Schengen Agreement
The visa is called a 'Schengen Visa' because the agreement was signed aboard the ship Princesse Marie-Astrid on the Moselle River, near a small town called Schengen in Luxembourg. Schengen is on the border with Germany and France.

Schengen Area
Members - implemented: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Members - not yet implemented: Cyprus

Acceding countries - not yet implemented: Bulgaria, Romania

Express interest in joining: Liechtenstein, Vatican City

Exceptions
The following territories that are part of the Schengen countires are not covered by the Schengen agreement:
  • All Parts of France that are not situated in Europe

  • Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

  • Heligoland of Germany

  • Svalbard of Norway (But Jan Mayen Island is covered by the agreement.)

  • Even though Greenland and the Faroe Islands of Denmark are formally excluded from the Schengen area, they are integrated with it. Persons traveling between the Faroe Islands and Greenland on the one side, and the Schengen member states on the other side, are not subject to a border check. The traditional Free Movement of Persons acquis of the European Community is not applicable to Greenland and to the Faroe Islands.)

  • Livigno of Italy is a "tax haven". It maintains random passport control and customs checks.

Also, the Schengen agreement does not cover residency or work permits for non-EU nationals.

Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union (EU), but are not part of the Schengen agreement.

Iceland and Norway are members of Schengen agreement, but are not members of the European Union.

Citizens of Taiwan that hold a valid Schengen visa for all Schengen countries may also enter Liechtenstein visa free for a stay up to 90 days.

Non-signatories
There are some countries other than the Schengen signatories that should also be mentioned:
  • Even though San Marino is oficially not included in the Schengen area, it has an open border with Italy. However, some random checks are conducted by Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza and Polizia di San Marino.

  • Monaco borders onto the Mediterranean Sea. The Schengen agreement is treated as if it were a part of France. Therefore, French authorities do the check for Schengen at Monaco's sea port.

  • Liechtenstein is not member of the Schengen countries. Liechtenstein has an open border with Switzerland that has signed the agreement. Therefore, border controls are still done between Liechtenstein and its EU neighbors. Liechtenstein applies the Traditional Free Movement of Persons acuis of the European Community as part of the European Economic Area. Liechtenstein has applied to be part of the Schengen countries in fall of 2006. The EU Council of Ministers have given their their assent in late February 2006 that will start the negotiations regarding the same.

    Vatican City is also interested in joing the Schengen area. Vatican city has an open border with Italy, but if it also becomes a part of Schengen, it will allow better cooperation in information sharing and similar activities.
  • Andorra is not integrated into the Schengen zone. It is border controls remain.

  • UK and Ireland, are the only two EU members not to join the Schengen Agreement.

  • Romania is aiming for 2012 as the date for Schengen admission.