Schengen Area
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The Schengen Area ( , ) is an area comprising 27
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
an countries that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of
border control Border control refers to measures taken by governments to monitor and regulate the movement of people, animals, and goods across land, air, and maritime borders. While border control is typically associated with international borders, it a ...
at their mutual borders. Being an element within the wider area of freedom, security and justice policy of the EU, it mostly functions as a single jurisdiction under a common visa policy for international travel purposes. The area is named after the 1985
Schengen Agreement The Schengen Agreement ( , ) is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the te ...
and the 1990 Schengen Convention, both signed in
Schengen, Luxembourg Schengen () is a small wine-making village and Communes in Luxembourg, commune in far south-eastern Luxembourg, on the western bank of the river Moselle. The commune border includes the tripoint where the borders of Germany, France, and Luxembourg ...
. Of the 27 EU
member states A member state is a state that is a member of an international organization or of a federation or confederation. Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) include some members that are not sovereign states ...
, 23 participate in the Schengen Area. Of the five EU members that are not part of the Schengen Area, three—
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,, ) is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedon ...
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
—are legally obligated to join the area in the future;
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
has been approved to join on January 1, 2023;
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
maintains an opt-out, and instead operates its own visa policy. The four
European Free Trade Association The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerlan ...
(EFTA) member states,
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic island country in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most list of countries and dependencies by population density, sparsely populated coun ...
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German language, German-speaking microstate located in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. Liechtenstein is a semi-constit ...
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
, and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
, are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements in association with the Schengen Agreement. Also, three
European microstates The European microstates or European ministates are a set of Microstate, very small sovereign states in Europe. In modern contexts the term is typically used to refer to the List of European countries by area, six smallest states in Europe by a ...
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque dialect, Ligurian: ; oc, Principat de Mónegue), is a Sovereign state, sovereign city-state and European microstates, microstate on the French Riv ...
,
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is the List of countries and dependencies by a ...
, and the
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vati ...
—maintain open borders for passenger traffic with their neighbours, and are therefore considered ''de facto'' members of the Schengen Area due to the practical impossibility of travelling to or from them without transiting through at least one Schengen member country. The Schengen Area has a population of more than 423 million people and an area of . About 1.7 million people commute to work across an internal European border each day, and in some regions these people constitute up to a third of the workforce. Each year, there are 1.3 billion crossings of Schengen borders in total. 57 million crossings are due to transport of goods by road, with a value of €2.8 trillion each year. The decrease in the cost of trade due to Schengen varies from 0.42% to 1.59% depending on geography, trade partners, and other factors. Countries outside of the Schengen Area also benefit. States in the Schengen Area have strengthened border controls with non-Schengen countries.


History

The Schengen Agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 by five of the ten EC member states in the town of
Schengen, Luxembourg Schengen () is a small wine-making village and Communes in Luxembourg, commune in far south-eastern Luxembourg, on the western bank of the river Moselle. The commune border includes the tripoint where the borders of Germany, France, and Luxembourg ...
. The Schengen Area was established separately from the
European Communities The European Communities (EC) were three international organizations that were governed by the same set of institutions Institutions are humanly devised structures of rules and norms that shape and constrain individual behavior. All defin ...
, when consensus could not be reached among all EC member states on the abolition of border controls. The Agreement was supplemented in 1990 by the Schengen Convention, which proposed the abolition of internal border controls and a common visa policy. The Agreements and the rules adopted under them were entirely separate from the EC structures, and led to the creation of the Schengen Area on 26 March 1995. As more EU member states signed the Schengen Agreement, consensus was reached on absorbing it into the procedures of the EU. The Agreement and its related conventions were incorporated into the mainstream of
European Union law European Union law is a system of rules operating within the member states of the European Union (EU). Since the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community following World War II, the EU has developed the aim to "promote peace, its value ...
by the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997, which came into effect in 1999. A consequence of the Agreement being part of European law is that any amendment or regulation is made within its processes, in which the non-EU members are not participants. The UK, the Crown Dependencies and Ireland have operated a Common Travel Area (CTA) since 1923 (with passport-free travel and freedom of movement with each other), but the UK would not abolish border controls with any other countries and therefore opted out of the Agreement. While not signing the Schengen Treaty, Ireland has always looked more favourably on joining, but has not done so in order to maintain the CTA and its open border with
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is #Descriptions, variously described as ...
.


Membership


Current members

From 2023, the Schengen Area will consist of 27 countries, including four which are not members of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
(EU). Two of the non-EU members
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic island country in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most list of countries and dependencies by population density, sparsely populated coun ...
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
are part of the Nordic Passport Union and are officially classified as states associated with the Schengen activities of the EU.
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
was allowed to participate in the same manner in 2008. Liechtenstein joined the Schengen Area on 19 December 2011. ''De facto'', the Schengen Area also includes three European micro-statesMonaco, San Marino and the Vatican Citythat maintain open or semi-open borders with other Schengen member countries. One EU member state
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
negotiated opt-outs from Schengen and continues to operate border controls with other EU member states, while at the same time being part of the open-border Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom (a former EU member) and the Crown Dependencies. The remaining three EU member statesBulgaria, Cyprus and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern, and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, S ...
are obliged by their Treaties of Accession to join the Schengen Area eventually. However, before fully implementing the Schengen rules, each state must have its preparedness assessed in four areas: air borders, visas, police cooperation, and personal data protection. This evaluation process involves a questionnaire and visits by EU experts to selected institutions and workplaces in the country under assessment. As of 2023, the only land borders with border controls (not counting temporary ones) between EU/ EEA members, are those dividing Bulgaria and Romania from each other and from the rest of the EU. Notes


Prospective members

The procedure to enter the Schengen Area is that European Commission evaluates certain criteria. These criteria include border control legislation, infrastructure and organisation, personal data protection, visas, deportations, police cooperation and more. After a positive evaluation the Schengen members of the
Council of the European Union The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council, and informally known as the Council of Ministers, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as ...
decides unanimously together with the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of the Legislature, legislative bodies of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union (known as the Council and in ...
to accept the new member.


Cyprus

Although
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country located south of the Anatolian Peninsula in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Its continental position is disputed; while it is geo ...
, which joined the EU on 1 May 2004, is legally bound to join the Schengen Area, implementation has been delayed because of the
Cyprus dispute The Cyprus problem, also known as the Cyprus dispute, Cyprus issue, Cyprus question or Cyprus conflict, is an ongoing dispute between Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north. Initially, with the Modern history of Cyprus#In ...
. According to former Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Lillikas, "strict and full control based on Schengen will create a huge tribulation on a daily basis for the
Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots or Cypriot Turks ( tr, Kıbrıs Türkleri or ''Kıbrıslı Türkler''; el, Τουρκοκύπριοι, Tourkokýprioi) are ethnic Turkish people, Turks originating from Cyprus. Following the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman conquest of ...
" of
Northern Cyprus Northern Cyprus ( tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; tr, Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, ''KKTC''), is a ''de facto'' state that comprises the northeastern portion of the Geography of Cyprus, isl ...
, and it is unclear if this control is possible before the resolution of the dispute. The British Sovereign Base Areas of
Akrotiri and Dhekelia Akrotiri and Dhekelia, officially the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (SBA),, ''Periochés Kyríarchon Váseon Akrotiríou ke Dekélias''; tr, Ağrotur ve Dikelya İngiliz Egemen Üs Bölgeleri is a British Overseas Territories ...
, a
British Overseas Territory The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen dependent territory, territories with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are the last remna ...
which is outside the EU, also needs "other handling and mechanisms". Akrotiri and Dhekelia has no border control to Cyprus, but has its own border control at its air base. no date has been fixed for implementation of the Schengen rules by Cyprus. Cyprus has less potential benefit from an implementation of Schengen, for it has no land border with another EU member; air travel or around 12 hours of sea travel is needed to the nearest EU member. In November 2019, Cyprus's Foreign Affairs Minister
Nikos Christodoulides Nikos Christodoulides (born 6 December 1973) is a Republic of Cyprus, Cypriot politician, who served as List of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2018 to 2022 and Spokesperson of the Government from 2014 to ...
revealed that Cyprus formally began the process of joining the Schengen Area in September. An important reason is to access the Schengen Information System and other border control cooperation. The European Commission is currently evaluating the application.


Bulgaria and Romania

While Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU on 1 January 2007, are also legally bound to join the Schengen Area, implementation has been delayed. On 15 October 2010, Bulgaria and Romania joined SIS II for law enforcement cooperation. On 9 June 2011, the
Council of Ministers A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature, especially at a town, city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin ...
concluded that the evaluation process had been completed successfully and that the two countries fulfilled all technical accession criteria. Bulgaria's and Romania's bids to join the Schengen Area were approved by the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of the Legislature, legislative bodies of the European Union and one of its seven Institutions of the European Union, institutions. Together with the Council of the European Union (known as the Council and in ...
in June 2011 but rejected by the Council of Ministers in September 2011, with the Dutch and Finnish governments citing concerns about shortcomings in anti-corruption measures and in the fight against organised crime. Although the original plan was for the Schengen Area to open its air and sea borders with Bulgaria and Romania by March 2012, and its land borders by July 2012, continued opposition from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands has delayed the two countries' entry to the Schengen Area. On 4 October 2017, the European Parliament voted for access of Bulgaria and Romania to the Schengen Information System, on which they gained full access on 1 August 2018. Moreover, "the final political decision whether the two countries can become part of the Schengen Area and stop systematic border checks with neighbouring EU countries must be taken unanimously by all sides of the
European Council The European Council (informally EUCO) is a collegiate body that defines the overall political direction and priorities of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political ...
." On 11 December 2018, the European Parliament voted for the resolution in favour of accepting both countries, requiring the Council of the European Union to "act swiftly" on the matter. On 3 March 2022, Romanian MEP Eugen Tomac officially requested an answer through a parliamentary question regarding "what obstacles remain in the path of Romanian accession to the Schengen area 15 years after joining the EU" as fulfilment of the accession criteria was recognised on 9 June 2011. A second attempt for Romania's accession to Schengen was to be established in the Justice and Home Affairs Council from December 8-9, 2022, with the EC announcing the topics on the agenda of the meeting, which failed following opposition by Austria, officials of which consider Bulgaria and Romania to be a transit route for most immigrants to the country. Romania disputes that assessment, and had unsuccessfully attempted to convince the Austrian government to vote for Romania's accession to Schengen. Despite having declared support for Romania, the Netherlands also voted against due to its opposition for the accession of Bulgaria. In Romania, the Austrian veto caused strong indignation. As a result of the veto, relations between the two states were reduced following the withdrawal of Romania's ambassador to Austria from
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, most populou ...
. A boycott against Austria by Romanian companies, entrepreneurs, museums and universities also began, and anti-Austrian inscriptions also appeared in branches of Austrian banks in Romania.


Croatia

Croatia joined the EU on 1 July 2013, and was legally bound to join the Schengen Area. In March 2015, Croatia's then Interior Minister Ranko Ostojić said that his country was ready to join the Schengen Area. Croatia requested that the EU conduct a technical evaluation, which took a year and a half, and started on 1 July 2015. This evaluation was positive and Croatia got access to the Schengen Information System in January 2017. On 27 June 2017, Croatia joined SIS II for law enforcement cooperation. The influx of refugees and migrants from Greece through
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in 1991 as one of the successor states of Socialist Feder ...
and Serbia to Croatia and then to current Schengen member states like Slovenia, Austria and Hungary, as part of the 2015
European migrant crisis The 2015 European migrant crisis, also known internationally as the Syrian refugee crisis, was a period of significantly increased movement of refugees and Human migration, migrants into Europe in 2015, when 1.3 million people came to the cont ...
, led some to question whether there would be the political consensus necessary for further enlargement of the Schengen Area. In 2015, Hungary and Slovenia threatened to veto Croatia's accession to the Schengen Area. The European Parliament confirmed that Croatia has met all conditions for Schengen on 8 July 2021. The same day,
Ursula von der Leyen Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen (; Albrecht, born 8 October 1958) is a German politician who has been serving as the president of the European Commission since 2019. She served in the Cabinet of Germany, German federal government between 2005 an ...
, the President of the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
, stated that "Croatia is ready for Schengen, our task now is to convince the
Council A council is a group of people who come together to consult, deliberate, or make decisions. A council may function as a legislature, especially at a town, city or county/ shire level, but most legislative bodies at the state/provincial or ...
. You can be sure I will be working on that." In May 2022 the European Commission presented the State of Schengen Report 2022, the first-ever report of its kind. The report reminded that in December 2021 the Council recognised that Croatia had fulfilled the necessary conditions, and that it is now up to the Council to table a draft Decision on the lifting of the controls at the internal borders and to consult the European Parliament. On 29 June 2022, the Council of the European Union formally initiated the procedure of decision making on the admission of Croatia to the Schengen area. The draft Council Decision "on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia" was sent to the European Parliament. The European Parliament voted to approve the admission of Croatia on November 9, 2022. After a parliamentary vote, the 22 EU member states of the Schengen area and Croatia must unanimously agree on Croatia's admission, before the Council formally adopts the decision. The draft Council Decision proposed to apply Schengen rules to Croatia from January 1, 2023, but defers application at airports until March 26, 2023. Plenković clarified that the different date for the air traffic control has “technical reasons”, because at airports in Schengen countries it is “necessary to change the gates for aircraft arriving and departing in Croatia in order to be able to separate passengers, i.e. (to) direct them to exits without border controls.” On 25 October 2022, the Civil Liberties Committee of the EU parliament approved lifting of internal border controls between the Schengen area and Croatia with 45 votes in favour, 8 against and 5 abstaining. The European Parliament voted on the 'Draft Council Decision on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Republic of Croatia' on 10 November 2022, with 534 votes in favour, 53 against and 25 abstaining. On 8 December 2022, the ministers of justice and home affairs representing their EU countries, called the Justice and Home Affairs Council, which is one of the configurations of the Council of the European Union, made the final decision to admit Croatia to the bloc. This will go in effect on 1 January 2023, which means that checks on persons at internal land and sea borders between Croatia and the other countries in the Schengen area will be lifted. Checks at internal air borders, meaning airports, will be lifted from 26 March 2023, given the need for this to coincide with the dates of IATA summer/winter time schedule. From 1 January 2023, Croatia will operate Schengen border control (with non-Schengen countries), will start to issue Schengen visas and will be able to make full use of the Schengen Information System.


Gibraltar

As a result of
Brexit Brexit (; a portmanteau of "British exit") was the Withdrawal from the European Union, withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) at 23:00 Greenwich Mean Time, GMT on 31 January 2020 (00:00 1 February 2020 Central Eur ...
,
Gibraltar ) , anthem = "God Save the King" , song = "Gibraltar Anthem" , image_map = Gibraltar location in Europe.svg , map_alt = Location of Gibraltar in Europe , map_caption = United Kingdom shown in pale green , mapsize = , image_map2 = Gibra ...
ceased to be part of the European Union on 31 January 2020, although for most purposes it was treated as part of it during the transition phase until 31 December 2020. Like the United Kingdom, it had not been part of the Schengen Area but, unlike the United Kingdom, Gibraltar had also been outside of the EU customs union. Owing to a declaration lodged by the United Kingdom with the EEC in 1982, in view of the entry into force of the
British Nationality Act 1981 The British Nationality Act 1981 (c.61) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom concerning British nationality since 1 January 1983. History In the mid-1970s the British Government decided to update the nationality code, which had ...
, Gibraltarians had been counted as British nationals for the purposes of Community law, and as such they had enjoyed full free movement within the
European Economic Area The European Economic Area (EEA) was established via the ''Agreement on the European Economic Area'', an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union's European Single Market, single market to member states of the ...
and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
. During the Brexit transition period until 31 December 2020, Gibraltar was still for most purposes treated as an EU territory. On 31 December 2020, the governments of Spain and of the United Kingdom (advised by the
Government of Gibraltar His Majesty's Government of Gibraltar is the democratically elected government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...
) came to an agreement in principle on a framework for a UK-EU treaty on aspects of Gibraltar's future relationship with the European Union. Both Spain and the Head of the UK Mission to the European Union subsequently indicated with the European Commission their desire that such an agreement be negotiated and that the EU should seek a mandate for that purpose.
Chief Minister of Gibraltar The chief minister of Gibraltar is the head of Government of Gibraltar, His Majesty's Government of Gibraltar who is Elections in Gibraltar, elected by the Gibraltar Parliament, and formally appointed by the governor of Gibraltar, representat ...
Fabian Picardo Fabian Raymond Picardo (born 18 February 1972) is a Gibraltarians, Gibraltarian politician and barrister serving as Chief Minister of Gibraltar and Leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party since 2011 Gibraltar general election, 2011. At t ...
stated that he anticipates that the arrangement, which will apply for an initial period of four years, will make Gibraltar's port and airport entry points to the Schengen Area. These entry points will be managed by a
Frontex The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex (from French language, French: ''Frontières extérieures'' for "external borders"), is an Agencies of the European Union, agency of the European Union headquartered in Warsaw, P ...
operation. Spain, as the neighbouring Schengen member state, will be responsible as regards the European Union for the implementation of the Schengen acquis. Residents of Gibraltar, regardless of their nationality, are anticipated to enjoy maximised and unrestricted mobility to the Schengen Area. UK citizens who are not residents of Gibraltar will be subjected to third-country national checks when they enter Gibraltar through the Gibraltar port or airport. It is anticipated that the third-country national check will entail two controls, one by Gibraltar's Borders and Coastguard Agency, giving entry into Gibraltar, and one by
Frontex The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex (from French language, French: ''Frontières extérieures'' for "external borders"), is an Agencies of the European Union, agency of the European Union headquartered in Warsaw, P ...
, giving entry into the Schengen Area. Picardo likened this arrangement to the juxtaposed controls at
Eurostar Eurostar is an international high-speed rail service connecting the United Kingdom with France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Most Eurostar trains travel through the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, owned and operated sep ...
stations, although he admitted the situation there is slightly different. On 31 December 2020, Spain's foreign minister, Arancha González Laya said that she anticipated that it would take about six months to negotiate and conclude a treaty but that in the meantime Spain would work to ensure that mobility at the border would be "as fluid as possible". Apart from the unrestricted mobility of persons, the negotiations will also seek to address maximised and unrestricted mobility of goods between Gibraltar and the European Union, and consider matters related to the environment, the level playing field, social security coordination, citizens’ rights, data, and matters related to continued document recognition. On 6 October 2021, the EU agreed to open formal negotiations with UK anticipating an agreement on Gibraltar, and negotiations started soon after. They were ongoing as of February 2022, hopes were they would finish during spring 2022. , negotiations were continuing.


Summary table

Notes


Territories of Schengen states outside the Area

There are territories of Schengen member states that are exempted from the Schengen Agreement. The only areas of Schengen member states located in Europe but excluded are the Faroe Islands and Svalbard.


French Territories

The French overseas departments of
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: link=no, Guyane ; gcr, label=French Guianese Creole, Lagwiyann ) is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France on the northern Atlantic ...
,
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and Overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre Island, Ba ...
,
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole, Matinik or ; Kalinago language, Kalinago: or ) is an island and an Overseas department and region, overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France. An integral part of ...
,
Mayotte Mayotte (; french: Mayotte, ; Shimaore language, Shimaore: ''Maore'', ; Bushi language, Kibushi: ''Maori'', ), officially the Department of Mayotte (french: Département de Mayotte), is an Overseas France, overseas Overseas departments and regi ...
and
Réunion Réunion (; french: La Réunion, ; previously ''Île Bourbon''; rcf, label=Réunion Creole, Reunionese Creole, La Rényon) is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas departments and regions of France, overseas department and region ...
, and the overseas collectivity of Saint Martin are part of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
but do not form part of the Schengen Area, meaning that it is not possible to travel to those departments with a French Schengen Visa. The freedom of movement provisions of the EU apply, but each territory operates its own visa regime for non-
European Economic Area The European Economic Area (EEA) was established via the ''Agreement on the European Economic Area'', an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union's European Single Market, single market to member states of the ...
(EEA), non-Swiss nationals. While a visa valid for one of these territories will be valid for all, visa exemption lists differ. A Schengen visa, even one issued by France, is not valid for these territories. A visa for Sint Maarten (which is valid for travelling to the Dutch side of the island of Saint Martin) is also valid for the French side. France also has several territories which are neither part of the EU nor the Schengen Area. These are:
French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = , song_type = Regional anthem , song = "Ia Ora 'O Tahiti Nui" , image_map = French Polynesia on the globe (French Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of French ...
,
French Southern and Antarctic Lands The French Southern and Antarctic Lands (french: Terres australes et antarctiques françaises, TAAF) is an Overseas territory (France), Overseas Territory (french: Territoire d'outre-mer or ) of France. It consists of: # Adélie Land (), the F ...
,
New Caledonia ) , anthem = "" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , subdivision_type = Sovereign st ...
,
Saint Barthélemy Saint Barthélemy (french: Saint-Barthélemy, ), officially the Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Barthélemy, is an overseas collectivity of France in the Caribbean. It is often abbreviated to St. Barth in French, and St. Barts in English ...
,
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon Saint Pierre and Miquelon (), officially the Territorial Collectivity of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (french: link=no, Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon ), is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity The Franc ...
, and
Wallis and Futuna Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands (; french: Wallis-et-Futuna or ', Fakauvea and Futunan language, Fakafutuna: '), is a France, French island Territorial collectivity, collectivity in the Oceania, Sout ...
.


Dutch territories

Only the Netherlands' European territory is part of the Schengen Area. Six Dutch territories in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean ...
are outside the Area. Three of these territories –
Bonaire Bonaire (; , ; pap, Boneiru, , almost pronounced ) is a Dutch island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is the port of Kralendijk, on the west ( leeward) coast of the island. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao form the ABC ...
,
Sint Eustatius Sint Eustatius (, ), also known locally as Statia (), is an island in the Caribbean. It is a Caribbean Netherlands, special municipality (officially "Public body (Netherlands), public body") of the Netherlands. The island lies in the northern ...
and Saba (collectively known as the BES islands) – are special municipalities within the Netherlands proper. The other three –
Aruba Aruba ( , , ), officially the Country of Aruba ( nl, Land Aruba; pap, Pais Aruba) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , national_anthem = ) , image_map = Kingdom of the Netherlands (orthographic projection).svg , ...
,
Curaçao Curaçao ( ; ; pap, Kòrsou, ), officially the Country of Curaçao ( nl, Land Curaçao; pap, Pais Kòrsou), is a Lesser Antilles The Lesser Antilles ( es, link=no, Antillas Menores; french: link=no, Petites Antilles; pap, Antias Menor ...
and
Sint Maarten Sint Maarten () is a Countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. With a population of 41,486 as of January 2019 on an area of , it encompasses the southern 44% of the divid ...
– are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. All islands retain their status as
Overseas countries and territories The special territories of members of the European Economic Area (EEA) are the 32 special territories of Member state of the European Union, EU member states and European Free Trade Association, EFTA member states which, for historical, geograp ...
and are thus not part of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
. The six territories have a separate visa system from the European part of the Netherlands and people travelling between these islands and the Schengen Area are subjected to full border checks, with a passport being required even for EU/Schengen citizens, including Dutch (national ID cards are not accepted).


Norwegian territories

Svalbard Svalbard ( , ), also known as Spitsbergen, or Spitzbergen, is a Norway, Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of continental Europe, mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. The ...
is part of Norway and has a special status under international law. It is not part of the Schengen Area. There is no visa regime in existence for Svalbard either for entry, residence or work, but it is difficult to visit Svalbard without travelling through the Schengen Area, although there are charter flights from Russia. Since 2011, the Norwegian government has imposed systematic border checks on individuals wishing to enter and leave Svalbard, requiring a passport or national identity card for non-Norwegian citizens. As a result, the border between Svalbard and the rest of Norway is largely treated like any other external Schengen border. A Schengen visa must be multiple entry to allow returning to Norway. There is no welfare or asylum system for immigrants on Svalbard, and people incapable of supporting themselves may be sent away.


Danish territories

The Danish territories of the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic archipelago, island group and an autonomous territory of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark. They are located north-northwest of Scotlan ...
and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America that is part of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic Ocean, Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic oceans, east of the ...
are neither part of the European Union nor the Schengen Area, and visas to Denmark are not automatically valid in these territories. However, both of these territories lack border controls on arrivals from the Schengen Area, and the air or sea carriers are responsible for carrying out document checks before boarding, as is common for travel inside the Schengen Area. Citizens of EU/EFTA countries can travel to the Faroes using a passport or a national ID card and to Greenland using a passport only, while citizen of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden can use any acceptable identification (such as driving licences or bank ID cards, which is advised against since aircraft might be diverted to Scotland when foggy).


EU member states and former EU member states with opt-outs

When EU states were negotiating subsuming the Schengen Agreement into the EU by the
Treaty of Amsterdam The Treaty of Amsterdam, officially the Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts, was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; i ...
, Ireland and the United Kingdom were the only member states that had not signed the Agreement. The UK did not want to join and Ireland wished to maintain its Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom and associated islands, an arrangement that would be incompatible with Schengen membership while the UK remained out. As a result, both negotiated an opt-out from the part of the treaty which was to incorporate the Schengen rules (or ''acquis'') into EU Law when it came into effect on 1 May 1999. Under the relevant protocol, either may request to participate in aspects of the Schengen ''acquis'' but this is subject to the approval of the Schengen states. On 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union and the protocol ceased to apply to it. Ireland will continue to operate the Common Travel Area and not join the Schengen Area for the foreseeable future, because it wants to keep open its land border with the UK. In 1999, the UK formally requested participation in certain provisions of the Schengen ''acquis'' – Title III relating to Police Security and Judicial Cooperation, and this request was approved by the
Council of the European Union The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council, and informally known as the Council of Ministers, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as ...
on 29 May 2000. The United Kingdom's formal participation in the previously approved areas of cooperation was put into effect by a 2004 Council decision that came into effect on 1 January 2005. Although the United Kingdom was not part of the Schengen passport-free area, it still used the Schengen Information System, a governmental database used by European countries to store and disseminate information on individuals and property. This allowed the UK to exchange information with countries that are a part of the Schengen agreement, often for the sake of liaising over law enforcement. In 2020, the UK declared its intent to withdraw from these arrangements at the end of its transition period, and did so on 31 December 2020. In contrast, while Ireland initially submitted a request to participate in the Schengen ''acquis'' in 2002, which was approved by the Council of the European Union, that decision took nearly eighteen years to be put into effect. In February 2010 the Irish Minister for Justice, in response to a parliamentary question, said that: "The measures which will enable Ireland to meet its Schengen requirements are currently being progressed".Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, ''Dáil Debates'' volume 698 number 1: Priority Questions—International Agreements (10 December 2009)
Ireland joined the law enforcement aspect of SIS II on 1 January 2021 with plans to have "full operational capacity" two months later.


Status of the European microstates

Three
European microstates The European microstates or European ministates are a set of Microstate, very small sovereign states in Europe. In modern contexts the term is typically used to refer to the List of European countries by area, six smallest states in Europe by a ...
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque dialect, Ligurian: ; oc, Principat de Mónegue), is a Sovereign state, sovereign city-state and European microstates, microstate on the French Riv ...
,
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is the List of countries and dependencies by a ...
and the
Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vati ...
—are officially not part of Schengen, but are considered ''de facto'' within the Schengen Area, as they have open borders and do not have border controls with the Schengen countries that surround them. Some national laws have the text "countries against which border control is not performed based on the Schengen Agreement and the 562/2006 EU regulation", which then includes the microstates and other non-EU areas with open borders. The three microstates cannot issue Schengen visas and with the exception of Monaco, are not formally part of the Schengen Area. , Andorra, Monaco and San Marino were negotiating an
Association Agreement A European Union Association Agreement or simply Association Agreement (AA) is a treaty between the European Union (EU), its Member States of the European Union, Member States and a non-EU country that creates a framework for co-operation between ...
with the EU. Andorra is landlocked and does not have an airport or seaport, but there are several heliports. Visitors to the country can only gain access by road or helicopter through Schengen members France or Spain. Andorra maintains border controls with both France and Spain. There are border controls in the other direction also, but these are more focused on customs control (
Andorra , image_flag = Flag of Andorra.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Andorra.svg , symbol_type = Coat of arms , national_motto = la, Virtus Unita Fortior, label=none (Latin)"United virtue is stro ...
has considerably lower taxes than its neighbours, with for example a standard VAT rate of just 4.5%). Andorra does not have any visa requirements. Citizens of EU countries need either a national identity card or
passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A pass ...
to enter Andorra, while anyone else requires a passport or equivalent. Schengen visas are accepted, but those travellers who need a visa to enter the Schengen Area need a multiple-entry visa to visit Andorra, because entering Andorra means leaving the Schengen Area, and re-entering France or Spain is considered a new entry into the Schengen Area. Andorran citizens do not receive a
passport stamp A passport stamp is an inked impression in a passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign count ...
when they enter and leave the Schengen Area. Andorra's ambassador to Spain, Jaume Gaytán, has said that he hopes that the agreement will include provisions to make the states associate members of the
Schengen Agreement The Schengen Agreement ( , ) is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the te ...
. Liechtenstein is landlocked and does not have an international airport. It has been a member of the Schengen Area since 2011. It does not have a border check at Balzers heliport, as flights to and from Balzers must be to or from the Schengen Area. Liechtenstein does not issue visas and as such recommends visitors apply for a visa in another Schengen country, e.g. Switzerland. Monaco has an open border with France. Schengen laws are administered as if it were part of the EU as a result of bilateral agreements with France, and Schengen visas are accepted. Both French and Monégasque authorities carry out checks at Monaco's seaport and heliport. San Marino has an open border with Italy, although some random checks are made by
Guardia di Finanza The ''Guardia di Finanza'' (G. di F. or GdF) () (English: literal: ''Guard of Finance'', paraphrased: ''Financial Police'' or ''Financial Guard'') is an Italian law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance. ...
and San Marino's Guardia di Rocca. Vatican City has an open border with Italy. However, there is no customs union between Italy and Vatican City, hence vehicles may be subject to checks at the border. Typical border controls would not be feasible in Vatican City, due to its small size and unique position, as an
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a small territory apart of a larger one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state or entity. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to deno ...
within
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
. In 2006, the Vatican City showed interest in joining the Schengen agreement for closer cooperation in information sharing and similar activities covered by the Schengen Information System.


Economics

For any two countries in the Schengen Area, total trade between them increases by approximately 0.1% per year. The same amount of increase in trade is gained again for every 1% annual increase in immigration between the countries. On average, at each border the removal of controls is equivalent to the removal of a 0.7% tariff, and the cost savings on a trade route increase with the number of internal borders crossed. Countries outside of the Schengen Area also benefit. See also: About 1.7 million people commute to work across a European border each day, and in some regions these people constitute up to a third of the workforce. For example, 2.1% of the workers in Hungary work in another country, primarily Austria and Slovakia. Each year, there are 1.3 billion crossings of Schengen borders in total. 57 million crossings are due to transport of goods by road, with a value of €2.8 trillion each year. The trade in goods is affected more strongly than trade in services, and the decrease in the cost of trade varies from 0.42% to 1.59% depending on geography, trade partners, and other factors.


Regulation of internal borders

Before the implementation of the
Schengen Agreement The Schengen Agreement ( , ) is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the te ...
, most borders in Europe were patrolled and a vast network of border posts existed around the continent, to check the identity and entitlement of people wishing to travel from one country to another. Since the implementation of the Schengen rules, border posts have been closed (and often entirely removed) between participating countries. The ''Schengen Borders Code'' requires participating states to remove all obstacles to free traffic flow at internal borders. Thus, road, rail and air passengers no longer have their identity checked by border guards when travelling between Schengen countries, although security controls by carriers are still permissible. Per EU guidelines all EU citizens are advised to bring a
passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A pass ...
and/or national identity card, as one may be required. Passport stamps are never issued when travelling between Schengen member states, even when border controls between Schengen member states are temporarily re-introduced.


Internal checks

Although EU and EFTA nationals travelling within the Schengen Area are not required to show
passports A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A pass ...
,
national identity cards An identity document (also called ID or colloquially as papers) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional ...
or other identity documents at an internal border, the laws of most countries still require them to carry national identity documents and to produce them to an authorised person on request. Different rules apply to other nationals. It is the obligation of everyone travelling within the area to be able to show a fully valid form of personal identification accepted by other Schengen states, typically one issued by the state. According to the Schengen rules, hotels and other types of commercial accommodation must register all foreign citizens, including citizens of other Schengen states, by requiring the completion of a registration form by their own hand. This does not apply to accompanying spouses and minor children or members of travel groups. In addition, a valid identification document has to be produced to the hotel manager or staff. The Schengen rules do not require any other procedures; thus, the Schengen states are free to regulate further details on the content of the registration forms, and identity documents which are to be produced, and may also require the persons exempted from registration by Schengen laws to be registered. Enforcement of these rules varies by country. The Schengen regulation on crossing internal borders describes the checks for foreigners done by the police at suitable places inside each country.


Internal controls

The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
constitutes a
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff.GATTArticle 24 s. 8 (a) Customs unions are established through trade pacts where the participant countries set up c ...
and a Value Added Tax area. However, not all Schengen states or all of the territory of Schengen states are part of the customs union or VAT area. Some countries therefore legally conduct customs controls targeted at illegal goods, such as drugs. Security checks can legally be carried out at ports and airports. Also police checks can be conducted if they: * do not have border control as an objective; * are based on general police information and experience regarding possible threats to public security and aim, in particular, to combat cross-border crime; * are devised and executed in a manner clearly distinct from systematic checks on persons at the external borders; * are carried out on the basis of spot-checks.


Air travel

For flights within the Schengen Area (either between Schengen member states or within the same Schengen member state), law enforcement agencies, airport authorities and air carriers are only permitted to carry out ''security'' checks on passengers and may not carry out border checks.Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of Title III (Internal Borders) of Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code
COM(2010) 554
pg 5–6
Such security checks can be conducted through the verification of the passenger's
passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A pass ...
or national identity card: such a practice must only be used to verify the passenger's identity (for commercial or transport security reasons) and not his or her immigration status. For this reason, law enforcement agencies, airport authorities and air carriers cannot require air passengers flying within the Schengen Area who are third-country nationals to prove the legality of their stay by showing a valid visa or residence permit. In addition, according to European Commission guidelines, identity checks on air passengers flying within the Schengen Area should take place only either at check-in, or upon entry to the secured zone of the airport, or at the boarding gate: passengers should not be required to undergo a verification of their identity on more than one occasion before their flight within the Schengen Area. Nevertheless, the identity checks function as practical border controls anyway and are a problem for illegal immigrants who arrive in Greece (which currently has no land border to another Schengen country) and want to go to some other Schengen country. The requirements as to which
identity document An identity document (also called ID or colloquially as papers) is any documentation, document that may be used to prove a person's identity. If issued in a small, standard credit card size form, it is usually called an identity card (IC, ID c ...
to possess varies by country and airline. Normally a passport or EU national identity card is needed. Travellers boarding flights between Schengen countries, but originating from a third country outside the area, are required to go through Schengen entry border checks upon arrival in the Schengen Area. This is because the route originates outside the Schengen Area and the authorities at the final destination would have no way of differentiating between arriving passengers who boarded at the origin and those who joined in the middle. Additionally, travellers are required to process through Schengen exit border checks upon departure.


Temporary border controls

A Schengen member state is permitted to reinstate border controls with another Schengen member state for a short period where there is a serious threat to that state's "public policy or internal security" or when the "control of an external border is no longer ensured due to exceptional circumstances". When such risks arise out of foreseeable events, the state in question must notify the European Commission in advance and consult with other Schengen states. The introduction of temporary controls at internal borders is a prerogative of the member states. Although the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
may issue an opinion about the necessity and proportionality of introducing temporary controls at internal borders, it cannot veto or override such a decision if it is taken by a member state. In April 2010, Malta introduced temporary checks due to
Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI ( la, Benedictus XVI; it, Benedetto XVI; german: link=no, Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, , on 16 April 1927) is a retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the Church and the sovereign ...
's visit. It reimposed checks in 2015 in the weeks surrounding the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM; or) is a wiktionary:biennial, biennial summit meeting of the List of current heads of state and government, governmental leaders from all Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth nations. ...
. Estonia introduced temporary checks in September 2014 due to the visit of US President
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, Obama was the first Af ...
. In response to the
European migrant crisis The 2015 European migrant crisis, also known internationally as the Syrian refugee crisis, was a period of significantly increased movement of refugees and Human migration, migrants into Europe in 2015, when 1.3 million people came to the cont ...
in 2015, several Schengen countries set up border controls. In November 2017, Germany introduced temporary checks on flights arriving from Greece. Between November 2017 and February 2018, of the 280,000 passengers on flights from Greece who were checked on arrival in Germany, 270 were denied entry into Germany. On 12 May 2018, Germany ended the temporary checks on incoming flights from Greece. In 2019, Denmark set up border controls with Sweden due to serious attacks by Swedish citizens. The controls were scheduled to be in force for six months. In response to the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
in 2020, almost all Schengen countries set up border controls. Several of these controls blocked citizens of EU/Schengen countries from entering, only allowed citizens or residents of the country to enter, plus prioritised traffic like food transport. On 27 March 2020, the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
published 'Guidelines concerning the exercise of the free movement of workers during COVID-19 outbreak', stating that member states should allow cross-border workers 'unhindered access' and 'ensure a smooth passage' across the internal Schengen borders if they exercise a 'critical occupation' (such as health professionals, care workers, scientists in health-related fields, workers in the pharmaceutical and medical services/food/transportation/essential infrastructure industries, engineers, Information and Communications Technology professionals, firefighters/police officers/prison officers/security guards, fishermen and public servants). Further, any health screening for cross-border workers must be carried out under the same conditions as the member state's own nationals exercising the same occupations.


Internal border controls reimposed in 2010s and 2020s

The table below lists ongoing internal border controls, according to the information that the member states have provided to the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
, Health checks at the borders are not legally considered to be border controls.


French controls against migrants from northern Africa

Following the
Tunisian Revolution The Tunisian Revolution, also called the Jasmine Revolution, was an intensive 28-day campaign of civil resistance Civil resistance is political action that relies on the use of nonviolent resistance by ordinary people to challenge a particul ...
of 2010–11, the government of Italy gave six-month residence permits to some 25,000 Tunisian migrants. This allowed the migrants to travel freely in the Schengen Area. In response, both France and Germany threatened to impose border checks, not wanting the Tunisian refugees to enter their territory. In April 2011, for several hours, France blocked trains carrying the migrants at the French/Italian border at
Ventimiglia Ventimiglia (; lij, label= Intemelio, Ventemiglia , lij, label= Genoese, Vintimiggia; french: Vintimille ; oc, label= Provençal, Ventemilha ) is a resort town in the province of Imperia The Province of Imperia ( it, Provincia di Imperia ...
. At the request of France, in May 2011 the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström proposed that more latitude would be available for the temporary re-establishment of border control in the case of strong and unexpected migratory pressure, or the failure of a state to protect the external borders of the EU. On 25 July 2011, in delivering the European Commission's final assessment on the measures taken by Italy and France, the Home Affairs Commissioner said, "from a formal point of view steps taken by Italian and French authorities have been in compliance with EU law. However, I regret that the spirit of the Schengen rules has not been fully respected". Ms. Malmström also called for a more coherent interpretation of the Schengen rules and a stronger evaluation and monitoring system for the Schengen Area.


2015 migrant crisis

During the migrant crisis of September 2015, Germany announced it was temporarily bringing border controls back in accordance with the provisions on temporary border controls laid down by the Schengen acquis. Such border controls appear to be an attempt to prevent disorder from making the crisis worse. Open borders appeared to have impeded Germany's ability to provide for very large numbers of persons seeking refuge all at once. Germany signals the border controls are only temporary, and only to support an orderly flow of migration into the area. Other countries, including Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary, Sweden and Norway have set up border controls in response to the crisis. In December 2015, Sweden passed a temporary law that allows the government to oblige all transport companies to check that their passengers carry valid photographic identification. The new law came into effect on 21 December 2015 and is valid until 21 December 2018. The government decided that the new rules will apply from 4 January 2016 until 4 July 2016. The new law led to the mandatory train change and passage through border control at Copenhagen Airport for travellers between Copenhagen and Sweden, and with a reduction in service frequency. Sweden introduced border control from Denmark earlier (15 November 2015), but that could not stop the migrant flow, since they have the right to apply for asylum once on Swedish ground. First when the transport companies had to stop foreigners on the Danish side, asylum seekers were efficiently stopped. This caused considerable disruption to the train traffic since the
railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in Track (rail transport), tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the ...
did not have capacity for such checks. These checks lasted until 4 May 2017, after the EU commission declared such checks not acceptable. On 30 May 2018, when the migrant crisis border controls were still active in some countries, the European Parliament decided to condemn prolonged border checks between Schengen Area member countries. But this was only a statement as the Parliament does not decide this.


2015 Paris attacks

After the
November 2015 Paris attacks The November 2015 Paris attacks () were a series of coordinated Islamic terrorism, Islamist terrorist attacks that took place on Friday, 13 November 2015 in Paris, France, and the city's northern suburb, Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, Saint-De ...
, France introduced full identity and nationality checks at its borders.


Coronavirus response in 2020

Although some European politicians did call for Europe's internal borders to be temporarily closed, the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
decided in late February 2020 to turn down the idea of suspending the Schengen free travel area and introducing border controls with Italy. The deputy leader of the Swiss
Ticino League The Ticino League ( it, Lega dei Ticinesi) is a Regionalism (politics), regionalist, National conservatism, national-conservative List of political parties in Switzerland, political party in Switzerland active in the Cantons of Switzerland, canton ...
, Lorenzo Quadri, criticized the decision: "It is alarming that the dogma of wide-open borders is considered a priority." United States President
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pe ...
said the European Union had "failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots" as the U.S. had implemented. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated in early March that "European countries cannot ban the entry of Italian citizens within the Schengen Area. The only possible way is to have the Italian prime minister call on his fellow citizens to refrain from travelling to other countries of the European Union." After Slovakia, Denmark, the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Cz ...
and Poland in mid-March announced complete closure of their national borders,
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
President
Ursula von der Leyen Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen (; Albrecht, born 8 October 1958) is a German politician who has been serving as the president of the European Commission since 2019. She served in the Cabinet of Germany, German federal government between 2005 an ...
said that "Certain controls may be justified, but general travel bans are not seen as being the most effective by the World Health Organization. Moreover, they have a strong social and economic impact, they disrupt people's lives and business across the borders." Von der Leyen also apologised to Italy, amidst widespread discontent among Italians for the lack of solidarity shown by Europe. By the end of March 2020, almost all internal Schengen borders had been closed to non-essential travel. By July 2020, most borders that were closed due to the coronavirus had been reopened.


Regulation of external borders

Participating countries are required to apply strict checks on travellers entering and exiting the Schengen Area. These checks are co-ordinated by the European Union's
Frontex The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex (from French language, French: ''Frontières extérieures'' for "external borders"), is an Agencies of the European Union, agency of the European Union headquartered in Warsaw, P ...
agency, and subject to common rules. The details of border controls, surveillance and the conditions under which permission to enter into the Schengen Area may be granted are exhaustively detailed in the Schengen Borders Code.Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)
OJ L 105, 13 April 2006, p. 1
.


Temporary restriction on the entry of persons without the right of free movement for non-essential travel

In view of the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, on 16 March 2020 the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
issued a recommendation to all EU and Schengen member states to introduce a temporary restriction on the entry of third-country nationals (i.e. travellers who are not EEA/Swiss citizens and family members with the right of free movement) to the Schengen Area for non-essential travel for an initial period of 30 days (with the possible prolongation of this period to be assessed based on further developments). However, third-country nationals who are holders of long-term visas or residence permits or are family members of EEA/Swiss citizens are exempt from this restriction. Further, third-country nationals 'with an essential function or need' (such as healthcare workers, transport personnel, aid workers, military personnel, seasonal agricultural workers), passengers in transit, those travelling 'for imperative family reasons' and those 'in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons' are exempt from this restriction. Nevertheless, the European Commission re-iterated that 'coordinated and reinforced health checks' should be carried out on all travellers who are permitted to enter the EU and Schengen Area. All EU (except Ireland) and Schengen member states are now applying this travel restriction. Further, on 30 March 2020, the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
published 'Guidance on the implementation of the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU, on the facilitation of transit arrangements for the repatriation of EU citizens, and on the effects on visa policy' in order to provide 'advice and practical instructions'. The Guidance states that member states are permitted to take measures (such as requiring non-nationals to undergo a period of self-isolation if arriving from a territory affected by COVID-19), provided that the same requirements is imposed on its own nationals. The Guidance also clarifies that citizens of the European micro-states (Andorra, the Holy See, Monaco and San Marino) are exempt from the temporary restriction on the entry of third-country nationals to the European Union and the Schengen Area for non-essential travel. In addition, citizens of Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey should be permitted entry to the European Union and the Schengen Area if they are stranded abroad in order to facilitate repatriation to their country of origin. Third-country nationals (not covered by one of the exemptions from the temporary restriction of entry for non-essential reasons) who seek to enter the Schengen Area will be refused entry at the external border crossing point and will receive a refusal of entry form (with the reason of refusal marked as "I" (i.e. a threat to public health)), as well a
passport stamp A passport stamp is an inked impression in a passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign count ...
cancelled by an indelible cross in black ink and the letter "I" on the right hand side. Some EU and Schengen member states have gone further than the European Commission recommendation and have restricted the entry of EEA/Swiss citizens to their respective territories for non-essential travel. For example, on 4 April 2020, French Border Police refused entry to a group of EU and British citizens who arrived in Marseille Provence Airport on a
private jet A business jet, private jet, or bizjet is a jet aircraft designed for transporting small groups of people. Business jets may be adapted for other roles, such as the evacuation of casualties or express parcel deliveries, and some are used by pub ...
from the UK, with the intention of staying in a holiday villa in
Cannes Cannes ( , , ; oc, Canas) is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a communes of France, commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes departments of France, department, and host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, Midem, and Cannes Lions I ...
. On 8 April 2020, the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
invited EU and Schengen member states to extend the restriction on the entry of third-country nationals for non-essential travel for a further period of 30 days until 15 May 2020. On 8 May 2020, the European Commission again invited member states to extend the restriction for another 30 days until 15 June 2020. On 11 June 2020, the European Commission recommended member states to prolong the restriction on the entry of third-country nationals for non-essential travel until 30 June 2020.


Border checks

All persons crossing external borders—inbound or outbound—are subject to a check by a
border guard A border guard of a country is a national security agency that performs border security. Some of the national border guard agencies also perform coast guard (as in Federal Police (Germany), Germany, Guardia di Finanza, Italy or State Border Gua ...
. The only exception is for regular cross-border commuters (both those with the right of free movement and third-country nationals) who are well known to the border guards: once an initial check has shown that there is no alert on record relating to them in the Schengen Information System or national databases, they can only be subject to occasional 'random' checks, rather than systematic checks every time they cross the border. Previously, EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members enjoying the right of free movement, were subject only to a 'minimum check' when crossing external borders. This meant that their travel document was subject only to a 'rapid' and 'straightforward' visual inspection and an optional check against databases for lost/stolen travel documents. Consultation of the Schengen Information System and other national databases to ensure that the traveller did not represent a security, public policy or health threat was only permitted on a strictly 'non-systematic' basis where such a threat was 'genuine', 'present' and 'sufficiently serious'.Article 7(2) of the Schengen Borders Code
OJ L 105, 13 April 2006, p. 1
.
In contrast, other travellers were subject to a 'thorough check'.Article 7(3) of the Schengen Borders Code
OJ L 105, 13 April 2006, p. 1
.
However, in light of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, during a meeting of the
Council of the European Union The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council, and informally known as the Council of Ministers, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as ...
on 20 November 2015, interior ministers from the Member States decided to 'implement immediately the necessary systematic and coordinated checks at external borders, including on individuals enjoying the right of free movement'. Amendments were made to the Schengen Border Code to introduce systematic checks of the travel documents of EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members enjoying the right of free movement, against relevant databases when crossing external borders.Regulation (EU) 2017/458 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders
OJ L 74, 18 March 2017, p.1
The new regime came into force on 7 April 2017. Where carrying out systematic checks against databases would have a disproportionate impact on the flow of traffic at an external border, such checks may be relaxed if, on the basis of a risk assessment, it is determined that it would not lead to a security risk. In 'exceptional' and 'unforeseen' circumstances where waiting times become excessive, external border checks can be relaxed on a temporary basis. Border guards carry out the following procedures when checking travellers who cross external borders:Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)
OJ L 77, 23 March 2016, p. 1
As shown by the table above, because many procedures are optional, border guards have discretion in deciding how rigorously they check travellers at external border crossing points. As a result, the length of time taken to perform checks differs between Schengen countries. Under the previous regime (whereby those with the right to freedom of movement were subject only to a 'minimum check'), an entry check for an EEA or Swiss citizen took around five seconds on average in Italy, whilst in Norway, on average it took around 1 minute. The disparities in checks on third-country nationals (who are subject to a more thorough check) are even greater. For example, an entry check for an Annex II national takes around 15 seconds on average in Greece, whilst it takes three to five minutes on average in Slovakia. Similarly, an entry check for an Annex I national on average lasts around 30–60 seconds in the Netherlands, whilst in Latvia, it lasts around two to five minutes on average. After the new regime came into force on 7 April 2017, significantly longer waiting times were reported at numerous external border crossing points, especially as it was just before the
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'') and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel ...
holiday. Travellers entering
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , Abbreviation, abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the s ...
from
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
(which, though a European Union member state, is not yet part of the Schengen Area) had to wait several hours as Slovenian
border guard A border guard of a country is a national security agency that performs border security. Some of the national border guard agencies also perform coast guard (as in Federal Police (Germany), Germany, Guardia di Finanza, Italy or State Border Gua ...
s systematically checked the travel documents of all travellers (including those with the right of free movement) against relevant databases. The
Prime Minister of Slovenia The prime minister of Slovenia, officially the president of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia ( sl, Predsednik Vlade Republike Slovenije), is the Head of government, head of the Government of Slovenia, Government of the Slovenia, Republic ...
, Miro Cerar, acknowledged that the situation was 'unacceptable'. In order to alleviate the long queues, the systematic checking of travel documents of those with the right of free movement against relevant databases was temporarily suspended from the evening of Friday 7 April 2017 until the end of the weekend. However, the following weekend, long queues re-appeared. The
Prime Minister of Croatia , type = Head of Government , member_of = , reports_to = Croatian Parliament , appointer = Croatian Parliament , nominator = President of Croatia , termlength = At the pleasure of the parliamentary majority. Parliamentary elections must be h ...
, Andrej Plenković, criticised the situation, calling it 'unsustainable', and expressed concern about the impact on tourism (which accounts for 18% of Croatia's GDP). The
President of Croatia The president of Croatia, officially the President of the Republic of Croatia ( hr, Predsjednik Republike Hrvatske), is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the Military of Croatia, military and chief representative of the Croatia, Republi ...
, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, sent a formal letter to the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
to voice her concern about the effect of the new regime on border checks. At a meeting held on 29 April 2017, the
President of the European Commission The president of the European Commission is the head of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union (EU). The President of the Commission leads a Cabinet of Commissioners, referred to as the College, collectively account ...
,
Jean-Claude Juncker Jean-Claude Juncker (; born 9 December 1954) is a Luxembourgish politician who served as the 21st List of prime ministers of Luxembourg, Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013 and 12th President of the European Commission from 2014 to 20 ...
, Cerar and Plenković agreed that, moving forward, the systematic checking of the travel documents of those with the right of free movement against relevant databases would be suspended at land border crossing points between
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = " Lijepa naša domovino"("Our Beautiful Homeland") , image_map = , map_caption = , capi ...
and
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , Abbreviation, abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the s ...
if the waiting time exceeds 15 minutes (with 'targeted checks' being carried out instead). Long queues were also reported at external border crossing points in
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
, where the leadership of the
Hellenic Police The Hellenic Police ( el, Ελληνική Αστυνομία, ''Ellinikí Astynomía'', abbreviated ) is the national police service The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons emp ...
(which is responsible for border checks) decided to suspend, for a period of 6 months, the systematic checking of travel documents of those with the right of free movement against relevant databases (with the exception of the Kipoi land border crossing point with
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolia, Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a East Thrace, small portion on th ...
, due to security concerns). Greece was particularly affected by the implementation of the new regime as Greek identity cards are not machine-readable, which meant that
border guard A border guard of a country is a national security agency that performs border security. Some of the national border guard agencies also perform coast guard (as in Federal Police (Germany), Germany, Guardia di Finanza, Italy or State Border Gua ...
s had to enter the holder's information manually into the computer system to check the relevant databases if a Greek citizen presented an
identity card An identity document (also called ID or colloquially as papers) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictional ...
instead of a
passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A pass ...
. Similarly, long waiting times were reported at external border crossing points in
France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Pac ...
and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
.
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia Russia (, , ), or the Ru ...
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Spanning of the Pannonian Basin, Carpathian Basin, it is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Romania to the east and southeast, Serbia to the ...
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
also issued notifications suspending systematic checks at some external border crossing points. In July 2017,
Greece Greece,, or , romanized: ', officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with ...
submitted a request to suspend the systematic checking of travel documents of those with the right of free movement against relevant databases for a further period of 18 months, due to 'infrastructure shortcomings and increased traffic at 12 airports across the country'. When carrying out checks at external borders, border guards are, by law, required to respect the dignity of travellers (particularly in cases involving vulnerable persons) and are forbidden from discriminating against persons based on their sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. External border controls are located at roads crossing a border, at airports, at seaports and on board trains. Usually, there is no fence along the land border, but there are exceptions like the Ceuta border fence, and some places at the eastern border. However, surveillance camera systems, some equipped with infrared technology, are located at some more critical spots, for example at the border between Slovakia and Ukraine, where at some points there is a camera every . All travellers entering and leaving the Schengen Area by
general aviation General aviation (GA) is defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, ) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates the principles and techniques of int ...
or on a pleasure boat have to make their first point of entry/final point of departure in an airport/
aerodrome An aerodrome (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English) or airdrome (American English) is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers, or neither, a ...
or a seaport that is designated as an external border crossing point. By way of derogation, travellers on board a pleasure boat are permitted to make their first port of call at a port that is not designated as an external border crossing point if they notify the port authorities and obtain authorisation from the border guards. In practice, however, this is a loophole hard to check, and large-scale drug smuggling using private boats has been uncovered. Along the southern coast of the Schengen countries in the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
, coast guards make a substantial effort to prevent private boats from entering without permission. At many external border crossing points, there are special lanes for EEA and Swiss citizens (as well as their family members) and other lanes for all travellers regardless of nationality. At some external border crossing points, there is a third type of lane for travellers who are Annex II nationals (i.e. non-EEA/Swiss citizens who are exempt from the visa requirement). Although Andorran and Sammarinese citizens are not EEA citizens, they are nonetheless able to use the special lanes designated for EEA and Swiss citizens. Since 1 January 2021, British citizens are no longer permitted to use the EEA/Swiss lanes. Some external border crossing points can only be used by certain travellers. For example, the border checkpoint in Veľké Slemence,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the s ...
(on the border with Ukraine) can only be crossed by pedestrians or cyclists who are EEA, Swiss or Ukrainian citizens. The border checkpoint in Ramoniškiai,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania ...
(on the border with Russia) can only be crossed by residents of Lithuania and Russia; all other travellers (including EEA and Swiss citizens not resident in Lithuania/Russia) cannot use this border checkpoint. Similarly, the border checkpoint of Pededze-Brunishevo,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region of ...
(on the border with Russia) is only open to Latvian and Russian citizens. The Narva 2 and Saatse border crossing points in
Estonia Estonia, formally the Republic of Estonia, is a country by the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe, Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, sea across from Sweden, to ...
(on the border with Russia) can only be used by residents of Estonia and Russia. The border checkpoint in Połowce-Pieszczatka,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
(on the border with Belarus) can only be crossed by Polish and Belarusian nationals. In 2016, as a temporary measure for 180 days, the two northernmost border checkpoints of Raja-Jooseppi and Salla on the Finland–Russia border could only be crossed by Finnish, Russian and Belarusian citizens (as well as their family members); all other nationals, including non-Finnish EEA and Swiss citizens, were not permitted to use these border checkpoints. Further, the border crossing points of Haapovaara, Inari, Karttimo, Kurvinen, Leminaho and
Parikkala Parikkala () is a municipalities of Finland, municipality of Finland located in the provinces of Finland, province of Southern Finland and is part of the South Karelia regions of Finland, region, from Lappeenranta and from Joensuu. The town cent ...
(as well as the railway crossing point of
Imatra Imatra is a cities of Finland, town and municipalities of Finland, municipality in southeastern Finland. Imatra is dominated by Lake Saimaa, the Vuoksi River and the Finland–Russia border, border with Russia. On the other side of the border, ...
) are only open to Finnish and Russian citizens. The additional obligations imposed by European law on national border authorities when it comes to processing travellers who are third-country nationals (e.g. the obligation to stamp their travel documents) should not prevent the development of
automated border control system Automated border control systems (ABC) or eGates are automated self-service barriers which use data stored in a chip in biometric passport A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that ...
s which are made available to such travellers. As shown by the examples listed above of automated border control systems which have been developed at external border crossing points of the Schengen Area, national border authorities have been able to adapt the design of their automated border control systems to allow third-country nationals to make use of them. One solution is to have a border guard physically positioned next to the automated border gates who can stamp travel documents where required: this approach has been adopted by the
Finnish Border Guard The Finnish Border Guard (; ) is the agency responsible for enforcing the security of Finland's borders. It is a military organisation, subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior (Finland), Ministry of the Interior in administrative issues and ...
at the automated border gates in
Helsinki Airport Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (; fi, Helsinki-Vantaan lentoasema, sv, Helsingfors-Vanda flygplats), or simply Helsinki Airport, is the main international airport of the city of Helsinki, its surrounding Greater Helsinki, metropolitan area, and the ...
, where eligible users (who are required to receive a passport stamp) include holders of Australian,
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of ...
,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea ...
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
, South Korean and
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
biometric passport A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometrics, biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identit ...
s, as well as by the Portuguese Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras at the automated border gates in
Lisbon Airport Humberto Delgado Airport , informally Lisbon Airport and formally Portela Airport, is an international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial ai ...
where eligible users (who are required to receive a passport stamp) include holders of Angolan and Brazilian passports and holders of diplomatic/service passports. This approach has also been adopted in Italy, where eligible users of eGates include holders of Australian,
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of ...
, Israeli,
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea ...
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and over 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands. It is the ...
,
Singaporean Singaporeans, or the Singaporean people, refers to Singaporean nationality law, citizens or people who identify with the sovereign island city-state of Singapore. Singapore is a multiracialism, multi-ethnic, multiculturalism, multi-cultural an ...
, South Korean,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and
Vatican Vatican may refer to: Vatican City, the city-state ruled by the pope in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum The Holy See * The Holy See, the governing body of the Catholic Church and sovereign entity recognized ...
biometric passport A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometrics, biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identit ...
s. A similar but slightly different solution has been adopted by the Dutch
Royal Marechaussee The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee ( nl, Koninklijke Marechaussee, abbreviated to KMar) is the national gendarmerie force of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, performing military and civilian police duties. It is also one of the two national poli ...
at the Privium
iris recognition Iris recognition is an automated method of biometrics, biometric identification that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the iris (anatomy), irises of an individual's Human eye, eyes, whose complex ...
automated border gates at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (where eligible users include registered EEA/Swiss citizens, US citizens who are
Global Entry Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports and via the SE ...
members, and all nationals who are holders of
diplomatic passport A passport is an official travel document issued by a government that contains a person's Identity (social science), identity. A person with a passport can travel to and from foreign countries more easily and access consular assistance. A pass ...
s), as well as by the
German Federal Police The Federal Police (''Bundespolizei'' or BPOL) is the national and principal Federal police, federal law enforcement agency of the German Federal Government, being subordinate to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (''Bu ...
at the ABG Plus
iris recognition Iris recognition is an automated method of biometrics, biometric identification that uses mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of one or both of the iris (anatomy), irises of an individual's Human eye, eyes, whose complex ...
automated border gates at
Frankfurt Airport Frankfurt Airport (; german: link=no, Flughafen Frankfurt Main , also known as ''Rhein-Main-Flughafen'') is a major international airport located in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city of Germany and one of the world's leading financial centres. ...
(where eligible users include registered EEA/Swiss citizens and US citizens who are
Global Entry Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports and via the SE ...
members): when eligible third-country nationals use Privium/ABG Plus, after their iris is scanned and verified, a different gate opens to that for EEA/Swiss citizens and the third-country national is directed to a lane which leads them to the front of the queue for manual passport checks at immigration desks, where the border officer stamps the user's passport. Another possible solution would be to design the automated border gates to print a paper slip with an entry or exit stamp on it, as well as the traveller's name and travel document number, whenever the user is a traveller who is subject to the requirement to have his or her travel document stamped. At the
Port of Helsinki The Port of Helsinki ( fi, Helsingin Satama, sv, Helsingfors Hamn) is one of the busiest passenger ports in Europe and the main port for foreign trade in Finland. For passenger traffic, the port operates regular liner connections to destination ...
, the
Finnish Border Guard The Finnish Border Guard (; ) is the agency responsible for enforcing the security of Finland's borders. It is a military organisation, subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior (Finland), Ministry of the Interior in administrative issues and ...
has adapted the design of the automated border gates there to widen eligibility to include
Russian citizens Russian citizenship law details the conditions by which a person holds citizenship Citizenship is a "relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection". Each stat ...
(who, as Annex I nationals, are required to have a visa) by requiring them to scan both the biodata page and the visa inside their passport, then to step into the gate for a facial image and fingerprint recognition, and after the gate opens to approach a border officer to have their passport stamped. Sometimes, external border controls are located on non-Schengen territory. For example, the French Border Police operates border checks at juxtaposed controls on travellers departing the United Kingdom for the Schengen Area before they board their train or ferry at
St Pancras International St Pancras railway station (), also known as London St Pancras or St Pancras International and officially since 2007 as London St Pancras International, is a London station group, central London railway terminus on Euston Road in the London Bor ...
,
Ebbsfleet International Ebbsfleet International railway station is in Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent Kent is a Counties of England, county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex ...
and
Ashford International Ashford International railway station is a National Rail station in Ashford, Kent, England. It connects several railway lines, including High Speed 1 and the South Eastern Main Line. Services are operated by Southeastern (train operating compan ...
railway stations, as well as at the
Port of Dover The Port of Dover is a cross-channel ferry, cruise terminal, maritime cargo and marina facility situated in Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent, South East England. It faces France across the Strait of Dover, the na ...
and the Eurotunnel Folkestone Terminal.


ETIAS

In November 2016 the European Commission proposed a system for an electronic authorisation of visa-exempt third country nationals called ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). Foreign visitors will be required to submit personal data in advance and pay a processing fee (fee is waived for children). The application is to be done over the internet and need to be made a few days before travel. The authorisation will be valid for three years. It is imagined as a system similar to the ESTA system of the United States and the ETA system of Canada. As of March 2020, ETIAS is scheduled to enter into operation by the end of 2022. ETIAS requirements will in general apply to third country nationals who need no visa and have no residence permit or similar. See ETIAS for more details.


Carrier's responsibility

Schengen rules require that all carriers conveying passengers across the Schengen external border must check, before boarding, that passengers have the correct travel documents and visas required for entry. Carriers that transport third-country nationals without the correct travel documents are imposed with financial penalties and are required to transport those refused entry back to the point of departure. The aim of this measure is to prevent illegal immigration. Further, since immigrants have the right to apply for asylum at border control at ports of entry in the EU, though such applications must be made in person in the country where asylum status is sought, this measure has the effect of preventing prospective asylum seekers from boarding public transportation to the Schengen Area (unless they have already obtained a Schengen visa or are visa-exempt).


Short-stay and transit visas

The rules applicable to short-term entry visas into the Schengen Area are set out in EU regulations which contain two lists: a list of the nationalities (or classes of
travel document A travel document is an identity document issued by a government or international entity pursuant to international agreements to enable individuals to clear border control measures. Travel documents usually assure other governments that the beare ...
holder) which require a visa for a short-term stay (the ''Annex I list'') and a list which do not (the ''Annex II list'').Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement
OJ L 81, 21 March 2001, p. 1
.
Being listed in the visa-free list will sometimes but not always exempt the listed nationality or class from the requirement to obtain a work permit if they wish to take up employment or self-employed activity during their stay; business trips are not normally considered employment in this sense. An application for a Schengen visa should be submitted to the embassy or consulate of the country which the traveller intends to visit. If a traveller plans to visit multiple countries in the Schengen Area, the application should be submitted to the embassy or consulate of the main destination. If the main destination cannot be determined, the traveller should apply for the visa at the embassy or consulate of the Schengen member state of first entry. Often, external service providers are contracted by certain diplomatic missions to process, collect and return visa applications. The standard application fee for a Schengen visa is EUR 80. There is a reduced visa application fee of EUR 40 for children aged 6 to 12. The visa application fee is waived for children under the age of 6. Where an application is submitted to an external service provider, an additional service fee may have to be paid. The visa application fee (and the additional service fee, if applicable) are not refundable regardless of the outcome of the application.


Entry conditions for third-country nationals

A Schengen visa or a visa exemption does not entitle the traveller to enter the Schengen Area, but rather allows the traveller to seek entry at the border crossing point. The Schengen Borders Code lists requirements which third-country nationals must meet to be allowed into the Schengen Area. For this purpose, a third-country national is a person who does ''not'' enjoy the right of free movement (i.e. a person who is not an EEA citizen or Swiss, nor a family member of such a person). The entry requirements for third country nationals who intend to stay in the Schengen Area for not more than 90 days in any 180-day period are as follows: * The traveller is in possession of a valid
travel document A travel document is an identity document issued by a government or international entity pursuant to international agreements to enable individuals to clear border control measures. Travel documents usually assure other governments that the beare ...
or documents authorising them to cross the border (a visa is not considered a travel document in this sense); the acceptance of travel documents for this purpose remains within the domain of the member states; * The travel document must be valid for at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from the Schengen Area (although in a justified case of emergency, this obligation may be waived) and must have been issued within the previous 10 years; * The traveller either possesses a valid visa (if required) or a valid residence permit; * The traveller can justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and has sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to his or her country of origin or transit to a third country into which the traveller is certain to be admitted, or is in a position to acquire such means lawfully; * The Schengen Information System does not contain a refusal of entry alert concerning the traveller, and * The traveller is not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Schengen states. However, even if the third-country national does not fulfil the criteria for entry, admission may still be granted: * On humanitarian grounds * On grounds of national interests * On grounds of international obligations * If the person is not in possession of a visa, but fulfils the criteria for being issued a visa at the border * If the person holds a residence permit or a re-entry visa issued by a Schengen state Border guards are required to
stamp Stamp or Stamps or Stamping may refer to: Official documents and related impressions * Postage stamp, used to indicate prepayment of fees for public mail * Ration stamp, indicating the right to rationed goods * Revenue stamp, used on documents to ...
the travel documents of third-country nationals when they cross external borders. However, nationals of
Andorra , image_flag = Flag of Andorra.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Andorra.svg , symbol_type = Coat of arms , national_motto = la, Virtus Unita Fortior, label=none (Latin)"United virtue is stro ...
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque dialect, Ligurian: ; oc, Principat de Mónegue), is a Sovereign state, sovereign city-state and European microstates, microstate on the French Riv ...
,
San Marino San Marino (, ), officially the Republic of San Marino ( it, Repubblica di San Marino; ), also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, links=no), is the List of countries and dependencies by a ...
and Vatican City are exempt from this requirement, as are heads of state, whose visits were announced through diplomatic channels, and holders of local border traffic permits and residence permits issued by a Schengen member state. Certain exemptions also apply to the crews of ships and aircraft. Third-country nationals who otherwise fulfil all the criteria for admission into the Schengen Area must not be denied entry for the sole reason that there is no remaining empty space in their travel document to affix a stamp; instead, the stamp should be affixed on a separate sheet of paper. File:Czech prague airport exit.jpg, Exit stamp for ''air travel'' issued at
Prague Prague ( ; cs, Praha ; german: Prag, ; la, Praga) is the capital and List of cities in the Czech Republic, largest city in the Czech Republic, and the historical capital of Bohemia. On the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 milli ...
airport. File:Germany bad schandau exit.jpg, Exit stamp for ''rail travel'', issued at Bad Schandau train station. File:Poland korczowa exit.jpg, Exit stamp for ''road travel'', issued at Korczowa border crossing point. File:Finland helsinki ferry.JPG, Exit stamp for ''sea travel'', issued at
Helsinki Helsinki ( or ; ; sv, Helsingfors, ) is the Capital city, capital, primate city, primate, and List of cities and towns in Finland, most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of U ...
port.


Stays in excess of 90 days

For stays in the Schengen Area as a whole which exceed 90 days, a third-country national will need to hold either a long-stay visa for a period no longer than a year, or a residence permit for longer periods. A long-stay visa is a national visa but is issued in accordance with a uniform format. It entitles the holder to enter the Schengen Area and remain in the issuing state for a period longer than 90 days but no more than one year. If a Schengen state wishes to allow the holder of a long-stay visa to remain there for longer than a year, the state must issue him or her with a residence permit. The holder of a long-stay visa or a residence permit is entitled to move freely within other states which compose the Schengen Area for a period of up to three months in any half-year. Third-country nationals who are long-term residents in a Schengen state may also acquire the right to move to and settle in another Schengen state without losing their legal status and social benefits.
Asylum seeker An asylum seeker is a person who leaves their country of residence, enters another country and applies for right of asylum, asylum (i.e., international protection) in that other country. An asylum seeker is an Immigration, immigrant who has b ...
s who request international protection under the
Geneva Convention file:Geneva Convention 1864 - CH-BAR - 29355687.pdf, upright=1.15, Original document in single pages, 1864 The Geneva Conventions are four Treaty, treaties, and three additional Protocol (diplomacy), protocols, that establish international law ...
from a Schengen member state are not issued a residence permit, but are instead issued, within three days of the application being lodged, an authorisation to remain on the territory of the member state while the application is pending or being examined. This means that, whilst their application for refugee status is being processed, asylum seekers are only permitted to remain in the Schengen member state where they have claimed asylum and are not entitled to move freely within other states which compose the Schengen Area. Successful applicants who have been granted international protection by a Schengen member state are issued residence permits which are valid for at least three years and renewable, whilst applicants granted subsidiary protection by a Schengen member state are issued residence permits valid for at least 1-year and renewable, unless there are compelling reasons relating to national security or public order. Family members of beneficiaries of international or subsidiary protection from a Schengen member state are issued residence permits as well, but their validity can be shorter. Applicants who have been granted temporary protection by a Schengen member state (as well as their reunited family members) are issued residence permits valid for the entire period of temporary protection. However, some third-country nationals are permitted to stay in the Schengen Area for more than 90 days without the need to apply for a long-stay visa. For example, France does not require citizens of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City to apply for a long-stay visa. In addition, Article 20(2) of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement allows for this 'in exceptional circumstances' and for bilateral agreements concluded by individual signatory states with other countries before the Convention entered into force to remain applicable. As a result, for example, New Zealand citizens are permitted to stay for up to 90 days in ''each'' of the Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) which had already concluded bilateral visa exemption agreements with the
New Zealand Government The New Zealand Government ( mi, Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa) is the central government through which political authority is exercised in New Zealand. As in most other parliamentary democracies, the term "Government" refers chiefly to the executive ...
prior to the Convention entering into force without the need to apply for long-stay visas, but if travelling to other Schengen countries the 90 days in a 180-day period time limit applies.


Entry conditions for family members of EEA and Swiss citizens

Third-country nationals who are family members of EEA and Swiss citizens exercising their right of free movement and who hold a residence card of a family member of a Union citizen issued by their EEA host country can visit another EEA member state or Switzerland without a visa for a short stay of up to three months in each member state. A 'family member' is defined as the spouse/partner, any of their children below age 21 or dependents (including those of the spouse/partner) and dependent parents (including those of the spouse/partner). Holders of a residence card of a family member of a Union citizen issued by a Schengen member state can travel to another Schengen member state without a visa, regardless of whether they are travelling independently, or accompanying or joining their EEA/Swiss citizen family member. However, holders of a residence card of a family member of a Union citizen issued by Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and the UK can travel to the Schengen Area without a visa only if they are accompanying or joining their EEA/Swiss citizen family member. British citizens have until 30 June 2021 to apply for the card. If the non-EEA family member is an Annex I national who presents him/herself at the border without a residence card of a family member of a Union citizen nor an entry visa, but can show his/her family ties with the EEA/Swiss citizens by other means, then a visa must be issued at the border free of charge and entry permitted. However, as of December 2008, the right of entry of family members of EEA/Swiss citizens laid down in Articles 5(2) and 5(4) of
Directive 2004/38/EC Directive may refer to: * Directive (European Union), a legislative act of the European Union * Directive (programming), a computer language construct that specifies how a compiler should process input * Directive (poem), "Directive" (poem), a poem ...
has been incorrectly transposed into Belgian, Latvian and Swedish law, and not transposed at all by Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Germany and Slovenia.Point 3.2 in Five member states do not follow the Directive to the effect that non-EEA family members may still face difficulties (denial of boarding the vessel by the transport company, denial to enter by border police) when travelling to those states using their residence card issued by another EU member state. A visa or other document(s) may still be required.


Local border traffic at external borders

Schengen states which share an external land border with a non-EU member state are authorised by virtue of the EU Regulation 1931/2006 to conclude or maintain bilateral agreements with neighbouring third countries for the purpose of implementing a
local border traffic Border control refers to measures taken by governments to monitor and regulate the movement of people, animals, and goods across land, air, and maritime borders. While border control is typically associated with international borders, it a ...
regime. Such agreements define a border area which may extend to a maximum of on either side of the border, and provide for the issuance of local border traffic permits to residents of the border area. Permits may be used to cross the EU external border within the border area, are not stamped on crossing the border and must display the holder's name and photograph, as well as a statement that its holder is not authorised to move outside the border area and that any abuse shall be subject to penalties. Permits are issued with a validity period of between one and five years and allow for a stay in the border area of up to three months. Permits may only be issued to lawful residents of the border area who have been resident in the border area for a minimum of one year (or longer if specified by the bilateral agreement). Applicants for a permit have to show that they have legitimate reasons to cross frequently an external land border under the local border traffic regime. Schengen states must keep a central register of the permits issued and have to provide immediate access to the relevant data to other Schengen states. Holders of local border traffic permits are able to spend up to 3 months ''every time'' they enter the border area of the country which has issued the permit (this time limit is far more generous than the "90 days in a 180-day period" normally granted to third-country nationals visiting the Schengen Area). Before the conclusion of an agreement with a neighbouring country, the Schengen state must receive approval from the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
, which has to confirm that the draft agreement is in conformity with the Regulation. The agreement may only be concluded if the neighbouring state grants at least reciprocal rights to EEA and Swiss nationals resident on the Schengen side of the border area, and agrees to the repatriation of individuals found to be abusing the border agreement. ten local-traffic agreements have come into force. * Hungary–Ukraine from January 2008. * Slovakia–Ukraine from September 2008. * Poland–Ukraine in July 2009. * Romania–Moldova from October 2010. * Latvia–Belarus from February 2012. * Norway–Russia from May 2012. * Poland–Russia (Kaliningrad Area) from July 2012 (suspended since July 2016) * Latvia–Russia from June 2013. * Romania–Ukraine from May 2015. * An agreement between Croatia–Bosnia and Herzegovina is applied on provisional basis, pending ratification. On 28 April 2014, Moldova was classified as an 'Annex II' nationality. On 11 June 2017, Ukraine was classified as an 'Annex II' nationality. Therefore, Moldovan and Ukrainian citizens who hold
biometric passport A biometric passport (also known as an e-passport or a digital passport) is a traditional passport that has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contains biometrics, biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identit ...
s no longer require a visa to enter the Schengen Area and Romania, thus obviating the need to apply for a local border traffic permit (unless they wish to spend more than 90 days in a 180-day period permitted by the visa exemption, given that local border traffic permit holders are allowed to stay for 3 months in the border area on each entry). There are or have been plans for Lithuania–Russia, Poland–Belarus, Bulgaria–Serbia and Bulgaria–North Macedonia local border traffic agreements. The agreement between Poland and Belarus had been due to enter into force by 2012, but was delayed by Belarus, with no implementation date set (as of Oct 2012). In late 2009, Norway began issuing one-year multiple-entry visas, without the usual requirement of having family or a business partner in Norway, called Pomor-Visas, to
Russians , native_name_lang = ru , image = , caption = , population = , popplace = 118 million Russians in the Russian Federation (2002 ''Winkler Prins'' estimate) , region1 = , pop1 ...
from
Murmansk Oblast Murmansk Oblast (russian: Му́рманская о́бласть, p=ˈmurmənskəjə ˈobləsʲtʲ, r=Murmanskaya oblast, ''Murmanskaya oblast''; Kildin Sami: Мурман е̄ммьне, ''Murman jemm'ne'') is a federal subject (an oblast) ...
, and later to those from
Arkhangelsk Oblast Arkhangelsk Oblast (russian: Арха́нгельская о́бласть, ''Arkhangelskaya oblast'') is a federal subjects of Russia, federal subject of Russia (an oblast). It includes the Arctic Ocean, Arctic archipelagos of Franz Josef Land ...
. Finland is not planning border permits, but has issued over one million regular visas for Russians in 2011, and many of them multiple-entry visas. The EU was planning to allow up to 5-year validity on multiple-entry visas for Russians. There is also a similar system for local border traffic permits between
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
and
Morocco Morocco (),, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to A ...
regarding
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a Spanish Autonomous communities of Spain#Autonomous cities, autonomous city on the north coast of Africa. Bordered by Morocco, it lies along the boundary between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlan ...
and
Melilla Melilla ( , ; ; rif, Mřič ; ar, مليلية ) is an autonomous cities of Spain, autonomous city of Spain located in north Africa. It lies on the eastern side of the Cape Three Forks, Morocco–Spain border, bordering Morocco and facing th ...
. This system is older and was included in the 1991 accession treaty of Spain to the Schengen Area. In this case there are identity checks for anyone travelling to other parts of the Schengen Area (possible by boat and air only). Such checks are not the rule for other local border traffic zones.


Western Balkan states

Citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia can enter the Schengen Area without a visa. On 30 November 2009, the EU Council of Ministers for Interior and Justice abolished visa requirements for citizens of Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, while on 8 November 2010 it did the same for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The former took effect on 19 December 2009, and the latter on 15 December 2010. On 4 May 2016, the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive of the European Union (EU). It operates as a cabinet government, with 27 European Commissioner, members of the Commission (informally known as "Commissioners") headed by a P ...
proposed visa-free travel for the citizens of
Kosovo Kosovo ( sq, Kosova or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово ), officially the Republic of Kosovo ( sq, Republika e Kosovës, links=no; sr, Република Косово, Republika Kosovo, links=no), is a international recognition of Kosovo, partiall ...
. The European Commission has proposed to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to lift the visa requirements for the people of Kosovo by transferring Kosovo to the visa-free list for short-stays in the Schengen Area. The proposal is presented together with the commission's positive assessment confirming that Kosovo has fulfilled the requirements of its visa liberalisation roadmap. The European Commission launched a visa liberalisation dialogue with Kosovo on 19 January 2012. In June 2012, the Commission handed over a roadmap on visa liberalisation to the Kosovo authorities, which identified the legislation and institutional measures that Kosovo needed to adopt and implement to advance towards visa liberalisation. Visa liberalisation negotiations between the EU and the Western Balkans (excluding Kosovo) were launched in the first half of 2008, and ended in 2009 (for Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) and 2010 (for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina). Before visas were fully abolished, the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) had signed "visa facilitation agreements" with the Schengen states in 2008. The visa facilitation agreements were, at the time, supposed to shorten waiting periods, lower visa fees (including free visas for certain categories of travellers), and reduce paperwork. In practice, however, the new procedures turned out to be longer, more cumbersome, more expensive, and many people complained that it was easier to obtain visas before the facilitation agreements entered into force.


Police and judicial co-operation

To counter the potentially aggravating effects of the abolition of border controls on undocumented immigration and cross-border crime, the Schengen ''acquis'' contains compensatory police and judicial measures. Chief among these is the Schengen Information System (SIS), a database operated by all EU and Schengen states and which by January 2010 contained in excess of 30 million entries and by January 2014 contained in excess of 50 million entries, according to a document published in June 2015 by the
Council of the European Union The Council of the European Union, often referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council, and informally known as the Council of Ministers, is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union (EU) as ...
. Around 1 million of the entries relate to persons, 72% of which were not allowed to enter and stay in the Schengen Area. Only 7% of persons listed on the SIS database were missing persons. The vast majority of data entries on the SIS, around 49 million, concern lost or stolen objects. The European Council reports that in 2013 an average of 43 stolen vehicles a day were detected by authorities using the SIS database. A list of EU authorities with access to SIS is published annually in the
Official Journal of the European Union An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organization An organization or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an ...
. As at 24 June 2015, 235 authorities can use the SIS database. The SIS database is operationally managed by eu-LISA. The Schengen Agreement also allows police officers from one participating state to follow suspects across borders both in hot pursuit and to continue observation operations, and for enhanced mutual assistance in criminal matters. The Schengen Convention also contained measures intended to streamline extradition between participating countries however these have now been subsumed into the European Arrest Warrant system.


Legal basis


Provisions in the treaties of the European Union

The legal basis for Schengen in the
treaties of the European Union The Treaties of the European Union are a set of Treaty, international treaties between the European Union (EU) Member state of the European Union, member states which sets out the EU's Constitution, constitutional basis. They establish the variou ...
has been inserted in the
Treaty establishing the European Community The Treaty of Rome, or EEC Treaty (officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community), brought about the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC), the best known of the European Communities (EC). The treaty was signe ...
through Article 2, point 15 of the
Treaty of Amsterdam The Treaty of Amsterdam, officially the Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related acts, was signed on 2 October 1997, and entered into force on 1 May 1999; i ...
. This inserted a new title named "Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons" into the treaty, currently numbered as Title IV, and comprising articles 61 to 69. The
Treaty of Lisbon The Treaty of Lisbon (initially known as the Reform Treaty) is an international agreement that amends the two Treaty, treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). The Treaty of Lisbon, which was signed by the Membe ...
substantially amends the provisions of the articles in the title, renames the title to " Area of freedom, security and justice" and divides it into five chapters, called "General provisions", "Policies on border checks, asylum and immigration", "Judicial cooperation in civil matters", "Judicial cooperation in criminal matters", and "Police cooperation".


The Schengen Agreement and the Schengen Convention

The Schengen Area originally had its legal basis outside the then European Economic Community, having been established by a sub-set of member states of the Community using two international agreements: * The 1985
Schengen Agreement The Schengen Agreement ( , ) is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished. It was signed on 14 June 1985, near the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, by five of the te ...
– Agreement between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders. * The 1990 Schengen Convention – Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders. On being incorporated into the main body of
European Union law European Union law is a system of rules operating within the member states of the European Union (EU). Since the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community following World War II, the EU has developed the aim to "promote peace, its value ...
by the Amsterdam Treaty, the Schengen Agreement and Convention were published in the
Official Journal of the European Communities An official is someone who holds an office (function or Mandate (politics), mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual Office, working space with it) in an organization or government and participates in the exercise of authority, (either th ...
by a decision of the Council of Ministers.Council Decision (1999/435/EC) of 20 May 1999 concerning the definition of the Schengen ''acquis'' for the purpose of determining, in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Treaty establishing the European Community and the Treaty on European Union, the legal basis for each of the provisions or decisions which constitute the ''acquis''
OJ L 176, 10 July 1999, p. 1
.
As a result, the Agreement and Convention can be amended by
regulations Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory, these types of rules exist in various fields of biology and society, but the term has slightly different meanings according to context. For ...
.


See also

* * * * * * * * * * * *


Notes


References


External links


Schengen, Borders & VisasVisa policy
(europa.eu)

(ec.europa.eu) Retrieved 2 March 2014. * * The Schengen Agreement and the Schengen Convention ** Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders
OJ L 239, 22 September 2000, p. 19
. ( Consolidated version). ** Agreement between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders
OJ L 239, 22 September 2000, p. 13
. * European Union regulations ** Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)
OJ L 105, 13 April 2006, p. 1
. ** Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement
OJ L 81, 21 March 2001, p. 1
. ** Council Regulation (EC) No 693/2003 of 14 April 2003 establishing a specific Facilitated Transit Document (FTD), a Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) and amending the Common Consular Instructions and the Common Manual
OJ L 99, 17 April 2003, p. 8
. ** Council Regulation (EC) No 1683/95 of 29 May 1995 laying down a uniform format for visas
OJ L 164, 14 July 1995, p. 1
. ** Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code)
OJ L 243, 15 September 2009, p. 1
. ** Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the establishment, operation and use of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II)
OJ L 381, 28 December 2006, p. 4
. ** Council Decision 2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime
OJ L 210, 6 August 2008, p. 1
. ** Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code)
EUR-Lex - 32016R0399 - EN - EUR-Lex
{{Authority control Expedited border crossing schemes International border crossings International travel documents Law enforcement in Europe Multi-speed Europe Transport and the European Union 1995 establishments in Europe