The Schengen Convention is an agreement entered into in Schengen, Luxemburg, on 19 June 1990. This convention is on free movement of European citizens, within the European Union and within the EFTA area. However, the convention was not put into force until 26 March 1995, five years later.
Citizens of member countries thus benefit from open borders within the area. There are in fact 22 member states of the European Union, four member states of EFTA. Other non-EU countries are also members of the Schengen area. Any citizen can move freely or move to another Member State.
However, some European countries are not part of this convention. In addition to the United Kingdom, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland and Croatia are not among the signatories as yet While Britain stands on its line, the other countries plan to join the Schengen area. On the other hand, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also signatories to the convention while not being a member of the European Union. The latter therefore enjoy the same policy regarding freedom of movement.
Anyone from a Schengen country may move around as they please without any control at international borders. However, in the event that an individual threat to the Area arises, the competent authorities are all capable of carrying out a police check. The checkpoint may be placed at any border area. However, such control is in no way equivalent to border control procedures.
For any travel within the Schengen area, a visa must be issued to any citizen of a non-Member State. This visa is more commonly referred to as the “Schengen visa.” Here is the list of countries where a Schengen visa is mandatory:
|AFRIQUE DU SUD||GHANA||OMAN|
|BAHREÏN||INDONÉSIE||RÉPUBLIQUE D’AFRIQUE CENTRALE|
|BANGLADESH||IRAK||RÉPUBLIQUE DÉMOCRATIQUE DU CONGO|
|BURUNDI||LAOS||SOUDAN DU SUD|
|CORÉE DU NORD||MALDIVES||TCHAD|