Schengen Area signifies a zone where 26 European countries abolished their internal borders for the free and unrestricted movement of people.
What are the Countries in the Schengen Area?
The Schengen area countries are the following: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Though 22 out of 27 European Union member states are part of the Schengen Zone, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia—have not yet been admitted to the Schengen area.
The Republic of Ireland is the only EU member that refused to sign the Schengen Agreement, prior to the 2004 enlargement.
Ireland and the UK have formed a Common Travel Area with passport-free travel for their citizens and the three British Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, that are outside the European Union.
Are European Microstates Part of the Schengen Zone?
Though Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City have no border controls with the Schengen countries that surround them, officially, they are not part of the Schengen Area.
While Monaco has an open border with France, the Vatican City and San Marino have an open border with Italy.
Andorra retains border controls with both France and Spain and accepts Schengen Visas.
On the other hand, Liechtenstein which has been a Schengen zone member country since 2011, does not issue visas but recommends visitors to apply for a visa at other Schengen countries.
Territories of Schengen States Outside the Area
The Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira are the only countries that are part of the Schengen Zone but are not located in the European continent.
The territories of the European Union Members that are outside of Europe, are exempted from the European Union.
For example, the French overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion, and the overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin as well, are part of the European Union but are not part of the Schengen Zone.
The six Dutch territories in the Caribbean and the Danish territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland are also not part of the European Union or the Schengen Area.