Schengen Area Guide | Schengen Travel Insurance | Expatriate Group
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A Complete Guide to the Schengen Area

Everything you need to know about Schengen countries, Schengen travel insurance and obtaining a Schengen visa.

Schengen is the largest free-travel area in the world. It covers most European countries, 26 in total, and visitors can travel without restrictions and internal border control. It can be a little daunting at first, particularly if you are considering visiting more than one European country. To make things easier, our guide below will highlight all the key things you need to know so that you can enjoy Schengen like many others have.

What is the Schengen Agreement?

If we rewind back to 14th June 1985 the Schengen Agreement was signed. It is a treaty amongst many European countries who wanted to abolish their national borders and develop a Europe without restrictions on movement. The participating countries are known as the Schengen Area.

It is worth remembering that the Schengen Agreement and the European Union are not interlinked. Countries can be part of the European Union but not the Schengen Area, and vice versa.

What are the Schengen countries?

There are 26 member countries making up the Schengen Area. These are:

Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City also opened their borders but are not members of the Schengen Area.

The Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands are part of the Schengen Zone even though they are located outside of the European continent.

Do I need a Schengen visa to visit?

If you are a citizen of any of the countries listed below you do not need to obtain a Schengen visa in order to enter any member country.

Albania*GeorgiaMonacoSingapore
AndorraGrenadaMontenegro*Solomon Islands
Antigua and BarbudaGuatemalaNauruSouth Korea
ArgentinaHoly SeeNew ZealandTaiwan**
AustraliaHondurasNicaraguaTimor Leste
BahamasHong Kong S.A.R***North Macedonia*Tonga
BarbadosIsraelPalauTrinidad and Tobago
Bosnia and Herzegovina*JapanPanamaTuvalu
BrazilKiribatiParaguayUkraine
BruneiMacao S.A.R****PeruUnited Arab Emirates
CanadaMalaysiaSaint Kitts and NevisUnited States of America
ChileMarshall IslandsSaint LuciaUruguay
ColombiaMauritiusSaint VincentVanuatu
Costa RicaMexicoSamoaVenezuela
DominicaMicronesiaSerbia*
El SalvadorMoldova*Seychelles

*Citizens of these countries can only visit Schengen visa-free is they hold a biometic passport.

**Taiwanese passport holders can only visit Schengen visa-free of their passport contains an identity card number.

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

****Visa-free travel only applies to holder of a Região Administrativa Especial de Macau passport.

Citizens who will require a Schengen visa

The Schengen visa is a short stay visa and will be a sticker affixed to your travel document. The countries whose citizens do need to obtain a Schengen visa to enter any member country are listed below:

AfghanistanGabonOman
AlgeriaGambiaPakistan
AngolaGhanaPapua New Guinea
ArmeniaGuineaPalestinian Authority
AzerbaijanGuinea-BissauPhilippines
BahrainGuyanaQatar
BangladeshHaitiRussia
BelarusIndiaRwanda
BelizeIndonesiaSao Tome And Principe
BeninIranSaudi Arabia
BhutanIraqSenegal
BoliviaJamaicaSierra Leone
BotswanaJordanSomalia
Burkina FasoKazakhstanSouth Africa
Burma/MyanmarKenyaSouth Sudan
BurundiKosovoSri Lanka
CambodiaKuwaitSudan
CameroonKyrgyzstanSuriname
Cape VerdeLaosSwaziland
Central African RepublicLebanonSyria
ChadLesothoTajikistan
ChinaLiberiaTanzania
ComorosLibyaThailand
CongoMadagascarTimor-Leste
Cote D’ivoireMalawiTogo
CubaMaldivesTonga
Dem. Rep. Of CongoMaliTunisia
DjiboutiMauritaniaTurkey
Dominican RepublicMongoliaTurkmenistan
EcuadorMoroccoUganda
EgyptMozambiqueUzbekistan
Equatorial GuineaNamibiaVietnam
EritreaNepalYemen
EthiopiaNigerZambia
FijiNigeriaZimbabwe
North KoreaNorthern Mariana’s

Citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somali and Sri Lanka would also need to apply for an airport transit visa is they are changing flights at an airport in the Schengen Area.

How do I complete a Schengen visa application?

There are different types of Schengen visas, these include:

  • Transit visa
  • Tourism visa
  • Business visa
  • Visiting family and friends visa
  • Culture or sport activities visa
  • Official visits visa
  • Study visa
  • Medical reasons visa

You will need to have a Schengen visa for freedom of movement in the territory. How you apply for your visa will depend on the country you will be landing in. Typically, you can file for a Schengen visa at one of the following locations:

How long can I stay in the Schengen Area?

If you have the correct visa or come from a country where it is not required for travel, you can stay 90 days in any 180-day period within the Schengen Area. The day you arrive will be considered as the first day of your stay. The date you leave will be considered the last day of your stay in the Schengen territory.

Do I need Schengen travel insurance?

If you fall into a category which requires you to have a visa when visiting the Schengen Area you will need to have travel insurance in place, as dictated by EU law. Travel insurance is not compulsory for those who do not need a visa. However, it is advisable.

Where can I buy Schengen visa insurance?

With Expatriate Group you can select and purchase your travel insurance online. You will receive all your documents by email and, if you’re visiting an embassy, consulate, or visa centre, these can be presented to help you acquire your Schengen visa for your trip overseas. With over 100,000 unique customers in 182 different countries, you can rest assured your Expatriate Group travel insurance will be comprehensive and tailored to your needs.

The Benefit Schedule

Hospital BenefitsSelectPrimary+Primary
Annual Aggregate Maximum$/€/£5,000,000$/€/£1,500,000$/€/£1,000,000
Private Hospital Bed
Surgeries, Anaesthetists’ fees, Operating Theatre, Specialist, Physician and Nursing Fees, Intensive Care.
Prescribed Medicine and Drugs
Diagnostic Tests and Procedures (including MRI, CAT, PET)
Oncology/Cancer Treatment
Psychiatric30 days30 days30 days
Home Nursing (following hospitalisation)30 days30 days30 days
Hospital Cash Benefit$/€/£150 per night$/€/£100 per night$/€/£75 per night
Rehabilitation (following hospitalisation)$/€/£2,000$/€/£2,000$/€/£2,000
Parent Accommodation
Second Opinion for Surgery
Organ Transplant$/€/£300,000$/€/£150,000$/€/£100,000
Outpatient & GP BenefitsSelectPrimary+Primary
Family doctor, GP, Specialist and Physician consultations fees; including outpatient surgeries

for pre-hospitalisation and then for 60 days following a valid hospitalisation
Prescribed Medicine and Drugs
Diagnostic Tests and Procedures (including MRI, CAT, PET)
Physiotherapy & Alternative Medicine10 sessions
Oncology/Cancer Treatment
Management of Chronic Conditions$/€/£2,000$/€/£2,000 
Psychiatric10 sessions/$/€/£3,00010 sessions/$/€/£3,000 
Assistance Services & Special BenefitsSelectPrimary+Primary
Emergency Medical Transportation
Local Ambulance
Expenses for accompanying Dependent
– Travel
– Accommodation & Subsistence


$/€/£150 per day


$/€/£100 per day


$/€/£75 per day
Repatriation of Mortal Remains$/€/£10,000$/€/£5,000$/€/£5,000
Compassionate Travel
Family Compassionate Travel$/€/£250$/€/£250$/€/£250
Terminal & Palliative Care$/€/£30,000$/€/£20,000$/€/£15,000
HIV, AIDS & ARCS$/€/£50,000 (lifetime)$/€/£50,000 (lifetime) 
Maternity CareSelectPrimary+Primary
Complications of Pregnancy100%$/€/£5,000$/€/£5,000
Normal Delivery$/€/£7,500*  
Elective Caesarean Operation$/€/£7,500*  
Non-elective Caesarean Operation$/€/£7,500*  
Home Delivery$/€/£7,500*  
Home Nursing following Home Delivery5 days*  
New Born Care$/€/£25,000*  
Dental CareSelectPrimary+Primary
Accidental Emergency Dental Treatment
Routine Dental Treatment$/€/£750  
Basic Restorative Dental Treatment$/€/£750  
Major Restorative Dental Treatment$/€/£1,000  
Dental benefits (except Accidental) are subject to a 20% co-pay
Optical CareSelectPrimary+Primary
Examinations & Lenses (inc. contact lenses)$/€/£150  
Preventative CareSelectPrimary+Primary
Annual Medical Check-up$/€/£ 250 per year and 12 month waiting period 
Travel Vaccinations  
Cervical Smears  
Mammograms  
Prostate Cancer Screening  

Key Healthcare Insurance Features

coins24Medical Expenses

Your general health and well-being also extends to your dental health. Good dental health requires regular and routine check-ups and resulting restorative treatment can be costly.

Expatriate Healthcare understand that prevention is always the better solution so we provide you with cover for routine check-ups and treatment plus, in the event of further treatment being required, both basic and major restorative treatment.

coins24Preventative Care

Your health and well-being and that of those you love and value is of paramount importance. Expatriate Healthcare is committed to keeping you all healthy by providing regular health checks and tests. These include vaccinations, annual medical check-ups and cervical smears.

We even provide for prostate cancer screening and mammograms for the over 45’s.

dental careDental Care

Your general health and well-being also extends to your dental health. Good dental health requires regular and routine check-ups and resulting restorative treatment can be costly.

Expatriate Healthcare understand that prevention is always the better solution so we provide you with cover for routine check-ups and treatment plus, in the event of further treatment being required, both basic and major restorative treatment.

optical careOptical Care

Changes to your eyesight are inevitable. That’s why Expatriate Healthcare provide a benefit covering the cost of an annual eye examination for each person insured under the policy.

Where there is a change to your prescription we will also cover you for the cost of prescription lenses (including standard contact lenses).

coins24Maternity Care

We know that when you are expecting a baby, you need to feel confident that appropriate care is available.

Once you have been covered by the policy continuously for 12 months, if you become pregnant, we provide for your antenatal appointments in the run up to the big day and for the delivery itself. And to get you back on your feet in those early days, we also allow for home nursing for 5 days after home delivery.

coins24Complementary Medicine / Therapies

Should you be prescribed complementary treatment, we cover chiropractic help, osteopathy, homeopathy and acupuncture.

coins2424hr Emergency Assistance

In the event of an emergency, one simple call to Expatriate Healthcare’s assistance service provider and arrangements will be made for you to be transported to the nearest location for appropriate treatment.

Through our multilingual 24-hour support partner, we will liaise with you, your family and the local healthcare services, keeping you continually updated.

24 hour Emergency Medical Assistance is standard on all of our international healthcare plans.

coins24AIDS/HIV and Chronic Conditions

We understand that not all medical conditions can be cured.

Chronic conditions usually require you to have regular check-ups, nursing care and routine or daily medication. Thankfully, with the right medical support, many people can live a relatively normal life whilst suffering with a chronic condition. However, the financial implications can be devastating.

We support you by providing benefits in respect of both HIV and chronic conditions.

Travelling, moving to, or working to another country overseas? Expatriate Group have been serving expats since 1997, providing International Healthcare Insurance, Travel Insurance, Life Insurance and Income Protection. No matter how long you’re overseas, or whether you’re visiting or working, we will be able to deliver the protection you need.

With 100,000 unique customers in 182 different countries, Expatriate Healthcare are the experts in delivering international medical insurance to expats worldwide.

Expatriate Healthcare’s, International Travel Insurance TravelCare policy covers all nationalities, travelling anywhere in the world.

Level Term Life Insurance providing protection to your family in the event of your death during the term of the cover.

Protect your income against an accident or an illness that prevents you from attending your usual occupation.

Our Partners

Lloyds London Insurance Broker
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