Entry Conditions For Third-country Nationals
A Schengen visa or a visa exemption does not, in and of itself, entitle a traveller to enter the Schengen Area. The Schengen Borders Code lists requirements which third-country nationals must meet to be allowed into the Schengen Area. For this purpose, a third-country national is a person who does not enjoy the right of free movement (i.e. a person who is not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, nor a family member of such a person who is in possession of a residence permit with the indication "family member of an EU citizen" or "family member of an EEA or CH citizen").
The requirements for entry are as follows:
- The third-country national is in possession of a valid travel document or documents authorising them to cross the border; the acceptance of travel documents for this purpose remains within the domain of the member states;
- The traveller either possesses a valid visa (if required) or a valid residence permit;
- The traveller can justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and has sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to his or her country of origin or transit to a third country into which the traveller is certain to be admitted, or is in a position to acquire such means lawfully;
- The Schengen Information System does not contain an alert for refusal of entry concerning the traveller, and
- The traveller is not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Schengen states.
However, even if the third-country national does not fulfil the criteria for entry, admission may still be granted:
- On humanitarian grounds
- On grounds of national interests
- On grounds of international obligations
- If the person is not in possession of a visa, but fulfils the criteria for being issued a visa at the border
- If the person holds a residence permit or a re-entry visa issued by a Schengen state
Border guards are required to stamp the travel documents of third-country nationals when they cross external borders at all times, even in extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances, including when checks are relaxed. However, nationals of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are exempt from this requirement, as are heads of state, whose visits were announced through diplomatic channels, and holders of local border traffic permits and residence permits. Certain exemptions also apply to the crews of ships and aircraft. Third-country nationals who otherwise fulfil all the criteria for admission into the Schengen area must not be denied entry for the sole reason that there is no remaining empty space in their travel document to affix a stamp; instead, the stamp should be affixed on a separate sheet of paper.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Schengen zone passport stamps|
Exit stamp for air travel issued at Prague airport.
Exit stamp for rail travel, issued at Bad Schandau train station.
Exit stamp for road travel, issued at Korczowa border crossing.
Exit stamp for sea travel, issued at Helsinki port.
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