Tourist Visa to France.

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Because I use the terms EU and EEA on this page, I shall briefly define them here.

The European Union has 28 Member States:

  1. Belgium – founding member since 23 July 1952
  2. France – founding member since 23 July 1952
  3. Germany – founding member since 23 July 1952
  4. Italy – founding member since 23 July 1952
  5. Luxembourg – founding member since 23 July 1952
  6. the Netherlands – founding member since 23 July 1952
  7. Denmark since 1 January 1973
  8. Ireland since 1 January 1973
  9. United Kingdom since 1 January 1973
  10. Greece since 1 January 1981
  11. Portugal since 1 January 1986
  12. Spain since 1 January 1986
    (Former Eastern Germany after German reunification 3 October 1990)
  13. Austria since 1 January 1995
  14. Finland since 1 January 1995
  15. Sweden since 1 January 1995
  16. Czech Republic since 1 May 2004
  17. Cyprus (Greek part) since 1 May 2004
  18. Estonia since 1 May 2004
  19. Hungary since 1 May 2004
  20. Latvia since 1 May 2004
  21. Lithuania since 1 May 2004
  22. Malta since 1 May 2004
  23. Poland since 1 May 2004
  24. Slovakia since 1 May 2004
  25. Slovenia since 1 May 2004
  26. Bulgaria since 1 January 2007
  27. Romania since 1 January 2007
  28. Croatia since 1 July 2013
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

The European Economic Area was created by a treaty that extended EU Single Market legislation to:

  • the EU Member States
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Norway.

Schengen: Free Movement of Persons

The Schengen Agreement lays down the conditions for free movement of persons in most of the EU and three more countries. The Schengen zone covers:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland (not EU member)
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway (not EU member)
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland (only land borders are concerned by the absence of control)

The Service Public site has a good explanation of the rules. There is no border control within the zone, but personal identification must be carried. EEA nationals must carry either a national ID card or a passport not expired more than five years ago. As what concerns nationals of other countries, visas issued by Schengen Members are valid for the entire zone. Non-EEA nationals who are legally resident in a Schengen Member State may travel for up to three months throughout the zone without visa, but they must carry a current residence permit issued by a Schengen Member and a current travel document (passport or similar). The family of an EEA national has the right to follow the EEA national upon who they depend throughout the EEA, regardless of their nationality. If a visa is required, it must be issued free of charge.

Schengen is the name of a village in the south east corner of Luxembourg where the borders of Luxembourg, Germany and France meet. The agreement was signed aboard a boat on the Moselle river that is also the natural border between Luxembourg and Germany.

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