Schengen Agreement

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The Schengen Agreement, as far as travellers are concerned, basically dissolves borders control within all member countries. Once you have entered the Schengen area, you may travel freely within all member countries for 90 days without having to cross passport control points. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you can travel within all member countries without any limits and without a passport. Therefore, the Schengen agreement extension will reveal to be an hassle for Non-EU passport holder, as the nearest border to cross and back (for a new 90 days) will be less reachable.

For Canadian, US, Australian, Neo-Zelandese passport holders, the remaining options will be to cross to the United Kingdom/Ireland or go down to the Balkans and Ukraine once you're nearing your 90 days limits within Schengen.

Notice that sometimes within Schengen borders, especially while going along by train, policemen do come on board and ask to see your documents. Usually it's trouble-free, but they tend to harass Balkans and Turks more often than others.

Member States

28 European states have signed the agreement, including most European countries and three non-EU countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland. Ireland and the United Kingdom did not signed the treaty. 24 of these countries have implemented the agreement so far.

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Schengen countries (blue) and aspirants (green)

Current implementation

Future implementation

Trivia

  • The Schengen Agreement was signed in Schengen, a village directly on the three border point of Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • Close to the village of Schengen there is an access lane onto a motorway which connects Saarbrücken and Luxembourg. This access lane is not very suitable for hitchhiking for three reasons; first there is very little space for drivers to make a stop, second the access lane gives access to both directions on the motorway and third Luxembourgian drivers are not overly prepared to serve rides. Fverhart waited one hour near this access lane, before he finally got a short lift to a service station in Luxembourg.