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Schengen Area

The Schengen Area ( /ˈʃɛŋən/, /ˈʃɛŋɡən/) is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the Schengen Agreement. States in the Schengen Area have strengthened border controls with non-Schengen countries.

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When I tried to apply for a visa to Spain, it was complicated. I applied in Houston, TX at the consulate. Go to the website to find out what you need. But I am here to explain what they didn´t tell you. When I showed up, I presented all the documents the website asks for. But apparently I was still missing some things. Make sure you have a copy of your birth certificate, proof of medical insurance, a doctors note saying you are fit for travel and your FBI background check. Make double sure that any documents you need notarized, are notarized and any documents you need and appostille on, has it. This includes your background check. If you a minor, the FBI appostille can be waived but make sure you alert the consulate to that fact. Fill out the correct application, and it is probably best to request a multiple entry visa. (in case you travel) Last but not least, do not freak out when you get your visa back and it says it expires in 90 days, you need to get a residence card when you get to Spain.

Contributed by SondraClaire Sellers

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