Europe offers one of the best travel destinations in the world. And this is no secret. Every year, you can find a lot of people making a beeline to the enchanting locales of Europe. Before embarking on the trip, there are certain things that need to be in place before leaving. Schengen Visa and Schengen travel insurance top the list amongst a host of other things. There tend to be a lot of questions, misconceptions as well as confusion surrounding the Schengen Visa. Let’s dive deeper to understand and familiarize ourselves with the nitty-gritty of the Schengen visa with the help of some frequently asked questions.
- Which are the Schengen countries?
The Schengen region comprises of twenty-six countries from the European continent. This covers almost the entirety of Europe. Notable exclusions include the likes of the United Kingdom and Ireland. To shed more light on this, the twenty-six European countries forming the Schengen coalition have signed an agreement called as the Schengen agreement. The Schengen agreement provides for relaxation of visa and passport regulations amongst the member countries. Such flexibility helps a lot in free movement within the Schengen area, making it very convenient for tourist travel. A point to note here is, out of the 26 countries, 22 countries make up the actual Schengen area while the other four are part of Schengen regulations by virtue of signing the Schengen agreement.
- What kind of visa is necessary for visiting Schengen countries?
Schengen visa is something that is mandatory for gaining entry into the Schengen countries. This visa permits free movement within the member countries. However, there is a catch. Generally speaking, you can only enter a Schengen country once. If you need to enter a multiple a number of times, you would need to avail a multiple-entry visa. For instance, if your travel plan entails going to France, then visiting the US, and then to Germany, a multiple-entry visa will get the job done for you.
- Why do you need Schengen travel insurance?
As per the Schengen regulations, availing a Schengen compliant international travel insurance is mandatory. In other words, having a
travel insurance policy
in place is compulsory to obtain a Schengen visa.
Besides the aforementioned mandate, there are a number of benefits that accompany a
Schengen travel insurance policy
. There is a possibility of people facing a medical issue or meeting with an accident abroad. In Europe, paying out of your pocket for medical treatment is very expensive. With travel insurance, medical expenses are taken care of securing us from the financial risk in the process. Additionally, the travel policy can also cover other risks such as passport loss, baggage delay, trip cancellations as well as home burglary.
- Who must purchase Schengen Travel Insurance?
Any individual who intends to visit a Schengen nation for the purpose of business, tourism or academics and falls under the ambit of Schengen visa regulations must purchase Schengen Travel Insurance.
- When issued a visa, for how long can I reside in the Schengen Zone?
Generally speaking, the validity of the Schengen visa is 180 days. That said, note that you can only stay within the Schengen area for 90 days at a stretch. If you need to enter and leave several times, you can do so within a 180 day time window.