How can I get a European Visa

Is the Schengen Visa a European Union Visa?

In the European Union and the Schengen area are, in short, two different concepts that need to be clearly separated from each other. The EU is a political and economic union of currently 27 member states (the United Kingdom left the EU in 2020). The Schengen area however, is an association of 26 participating countries for the free movement of people. EU countries are not automatically Schengen countries. The European Parliament regulates the entry requirements for the Schengen area in the EU visa regulation. The EU visa regulation therefore states which citizens are allowed to enter the country without a visa and which ones need a visa.

What is the Schengen Agreement?

The Schengen Agreement was first signed by five EU member states in 1985 to abolish controls at internal borders. In the meantime, 26 countries have joined the Schengen Agreement. Count among them 22 EU countries and 4 EFTA states (See list below). As a result, not all EU member states are part of the Schengen Agreement. In these 26 Schengen countries Third-country nationals with an EU visa (Schengen visa) can move freely and are only checked when crossing the external border.

What is the European Union?

The European Union currently consists of 27 member states. The EU states Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus are EU member states, but do not - or not yet - belong to the Schengen area. The former EU member Great Britain left the European Union in 2020 as a result of Brexit, but was not part of the Schengen area before that either. In contrast to third-country nationals, EU citizens entitled to free movement can travel within the EU, regardless of whether the country is part of the Schengen area or not. When EU citizens travel to Bulgaria, Ireland, Croatia, Romania and Cyprus, all they need to do is show a valid travel document (ID card or passport).