What is the Schengen area?
The Schengen Area is a travel zone comprising 26 European states. These countries have abolished checks at their mutual borders for citizens from each nation.
Non member citizens who wish to visit any country that is a member of the Schengen Area can apply for what is known as a Schengen visa, which allows for travel between all member nations, without having to apply for a visa for each country individually.
Is Ireland in the Schengen area?
Ireland is not part of the Schengen area. Along with the United Kingdom and some European Union countries it decided against joining the union of 26 nations.
What countries are part of the Schengen Area?
What countries are not part of the Schengen Area?
- United Kingdom
Why is Ireland not in the Schengen area?
Ireland isn’t part of the Schengen area due to its close ties with the United Kingdom, who also are not part of the Schengen area. Ireland’s only land border is with North Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Aligning with the United Kingdom on immigration makes more sense than aligning with other European nations, which share many land borders.
So I need a separate visa to visit Ireland if I require a schengen visa to visit Europe?
Unfortunately yes, a visa is required for travel to Ireland, even if you hold a Schengen visa.
If I get a visa for the UK can I travel to Ireland?
If you have a visa for the UK you are not permitted to the Republic of Ireland. You are, however, permitted to visit Northern Ireland, as Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. A valid UK visa allows you to visit England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Will Ireland ever become part of the Schengen area?
Ireland being part of the Schengen area is not something planned, nor is it a topic much discussed at government level. If this was to change it would likely take a number of years before Ireland could become part of the Schengen area.
How can I get a Schengen Visa?
You can apply for a Schengen visa through the embassy of your member country. That means if you’re planning on visiting France, you can apply for a Schengen visa when applying for your France visa.
You’ll find more on the process, and the different types of visas over on the official Schengen website.
- Citizens information Ireland – The Schengen Area
- Europa EU – Schengen Borders and visas