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What Is A Schengen Visa: Guideline For Filipinos

Schengen is a village in Luxembourg where an agreement to make a borderless Europe was signed and enacted. The Schengen pact paved way for the Schengen visa’s creation.

A brief history

Moselle river, the border that separates Germany and Luxembourg witnessed the signing of the Schengen Agreement in 1985. The treaty’s aim is to establish a borderless Europe via abolishing passport controls and restrictions that prohibit the individuals’ “free movement” across the continent.

However, it took 5 years before the treaty was fully implemented. Negotiations between European countries consumed a considerable amount of time.

In order to facilitate “free movement” members of the Schengen pact decided to form common regulations on how to eliminate internal and external border controls. Likewise, this move gave birth to a common visa or more popularly known as the Schengen visa.

Members of the Agreement

The agreement’s regulations apply to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

The European Commission outlines the effects of the Schengen Agreement as follow.

  1. Internal and external restrictions no longer exist
  2. Implementation of a unified entry protocol between Schengen members. This lessens the degree of confusion often encountered by travellers
  3. Well-defined separation of entry points
  4. A unified policy regarding visa conditions

Effect on Non-European countries

Upon obtaining a Schengen Visa, non-European citizens are free to travel in countries covered by the Schengen agreement. For third world countries, like the Philippines, for example, similar principle is applied. However, this can be only enacted if the following conditions are met:

  1. Having a valid travel document
  2. Having a short stay visa, if applicable
  3. Having enough financial means to support his or her expenses
  4. Not a security threat to Schengen territories
  5. Not included in the list of banned individuals or entities

Types of Schengen visa

There are several kinds of Schengen visas. These are the following:

  1. Airport transit visa – Obviously, transit visa can be used to pass through the international zone without necessarily going inside the Schengen territories
  2. Short stay visa - Utilized for tourism and business purposes. Holders of this visa are allowed to stay for 90 to 180 days
  3. Circulation visa – This is also used for business purposes. However, the difference is the invitation letter required in this visa
  4. Long stay visa – Evidently, this is for those who want to study, retire and work

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