Open up European travel for
Tier 2 employees with a
28 July 2020
The Schengen Area is a borderless zone of European countries that have officially abolished all passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. Made up of 26 European countries, it is the largest free travel area in the world.
The area was originally formed in 1985 to facilitate human mobility and improve domestic economies by allowing the relative free movement of people and goods across the area’s internal borders.
Today, the Schengen Area comprises the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Each year, millions of tourists and business travellers from non-EU countries are able to travel freely within the zone by applying for a Schengen visa. Employers sponsoring overseas nationals in the UK on a Tier 2 visa can also obtain a Schengen visa if they think their employees may need to travel to Europe for meetings or business.
With international travel beginning to steadily resume following the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith Stone Walters would advise employers consider the future travel requirements for their employees and prepare accordingly.
What is a Schengen Visa?
A Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to enter, freely travel within and leave the Schengen zone from any of the 26 Schengen member countries. It is valid for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
Currently, there is a list of 105 non-EU countries whose citizens require a visa if they wish to travel to the EU. Obtaining a Schengen visa is the best way for such citizens to travel across multiple countries on a single permit.
In 2019, over 15 million people used this type of visa to travel around Europe.
Facilitating European travel for your international employees
Employers applying for Tier 2 skilled work visas for overseas nationals may also wish to consider applying for a Schengen visa for the employee at the same time.
This is an ideal solution for overseas employees based in the UK whose roles may require them to travel across Europe. By submitting an application for a Schengen visa at the same time as the Tier 2 application, employers will have the flexibility and peace of mind that they can easily facilitate short notice travel to Europe for their employees.
Twinned Tier 2 and Schengen Visa service
Smith Stone Walters is pleased to offer a bespoke, twinned service for Tier 2 and Schengen applications, which is growing in popularity with our clients.
By partnering with us, we will work with you to ensure both Tier 2 and Schengen applications are prepared for your overseas employees simultaneously, securing a fast-tracked decision to provide your business with the fastest and most effective delivery possible.