Published at: 06/03/2014 01:31 pm
Citizens of third countries who are residents in the EU, EU citizens of EU member states, and visitors to the EU need to be able to freely and safely travel within the European Union. The Schengen Area has made this a concrete reality for everyone.
The Schengen Zone is an area without internal borders, within many citizens, many non-EU nationals, tourists and business people can freely travel and circulate without border checks. Today encompasses almost all EU member states and a few associated non-EU countries.
While the members of the Schengen area abolished their internal borders, the member states of the Schengen Agreement restricted the controls at the external borders to ensure the security inside the Schengen area.
The citizens of other (third or non-EU) countries can travel and live with various types of visas and permits inside the Schengen area. Of course the best solution is a permanent residency permit of one member state to have a permanent Schengen visa.
The EU has also created a uniform format for the resident permits (temporary or permanent) for the non-EU nationals. THis is used not only in the EU member states but as well in Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and in Lichtenstein.These residence permits are the only documents (stand alone documents) which the residents need to live and travel in the Schengen Area. These residence permits are including the same biometric features as the passports of any EU member states.
If the the non-EU national resident is a family member of an European citizen, also naturally can have the residency permit and the residence card to exercise his/her right to free movement.
If someone participates in any EU member state’s residency program will have a temporary and after a permanent residence permit. However for the first time the applicant will need a visa to enter into the European Union. All EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland use uniform format for visas. The visa holder’s biometric identifiers won’t be stored in the visa sticker (the residence permit is different!) but in a database.