Allowed travelling on Visa?

Hi there!
I am South african and will be going to Belgium as an Au Pair soon. I was wondering if anyone out there knows if I will be allowed to travel to other countries on my Shengen Visa that i will obtain throught the belgium consulate? will I need any other documentation?

What kind of visa will you have? Presumably you should at the least be able to travel around the Schengen area...

I don't see how they'd be able to stop her from visiting Schengen countries, given that there is no passport control between any of them!

I am still waiting for replies from the embassy in SA, but i think i will be able to get a long stay visa...

Really?no passport control? wow, that almost sounds too good to be true. I really hope I can though, so many places to see :)

no passport control! I was once driving with my boyfriend in the Alps in Germany and we came out onto a crossroad after a long and winding route, and he said, "I think we're in Austria now"  The only indication was that the road signs looked different. You can drive freely between all the Schengen countries, and taking flights between them has customs, but no passport check.

so, they'd have a hard time saying that you are absolutely not allowed to leave Belgium because they've got no way to enforce such a statement!

...yes, Schengen has open borders. But ECS has it backwards. There *is* most certainly passport checks at airports, and if you're foreign and your entry is more than 3 mos prior, they'd also want to check your visa, if they're paying attention. There is no customs to go through when flying within Schengen. If you take trains/buses there is no checks, but advising someone to travel without appropriate documents is very foolish, as there is always the potential for a random check, or what if some sort of emergency/accident/etc were to happen, if they were in some other country without being allowed it could be all kinds of trouble. So yes, just because there are technically no checks if you don't fly does not mean you shouldn't follow whatever rules they tell you, even if it seems like they "couldn't enforce" them.

Regardless, as I said before, you should likely have the ability to travel within Schengen at the least.

I'm referring to flying between Schengen countries. I've gone frequently between Iceland and Denmark/Sweden/Holland/France/Germany/Norway/Italy/Finland and there are definitely no passport controls.

sure, when you arrive in a Schengen country for the first time, there's a check, but once she's IN on her visa, there aren't checks when you're traveling between Schengen countries.  I was not advising to travel without documents, although I was with a colleague who forgot his passport on an Iceland-Norway flight and he made the round trip without problems on another form of ID.

Yes. There are. I have flown a number of times and in order to get your tickets, and get into the terminal, you need a passport. You could technically potentially fly with some other official **EU** form of ID within Schengen, but if you are from outside the EU that will not suffice. I don't know what sort of places you're going through, but they nearly always require it for any or all of a) getting the tickets/checking in, b) getting into the terminal/gate area, c) boarding the plane.

there's a difference between using your passport as ID and going through passport control though. Passport control is where they stamp your passport, where they check whether you're allowed to be in the country etc.

using your passport to enter the secure area of the airport or to board the plane is different- they don't scan your passport usually, they don't check what visas you have, they don't ask how long you'll be staying- in my experience they just confirm that you are who you say you are and that it matches the ticket. All my flights between countries within Schengen are exactly like that. I don't recall ever having my passport scanned, and I've never been asked any questions about my travels.

Plus, when you arrive at your destination, there's no check whatsoever. As long as you're not bringing goods into the country that's of interest to customs, it's basically like a domestic flight.

Liela0705 :

Hi there!
I am South african and will be going to Belgium as an Au Pair soon. I was wondering if anyone out there knows if I will be allowed to travel to other countries on my Shengen Visa that i will obtain throught the belgium consulate? will I need any other documentation?

As a South African who has had a few Schengen visas, yes, you can travel freely throughout the Schengen area. Just Google for a list of those countries. Just be aware of your maximum stay. Your visa might be valid for 1 year, but you can only stay for a maximum of 90 days at a time, then you have to leave the Schengen area for 90 days, you can do this twice in a year, then you need a new visa, from the consulate in South Africa, this was my case. When you go to collect your passport, assuming you have the visa, look at it carefully before you leave and ask them if you have any questions about the visa, the consulate in Rosebank was always very helpful with my applications etc. Now when you are in Europe and moving around, away from your place of normal residence, keep your passport with you, and a copy of it and your visa somewhere else. I drove through Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, France and Italy, there were only customs officials at the Swiss borders, but they merely look at you as you drive slowly past, to see if you have the road tax sticker in your windscreen. The rest of the countries, only a slight difference in road signs. So being asked for ID while moving around Europe is unlikely, unless you get caught doing something wrong, but keep something with you just incase.

thank you sean, you kinda answered my question. I will have a long stay visa (crossing fingers) but I have friends and family in switzerland, germany, portugal and romania and i would love to be able to visit while im 'in the area'. Been over seas enough to know that you always need some form of documentation with you but i was worried about airports and stations.
thanks again!

Sean, be careful of your wording - you keep saying "Europe," but Schengen is only a select area of Europe, not even all of the EU is included in it (and some non-EU countries are).

If you have a visa that is valid for a year, you do not have to exit the area for 90days. That is when you are using the normal *tourist* visa which is only good for 90 days.

Like Melby said, be careful, and bty for Romania, you will need your passport, and check to see if you may need a visa as well. While Romania is in the EU, it's I do not think it is in Schengen, so you will get passport control in countries like that.

Melby :

Sean, be careful of your wording - you keep saying "Europe," but Schengen is only a select area of Europe, not even all of the EU is included in it (and some non-EU countries are).

If you have a visa that is valid for a year, you do not have to exit the area for 90days. That is when you are using the normal *tourist* visa which is only good for 90 days.

Thanks for the heads up about my wording, but don't worry, being married to a Belgian and having travelled extensively, about 30 countries around the world, I am only well too aware of the various types of visas and their conditions, particularly the EU,Schengen area. The first Schengen C visa I had was valid for 30 days, max stay 30 days. The 2nd one, valid 1 year, max stay 90 days, then leave for 90 days, the 3rd one was a long stay D visa valid for 1 year, max stay, 365days. I think it's safe to say that everyone has a unique situation and that there are more types of visas than I care to count. I even heard of a 5 day transit visa, valid for 1 year, from Spain, each Schengen country also seems to have different requirements for issuing the same type of visa, so yea, that is probably why I sound confused.

The second one you mention is the standard tourist visa. Americans (and I believe Canadians & Australians) have this by default, no applications or anything. The 3rd one is the actual long-stay visa, that Liela is planning to have.

And WorldExpat is correct, Romania is EU but is not *yet* part of Schengen. They are a prospective member, with implementation supposed to be in October of this year.

Liela, if you are applying for the visa I think you are, then it should be the one I just got, a visum D, which is not actually a Schengen travel visa, the D visa allows you to register a long stay in Belgium. This means you will have to go to your local gemeentehuis as soon as you arrive, to register your stay. You then get a chip card/residence permit, which then allows you to travel.

Yes, you should be able to travel to any country of the shengen space.

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