Bulgaria and Romania to Partially Join Schengen Area in March 2024

Effective March 31, 2024, Bulgaria and Romania will partially join Europe’s Schengen Area, with border checks to cease for any air- or sea-based travel between Bulgaria, Romania and other Schengen Area countries.

Air and sea travel between Bulgaria, Romania and Schengen Area countries will become easier and quicker, as affected travelers will no longer be subject to border control inspections.

Following further guidance from EU officials, it has been clarified that Bulgaria and Romania are expected to start issuing uniform Schengen C visas from April 1, 2024. Generally, national entry visas only provide transit rights through Schengen Area countries (unless the Schengen Area country has specifically granted entry and stay rights for such visas).

Until further notice, border checks will continue to apply for any land-based travel between either Bulgaria or Romania and other Schengen Area countries. The European Council will continue talks in 2024 to lift such land border checks. No date has yet been set for a further vote on this issue. We will monitor and report related developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only.  If you have any questions, please contact us