Hi, My partner and I are planning to retire in about a year and then want to base ourselve in rural france, rent a small villa/cottage and then travel to various places in different countrys then back to base for a rest and plan the next trip. We hope to be there for 6 to 12 months in total. First timers in Europe and no nothing about the requirements. Australians with Australian passports. Can anyone give us advise on what visa requirements are in EU and really advise on anything, places to see, potential problems etc etc etc. We plan to buy a small deisel car when we get there and get around in that or by train. - All advice greatly appreciated, we are babes in the woods and need all the help we can get - thanks
Ther are two large political entities in Europe, the EU and the Schengen area. Some countries belong to both, some to only one of them and some to none of them.
As Australians you can stay in the Schengen area - many countries of Europe are part of this - for only 90 days out of 180, then you must leave for another 90 days.
So you'll need a long term visa if you plan to stay for half a year/a year in one spot.
Long term visa are issued by the individual countries, unlike the Schengen visa.
To stay in France for half a year, you need to apply at the French embassy/consulate, but it won't be easy.
There are student visa and working holiday visa, but if you're about to retire you'll be too old for these. Some countries have a sort of retirement visa. You need to prove that you have enough financial funds to cover you for the whole period of your stay, plus health insurance.
Check what the embassy says about this visa.
Another option would be to stay in one spot in Schengen (France for ex.) for three months, then leave Schengen for the next three months ( the Uk or Croatia for example), then come back to Schengen etc.