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Romania and Bulgaria Join Europe’s Schengen Area as Newest Members in 2024

Exciting news for travelers and citizens alike: Romania and Bulgaria are set to join the Schengen zone as of March 31st this year, marking a significant milestone in European integration. This move will facilitate seamless travel between member states for over 400 million citizens, streamlining border controls and enhancing mobility across the region.

Background

Both Romania and Bulgaria have been members of the European Union (EU) since 2007, but until now, they were not part of the Schengen Area, which meant travelers still had to present passports upon entry. However, with their inclusion in the Schengen zone, border controls for these countries will be simplified, ushering in a new era of unrestricted movement within Europe.

Changes for Travelers

For travelers planning to visit Romania and Bulgaria after March 31st, the entry process will become much smoother. The interior ministries of both countries have announced that certain border checks will be lifted. Passengers arriving by air or sea from other Schengen zone countries will no longer need to show passports upon arrival, making travel by flights, cruises, and ferries hassle-free. However, travelers entering by land—whether by car, train, or bus—will still be required to carry identification, as rules governing land borders have yet to be established. This is due to a veto exercised by Austria, which necessitates further decisions to lift controls at land borders.

Schengen Zone Overview

The Schengen zone, established in 1995, comprises 27 states, including the forthcoming additions of Romania and Bulgaria. This area enables free movement without border checks among its member countries, fostering economic and cultural exchange on a vast scale. With over 1.25 billion trips annually and millions crossing borders daily, the Schengen zone has become a cornerstone of European integration. Aside from EU member states, four associated states of the European Free Trade Association—Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein—are also part of the Schengen zone, further expanding its reach and influence.

Important Considerations for Travelers

It is essential for travelers, especially those without EU citizenship, to be aware that stays in Bulgaria and Romania will count towards the 90-day limit within any 180-day period imposed by the Schengen zone. Adhering to these regulations ensures compliance with visa requirements and avoids any unintended overstays.

Conclusion

Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen zone is a big deal for Europe. It means easier travel between countries, making trips smoother for everyone. As borders become less of a barrier in the Schengen Area, travelers can enjoy exploring Europe without hassles, creating memorable experiences along the way.

For further updates and information regarding travel to Romania, Bulgaria, and other Schengen zone countries, you are advised to consult official government sources and stay informed about any developments in border regulations and entry requirements.

About the Editorial Staff
About the Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at Migrate World is a team that handles news, events, and other press release from the company, its affiliates and programs. We are a well-versed company with over a decade’s worth of experience in the field of residency and citizenship by investment.

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