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Europe for 1 Year.. Do i need Schengen Visa????

Travel Forums Europe Europe for 1 Year.. Do i need Schengen Visa????

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1. Posted by Jmavro (Budding Member 18 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Anyone ever hear about this?

My girlfriend and i are traveling through europe for 1 year..

Anyone else spent more than 3 moths in Europe and run across any issues with this?


2. Posted by larondey (Full Member 105 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Technically, as long as you leave the Schengen zone at least once every three months with your US passport, no one will say anything and you won't need to get a visa. I'm going to Europe for 4 months starting this August and will be getting a multiple entry Schengen visa. While I'll definitely leave the Schengen zone a few times (Istanbul, London,...) I want to be on the safe side. It's only $41.50 and you don't need to really worry about getting turned down.


[ Edit: - ]

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

The info larondey gave you is not quite correct.

The general rule stipulates a maximum 90-day stay within a 180-day period beginning from the first day of entry. Provided a multiple-entry visa has been granted, one may leave and return a number of times within the 180-day period but the combined stay within the region must total no more than 90 days.

So leaving the Schengen area after 90 days and returning a few days later to get an automatic visa renewal is not an option. You can get a new tourist visa for all Schengen countries only after 180 days from your first entry into Schengen territory. Yeah, sucks.

And yes, this rule does apply to you too - as an US citizen, you are on a visa waiver programm. This only means that you will get a visa on the airport or the border as opposed to applyingfor it at an embassy. It's a special privilege granted to those lucky enough to have a USA passport. Don't abuse it.

I suggest you do it that way: first you travel around Western Europe for 90 days excluding UK and Ireland, then hit Eastern Europe for 90 days including Turkey, then return via Greece to the Schengen countries and then go to the UK and Ireland.

I'll be back with more info on Schengen visa rules later.

4. Posted by SeeTheSky (Full Member 558 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

this is interesting, i've had similar thoughts about it, and i really dont know where to look about it.. so you're saying as an american, i could just show up, get a visa, travel, and i can keep doing the 90-day thing if i just move from one area of europe to another? sigh im so ignorant of all this. info would be appreciated

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Visa law is very complicated.

I checked with some experts, and the gist is that based upon VO-(EG) 539/2001 citizens of the USA do not need a visa to visit the following states

Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Finnland, Greece, Italy, Island, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Sweden und Spain

under the condition that:

purpose of the visit is tourism and
time spent in these countries is no longer than 90 days within a 180 days period.

So when you fly from the US to any of the above countries, you have 90 days to see them all. If you cannot, you'll have to leave all of them and spent 90 days outside.

Example A: John flies Jan 1st into Paris from the USA -> 90 days for travel in the mentioned countries without visa. John visits France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands. 90 days are over. John must go to a non-Schengen state like the UK and Ireland, and travel there 90 days. 90 + 90 = 180 days = 6 months, John is allowed to go back into Schengen territory (= the above countries) on July 1st. From July 1st John can travel Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Italy and Greece for another 90 days.

Example B: Jane arrives in Barcelona on May 1st. After a month in Spain, she flies to London on June 1st. After a month in the UK she goes to Germany (July 1st) for 2 weeks. From Germany she flies to Turkey. She stays in Turkey for 2 weeks and then makes her way to Greece and Italy. She has then one month and two weeks left for Italy and Greece out of her 90 days (3 months) out of a 180 days (6 months) period.

30 days Spain - counts
30 days UK - doesn't count
2 weeks Germany- counts
2 weeks Turkey - doesn't count

Jane has spent 6 weeks within a time frame of 3 months within Schengen countries. She has another 6 weeks of visafree travel in the above countries.

Those rules apply for US citizens!

and travels from there around Eastern Europe

6. Posted by Jmavro (Budding Member 18 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Just a Quick question...

Has anyone ever had a Schengen Visa problem? (overstaying, getting an extension, etc..) How strictly is this enforced?

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Don't f*** around with the authorities. If they catch you with significant overstay, you will be banned from entering the Schengen territory for certain amount of time. In very serious offenses you could be sent to jail and get a lifelong ban.

A US citizen who overstays for a few days and gets caught flying out to the US, will probably get away with "oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't know!" and will never know the difference as long as s/he stays away from the Schengen territories for the next few years or so.

A citizen from any of the countries mentioned in appendix I to VO-(EG) 539/2001 will have bigger trouble. (Countries in appendix I are for example Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Peru, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Phillipines and a few others.) If any of those citizens overstay even for one or two days, their infraction will be noted and they will have significant trouble to get another Schengen visa within their lifetime.

Within this light should be noted that several states have joined the Schengen treaty, notably Switzerland and the new Eastern Europe EU member states. Therefore the ban that would now be for only Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Finnland, Greece, Italy, Island, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Sweden und Spain will be extended automatically to those countries too once they become full Schengen members.

8. Posted by Bilancini8 (Budding Member 4 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

But what I'm wondering is how come the 180 day period not count towards the days prior to your stay.

For example, if you enter the Schengen states and do two consecutive 90 day stays, but count the months before and after as part of the 180 day period?

Oct 1-Dec 31 Non Schengen
Jan 1-Mar 31 Schengen
Apr 1-June 30 Schengen
July 1-Sep 30 Non Schengen

Technically, that is still 90 days in a 180 day period. Has anyone had any luck using this tactic?

9. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

The 180 days start on the day you first enter a Schengen state. The 180 day rule is exactly to prevent people from popping into a non-Schengen state for a few days to get an easy visa renewal.

The only way your tactic would work if you did a short visit at the beginning of the 180 day period, at the 1st of October in your example. Then going outside the Schengen states on March 31st could work to get a new visa.

However, problems arise when you need to apply for a Schengen visa at an embassy to start with, when you aren't travelling on an US, Aussi, Kiwi, Canadian, etc passport.

Then you would have to apply for a visa renewal in the country you are staying in - and THAT, peeps, is a real pain.

10. Posted by emd (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Be very careful messing around with visa laws. I know you are travelling a lot, but here's my story on a residence visa:

I came to Vienna in January, for a 6 month stay, requiring a residence visa. Prior to 1 Jan 2006 when the law (quietly) changed, US citizens and EU nationals could apply for the residence visa from within Austria within the 90 days entry (allowed without a visa). Once the new law went into effect 1 Jan, all residence visas had to be applied for before one comes to Austria. Chicken and egg problem here, since I was already in the country... eventually the Austrian ministry told me I could go 40km down the road to Bratislava (nice littl city to visit by the way), to the Austrian embassy there, and apply. Worked out ok in the end... and they ended up giving me a Schengen visa with a 10-day entry. Crazy. So I'm ok until I leave in June/July, but still, was a mess to deal with

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