Since 14 June 1985, the “Schengen area” has meant the area comprising the fifteen countries that in 2008 joined the Schengen Agreement (their number changed recently and may increase further in the coming years), namely:
- The Netherlands,
- and Germany.
and therefore since 2008:
- the Czech Republic,
- and Switzerland.
Accordingly it is important to note that not all countries of the European Union are covered by the Schengen Agreements (and vice versa, as in the case of Iceland or Norway).
The Schengen Agreements are intended to assure free movement of people within the Schengen area. Accordingly any Schengen visa issued by a member state of the Schengen Agreement is valid for the entire Schengen territory. It is issued for a maximum stay of 90 days per semester.
All foreign nationals legally residing in one of the Schengen states can make short stays in other Member States if they hold a valid passport recognised by all Schengen states and a residence permit issued by the authorities of the country of residence.
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