EU TRAVEL FOR NON EU NATIONALS
If you are a non EU National and you wish to travel to one or more countries within the EU, you will need certain documents. A Schengen Visa will allow you to travel freely within the entire Schengen Area in principle. If you are a national from a country that is outside the Schengen Agreement, then you may find that you are subject to a mandatory Schengen Visa requirement in order to enter the Schengen Area depending upon your country of origin. Supporting documentation may be required for your Visa Application. These could include a letter of invitation, documentary evidence of your accommodation and sight of your travel documents. These may also be required by border officials. Some countries do not require a Visa if the visit to the EU is for 3 months or less. If the Embassy which issues your Visa is within a country that belongs to the Schengen Area then you will automatically be allowed to travel on that Visa to other countries within the Schengen Area. Also, for non EU nationals, it is important to check the validity of a passport.
It is always wise to carry your travel insurance documentation, health insurance paperwork and your car insurance for travel in the EU. You may not plan to hire a car on your trip but sometimes circumstances change and a hire car is required so it is always helpful to have it with you to cover all eventualities.
EU TRAVEL FOR EU NATIONALS
As an EU National, there is no requirement to show your passport or national ID card when traveling from one country to another within the EU or Schengen Area. As a general rule however, it is recommended that you carry either or both of these documents with you when you travel in the EU or Schengen Area, as they in remain your best document of identity to any authority within a particular country. You may find that a driving licence and credit or debit card does not constitute a sufficient document of identity within local regulations i.e. the national legal requirements of the particular country that you are in. And some countries within the Schengen Area will have a policy of requiring documents of identity to be carried whilst you are present in their country.
Family members who are not EU Nationals may accompany you or join you in another EU country but their document requirements will differ from your own. Non EU family members must carry a valid passport at all times and, depending on the country they originate from, they may also need to have other documents. Minors should also have their own valid and in date ID card or passport, they may not travel on the documentation of their parents or guardians. There are certain situations where additional documentation may be required.
You should always check border policy and the documents that you may require before you travel to any country. You should also remember that you can be refused entry to a country on the grounds of public policy, public security for example a terrorist threat or public health – think of the recent situation with Ebola and travelers from affected countries. This refusal can apply to you or to any member of your party. Refusal may also be extended to members of your traveling party who are non EU Nationals. You are entitled to receive this decision in writing and this document should state clearly the reasons for refusal of entry and how you or your party may appeal against it.