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Luxembourg celebrates national day; Schengen Area now in 19th year

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Today marks the Grand Duke of Luxembourg's Official Birthday, the national day of the landlocked Western European country, which is also a part of the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area, which covers 26 European nations including Luxembourg, was created in 1995, and the agreement that led to the Schengen Area's formation was signed in 1985 near the wine-making town of Schengen in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, to which the Schengen Area owes its name.

All 26 members of the Schengen Area share a common visa policy, which means that visitors who hold Schengen visas are able to travel freely across all 26 nations.

In 2011, R.O.C. passport holders were granted visa exempt status for traveling in the Schengen Area. Taiwanese nationals can now travel to countries in Europe without a visa and stay for up to 90 days; however, those who wish to stay longer, as well as those who are traveling to the region for study or employment purposes, need to apply for a national visa from the member state in question.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently advised Taiwanese nationals to prepare supporting documents, such as an invitation letter, proof of lodging or a return ticket, before traveling to the Schengen Area.

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Luxembourg's Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Grand Duke Henri arrive at the Luxembourg City Hall to attend the civil wedding ceremony of Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy and Prince Guillaume, heir to the throne, on October 19, 2012.

(AFP)

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