As everybody knows Europe has many independent countries. Under the usual way if someone wants to enter several countries in Europe he will be entitled to go through visa applications to the related countries to gain an access in each one of them. However by having the Schengen Visa you will be able to access any Schengen member state without the need to apply for visa to each of the member state separately. Therefore you will save time, money and other related expenses beside the inconvenience of the procedures. The Schengen Visa is a visitor visa and is issued to persons who need to obtain a visa before entering Europe e.g. non-European citizens.

The Schengen Zone doesn't include necessarily only or all the EU member states. Hence when you want to visit an EU member state but not a Schengen State you must follow the necessary procedures like the separate visa application. The list of the countries of the Schengen Zone includes the following: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland. Although Cyprus is an EU Member is not yet a part of Schengen Area. However Cyprus and three other EU countries Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are obliged to eventually join the Schengen Area and it's a matter of time to become members.

Upon the issuance of the Schengen Visa the Visa holder has the right to enter a country- member in Schengen Area and travel freely throughout the Area for a maximum stay of up to 90 days in a 180 day period. Furthermore Visa holders are not allowed to live permanently or work in Schengen Area members as they are only able to travel in the Area as temporary visitors.

Schengen Visa is not a substitute of passport or ID so in order to enter a Schengen Area State you will still have to satisfy the border's control requirements. Upon entering the Schengen Area attention must be given to the valid period of time of staying in order to leave the Area before the expiry dates. Even If you are granted a multiple entry visa with long validity period you need to remember the rule of 90 days within a 180- day period.

If for any reason you wish to visit certain EU countries and/or if you are doing Business in EU, you should conceder obtaining a Schengen Visa. It will make your life much easier and your travelling more fun. It is truly a great 'weapon'.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.