Monday, April 15, 2024
Main Menu

Bulgaria, Romania to partially join Europe’s Schengen Area

Bulgaria, Romania to partially join Europe’s Schengen Area

Effective March 31, 2024, Bulgaria and Romania will partially join Europe’s Schengen Area, with border checks to cease for any air- or sea-based travel between Bulgaria, Romania and other Schengen Area countries

DNA

BRUSSELS: Effective March 31, 2024, Bulgaria and Romania will partially join Europe’s Schengen Area, with border checks to cease for any air- or sea-based travel between Bulgaria, Romania and other Schengen Area countries.

• Air and sea travel between Bulgaria, Romania and Schengen Area countries will become easier and quicker, as affected travelers will no longer be subject to border control inspections.


• Until further notice, border checks will continue to apply for any land-based travel between either Bulgaria or Romania and other Schengen Area countries. The European Council will continue talks in 2024 to lift such land border checks.


• Update January 8, 2024: Following further guidance from EU officials, it has been clarified that Bulgaria and Romania are expected to start issuing uniform Schengen C visas from April 1, 2024.


The situation
Effective March 31, 2024, border checks will cease for any air- or sea-based travel between Bulgaria, Romania and other Schengen Area countries.


• Land border checks to continue. Until further notice, border checks will continue to apply for any land-based travel between either Bulgaria or Romania and other Schengen Area countries.


• National entry visas.


• Update January 8, 2024: Following further guidance from EU officials, it has been clarified that Bulgaria and Romania are expected to start issuing uniform Schengen C visas from April 1, 2024.


• Generally, national entry visas only provide transit rights through Schengen Area countries (unless the Schengen Area country has specifically granted entry and stay rights for such visas).

Air and sea travel between Bulgaria, Romania and Schengen Area countries will become easier and quicker, as affected travelers will no longer be subject to border control inspections.

Bulgaria and Romania – which entered the European Union in 2007 ­– have been trying to join the Schengen Area for over a decade. In recent times, Austria has opposed admitting Bulgaria and Romania, citing concerns about management of irregular migration. In December 2023, Austria conceded this position and allowed the removal of border checks for air and sea travel.

In 2024, the European Council will continue talks to lift land border checks with Bulgaria and Romania. No date has yet been set for a further vote on this issue. We will monitor and report related developments.






Comments are Closed