The Schengen Area

What is the Schengen Area?

Taken from the European Commission Website (August 2022):

The border-free Schengen Area guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU citizens, along with non-EU nationals living in the EU or visiting the EU as tourists, exchange students or for business purposes (anyone legally present in the EU). Free movement of persons enables every EU citizen to travel, work and live in an EU country without special formalities. Schengen underpins this freedom by enabling citizens to move around the Schengen Area without being subject to border checks.

Today, the Schengen Area encompasses most EU countries, except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania. However, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area and already applying the Schengen acquis to a large extent. Additionally, also the non-EU States Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have joined the Schengen Area.

26 Countries within the Schengen Area

Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The 90/180 Day Rule

Citizens from some non-EU Countries are not required to hold a visa when traveling to the Schengen Area, however, some are. We advise you to check the European Commission website for further information on visa policy. 

Generally, a short-stay visa issued by one of the Schengen States entitles its holder to travel throughout the 26 Schengen States for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visas for visits exceeding that period remain subject to national procedures.

The 90/180 day period is calculated on a rolling time window, which can make it tricky to be sure of how many days you may stay. This is because you need to backward and forward in time to work it out, and this complexity is exactly why we created the Schengen Days App. 


Each Schengen state applies different penalties and authorities may punish you whether your overstay beyond your Schengen Visa’s validity was intentional or not. 

You could receive a fine, immediate deportation, or even get banned from entering the Schengen Area for a period.

Download the Schengen Days App to see how many days you could stay in the Schengen Area.

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