US Citizens Traveling to Schengen Countries
If you are a US citizen who will be traveling to the Schengen area, you are in for a surprise. Traveling to Europe is easier than you expected! With the Schengen Borders Agreement, US citizens will be able to travel freely across member-country borders without having to present their passport each time. You will not need a visa as long as you spend 90 days or less in these countries. Under this agreement, you can enter the Schengen area as long as your stay does not exceed 90 days within a 6 month period.
What documents should you bring upon entry?
US Passport – As a US citizen, you will need to make sure that the validity of your passport extends 90 days after your initial arrival in the Schengen area.
Proof of funds – You will need to bring documentation that shows that you have sufficient finances to support your entire stay in the region.
Purpose of travel – You will need to provide a reason – and documentation that can support this -for your travel to the region.
Other items you may need – You may also need to show additional entry documents depending on the countries you will be traveling to. Be sure to investigate each destination country and any additional paperwork required.
More information: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/go/schengen-fact-sheet.html
South African Travelers
South African passport holders require a Schengen Visa and the Austrian Embassy of Austria in Pretoria, has a Visa Application Centre operated by VFS Visa Processing South Africa Pty Ltd.
The visa applications are to be submitted either at the Austria Visa Application Centre in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. All applications will be assessed by The Embassy of Austria, Pretoria. The Austria Visa Application Centre offers the option of courier service for return of your documents submitted to us, directly at your doorstep.
For more information and also booking of appointments and required documentation: www.vfsglobal.com/austria/southafrica/
Australia has Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreements with the Schengen countries including: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
This means that Australian passport holders can visit these countries without a visa, some of them up till 90 days, but you will need to check with the authorities of these countries personally. These countries are all signatories of the Schengen Treaty following which they have open borders among them. So there are no over land border controls between them, unless you cross a no non-member country on your way from the one to the other. If you fly directly between them there will be no immigration formalities, although the airline or security services may have reasons to check your passport.
For more information: www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/TravelBulletins/Europe_Schengen