This situation means that non-EU Schengen Member States have few formally binding options to influence the design and development of Schengen rules; their options are effectively reduced to consent or withdrawal from the agreement. However, prior to the adoption of certain new laws, consultations are held with the countries concerned.  Etymology: From Schengen, the city of Luxembourg where the agreement was concluded and ratified. Three European microstates – Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City – are not officially part of Schengen, but are de facto part of the Schengen area, meaning they are accessible without border controls. They have open borders and no border control with the Schengen countries around them. Some national laws contain the text “Countries against which border controls are not carried out on the basis of the Schengen Agreement and Regulation (EU) No 562/2006″, which then includes micro-states and other non-European areas with open borders. The three micro-states cannot issue Schengen visas and, with the exception of Monaco, are not part of the Schengen area. San Marino and Vatican City are both landlocked states surrounded by Italy and have no airport or seaport. They do not carry out border controls for arrivals from outside Schengen.
Helicopters are not allowed to fly from outside Schengen or from a ship directly to San Marino or Vatican City. Differences of opinion between Member States led to an impasse in the abolition of border controls within the Community, but in 1985 five of the then ten Member States – Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany – signed an agreement on the phasing out of common border controls. The agreement was signed on the ship Princess Marie-Astrid on the Moselle near the city of Schengen in Luxembourg, where the territories of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet. Three of the signatories, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, had already abolished common border controls within the framework of the Benelux Economic Union. [Citation needed] Visa liberalisation negotiations between the EU and the Western Balkans (excluding Kosovo) started in the first half of 2008 and ended in 2009 (for Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) and 2010 (for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina). Before the complete abolition of visas, the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) had signed “visa facilitation agreements” with the Schengen states in 2008. Visa facilitation agreements at the time were aimed at shortening wait times, reducing visa fees (including free visas for certain categories of travellers) and reducing red tape. In practice, however, the new procedures have proven to be longer, heavier, more costly, and many people have complained that it is easier to obtain visas before the entry into force of the facilitation agreements.    Although Switzerland is not part of the EU, due to its position at the heart of Europe, it is strongly linked economically and socially to many Schengen states and, together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein (other non-EU states within the Schengen area), belongs to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Switzerland became a member of the Schengen area after the signing of the agreement on 26 October 2004 and the start of its implementation on 12 December 2008.
In 1999, the United Kingdom formally requested to participate in certain provisions of the Schengen acquis – Title III on police security and judicial cooperation – in 1999, and this request was approved by the Council of the European Union on 29 May 2000.  The UK`s formal participation in previously approved areas of cooperation was implemented by a 2004 Council Decision, which was adopted on 1. It entered into force in January 2005.  Although the UK is not part of the passport-free Schengen area, it has nevertheless used the Schengen Information System, a government database used by European countries to store and disseminate information about people and goods. This has allowed the UK to share information with countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement, often to cooperate with law enforcement.  In 2020, the United Kingdom stated that it would withdraw from these regimes at the end of its transition period. Permits are issued with a validity period of between one and five years and allow a stay in the border area of up to three months. Permits can only be granted to legal residents of the border area who have been in the border area for at least one year (or more if specified in the bilateral agreement).
Applicants must demonstrate that they have legitimate reasons to frequently cross an external land border under the local border traffic regime. The Schengen States must keep a central register of authorisations granted and grant the other Schengen States immediate access to the relevant data. At many external border crossings, there are special lanes for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens (and their family members) and other routes for all travellers, regardless of nationality.  At some external border crossing points, there is a third type of lane for Travellers who are Annex II nationals (i.B non-EU/EEA/Swiss visa-exempt citizens).  Although Andorran and San Marino citizens are not EU or EEA citizens, they can still use the special routes for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.  British citizens will not be able to use the EU route after Brexit under the current state of the rules, unless such a right is negotiated in the Brexit agreement with the EU. Vatican City has an open border with Italy. In 2006, it expressed its interest in acceding to the Schengen Agreement on enhanced cooperation in the exchange of information and similar activities covered by the Schengen Information System.
 Exceptionally, Italy allowed people to visit Vatican City without being accepted for an Italian visa, then escorted by police between the airport and the Vatican or to use a helicopter. [Citation needed] However, there is no customs union (including customs duties) between Italy and the Vatican, so all vehicles are checked at the Vaticano`s borders. Before concluding an agreement with a neighbouring country, the Schengen state must obtain the agreement of the European Commission, which must confirm that the draft agreement complies with the regulation. The agreement can only be concluded if the neighbouring country grants at least reciprocal rights to EEA and Swiss nationals residing on the Schengen side of the border area and accepts the return of persons who abuse the border agreement. .