worry about getting a passport visa.
Schengen visas can often take a considerable amount of time to process and are only valid for a period of time. A Schengen visa can be denied and there is no guarantee that it granted it would be renewed.
Let’s look into the Schengen area in numbers;
In total there are 26 countries which form part of the Schengen area;
EU Schengen Countries include:
Non- EU Schengen Countries Include:
Other than these 26 mentions countries, there six other countries which are part of Europe but not part of the Schengen area.
Note: These countries do need a Schengen visa to visit the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180- day period.
Here is the Schengen Calculator to ensure you do not exceed your stay in one country.
The following individuals are eligible for unrestricted travel in the Schengen Area:
As you can already begin to imagine, forming part of the Schengen area as a host of benefits.
The benefits of a Schengen visa can be as simple as travelling from Germany to Luxembourg without having to go through passport control each time you cross the border.
Or more complex like moving goods and trades across borders.
The Schengen area has also reduced the time it takes to move goods across Europe.
In the past, it could take hours for trucks to cross certain borders, now they may cross the border completely unnoticed.
This makes it much easier, quicker, and cheaper to move goods around Europe.
It can also be a step further as travelling across Europe, by which you will be entering several countries without any questions asked.
Therefore, one of the main advantages of Schengen Visa is that it saves you time. A lot of time.
For example; if you have relatives who live in a Schengen country and you intend to visit them every couple of months, this would be an issue if you do not reside in a Schengen country or have a valid visa.
This will also interfere if you conduct business internationally and need to travel on a regular basis.
Another Schengen Visa benefit is that you will not need to go knocking on embassy or consulate doors each time you plan to leave the country.
This can be particularly stressful for those who come from a country that might not be favourably viewed.
One of the countries who reaps the benefits of the European Schengen visa is Malta. We will discuss further the commonly asked question, ‘Is Malta a Schengen country?’.
Malta also happens to be one of the European countries that offers citizenship through investment which makes it the ideal place to apply for a Schengen visa and a more flexible passport.
In short; Yes.
On the 21st of December 2007, the Island of Malta joined the free movement and visa-free implementation of Schengen.
At the time of Malta’s Schengen agreement, we also saw nine other countries follow suit to strengthen the Schengen state.
The eight other states who joined along with Malta are:
It is now possible for a Maltese citizen to travel from Malta to Paris or even Rome, from Barcelona to Brussels and from Amsterdam to Athens without border checks.
Once a person enters Malta, he or she enjoys the freedom of movement within the EU countries that are part of Schengen, this one of the essential advantages of the Schengen agreement.
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