The Schengen Area is an open border area comprised of 26 European countries, primarily members of the European Union, who have agreed to abolish border controls and operate under a common visa policy. Travel between these countries is like travel within the United States – as there are no border checks between states, so travel is unrestricted between Schengen Countries.
What are the Schengen Countries?
- The Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
Are visas required to enter the Schengen Area?
U.S. citizens with valid passports intending to travel within the Schengen Area for three months or less can apply to enter without a visa. Otherwise, travelers may need to apply for a Schengen short stay visa, which allows the holder to travel within the Schengen Area for no more than 90 days in any 180 day period.
What are the requirements for entry into the Schengen Countries?
- A valid passport, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months (recommended 6 months) beyond the traveler’s intended departure date from the Schengen Area.
- Any applicable visas and supporting documents.
- Proof of adequate financial resources for the duration of the stay, and any relevant information regarding travel and accommodations in that time.
- Short stay visa applicants must hold travel insurance covering emergency medical care, hospitalization, and repatriation (known as Schengen Visa Insurance.
Some Schengen countries have additional entry requirements. Travelers are advised to contact the embassy of the Schengen Country(s) they intend to visit to determine what applications to file and to obtain the full entry requirement list, including travel insurance requirements.
Applications must be submitted between 15 days and three months before the start of the intended journey. Typically decisions regarding the visa application are reached within 15 days, but in some cases this may be extended to 30 or 60 days. When planning a trip, travelers are advised to submit applications well in advance and consider trip protections to safeguard against delays in application processing.
Possession of a valid passport or short stay visa does not guarantee entry into the Schengen Area. Travelers should always carry copies of documents related to their stay and take care to understand the entry requirements specific to their trip. It is also wise to carry trip protection in the event of border delays and travel interruptions.
We offer a variety of travel insurance plans that will meet Schengen visa requirements. Simply enter your trip details into our quote form to view available quotes. Then choose a plan that meets the minimum coverage levels for the medical, hospitalization and repatriation benefits as mandated by the country that you are visiting.
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