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The latest in the world of business news has to do with changes to employees and businesses who travel to Europe for work. A Schengen visa is a very specific type of Visa. The Schengen visa is a type of Visa you get for short-term stays specifically in the Schengen area. The Schengen area consists of 26 countries on the European continent who are part of the agreement which allows citizens from member countries to freely travel throughout all the different countries without having to go through border control or passport control. 

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The idea behind this Schengen area was that all the countries who were part of the European Union needed a way to easily cross borders without having to stop at passport control every time they did whether it was for personal travel or business travel. Given the close proximity of many countries in Europe, one can easily drive across three or four countries in a day. This Schengen Zone makes it possible for people in Portugal to travel throughout Germany or Belgium or Finland or Estonia without having to go through passport control or border control every time.

A Schengen visa is something that is given to people who are not a citizen of one of these member countries providing them with the same freedom to travel throughout all of the member countries. It doesn’t require anything beyond a valid passport from an approved country and it makes it easy for multiple visits for business, tourism, visiting friends, sporting events, medical reasons, even short-term study.

Common Problems

Until recently it was possible for visitors from places like Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US to simply book a flight to a Schengen member country like Lithuania or France and upon arrival get a stamp in their passport that constituted the Visa. Recent changes now allow individuals to pay a flat fee and apply for a visa that is valid for up to five years. The restrictions of not being able to stay more than 90 days every 6 months is still true but, you get an official visa instead of just a stamp in your passport each time you come in and out of the European Union.

If you have schengen visa problems because of this new application or the Visa appointments, you might consider working with a qualified attorney. There are plenty of problems that can arise even after you have applied for and received a Visa such as out staying the 90-day limit within a six-month time frame. 

What if I have an immigration problem with one member of the Schengen region?

The legality of the Schengen Zone and the immigration opportunities therein can be very complicated.

For example: An individual enters the European Union through France, with a valid working Visa. That Visa allows them to work, live, and travel throughout the whole of the European Union, but then it expires. Now the individual travels 2 Hungary where they initiate the 90-day Schengen visa through customs. This means the individual has 90 days left on their current Visa in the European Union, at least within member states. When that person decides to leave the European Union, if they stay beyond the ninety days allocated by the Schengen visa, the punishments they receive will be based on the national laws for the country where they were living such as France, or the country through which they depart through customs. If their flight leaves France but has a connection in Barcelona and leaves from Barcelona back to America, any legal problems with an invalid Visa would be based on Spain’s immigration laws and not necessarily on France’s immigration laws. 

Should I work with an international immigration lawyer?

If you are having trouble with a Schengen visa, working with an international immigration attorney can be a much better solution for you then a local or national attorney. An immigration lawyer UK based can give you in depth legal advice about your situation, prepare you for the potential consequences of staying beyond the time frame of a visa, and more. 

Why is this?

Because an international law firm will handle Schengen visa issues as they relate to all of the countries in the European Union and beyond rather than just having knowledge of the rules, regulations, or penalties for one particular country. That said, national-level immigration lawyers might prove just as useful especially if you are looking to convert your Schengen visa into a work visa for one country in the European Union or if you are trying to apply for citizenship in one of the member countries. 

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