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Schengen Visa Guide

A list of European countries

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A list of European countries

A list of European countries, Currently, Europe is the second smallest continent but the third most populated, with a total population of 747.8 million people (as of 2021). It accounts for 2% of Earth’s surface with a total area of 10,180,000 km2.

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How Many Countries Are There in Europe?

In total, there are 45 countries in Europe today. The full list is shown in the table below, with the current population and subregion (based on official statistics).

  • Located on the European Balkan Peninsula, Turkey occupies a small area of East Thrace.
  • As part of Asia Minor (Middle East), Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands are a self-governing Danish territory.
  • Geographically located in North America, Greenland is also an autonomous Danish territory.
  • Europe also includes a small piece of Western Kazakhstan.

European Regions

Europe is traditionally divided into four main geographical regions:

  1. Europe northern regions
  2. The Western Hemisphere
  3. Europe eastern flank
  4. Europe southernmost region

Today, Europe is one of the world’s most powerful political and economic powers because of its long and complicated history – especially because it is considered the birthplace of civilization.

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European Union

Several European countries joined together to create a common market trade, which is now known as the European Union. The EU has expanded beyond its economic purpose to freedom of movement between people, goods, and services. Currently, it has 27 member states, and several others are in negotiation to join. It is an essential force in European politics.

Schengen Area

EU citizens can travel visa and passport-free among member states of the Schengen Area, which is a borderless zone within the EU. Additionally, the Schengen Agreement allows foreign nationals to enter any country within the Schengen Area with a valid Schengen visa, which is a uniform visa issued by the Schengen Agreement.

Eurozone

There are currently 19 member countries in the Eurozone, but not all of them are in the EU, nor do all EU countries use the euro. Currently, eight EU countries still use their local currencies.

European Commission

In addition to serving as an executive body of the EU, the European Commission consists of 27 seven members representing EU states. In addition to proposing laws, the commission also makes EU policies. Commission members are sworn in as representatives of common EU goals instead of their own country’s goals.

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European Parliament

The European Parliament regulates the laws that each EU country follows. It is elected by a five-year voting process in which every nation of the EU has the right to participate.

EU law specifies three main goals for the European Parliament:

  • Legislative responsibilities, such as passing or rejecting any law proposed by the European Commission or amending any law as necessary.
  • Taking responsibility for each EU country’s actions and upholding the rights of EU citizens.
  • Developing and approving the EU budget.

European Council

Together with the European Parliament, the European Council is one of the many official bodies of the EU that can reject or accept laws proposed by the EU commission.

European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

The European Free Trade Association is a free-trade treaty between four European states: Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. These countries are not members of the European Union, but are members of the Schengen Agreement. In addition to allowing the four member countries to collaborate with the EU on economic and free movement issues, the treaty also gives them leeway in respect of following all EU regulations, particularly the standard fisheries policies.

European Economic Area

In order to integrate with the EU’s single market, three EFTA countries (minus Switzerland) entered into an agreement with the EU, called the European Economic Area, which consists of EU members as well as Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. Switzerland retains its separate treaty with the EU.

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EU Med Group

The EU Med Group is a treaty within the EU between the following Mediterranean countries:

  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

The purpose of this treaty is to promote a political dialogue between them and the other EU countries and represent their joint interests to the EU parliament and Commission because of their common Greco-Roman heritage.

Visegrad Group

Founded in 2004, the European Union includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, and its primary role is to establish further military cooperation with the EU.

Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)

A CEFTA agreement is a political agreement between non-EU countries and UNMIK; it represents Kosovo. At present, the following countries are members of CEFTA:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • UNMIK

Several countries were members of CEFTA before joining the EU, but their membership ended after joining the EU. CEFTA promotes collaboration and economic cooperation between the EU and European countries that are not yet members.

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Is the UK in Europe?

It’s a country in Europe, but it’s no longer a member of the EU. It left the union officially in 2020, making it the only country to leave since its inception.

Interesting Facts About Europe

The following are some interesting facts about Europe:

  • Russia is the largest country in Europe by area and population.
  • By area and population, the Vatican is the smallest country.
  • Annually, 85 million people visit France, making it the most visited country in Europe.
  • With over 120 million speakers, Russian is the most commonly spoken language in Europe, followed by German with at least 100 million speakers.
  • Luxembourg has Europe’s highest GDP per capita.
  • Switzerland is the country that consumes the most chocolate in Europe.
  • It is believed that the famous Disney castle was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.
  • The European Union is the world’s most significant economic treaty.
  • In Europe, there are more than 500 national parks, with Russia and Turkey hosting the most.
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Cheapest European Countries for Tourists

It’s important to make sure that you don’t need a Schengen visa to enter any country in Europe. Then you can plan your trip and save money by visiting these five low-cost countries:

  • Despite being a hidden gem in Europe, Albania has recently gained popularity among tourists. You can find a hostel for $8 or a hotel room for $30 per night, and dining out typically costs $15. So, depending on the length of your stay and the extra purchases you make, you can spend only $300 on your whole vacation.
  • It offers some of the best vacation spots and fantastic food at very affordable prices, similar to Albania. Often breakfast is included in the price of a room, so you will have plenty of money to spend on other meals. As a result, your vacation total can range from $300 to $500.
  • This way, you can take advantage of Bulgaria’s most affordable ski resorts along with cheap hotel prices and food.
  • It is possible to find accommodation as cheap as $10 in Romanian hostels, and not to mention the country’s charming beaches and the famous Dracula castle, which you can visit for $9.
  • Greece offers both of the best worlds— cheap options for those who want to travel with a budget— and more expensive options like the island of Santorini. But, even then, you can expect to pay between $75 and $90 for a room. If you visit after peak season, you will find even cheaper accommodations and fewer crowds on the beach.

Cheapest European Countries to Live In

You can choose one of the five cheapest European countries to live in for expats if you are interested in living in Europe long-term:

  • In terms of living expenses, this southeastern European country is one of the best options for expats. Expatriates enjoy a relatively easy-going life in Romania with its charming towns and European history. Apartments can cost anywhere from $300 to $500 in Bukurest, and in other cities, rent is even lower.
  • Expats have become highly popular with the Czech Republic because of its freelancer visa, which allows them to work and visit Europe at a lower cost. As a result, they are able to live and visit other European countries without breaking the bank.
  • One-bedroom apartments in Poland may cost you $400 to $500, food is relatively cheap, and effective public transportation helps expats save a lot of money.
  • Bulgaria is another European gem perfect for expats in the Balkan region. Aside from its rich culture and long history, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, as well as a long history. Aside from that, expat living costs are relatively low at an average of $600 per month, depending on what you spend and what you earn.
  • With an average cost of living around $1,000 for expats, Hungary is another ideal European country. Expats with Hungarian ancestry and who can speak Hungarian can become citizens quickly and not just live in Europe, but also get an EU passport.
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Conclusion 

Europe, the second smallest but third most populated continent, comprises 45 countries, each with its unique cultural, economic, and political characteristics. Beyond geographical distinctions, Europe is interconnected through entities like the European Union, Schengen Area, and Eurozone, fostering collaboration and cooperation. Explored through various lenses, Europe stands as a diverse and dynamic continent, offering both tourists and expatriates a plethora of options and experiences.

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Schengen Visa Guide

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa?

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What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa?

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a French Visa? The same visa policy does not apply to every foreigner and every territory of France. Therefore, visa exemptions are heavily influenced by dissimilar factors, primarily the nationality of the foreigner, the territory of France the applicant seeks to visit, the foreigner’s residence status in the Schengen Area or specifically in France, and the purpose of the visit.

France’s territories are divided into three parts, each with its own visa policy:

  • French European Territory
  • French Overseas Départments or Regions (DOM)
  • French Overseas Territories (TOM)

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in European French Territory?

The Schengen Area includes France. As a result, its European territory complements those of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, also members of the Area.

For entry and stay in the European French Territory, you need a French Visa.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions?

For short stays (up to 3 months) to Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion, the following foreign nationals do not require a French visa:

  • Andorre,
  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brunei,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Croatia,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Ireland,
  • Japan,
  • Macao (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • Monaco,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapour,
  • South Korea,
  • St-Marin,
  • Switzerland,
  • The Holly See,
  • United Kingdom,
  • United States,
  • Uruguay and
  • Venezuela. 

Note: Those from the above countries are allowed to enter and stay in French Overseas Départments and Regions without a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals who MUST have a French Visa:

  • Individuals from the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, or Singapore wishing to work in these countries,

  • Students from the United States, citizens who hold diplomatic, official, or other service passports, and intend to stay in these French territories in a diplomatic or official mission, or journalists who intend to stay in these French territories for journalistic purposes

It is not possible for foreign nationals from the above excluded countries to enter or stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions without obtaining a French Visa through the French Visa Application process.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Territories? 

In French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependencies (Terrires Australes et Antartiques Françaises (TAAF)), Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the following foreign nationals may travel without a French Visa for short stays (up to 3 months):

  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brasil,
  • Brunei,
  • Croatia,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong * (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Japan,
  • Macao* (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapore,
  • South Corea,
  • United States and
  • Uruguay.

These countries have nationals who can enter the French overseas territories without a French visa, but cannot stay more than three (3) months or ninety (90) days:

  • Andorra,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Ireland,
  • Monaco,
  • Norway,
  • Netherlands,
  • Saint Marin,
  • The Holly See and
  • United Kingdom.

Note: Foreign nationals from the above countries are permitted to enter and stay in the French overseas territories without a French visa, with the exception of the following categories:

  • Brazilians, Canadians, South Koreans, Americans, Japanese, Australians, Malaysians, Mexicans, Singaporeans seeking gainful employment in these areas,

  • Nationals of the United States wishing to get a job there or to enter and stay there for journalistic purposes

  • In order to enter and stay in Overseas French Territory of New Caledonia, Hong Kong and Macao nationals will need a French visa.

Other foreign nationals from the above list cannot enter or stay in the French Overseas Territories without undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.

Conclusion 

French visa policies demands careful consideration of nationality, purpose, and destination. France categorizes its territories—European, Overseas Départments/Regions, and Overseas Territories—each with unique visa regulations. While some nations enjoy visa exemptions, specific categories necessitate visa acquisition for entry and extended stays.

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