Schengen Area

If you are planning to visit Europe, the first thing that you must ask yourself is whether you need a visa for the Schengen area. Currently, over 60 countries from different parts of the world can enter the visa-free zone in Europe without the need to obtain a visa and stay there for 90 days within six months.

But, if you want freedom of movement in this area, you must apply for a European visa. You should be extremely careful when applying for a Schengen visa. So in the next section of the article, we have added a Schengen Visa Guide.

What is the Schengen area?

The Schengen Area is a zone where neighbouring European countries have eliminated passports, restrictions on the movement of people, and other border control regulations at mutual borders. Simply put, there are no hard borders between these neighbouring countries. There is only one shared border. The Schengen agreement was developed to control the external border, promote harmony and friendship, and strengthen the relationship between neighbouring countries and the standard common judicial system.

Currently, 27 European countries have signed the Schengen agreement. On January 1, 2023, Croatia became the 27th country to sign the Schengen agreement.

Schengen Agreement

The Schengen area covers most of Europe, including some of the most powerful and oldest countries on the continent. It is one of the significant achievements of the European project. Schengen is the name of a small village in Luxembourg that lies on the border of Germany and France, where the Schengen Convention was signed in 1985 and 1990, respectively.

France and Germany were the first to join the Schengen agreement, as the countries took the initial step towards creating a visa-free and passport-less zone on June 14, 1984.

The governments of Germany, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands joined the Schengen agreement on June 14, 1985, and according to this agreement, the five countries would establish a gradual abolition of border checks at common borders. The Schengen area was expanded a few months later, with Italy signing the agreement first, followed by Spain and Portugal.

Famous Countries that Belong to the Schengen Area


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The Schengen area has 26 countries, covering almost all of Europe. Some of the popular countries that are part of the treaty are:

1. Austria

Austria Schengen Country

Austria, located in central Europe, is bordered by eight countries. It is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of per capita income and GDP. It signed the Schengen agreement in 1995 but implemented it more than two years later, on December 1, 1997.

2. Belgium

Belgium, in Western Europe, is listed was among the first five countries that to joined the Schengen agreement on June 14, 1985, and it was implemented it on March 26, 1995. It is located in Western Europe, and iIts capital, Brussels, is the European Administrative Center of the Union, which is often referred to as the EU’s capital city.

3. Croatia

Croatia Schengen country

Located in Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia is known for its gorgeous coastline and other popular tourist attractions, including its rich cultural heritage, ancient ruins, and churches. The country joined the Schengen agreement recently, on January 1, 2023. It is a member of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

4. Germany

The second-most-visited Schengen country, Germany, is the land of invention and innovation that travellers would love to explore. It is situated in Western and Central Europe and is one of the five founding countries of the Schengen Agreement, signed on June 14, 1985. However, it implemented the agreement ten years later, on March 26, 1995.

5. Greece

Greece Schengen Country

One of the most famous destinations and the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is considered the birthplace of democracy, western literature, historiography, the Olympic Games, and more. The country has a unique cultural heritage. It signed the agreement on November 6, 1992, and started its implementation on January 1, 2000.

6. Hungary

Hungary sits in Central Europe, drawing a high number of visitors every year. When it comes to tourism, Hungary is one of the main medical tourist destinations in Europe. It signed the Schengen agreement on April 16, 2003, and implemented it on December 21, 2007.

7. Italy

Italy Schengen Country

The sovereign state of the Italian Republic, located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, offers a rich history and numerous cultural attractions, making it one of the top destinations in Europe. It implemented the Schengen agreement on October 26, 1997, after having it signed on November 27, 1990.

8. Latvia

Sharing borders with Estonia, Lithuania, and Belarus to the southeast, Latvia is currently a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, and WTO. It signed the agreement on April 16, 2003, and implemented it on December 21, 2007.

9. Lithuania

Lithuania signed the Schengen agreement on April 16, 2003, and started its implementation on December 21, 2007. Lithuanian is one of the oldest languages in the world.

10. Luxembourg

Luxembourg Schengen Country

Luxembourg is the second-richest country in the world as ranked by its GDP and also has the highest minimum wage in the EU. It Ssigned the agreement on June 14, 1985, and it is one of the three official capitals of the European Union.

11. Malta

Mostly known for its sun, sea, and beaches, Malta is one of the most alluring destinations in Europe. It signed the agreement on April 16, 2003, and implemented it on December 21, 2007.

12. Netherlands

Netherlands Schengen Country

With its colourful tulips, delicious cheese, and windmills, the Netherlands is one of the founding members of the EU, the Eurozone, the G10, NATO, the OECD, the WTO, and the Schengen Agreement, signed on June 14, 1985.

13. Poland

Being an EU country, Poland attracts visitors to the most visited cities like Malbork, Torun, Krakow, and Poznan. The country signed the agreement on April 16, 2003, and implemented it in late 2007.

14. Spain

Spain draws visitors from across the world to explore its famous Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona. The country joined the agreement on June 25, 1991, and it was implemented on March 26, 1995.

15. Slovakia

Slovakia Schengen Country

Slovakia is known for having the world’s highest number of castles and chateaux per capita. It signed the agreement on January 1, 1993, and started the implemented ation it on December 21, 2007.

16. Slovenia

Slovenia is one of the smallest Schengen states. The country signed the agreement on April 16, 2003, and started it four years later, on December 21, 2007.

17. Sweden

Sweden Schengen Country

Sweden, located in northern Europe, is a Scandinavian country that signed the agreement on December 9, 1996. It started its implementation on March 25, 2001.

Among the list, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands were among the first countries to be part of the Schengen area.

However, you must understand that the Schengen area and the European Union (EU) are two different entities. The Schengen area is spread across 4 million square kilometerses and has a population of almost 420 million people.

Being part of the Schengen area without internal border control means that:
  • There are no internal checkpoints in the area. Secure external borders ensure the safety of the region.
  • The countries that signed the agreement must adhere to border protocols outlined in the Schengen Borders Code.
  • If you are enter the area from a third country, you need an ETIAS visa waiver or a Schengen visa. These two are entirely different types of travel documents, each of which allows you to stay in Schengen for a maximum of 90 days.

A visit to one of the Schengen countries is undoubtedly worthwhile, offering numerous things to do and a rich heritage to explore. As a Dubai resident, if you are wondering how to apply for a Schengen visa from Dubai, below is a brief overview of the visa application process.

How will you apply for a Schengen visa if you are a Dubai resident?

Even though Dubai, the capital of the emirates, is one of the most popular tourist locations in the world, as a Dubai resident, you must apply for a Schengen visa to visit the area. Let us briefly discuss the guidelines for the procedure and how to apply for a visa in Dubai.

Schengen Visa

It is a limited-stay visa that will allow you to visit any country belonging to the Schengen area and stay for a maximum of 90 days for business or pleasure.

Can you apply for a Schengen visa in the UAE?

If you are a UAE passport holder, you can enter any country in the Schengen area and stay for 90 days, visa-free for 180 days. If you live in one of the seven emirates and do not have a UAE passport, you must get a Schengen visa depending on your nationality.

You can only apply if you belong to one of the following categories:

  • A foreigner living in the UAE on a temporary or a permanent residence permit
  • A UAE passport holder who was previously refused visa-free entry to a Schengen country
  • A national of a country that has a mutual agreement on a visa-free regime with the Schengen area but has refused visa-free entry to Europe

The Schengen visa guide to getting a Schengen visa in the UAE

Here’s how to apply for a Schengen visa from Dubai:

  • Check with the embassy or consulate where you need to submit the application.
  • Schedule an appointment at the visa centre or embassy.
  • Attend the visa interview with all the essential documents
  • Wait for a response.

You have to wait for a minimum of 15 days, after which you will get the responsible application.

Schengen Visa Document Requirements

  • The visa application form must contain valid information without any errors.
  • A valid passport that should not be less than ten years old and has a validity of at least three months beyond the date when you plan to leave the zone.
  • Two photographs that were not taken more than three months before you plan to apply for your visa; it must adhere to the visa photo requirements
  • Travel flight itinerary, which proves that you have reserved a flight ticket from Dubai to the Schengen area and back
  • Travel insurance for Europe with a minimum coverage of 30000 euros
  • Proof of residency in the UAE, a document demonstrating that you have the required residence permit that is valid for at least three months after your intended departure date from a Schengen country
  • Proof of accommodation, a document stating where you will be staying in Schengen
  • Proof of financial means like a bank account statement, a sponsorship letter, or a combination of both
  • Proof of paid visa application fees
  • A cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit

Charges for a Schengen Visa

To apply for the visa, you have to pay a non-refundable application fee that is mandatory for all applications.

  • Adults: 340 AED
  • Children between 6 and 12: 170 AED
  • Children under the age of six: free
  • Member of EU / EEA National: free
  • Diplomatic and service passport holders: free

Where do I apply for a Schengen visa in the UAE?

To apply for your Schengen visa from Dubai, we have a dedicated team at Rayna Tours and Travels to help you with your Schengen visa procedures, starting from choosing the right visa to its document compilation, processing, and approval.

You have to be careful while submitting your application. Ensure that your visa application is at the right centre, as your application will be immediately rejected if you lodge at the wrong place.

Schengen visas might often get rejected due to spelling errors or mistakes during the interview. So, always take precautions or seek expert assistance to avoid such inconveniences. However, if it is rejected, you can always apply again or appeal the decision by writing a letter to the Schengen visa office.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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