VISA REGULATIONS IN EUROPE
Visa regulations vary as they depend of the selected destinations. To keep it simple, they are two groups of visas being necessary to visit Europe for tourists from Southeast Asia: Schengen and non-Schengen. Free visa-on-arrival is only provided to nationals from Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore for the time being.
Within the European Union
- The Schengen area covers 22 countries ("Schengen States") without border controls between them. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Croatia is due to join as well.
A Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. Requirement for the visa must be done to the Schengen member State which wqill be visited or where the traveller will spend most of its time.
- The Republic of Ireland has however its own visa procedure.
- Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania have officially required to join the Schengen area but only Croatia is normally due to be part of Schengen before the end of 2020.
Outside the Europe Union
- Schengen participants. Despite not being members of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Schengen Area with smilar rules to Schengen EU members.
- UK. The official departure from the UK in 2020 did not change the requirements needed for Southeast Asian travellers for travelling to the country. The UK visa is only valid for visiting England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
- For other important countries such as Russia, Serbia,Turkey or Ukraine , please check with your local consulate over entry requirements.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 translated into the suspension of visa applications to many countries in Europe; Best is to check with consular services of the country you want to visit. Updates on visa and entry regulations can be seen on the following website set by IATA, the International Air Transport Association (https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/)