Insurance Blog

Posted: 01/23/20244,744 Views

As reported last year, Bulgaria and Romania are set to become the latest members of the Schengen Agreement. Although it was originally believed that both countries would join the massive Schengen zone by the end of 2023, their membership has now officially been announced as taking effect on March 31, 2024.

From March 31 onwards, foreign visitors will be able to enter both Bulgaria and Romania on a Schengen Visa which can also be used to travel to or between any other Schengen member nations on a common visa. Residents of Schengen countries will also be able to travel to Bulgaria or Romania with no internal border controls, save for one, which will we explain.

Arriving by Air or Sea

If you’re flying or arriving via a Bulgarian or Romanian seaport from outside the Schengen Area, you will need to show your passport with proof of Schengen visa (if required for you). If you’re arriving by air or sea from another Schengen country, no passport or ID will be required to enter Bulgaria or Romania.

Arriving by Train, Bus, or Car

The same rules will apply, with one notable exception. For the time being, all incoming visitors to Bulgaria or Romania via land borders will still be required to show proof of identification. This is due to a veto by Austria during the Schengen approval process. It is expected that this requirement will only be temporary.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa for Bulgaria or Romania?

Citizens of many countries, including China and India, are required to apply for a Schengen Visa to visit any country in the Schengen Area. From the end of March onwards, this requirement will include travel to Bulgaria or Romania. You can find a list of nationalities that require a Schengen Visa here

Schengen Visa Travel Insurance is Mandatory

Anyone who requires a Schengen visa is also required by law to purchase compliant Schengen visa travel insurance. You must show proof of this insurance as part of the visa application process. Our website can provide you with a variety of compliant plans to choose from, each with an instant visa letter to present to the consulate as your proof of insurance.

For those who don’t need a visa to visit Schengen countries such as those from the USA, Japan, Australia, and Canada, it is still highly recommended that you purchase travel medical insurance to protect your finances in case of illness or injury that requires treatment. Remember, the socialized healthcare provided by many Schengen countries does not necessarily cover foreign visitors, so you need to be prepared in case you get sick or hurt. Travel medical insurance can provide this protection for a very modest price.

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