Q:

What are some member countries of the Schengen Borders Agreement?

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Quick Answer

The Schengen Borders Agreement includes 26 European countries as of 2015, including France, Italy Germany, Spain, Austria and Poland. The agreement creates the Schengen Area, within which individuals can travel freely without stopping at international borders. It covers most European Union countries.

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Full Answer

Not all European countries are part of the Schengen Area. Countries not in the Schengen Area include the United Kingdom, Ireland and most of the Balkan states.

The Schengen Area creates a single external border around most European countries. While the Schengen Borders Agreement removes border controls within Europe, it also strengthens and unifies border controls around the common external border. The Schengen Borders Code governs this external border, and programs such as the Schengen Information System allow Schengen states to exchange data on persons of interest.

The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. travelers not to travel with a passport that expires in fewer than six months due to restrictions on passport expiry dates in the Schengen Area. Schengen Area countries allow U.S. citizens with a valid passport to stay for three months or fewer, during a six-month period, without requiring a visa. Visitors wishing to stay longer must apply for a visa with the country they expect to be in longest.

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