Ask the Lawyer:  Do I need a visa to travel to Europe?

Ask the Lawyer:  Do I need a visa to travel to Europe?

Q:  We’re occurring a household trip to Europe for 3 weeks. My spouse, our 11 12 months previous son, and I.  We’re going to a number of international locations and have our passports, however do we want a visa?

– T.H., Torrance

A: There’s a treaty often known as the Schengen Settlement, which encompasses 26 European international locations.  Every of these international locations has largely ended inner border checks for: (a) “short-term tourism” (90 days or much less), which possible applies to

Ron Sokol
Ron Sokol

you, (b) a enterprise journey, or (c) transit to a non-Schengen vacation spot. The international locations which can be a part of the Schengen Settlement are listed beneath on the finish of this column.

Nonetheless, in case you are touring to Schengen nations for 90 days or much less, and thus don’t require a visa, be sure to have a minimum of 6 months of validity remaining in your passport. As well as, make sure that to assessment the expiration date of your and your child’s passport earlier than you journey to Europe. Your son’s passport is legitimate for five not 10 years, the latter which applies to passports for these 16 and older.  You should definitely have your passport with you whenever you journey all through Europe, since you by no means know if it could be helpful. And, be sure to obtain a stamp in your passport whenever you enter and exit any Schengen nation.  That is all for functions of erring on the facet of warning.

Completely satisfied and secure travels!

Q:  We’re touring to Hong Kong for a couple of nights, after which onto mainland China.  Do we want a visa?

– G.R., Rancho Palos Verdes

A:  U.S. residents visiting Hong Kong don’t want a visa to enter. Those that plan to go to mainland China, nonetheless, might want to have a visa. You’ll be able to apply by way of the Chinese language Embassy or Consulate Common.


Here’s a useful useful resource earlier than you journey outdoors of the U.S., together with how one can change cash, get visas for sure international locations, and sign-up for presidency journey packages and security alerts. Additionally, you may examine how one can apply for a world driver’s allow. Go to:

SCHENGEN COUNTRIESThe 26 member international locations of the Schengen settlement are: 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.

Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Seaside lawyer with greater than 35 years of expertise. His column, which seems on Wednesdays, presents a abstract of the legislation and shouldn’t be construed as authorized recommendation. Electronic mail questions and feedback to him at or write to him at Ask the Lawyer, Every day Breeze, 21250 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 170, Torrance, CA 90503.

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