Do I Need a Travel Visa to Visit a European Country?

Asian young business man with luggage waiting for travel in airport near flight timetable.
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In general, if you are from North America, Australia, Croatia, Japan, or New Zealand and you are vacationing in a European Union (EU) country for less than three months, a travel visa is not required. All you need is a valid passport that remains valid for at least six months after the date of your return from Europe.

Residents of EU member countries only need an EU passport or ID card to travel between countries. Plus, there are no longer any frontier controls at the borders between 22 EU countries.

Below are travel visa resources for specific European countries or specific visas such as work and student visas.

01 of 06

Countries in Europe

Map of Europe
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 Europe is a poorly defined concept, with different groupings of countries defined as 'Europe' for various purposes. Generally, look at a map of Europe with European Union countries highlighted. You'll figure out which countries comprise Europe.

02 of 06

How Long Can I Stay?

High Angle View Of Thumbtacks On Map of Europe
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You used to be able to exit a European country, then come back and continue with your stay. No longer. The maximum length of stay in Europe for non-European Union passport holders is determined by the Schengen accord and is currently limited to 90 days within any 180-day period. For the 26 Schengen member countries, borders between European countries exist only on maps. 

The UK is a non-Schengen country and allows tourist stays of up to six months.

Schengen Area Member States

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein

Of the Schengen Area's 26 member states, 22 fully implement the Schengen Aquis and four—all members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)—implement the Schengen Aquis through agreements related to the Schengen Agreement.

Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland are associated members of the Schengen Area but not members of the European Union. 

03 of 06


Aerial view of Preveli palm beach and lagoon, Rethymno, Crete, Greece, Mediterranean
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The visa requirements for entering Greece are pretty easy and straightforward. We can't say the same for the countries that require a visa before entering Greece.

04 of 06


Aerial Panorama of Lofoten in Summer, Norway
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Likewise, visa requirements for Schengen associated members Norway and Iceland and for other Scandinavian countries are not worrisome or burdensome. These are the Scandinavian visa requirements by country:

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06


Aerial View of Hyde Park in the Center of London, England
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The UK has slightly different regulations from the rest of the EU, so you'll need to bone up on visas before visiting the UK; a good starting point is to call the nearest UK embassy or consulate and then to ask for assistance and an appointment. You can stay up to six months on vacation in the UK on a Schengen visa.

06 of 06


Aerial view of Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France
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The visa requirements for visiting France are, likewise, pretty straightforward.

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