EU citizens, non-EU residents and visitors to the EU need to be able to freely and safely travel within the EU. The Schengen Area has made this a concrete reality.
The Schengen Area is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. It is an area without internal borders, an area within which citizens and many non-EU nationals staying legally in the EU can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks. Since 1985, it has gradually grown and encompasses almost all EU Member States and a few associated non-EU countries.
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While having abolished their internal borders, Schengen countries have also tightened controls at their common external border on the basis of common Schengen rules to ensure the security of those living or travelling within the Schengen Area.
Which European Countries Issue Schengen Visas?
The Schengen zone includes the 27 countries that have signed the Schengen agreement, which allows citizens of member countries to travel within the zone freely without passing through passport and border control.
Each member country of the Schengen zone can issue Schengen visas.