Frequently Asked Questions on the Schengen visa-free system for citizens of the Republic of Moldova
1. What documents are needed in order to enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Area?
As of 28 April 2014, Moldovan citizens who are holders of a biometric passport enjoy a visa-free travel system in the EU countries and Schengen countries. The biometric passport should be valid for at least 3 months after your scheduled return. Your passport needs to have this logo:
2. Can I enter the Schengen Area more than one time over 90 days in any 180-day period?
Yes, you can. However you must not exceed the overall total of 90 (ninety) days of stay within any 180-day period. The length of authorised stay in the Schengen Area can be determined through the use of the short-stay calculator and its user’s guide.
With the help of the calculator (‘planning’ mode) — based on previous entries and exits of the traveller to the Schengen Area — it is possible to compute the maximum length of stay allowed from any particular day in the future.
3. In which countries does the visa exemption apply?
The visa-free system applies to travel to the territories of all EU countries, except for Ireland. Visa-free access to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland is also possible, as non-EU members of Schengen.
4. Does the visa-free system give you the right to enter unconditionally the territory of Schengen countries?
The visa exemption gives a right of entry and short stay, but this right is subject to basic conditions. Countries have the right to refuse entry into, and short stays in, their territories if one or more of the Schengen entry conditions are not met. For stays not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period, these entry and short-stay conditions are the following:
(a) to be in possession of a valid travel document or documents authorising them to cross the border;
(b) to be able to justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, and to have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return;
(c) not to be a person for whom an alert has been issued in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry;
(d) not to be considered a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the member countries.
5. What are my rights if I am refused entry?
If entry is refused to a country, the third-country national shall be issued with a substantiated written decision on a standard form, stating the precise reasons for the refusal. The completed form shall be handed over to the third-country national concerned, who shall acknowledge receipt of the decision.
Persons refused entry have the right to appeal. Such appeals shall be conducted in accordance with the national law of the country which has refused entry. A written indication of contact points providing information on representatives competent to act on behalf of the third-country national shall also be given to the person concerned.
Lodging such an appeal shall not have a suspensive effect on a decision to refuse entry.
For more information, check Council Regulation 562/2006 on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code).
6. What documents do I need to show to the immigration officer at the port of entry?
You need to show your biometric passport.
The immigration officer may also ask you to show: flight tickets for your journey, including return tickets; evidence of sufficient means of subsistence; reservation of accommodation, if relevant; invitation letter in case of visits, conferences; school enrolment certificate in case of study; etc.
7. How much money do I need to have with me in order to travel as a tourist to the Schengen Area?
According to Article 5(3) of the Schengen Borders Code: ‘means of subsistence shall be assessed in accordance with the duration and the purpose of the stay and by reference to average prices in the Member State(s)concerned for board and lodging in budget accommodation, multiplied by the number of days stayed.’
The verification that the third-country national concerned has sufficient means of subsistence for the duration and purpose of the intended stay, for his/her return to the country of origin or transit to a third country (if no travel tickets have been bought in advance) or that he/she can obtain these means legally (e.g. by using his/her credit card). In order to assess the means of subsistence, reference amounts have been set by each Schengen country and can be consulted here.
The verification of sufficient means of subsistence may be based on cash, travellers' cheques and credit cards in the third‑country national's possession. Declarations of sponsorships, where such declarations are provided for by national legislation and letters of guarantee/invitation from hosts, as defined by national legislation, in case the third-country national is staying with a host, may also constitute evidence of sufficient means of subsistence.
The validity of a credit card can be verified by contacting the issuing company or by using other facilities available at the border crossing point (e.g. exchange offices).
Invitations from hosts can be verified by contacting the host directly or by verifying the host's good faith through the national contact points of the member country of residence of the host.
8. Is travel medical insurance always necessary in order to travel in the Schengen Area?
Travel medical insurance is not mandatory for visa-free third-country nationals. Nonetheless, it is recommended to get some in case of travel to the Schengen countries.
9. Is it always necessary to have a return ticket before entering the Schengen Area?
It is recommended when travelling by air/train/bus to have a return ticket. However, it is not an obligation.
10. Do I need a visa to work in the Schengen Area for less than 3 months?
Yes, most Schengen countries require a visa and a work permit if you intend to work, even if it is for less than 3 months.
Further information is available here.
11. If I plan to visit a friend or relative living in the Schengen Area will I need to provide any specific information on this person at the border?
You may be asked to provide information on this person. It is recommended to have at least the address and contact number.
12. Will I need a visa to visit any Schengen Area country for business, such as attending meetings, a training course, or an exhibition for a short stay?
13. Will I need to apply for a visa or study permit if I plan to travel to the Schengen Area for short-term studies?
You will need to apply for a study permit only in case you intend to undertake studies exceeding 90 days of stay in the Schengen Area within any period of 180 days. The rules vary from country to country. Therefore it is recommended to consult the embassy or consulate of the country you intend to study in prior to starting your studies.
14. Are there any restrictions related to travel from one Schengen country to another?
There is no border control between Schengen countries. There are still border controls between the Schengen countries and Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. Citizens of the Republic of Moldova are obliged to always carry their passport with them at all times during their stay, as national laws may prescribe occasional border controls within the Schengen Area.
15. If I stay more than 90 days (without a residence permit or a long-term visa) or work in the Schengen Area (without a working permit), what can happen?
Staying more than 90 days in any 180-day period can result in a re-entry ban from the Schengen Area. Working in the Schengen Area without a work permit is illegal (even if less than 90 days) and can likewise result in a re-entry ban from the Schengen Area.