Travelling in Europe 2023: Your Guide to Required Documents

Planning a trip to Europe in 2023? Whether you are a citizen of an EU country or a non-EU citizen, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the necessary documents for smooth travel. In this guide, we will walk you through the documents you will need, so you can focus on making unforgettable memories.

EU Citizens

If you are a citizen of an EU country, the good news is that most border controls within the Schengen area have been abolished, thanks to the Schengen Agreement. This means that when you travel between EU countries, you generally won’t need to show your passport or identity card at the borders.

The Schengen area includes not only EU countries but also Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. So, if you plan to go skiing in Switzerland or explore the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland, you can do so without worrying about passport checks when crossing the border from the EU.

However, it’s important to note that in exceptional circumstances, such as a serious threat to public safety or security, border controls within the Schengen area may be reintroduced temporarily.

While you may not need a passport for border checks within the Schengen area, it’s still advisable to carry a valid travel document (passport or ID card) with you when traveling in the EU. This may be required for identification or security purposes. Additionally, children must have their own passport or ID card, and the only valid identification is the one obtained from your national authority.

If you plan to travel to or return from EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area, you will need to present a valid passport or ID card. It’s important to remember that everyone, including EU citizens, crossing the EU’s external borders is subject to systematic checks against relevant databases.

Before embarking on your journey outside the EU, it’s crucial to check the specific document requirements of the non-EU country you intend to visit. Regulations may vary, so it’s better to be prepared.

Visa

The great news for EU citizens is that visa-free travel is applicable when traveling within the EU. So, you won’t need a visa to explore the wonders of Europe. However, it’s always a good idea to stay informed about any changes in travel regulations, so bookmark the official website of the European Union (https://europa.eu/!uC67MV) to stay updated.

Non-EU Citizens

If you are not a citizen of an EU country, the document requirements may differ slightly. However, citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are treated as EU citizens for travel and entry purposes since these countries are part of the Schengen area.

Passport

For non-EU citizens, a valid passport is a must when traveling to Europe. Ensure that your passport is up-to-date and has enough validity to cover your planned stay.

Visa

Citizens from more than 100 countries require a visa to visit the EU. However, it’s important to note that the list of countries requiring visas to travel to Ireland differs slightly from other EU countries. To apply for a visa, you can contact the consulate or embassy of the EU country you plan to visit or the one that is your main destination.

If you already have a Schengen visa, you can travel to all Schengen countries. In case you hold a valid long-stay visa or residence permit issued by one of the Schengen countries, you can enjoy a stay of up to 90 days in other Schengen countries. However, please note that you may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen EU countries.

It’s worth mentioning that there are more than 60 countries and territories whose citizens are exempt from the visa requirement for visits of up to 90 days in the EU. However, starting from 2024, visitors from these countries will be required to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization. The ETIAS will be mandatory for traveling to any Schengen or non-Schengen countries listed in the earlier table, except Ireland. This new system aims to enhance security and streamline border procedures, ensuring a hassle-free experience for travelers.

To stay informed about the latest updates regarding travel authorizations and visa requirements, visit the official website of the European Union (https://europa.eu/etias).

So, whether you are an EU citizen or a non-EU citizen, it’s crucial to have the right documents in order to enjoy a seamless and delightful journey across Europe. Don’t let the lack of proper documentation hinder your travel dreams. Prepare well in advance and embark on an adventure of a lifetime!

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