How to apply for a Schengen visa in Ghana

A Schengen visa permits the holder to travel through the schengen area for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. 26 countries make up the Schengen area and they have their borders opened. Travelers do not pass through passport control.

Though schengen visa gives you access to all the member states, you are to obtain the visa from the country which you intend visiting first.

You can apply for a Schengen visa up to 90 days before your planned date of travel.

Travel within the schengen area is like a domestic trip from Accra to Kumasi. Only an ID is required but sometimes airlines check to see if you still have a valid schengen visa. When traveling from Paris to Frankfurt, not even my Passport was checked.

The Schengen States

Below are the member states of schengen where schengen visas allow travelers to pass freely.

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

 

European countries that are not member of the Schengen States

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Croatia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Ireland
  5. Romania
  6. United Kingdom

Visa Requirement

The member states have uniform visa requirements except when you are visiting friends, family members or settling.

Below are the requirements for Schengen Visa:

General Requirements for all Schengen countries

  1. Appointment confirmation; if the embassy requires you book an appointment in advance.
  2. Completed and signed visa application form for Schengen visa. Most embassies prefer the signing date matches the date of submission.
  3. 1 recent passport picture with white background
  4. Visa fee; payable in Ghana Cedis
  5. Valid passport and 1 copy of the passport data page. It should have at least two blank pages for visa and stamps and must be valid for at least 6 months.
  6. Previous passports, if any or available
  7. Birth certificate
  8. Flight reservation for round-trip (not a paid ticket)
  9. Travel health insurance valid for all Schengen States. It’s always good for your insurance to exceed your intended number of days.
  10. Proof of accommodation / hotel reservation. Learn how to book hotel to support visa application here.

11. Proof of sufficient financial means for intended stay

  •  If you are paying for your trip yourself, personal bank statement for the past three to six months
  • If you will be sponsored by someone, READ HERE.
  •  If costs will be covered by the host/institution, it should be indicated in the invitation letter. Each country has a special document/invitation letter where such undertaking is made. See the country specific requirements for more details (coming soon).

12. Proof of social and economic ties to country of residence

  •  marriage certificate and birth certificates of dependent children, if applicable
  • current personal bank statements of the last 3 months
  • for children and students: official leave letter from school or university, including proof of paid school fees and reports
  • if employed: letter of introduction from employer and payslips of the last 3 months
  • if self-employed: business registration documents, tax clearance certificate, proof of active business (bills of lading, import declaration forms, invoices)

Minors

Applicants below 18 years of age are considered minors. If a minor is not accompanied by both parents: parental consent of both parents and copies of their passport/photo ID are required.

In case of sole parental custody, adequate proof has to be provided (e.g. court order, death certificate of other parent).

Additional requirements based on purpose of travel

Airport Transit

  1. Visa/residence permit for final destination. It almost impossible to obtain a transit visa when your final destination is a visa-free country.
  2. Proof of purpose of trip to country of final destination (e.g. invitation letter)

Business

  1. Signed invitation letter from inviting company
  2. Proof of inviting company is registered
  3. Verifiable proof of business with inviting company or proof of down payment, if applicable
  4. Letter from company in country of residence stating purpose of trip

Visit

Signed invitation letter and copy of host’s passport and residence permit. Invitation letters vary depending on member state. Details on how to obtain invitation letters from various countries will be published on Jetsanza.com soon.

Proof of family relation (e.g. birth certificate), if applicable

If purpose of trip is attending a funeral: additionally death certificate of the deceased and confirmation of appointment from the funeral home

Tourism

Travel itinerary. See sample here.

Medical Treatment

  1. Letter from local doctor stating diagnosis
  2. Letter from foreign hospital/doctor stating agreement to treat patient and expected duration
    of treatment.
  3. Overview of estimated costs of surgery/treatment.
  4. Proof of sufficient financial means for treatment and costs of living during the stay
  5. Proof of advance payment of at least 50% – receipt from foreign hospital/doctor

Sports

  1. Letter of invitation from organizer, inviting company or sports club
  2. Letter of introduction from Ghana Sports Council and/or respective sports association/federation that there is no objection for applicant to engage in tournaments or trials for transfers.
  3. Proof of sporting ability (e.g. CV, world ranking, trophies, selection for national team, personal records)

Cultural

  1. Letter of introduction of association and musician card & proof of musical activities
  2. For recording: studio contract & transfer slip for instalment of studio fees
  3. For lessons: contract stating duration and payment
  4. For festivals or concerts: detailed concert schedule, contract stating duration and payment

Internship/Training/Language Course

  1. Letter from host institution or confirmed registration
  2. Information on duration (working hours a week), if applicable
  3. Information on expected salary, if applicable
  4. Proof of payment of the course (for language courses/training)

Trade Fair

Visitors: trade fair ticket

Exhibitors: proof of registration at the trade fair and proof of payment

Letter of introduction from company in country of residence, company’s business registration documents, tax clearance certificate and bank statements of the last 3 to 6 months.

 

Application Process

Schengen visa application process varies from member state to the other. Process for each member state will be available on Jetsanza.com shortly.

READ: How to get Schengen Visa from the German Embassy

How to get Schengen Visa from German Embassy in Ghana

Germany is one of the Schengen countries and as such issues Schengen visas for visa applicants traveling for short stay up to 90 days for business purposes, visits, holidays etc.

Only apply for a Schengen visa at the German Embassy if Germany is your main destination in the Schengen area.

Unlike other embassies, German Embassy has enough chairs for all visa applicants and even people accompanying them (It’s advisable to leave any other person home, unless minors or people who need assistance). They have nice reception right from the staff arranging your documents to the interviewer. They treat you as human even if they deny you visa.

There’s water to drink, books to whet your appetite for German tours and culture, and toys for the kids (didn’t see the toys last time I visited but they’ve been there).

Avoid the use of middlemen/connection men/visa contractors. They may affect your travel negatively. Read more about connection men HERE.

Germany/Schengen Visa Application Process

Schengen Visa Requirement

First make sure you meet all the schengen visa requirements and that your documents to prove are set. Click HERE to see all the requirements for Schengen visa. For country specific requirement, see the Checklist provided by the German Embassy on it’s website HERE.

Book Appointment

Unlike the Netherlands Embassy, appointment to apply for visa at the German Embassy is free. Click HERE to book your appointment.

You should receive an email after your booking. Crosscheck your email address to make sure you don’t miss the confirmation.

Prepare for interview

Based on personal experiences, the outcome of your visa application is highly dependent on your interview performance. Prepare well for your interview and really make sure you know what you are up to. I’ll be sharing with you more details on what to know ahead of the interview in my subsequent posts.

Honour your appointment

The appointment confirmation comes with no address but you can locate the German Embassy at No. 6, Kenneth Kaunda Road, North Ridge, Accra. The nearest landmark is Accra High School.

Depending on where you are coming from, take note of the traffic in town and set in early. You are expected to report at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. It’s advised you report early even an hour before time in order to be able to get additional documents, or photocopies that you forgot to make, or didn’t have idea of getting them.

Remember to have your visa fee on you. It’s EUR 60 and payable in cash and in Ghana Cedis only.

Collection of Passport

After the interview, your conscience should tell you if you are getting or not and I bet you that you won’t be surprised on the collection date. You will be given 4-working days to collect your passport. The date and time for collection will be indicated on your receipt.

List Of Countries That Do Not Need Schengen Visa To Travel To Schengen Member Countries

A Schengen Visa grants the holder access to 26 countries in the Schengen zone and to some other 30+ non-schengen countries. Countries that do not appear on this list require a visa when traveling to a member country.

Countries whose nationals do not need a Schengen Visa to enter the Schengen area

The countries below can enter the Schengen area and stay up to 90 days within every 180 days without a visa.

Albania* Israel Saint Vincent
Andorra Japan Samoa
Antigua and Barbuda Kiribati Serbia*
Argentina Macao S.A.R*** Seychelles
Australia Malaysia Singapore
Bahamas Marshall Islands Solomon Islands
Barbados Mauritius South Korea
Bosnia and Herzegovina* Mexico Taiwan**
Brazil Micronesia Timor Leste
Brunei Moldova* Tonga
Canada Monaco Trinidad and Tobago
Chile Montenegro* Tuvalu
Colombia Nauru Ukraine
Costa Rica New Zealand United Arab Emirates
Dominica Nicaragua United Kingdom
El Salvador North Macedonia* British Nationals (Overseas)
Georgia Palau British Overseas Territories Citizens
Grenada Panama British Protected Persons
Guatemala Paraguay United States of America
Holy See (Vatican City State) Peru Uruguay
Honduras Saint Kitts and Nevis Vanuatu
Hong Kong S.A.R*** Saint Lucia Venezuela

 

* Eligible only if they are holders of biometric passports.

** Eligible only if passport contains an identity card number.

*** Visa-free regime applies only to holders of a “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” passport.

*** Visa-free regime applies only to holders of a “Região Administrativa Especial de Macau” passport.

READ ALSO: Things to note before traveling to a visa-free country

Schengen Visa fee goes up; other positive changes go into effect from February 2, 2020

Macro photo of shengen visa
Macro photo of shengen visa stamp in passport

Schengen visa application fees are going up, and applicants are to pay 80 euros Starting from Monday, February 2, 2020.

For so many years, the visa fee for Schengen short-stay visas have stood at 60 euros.

The EU Council adopted the new policy in June 2019, and all Schengen Member States are to oblige.

“Since Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) is binding in its entirety, and is directly applicable in all EU Member States in accordance with the Treaties, all Schengen countries, including Lithuania, will apply it from 2 February 2020,” an official from the Information Monitoring and Media Division of Lithuania explained to schengenvisainfo.com.

When the new rules take effect, travellers would be able to submit their applications up to six months before their intended travel dates instead of the existing three months. Frequent travellers with good travel history would be receiving long-validity multiple-entry visas.

Netherlands visas are being refused; reasons for refusal and how to avoid them

Netherlands visa applications in Ghana
Netherlands visa applications in Ghana

It’s fascinating to know that visa applicants only seek for professional advice after their visa applications have been refused. A good number of people who have been denied visas contact me daily for advice on the to do next. Few things cut across all the refused Netherlands visa applications. All the applicants who applied without Invitation Letters from the Netherlands had almost the same reasons for their visa denial.

The reasons for visa refusal for those travelling to stay in a hotel are either two or more of the following:

1. Sufficient justification for the purpose and circumstances of the intended stay was not provided. You were unable to provide plausible, verifiable information about the purpose and circumstances of your stay. Consequently, it cannot be determined with sufficient certainty that all the conditions for the issue of a visa have been met.

2. Your hotel reservation has lapsed, and no other reservation has been made in its place. As a result, the purpose of your journey cannot be confirmed.

3. Your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained. Since it has not been demonstrated or established to a reasonable degree of credibility that you have a regular and substantial income in your country of origin/habitual residence to support yourself, it is not felt to be sufficiently probable that you will return to your country of origin promptly.

4. You have failed to demonstrate that you have significant social and/or economic ties to your country of origin or country of habitual residence. As a result, your prompt return following the conclusion of your intended stay cannot be ensured. In this connection, it should be noted that one of the basic criteria for the issue of visas is the prevention of illegal migration. In determining whether there is a risk of illegal migration, immigration authorities examine the local and general situation in an applicant’s country of origin/long-term residence and his/her specific personal situation.

5. Sufficient justification for the purpose and circumstances of the intended stay was not provided. Although you have stated that the primary place of residence during your trip is in the member state of destination you indicated, this is not supported by the documents submitted.

Causes of Netherlands visa application refusal

The requirements for a Netherlands visa include a plausible travel itinerary. The keyword here is “Plausible”, which means “probable”. What this means is that applicants are to tell the Consular how they intend to spend their days in the Netherlands in the form of a written itinerary detailing a “possible” plan. Though resources are available on the internet to help travellers plan their trip, someone who has never visited the country is likely to make some errors unless maybe an assistance was sought. Such errors are expected to be overlooked, but in recent refusal notices issued to visa applicants, the Embassy instead requests for a “verifiable information about the purpose and circumstances of your stay”. If an applicant intends to visit the Red Light District, how is this information expected to be verifiable? Red Light District is not an attraction where you can book for entry tickets. It’s accessed for free, so one may wonder how the Consular expects to verify this information.

A critical look at the above reasons show that the Embassy expect applicants to confirm their travels contrary to the advice that visa applicants should not confirm any aspect of their travels unless the visa is issued. For reasons yet to be known, hotels request for applicants to pay for their stay in advance despite the hotel agreeing at the time of booking that applicants would pay when checking in. It has not yet been established if the Embassy requests the hotel to confirm if truly the applicant has secured the room and would be staying there during his/her vacation in the country. Applicants who are not sure of getting visas ignore the hotel’s request for advance payment.

Once you fall into the hotel and itinerary issues, other reasons are added to you as bonus LOL. The problem of not having enough funds, substantial income, economic and social ties come in. When a visa applicant is not able to prove his/her travel intentions, it is then assumed that the applicant may not leave the country before the expiry of the visa.

How to avoid refusal of Netherlands Visa application

The key to a successful visa application is making your intentions clear and supporting it with enough evidence. Genuine travellers mostly do not have issues with their finances but get their visas refused because they failed or did not provide enough documents to support their purpose of travel.

Holidaymakers suffer the most when it comes providing enough documents to support their purpose of travel. A mere hotel booking and plausible itinerary have lately proven not sufficient in telling a Consular that applicant is genuinely travelling for tourism purposes. These requirements are usually ‘waived’ for applicants with travel experiences.

The only way an applicant can make his/her case stronger in confirming the purpose or intention is to buy a tour package. A package that includes accommodation, local transport and a professional guide that will take the tourist to all the places mentioned in the plausible travel itinerary. In this case, it’s no more PLAUSIBLE, but CONFIRMED itinerary. This single document will do away with the issues of lapsed hotel reservation and the inability to verify information about the purpose of your travel. The other reasons come up when the applicant fails to meet these two.

When buying tour packages, take note of the refund policies so that you don’t lose much should the embassy find other reasons to deny you the visa. With a confirmed tour package, applicants have had their entire stay in the Netherlands paid in advance, and the likelihood of getting a visa refused is very minimal if enough documents about the applicant’s personal circumstances in the country of residence are included.

Itinerary: Visit Five Schengen Countries In Six Days

After going through the struggles to secure a short-stay Schengen visa, the next wish of the traveller is to be able to visit as many Schengen countries as possible. Those on a high budget usually use flights to connect quickly to other countries, but this isn’t the best as land travel itself is an experience. It allows the traveller to see the several cities as he’s been driven through other countries.

The travel itinerary below covers five countries; the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg in six days. We can plan and do this together with a local guide. Complete the form below the article to show your interest.

Itinerary: How to visit five European countries in six days

Day 01: Amsterdam – Brussels – Paris

In the morning we’ll head to Brussels, the Belgian capital and political centre of the European Union. Our first stop will be the Atomium monument, a cell-shaped structure of stainless steel spheres and tubes built for the 1958 World’s Fair. Then it’s on to Grand Place and Town Hall, the crowning achievement of Gothic civil architecture.

After a look at Manneken Pis, the famous tinkling cherub, we’ll head to the French border and make a beeline for Paris.

Day 02: Paris – Versailles – Paris

We’ll begin our Paris adventure with a drive along the famous Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde, which played a crucial role in one of darkest chapters of the French Revolution. You’ll also get to see the iconic Arc de Triomphe. Next, we’ll head to L’Hotel National des Invalides, which houses Napoleon’s tomb and several other monuments relating the military history of France.

Next, we’ll travel on coach through the Parisian suburbs to the splendid Palace of Versailles, the residence of the royal family until the start of the revolution in 1789. We’ll return to Paris in the evening. After dinner, you may want to avail yourself of the optional cruise along the river Seine.

We will make a stop at Eiffel Tower right after L’Hotel National des Invalides. You can either take time to explore the neighbourhood and have some lunch or scale the Eiffel Tower. Choice is yours.

Day 03: Paris

The second day of our Paris experience begins with a visit to the Louvre, the grande dame of art museums. Here you will set your eyes upon some of the highest-valued masterpieces of the Western world, including the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Mona Lisa.

After lunch we’ll head to Boulevard Haussmann, a shopper’s paradise in the heart of Paris, where you will be free to shop till you drop. Accommodations for the evening will either be in Paris or a neighbouring city. Before you leave this captivating city, don’t miss the world-famous cabaret shows at the Lido and Moulin Rouge (optional).

Day 04: Paris – Reims – Luxembourg

After breakfast, we’ll venture out of Paris and into the rolling countryside of Champagne, famous the world over for its sparkling white wine. A hefty dose of history, tradition and architecture is yours for the taking in Reims, where every king from the 11th century on was formally anointed.

Our last stop on this day is Luxembourg, the world’s only remaining grand duchy. Highlights include the Adolphe Bridge, Place de la Constitution and the Alzette River Valley. We will stay overnight in Luxembourg or a neighbouring city.

Day 05: Luxembourg – Trier – Koblenz – Frankfurt

Our first stop is historic Trier, Germany’s oldest city and the former capital of the Western Roman Empire. Trier is also the hometown of Karl Marx, the father of Communist thought. We’ll visit his former residence, which now houses the Karl Marx Haus museum. After a lesson in ideology, we’ll make our way to Porta Nigra, the largest and most well-preserved Roman city gate north of the Alps. After an exciting morning in Trier, we’ll drive to Koblenz, the town located at the confluence of the Rhine and Mosel Rivers.

In the summertime, you will have the option of joining a scenic river cruise on the Rhine. We’ll make a short stop in Ruedesheim to see the Niederwalddenkmal, a monument built in the late 19th century to commemorate the founding of the German Empire. Then it’s off to Frankfurt, the largest financial centre in all of Europe. There you will see the Old Opera House (Alte Oper); Roemerberg, the historic heart of Frankfurt; St. Paul’s Church, where the freely-elected National Assembly drafted Germany’s first united constitution; and Die Zeit, Germany’s busiest shopping street.

Note: The Rhine boat cruise operates from April to October.

Day 06: Frankfurt – Bonn – Cologne – Amsterdam

We will have breakfast at the hotel, then make our way to Bonn, the former capital of West Germany. There we will visit Beethoven House and University of Bonn, then head to Cologne to see the iconic Cologne Cathedral, followed by a stroll along the shopping street Schildergasse. Our final destination on Day 6 is Amsterdam.

Should we try this itinerary? Fill the form below if you want us to:

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Three Ways To Move To Spain Legally

Spain, the European Union and Schengen member state, is currently the preferred country for investors, business persons and the elderly looking for a place to retire.

Spain has at least three immigration programs for persons looking for resident permits to work or live in the country. With time, residents qualify for Permanent residency and Citizenship.

One of the three programs discussed in the article may be suitable for you.

Investor-Residency (Golden Visa)

Every country has this kind of program for investors who want to stay in the country. As others require that you invest in selected industries, Spain requires that you invest in Spanish property(ies).

The Investor Residency permit requires an investment of at least 500.000€ in Spanish property(ies). If you are not interested in this investment, you can also apply by depositing €1,000,000 in a Spanish bank account.

Your spouse and all children under 18 years can be included in your application to move with you to Spain. Several notable Ghanaians have taken advantage of this residency program.

A temporary residence, of 10 years is granted to you and your family, and it is also possible to obtain permanent residency in Spain and Spanish Citizenship after the ten years.

Interested in Investor Residency? Contact SpainResidency, experts in assisting applicants put in their applications.

Self-Employed Residency (Business owner)

If you wish to work in Spain but do not have over €500,000 for the Investor Residency, you can go in for the Self-Employed Residency. This program helps interested persons to start or expand their own business to obtain Spanish Residency.

You need to have a business plan and enough funds to set up that business. The amount required depends on your business plan. However, €100,000 is recommended as it is enough to start almost all businesses.

Your spouse and children under 18 can travel with you on this program as well.

After spending five years in Spain as Self-Employer with Spain Residency, the renewal of your permit is issued as a permanent residency.
Interested in Self-Employed Residency? Contact SpainResidency, experts in assisting applicants put in their applications.

Non-Lucrative Residency (Retirement or International-Income or Work-Remotely)

The Non-Lucrative Residency Permit is for applicants who wish to retire in Spain, or for those that can conduct their business remotely while in Spain.

This permit requires proof of receiving a regular income anywhere in the world either from a business activity, corporate dividends or interest on investments. It does not allow the applicant to work in Spain officially.
Interested in Non-Lucrative Residency? Contact SpainResidency, experts in assisting applicants put in their applications.

15 interesting facts about Andorra that will surprise you

If you’ve been wondering why 10.2 million people visit Andorra annually, then these interesting facts about the small European country should tell you why.

ANDORRANS LIVE LONGER

Life expectancy rate in Andorra which is 81 years, is the fifth-highest in the world.  This is because of the country’s altitude, the quality of its air, the delicious cuisine and the fact that it’s surrounded by nature.

ANDORRA HAVE THE OLDEST PARLIAMENT IN EUROPE

Known as the Consell General, Andorra’s parliament was created in 1419. With only 28 MPs, it is one of the oldest and smallest European parliaments still functioning.

YOU’LL FIND MORE NATURE IN ANDORRA THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

Andorra is undoubtedly synonymous with nature: more than 90% of the country is made up of mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and meadows. Only about 4% of the territory has been built on, in the bottom of the valleys and at the feet of more than 65 peaks over 6,560 feet high.

YOU CAN CROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY ON FOOT

One of the curious facts about Andorra that hikers will love the most is this: thanks to its over 60 mountain trails, you can travel throughout Andorra without setting foot on tarmac, by following the Gran Recorrido País trail. There are also 29 mountain refuges where you can spend the night during your journey, surrounded by nature.

MORE MUSEUMS PER SQUARE MILE THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

Except for the Vatican, Andorra has nearly 20 museums in just 180 square miles. Undoubtedly, a detail that speaks volumes about the people of Andorra and their cultural interests. They are the perfect places to learn about our culture, legends, traditions, customs and much more. Because a thousand years of history takes some telling.

10% OF ANDORRA HAS BEEN DECLARED WORLD HERITAGE SITES

Andorra is one of the few countries in the world where 10% of the country has been declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley is outstanding for its beauty and has pastures, meadows and extensive forest areas. There are also perfectly preserved “bordes” (traditional mountain cabins), paths and remains of ancient forges, testimony to the way the Andorrans have used natural resources for over 700 years.

YOU CAN SKI OVER 186 MILES OF SLOPES

Andorra has Southern Europe’s largest skiable area. In Grandvalira and Vallnord, and also in Naturlandia, you can ski down endless slopes, and enjoy your favourite winter sports and snow activities, day and night!

YOU HAVE PLENTY OF SPACE IN WHICH TO RELAX

When you need to forget about your daily routine, you can come to relax in Southern Europe’s largest spa complex: Caldea. In Andorra, you will have over 322,917 square feet to take it easy with your family, or you could relax with your partner in Inúu and give your younger children the chance to enjoy the unique Likids experience.

THE PEOPLE OF ANDORRA ARE TRILINGUAL BY NATURE

The only country in the world to have Catalan as an official language, the proximity to France and Spain has also meant that the people of Andorra speak Spanish and French fluently as well. So if you want to learn and practise 3 languages easily, you have to visit Andorra.

NEVER HAD AN ARMY BUT KNOW HOW TO DEFEND THEMSELVES

One of the most surprising curious facts about Andorra refers to its anti-war nature: the country has never had an army or a ministry for defence. Instead, and only in exceptional situations, a centuries-old tradition has seen the summoning of the “Sometent”, a popular militia formed by the heads of all the Andorran households between the ages of 21 and 60. In the old days, they went armed with shotguns, led by Captains whose mission was to defend the rest of the population.

YOU CAN SAMPLE THE FINEST MEAT OF THE PYRENEES

Only the farmers of the Principality know the secret to providing you with the best veal and Andorran horse meat. A long tradition, its quality and its unique flavour are, without doubt, the ingredients that make Andorran meat an outstanding example of the country’s gastronomy.

ANDORRA MAKE A GREAT HIGH-ALTITUDE WINE

Well, it’s true! Another one of the curious facts about Andorra is related to gastronomy: they have wine and travelling through their valleys, forests and mountains you can view their vineyards. Thanks to the efforts that have gone into recovering this crop, forgotten for centuries in the country, the local wineries have succeeded in producing excellent high-altitude wine. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Albariño are some of the varieties that you can taste.

SURROUNDED BY ROMANESQUE ART

Over 40 churches, chapels and monuments are the historical legacy of rural Romanesque art in Andorra. In the past they were the centre of religious and social gatherings and today, they are some of the jewels of the people’s cultural heritage. Make sure that you visit them: you’ll find out about an important part of the lives of their ancestors and numerous curious facts about Andorra and its religion from the twelfth century.

YOU CAN RIDE THE LONGEST SLIDE IN THE WORLD

In Naturlandia you’ll find one of the most fun attractions in the country: Tobotronc. This slide surrounded by nature involves a ride of more than 3 miles through the forest of La Rabassa. You must try it!

ANDORRANS LOVE SHOPPING

The people of Andorra are so crazy about shopping that they have over 1,000 shops and 7 commercial thoroughfares and are only closed 4 days a year! You have 361 days to discover what’s new, with all the latest trends in fashion, accessories, cosmetics, sports goods etc. If you are also affected by this madness, make a note in your diary for the Andorra Shopping Festival.

Andorra: A small European country with visa-free entry for all nationalities

Andorra is visa-free for everyone irrespective of your nationality. The small nation in Europe has an area of just 468 square kilometres with population as low as 77,000.

France borders Andorra to the north and Spain to the south. The country is a tourist hotspot and the number of tourists in the country at any moment in time outnumbers the number of residents. An estimated 10.2 million tourists visit the country annually. Though Spain and France border it, Andorra is neither a member of the European Union nor the Schengen states.

Andorra
Andorra
La Massana, Andorra
La Massana, Andorra

The thousands of kilometres of waymarked trails through natural spaces, the valleys, lakes, mountains, meadows, ravines, rivers, and unending list of activities tourists can indulge in, are the reasons behind Andorra’s booming tourism industry.

Empty chairlift with cloudy sky in the background. Cableway chairlift
Empty chairlift with cloudy sky in the background. Cableway chairlift

The Andorran government imposes no visa requirements on its visitors and only requires a passport or European Union national identity card for entrance. But since there’s no airport for fixed-wing aircraft in Andorra, visitors are only able to enter through France or Spain and can only exit through same.

Since visitors to Andorra need to first arrive at France or Spain to be able to enter by land, a double or multiple entry Schengen visa is necessary. If you enter Andorra while holding a single-entry Schengen visa, it means you cannot leave Andorra to catch your flight in Spain or France. Because of this, visitors to Andorra must prove that they have the means to exit the country by holding a double or multiple-entry Schengen visa.

If you plan to visit Andorra, make sure you obtain either a double or multiple entry Schengen visa.
READ ALSO: 15 Interesting Facts About Andorra That Will Surprise You

33 non-Schengen countries you can visit with a Schengen visa

Having a Schengen visa will not limit you to the 26 Schengen member countries only. There are an additional 33 countries that allow holders of Schengen visas to stay for some time. While some of these countries may require that you obtain an e-Visa, others limit this opportunity to those arriving at certain airports or flying with certain airlines. Some of these countries instead issue visas to travellers on arrival.

If your country already has a visa-free travel agreement with a country discussed below, you do not need a Schengen visa to travel there.

Though Jetsanza.com has carefully researched to make sure information provided are accurate at the time of publication, you are urged to crosscheck with the embassies concerned before making travel plans. Travel policies are subject to change at any time.

North America

Mexico

Holders of valid Schengen visa can stay in Mexico for 180 days.

Central America

Belize

Passengers with a valid visa issued by a Schengen Member State are exempt from obtaining visas and can stay in Belize for a maximum of 90 days.

El Salvador

Schengen visa holders do not need a visa to enter El Salvador and can stay for up to 90 days. This does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and Yemen who also can’t obtain a visa on a simplified procedure but their application needs to be approved in El Salvador.

Guatemala

Visa is not required for a maximum stay of 90 days within 180 days for valid visa holders or residents of the European Union member states. This does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Cameroon, China, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macau, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and Yemen, as well as holders of ordinary passports of Cuba, Haiti, Jordan, Kenya and Pakistan. Visas issued to nationals of these countries are subject to restrictions and additional processing in Guatemala

Honduras

Holders of valid Schengen visas can visit Honduras for a maximum stay of 90 days. This does not apply to nationals of Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Timor-Leste, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

Nicaragua

Visa is not required for a maximum stay of 90 days within 180 days for valid visa holders or residents of the European Union member states. This policy does not apply to nationals of China, Cuba, and Iran.

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