In the burgeoning member list of the Schengen zone, add one more: Croatia. The EU has welcomed Croatia as the latest member of the border check-free Schengen zone. The country will acquire this new status from New Year 2023 onwards, permitting travellers to visit a new place on a Schengen visa.
The Schengen area happens to be the biggest free travel zone across the globe, and it encompasses 26 countries, 22 EU states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Close to 2 million people reside in one Schengen country and go for employment in another. Roughly, 3.4 million people pass through an internal border on a daily basis. With Croatia’s entry into the fold from 2023 onwards, the number of Schengen members will expand to 27.
Meanwhile, Croatian border police have made it clear that they can link the country with other Schengen countries from January 1, but due to technical constraints the country’s airport will only be able to align with the new change from March 26 onwards.
The Schengen zone permits people going to its member countries to pass through normally without presenting any passport, ID card or visa. With a visitor’s visa, a person can stay in the Schengen area for about 90 days for an overall duration of 180 days. The time taken to process visas ranges from 15 to 30 days. In case anyone wants to minimize the processing time, he or she can apply up to six months in advance.
Recently, Germany, a Schengen member, eased norms for Indian tourists who wish to apply for a visa by centralising visa processing at its centre in Mumbai.
Now coming to the visa fee, it costs 80 euros (approx Rs 6,700) for adults and 40 euros (Rs 3252 approx) for children aged between six to 11. It is also to be noted that for children below six years there are no fees involved.