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Schengen – Connecting Borders
What does Schengen mean?
In 1985, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands decided to abolish checks on persons crossing over their internal borders. This border control-free territory became known as the Schengen area, after the small town in Luxembourg where the first agreement was signed.
Today the Schengen area is composed of 24 states, and most of it overlaps with European Union (EU) territory. Although Great Britain, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania are EU member states, they have not signed the Schengen Agreement. Also, Norway and Iceland are not EU member states, but they are part of the Schengen area.
One of the principles of Schengen is the free movement of persons.
Checks of persons are not carried out at internal border crossings. There are only border controls at the Schengen area’s external borders.
Uniform rules for entering the Schengen area
Citizens of non-Schengen states visiting the Schengen area
Citizens of non-Schengen states who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area may stay there for up to 90 days within a 6-month period, starting from the date of first entry into the Schengen area.
Citizens of non-Schengen states who are required to obtain a visa to enter the Schengen area may stay there in accordance with the conditions established in the visa, though not for more than 90 days within a 6-month period, starting from the date of first entry into the Schengen area.
A citizen of a non-Schengen state receives a stamp in his/her passport when he/she goes through border control upon entering the Schengen area, which designates the official beginning of his/her stay in the area. The passport is also stamped when the person leaves the Schengen area.
If a person’s passport does not contain the Schengen stamp, the border guard has reason to believe that the individual does not fulfill, or no longer fulfils, the proper requirements for staying in the Schengen area.
With free movement of persons, how is security guaranteed in Schengen states?
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