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confused about schengen members

Travel Forums Europe confused about schengen members

1. Posted by JakubM (Budding Member 9 posts) 6y

I've been searching and seem to get contradicting information. I want to find out which countries the Schengen 90 day rule applies to for a US citizen.

According to wikipedia (from what I understand of it) there are 24 countries that the rule applies to, EU countries except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, and the UK, and Iceland and Norway, with Switzerland probably joining in November of 08.

But then I went to the Schengen Visa website, and they list only 15 countries (Austria, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands).

Which list do the rules apply to for US citizens? I'm planning on staying in Europe for 4 months, so I want to know which countries to count against my 90 days,

Thanks,
Jakub

2. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 6y

The Schengen visa website you mentioned is not an official website of any of the authorities in Schengen area. However, they are correct about the 15 countries. This is what the French Embassy website in London says:

Quoting Consulat Général de France

What is a schengen visa ?

Definition: A Schengen visa allows its holder to move freely in all the member states of the European Union who signed the Shengen agreement within the validity of the visa.

The Schengen Space: At the moment there are 15 member countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithunia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Foreign citizens with valid residency permits in a Schengen country may travel freely in the Schengen space for up to 3 months as long as they hold valid recognised passports and valid residency status.

Great Britain HAS NOT signed the Schengen Agreement. Therefore, even if you hold a permanent or temporary residency permit to reside in the UK, you may still need a visa in order to enter the Schengen zone.

Be advised that a Schengen visa does not guarantee the entry clearance into the Schengen space.

Source: http://www.consulfrance-londres.org/spip.php?article325

3. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 6y

Quoting Consulat Général de France

The Schengen Space: At the moment there are 15 member countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithunia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Ok, I just counted the above and it's 24 countries, same as the wikipedia article.

The following is quoted from the wikipedia article which explains why there are 24 countries now:

Quoting Schengen Agreement - Status of membership and implementation

As of 21 December 2007, 24 states and Monaco (treated as part of France) had abolished border controls on persons among themselves, an increase from 15 on 20 December 2007. The nine new countries which entered the Schengen travel area in 2007 were: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.[53] Any non-Schengen traveller having a valid Schengen visa has been allowed to travel throughout these 25 countries from their accession. These states all entered the EU three years previously,, they had to upgrade their border checks with non-Schengen states before border controls would be dropped with them. Cyprus, which entered the EU along side these other states, did not meet the criteria and thus has requested a delay for a year, while Romania and Bulgaria, who only joined the EU in 2007, are still bringing their border controls up to the required standard.

Prior to the 2007 expansion, the existing fifteen Schengen states were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. All but Iceland and Norway are EU members while the United Kingdom and Ireland have opted out from the core Schengen provisions, preferring to keep control over cross-border flows as a matter of national responsibility.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement#Status_of_membership_and_implementation

So it seems like the French Consulate-General website forgot to update the number 15 when they added the new countries.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 24, 2008, at 8:17 AM by Hien ]

4. Posted by JakubM (Budding Member 9 posts) 6y

There typo actually clears it up, seems the other Visa website I posted has simply failed to update as well,

Thanks