Did you know that Spain attracts 20% of the total number of tourists travelling to Europe every year? Being one of the most important member states of the Schengen area, the country welcomed 306 million night spends by tourists in 2017, according to statistics published by Eurostat. Almost 58% of the total night stays by tourists in Europe were in Italy, France and Spain, some of the most prominent countries in this region.
The Schengen area consists of 26 European countries that are bound by the Schengen agreement, creating a visa and passport-free travel zone within their borders for visitors from all over the world. Today, the Schengen area is home to 400 million people, who travel almost 1.2 billion times within this zone each year.
Which Counties Can You Visit With Schengen Visa
The Schengen Area takes up a major part of Europe and includes a few of the most powerful and old countries of the continent. Traveling to these countries requires you to first obtain a Schengen Visa. The countries that fall under the Schengen Area include:
- Czech Republic
Within these countries, any individual, regardless of their nationality, can move freely without undergoing border check formalities at each nation. The only requirement is to fill the Schengen Uniform Visa Application Form to get started.
What is a Schengen Visa
This is a document, in the form of a sticker or stamp, attached to your passport. The visa is applicable for multiple purposes, including tourism, business, training and internship, medical treatment, temporary work and study, and so on. You will need to produce the visa at the port of entry into the Schengen zone and not for each and every country within the area that you visit thereafter.
The validity of the Uniform Schengen Visa is 90 days at a stretch within a period of six months. Within this period you can enter and exit multiple Schengen countries as many times as you want to. However, if your stay is more than 90 days, you will be required to apply for a national visa of the particular Schengen country you wish to stay in.
Benefits of a Uniform Schengen Visa
With a uniform Schengen visa, you do not have to go through multiple processes and formalities when you travel through Europe. The Schengen countries have a common set of rules for each individual crossing the European internal borders. You only need to be in harmony with these single set of laws. You might have to undergo police checks at the internal borders at times, but they are not the same as the authorized border checks. These are in the form of simple questions by the police regarding your stay and other general information.
The Schengen Information System (SIS) has made Europe a safe place for tourists to travel all year round.