Advanced search

San Francisco > Consular Services > Visas > General Schengen visa information >

General Schengen visa information




A Schengen visa is a short stay visa that allows the holder to travel up to 90 days in a 180 day period and is valid for the 26 Member States with 22 States part of the EU (European Union) and 4 States part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Please refer to the  Schengen agreement  from the official website of the European Commission regarding all aspects of the Schengen Area.


The Schengen Member States are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (de facto Monaco), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland (not a European Member State), Italy (de facto San Marino & de facto Vatican City), Latvia, Liechtenstein (not a European Member State, Visas issued by Switzerland), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway (not a European Member State), Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland (not a European Member State).

Andorra has stayed outside the Schengen Agreement and maintains border controls with the EU. However as travellers to Andorra have to pass through the Schengen Area, and Andorra does not issue any visas, entry requirements are in practice the same as in the Schengen area. Andorra is not part of the Schengen Area, therefore Third country nationals who wish to visit Andorra need a multi-entry Schengen visa as they will be departing the Schengen Area when entering Andorra and reentering the Schengen Area when leaving Andorra.


Important to know:

A Schengen Visa is a short stay visa that does not include residency, therefore if you plan to stay more than 90 days in the Schengen Area you must contact the Immigration Department of the country in question.

The Schengen Visa allows you to travel for tourism and business but you can not travel with the purpose of a profit-making endeavor or to take part in an educational program: all such endeavors are under the umbrella of a Residency visa and must be requested through the Immigration Department of the country in question.

When entering or leaving the EU at the external borders you will need a valid passport or an ID card.

It is best to have your passport or ID card when travelling in the EU because you may be required to prove your identity. If public order or national security so require, checks at the internal borders may be carried out for limited periods.

Make sure that any children traveling with you either have their own passport or ID card or are registered on your passport.

Agreements with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland enable their nationals to be treated in the same way as EU citizens and to travel with just an ID card or passport in the EU.