How to Stay in Europe Without a Visa (Legally, of Course)

fall in scandinavia

So many of my friends and readers have asked me this question over the years: how have you managed to stay in Europe for so long? How hard is it to get a visa, or to travel from one country to another? 

Jetting off to Europe, exploring every nook and corner of cities regularly pictured in romantic movies, sipping wine on a terrace while admiring the view of the medieval square. Yes, along-term vacation to Europe sounds quite dreamy, but there are a few rules to follow when it comes to staying in Europe legally and avoiding trouble at the border.

The post is mostly aimed at Canadians, Australians and Americans, as the visa policies are quite resembling when it comes to European territory.

Europe Without a Visa — Understanding the Schengen Area

Europe Without a Visa

The most crucial notion to keep in mind when organizing a European vacation is the Schengen area. It’s important to know that the European Union, the Euro Zone and the Schengen area, while similar in many ways, are quite different in reality. The the two former items are economic and political areas, the latter, is geographical. The area currently covers a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres (in other words, enough to keep you busy for a little while!).

The Schengen area is comprised of 26 European countries that have abolished border control in-between their common border, functioning as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. 

The general rule, for both Americans and Canadians, is a maximum stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

There are basically two options at this point:

  • Consecutive stay: Allows for 90 consecutive days within the Schengen area, during which visitors are free to move around as much as they want so long as they leave immediately once their 90 days are up – at which point they will have to wait another consecutive 90-day period to re-enter the area.
  • Non-consecutive stay: Allows for 90 non-consecutive days within the Schengen area, during which visitors are free to enter and exit the area as much as they want so long as long as they don’t exceed a total of 90 days over a period of 180 days from the first date of entry. Visitors opting for this scenario will not have to wait to re-enter the zone once their initial 180-day period is up.

For these two scenarios, it is very important to understand that the clock doesn’t start back every time you re-enter the zone within that same 90-day period. It only starts back 180 days after your first entry.

Europe Without a Visa — Playing by the Rules

48 Hours In Zurich

It’s actually pretty easy to legally stay in Europe without a visa for more than the allotted 90 days. There are basically two scenarios possible: either get a long-term visa in one of the included European countries, or exit the Schengen area by visiting surrounding countries.

Getting a Long-Term Visa

Despite being part of the same geographical area, not all countries have the same rules when it comes to long-term stays. Some countries simply don’t offer the option, while others require ample paperwork in exchange of a tiny stamp in your passport, which will allow you to stay for a specific amount of time and under specific conditions.

A few countries offer long-term visas (Italy, France, Sweden, for example) and other offer employment-specific visas (Germany has a self-employment/freelancing visa) that can apply to you. Some even have mutual exchange programs that allow young citizens to live and work abroad for a definite amount of time (Sweden-Canada, France and French-speaking Canada, for example).

Citizens of Canada, United States and Australia under the age of 30 are also eligible to working holidays visas in the United Kingdom (this is what I did when I moved the UK for 10 months), which can be a fantastic and inexpensive way to legally spend a year or two in Europe, granted that you have substantial savings (usually a minimum of $5000) to prove that you can subsist on your own money and not public funding while you are there.

Details concerning these visas and the rules that apply to you can be found on your home country embassy’s website.

Photos of Venice

Exiting the Schengen Area While Staying in Europe

The UK, Ireland, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Cyprus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia are not part of the Schengen area. Each country has a different set of rules for visitors, but it would definitely be worth looking into including these countries to your European voyage in order to maximize your time on the continent.

Canadians, Australians, and Americans are legally allowed to stay for 180 consecutive days in the UK, the ideal place to spend time while waiting to re-enter the Schengen area after completing a 90-day stay.

If you are serious about “legally hacking” your stay in Europe, you should regularly check the status of countries that have either declined to be in or have yet to be implemented to the Schengen area, as the rules could change and therefore impact your itinerary. Right now the main countries to follow-up on are Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania.

fall in scandinavia

Europe Without a Visa — Good to Know

  • No visa necessary to travel to the Schengen area for Canadians, Australians, and Americans for the regular 90-day stay.
  • Visitors are not allowed to work or rely on public funding during that time.
  • It is not possible to extend a Schengen area stay without an official visa.
  • While I do not advocate going around the rules in any way, visitors should know that Northern countries are notoriously strict with entry and exit, while Southern countries tend to be less careful. Either way, it is unwise to overstay in the Schengen area, as you could end up with the “Illegal Immigrant” mention on your passport.
  • The UK, Ireland, some of the Balkan countries, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine are not part of the Schengen area and may require a visa or, at the very least, border control. They are also great places to spend time in between 90-day stays in the Schengen area. Other non-European countries like Morocco, considering its geographical proximity, should also be considered.
  • Southern Spain, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, the Balkans and Turkey are incredibly inexpensive places to live in, while France, Scandinavia, the UK and Germany tend to be a bit more costly.

Spending a lengthy amount of time in Europe is something many people only dream about, yet it’s surprisingly easy to accomplish with a little bit of research, organization and compromise. I always tell people that living abroad or going on an extended vacation is an incredible life experience that provides so much more than just pretty travel pictures.

Disclaimer: I AM NOT AN IMMIGRATION ADVISOR. If you have specific questions regarding your immigration situation, please contact your embassy in the country you plan on visiting in Europe. Best of luck with your travels!

219 Comments on How to Stay in Europe Without a Visa (Legally, of Course)

  1. Laura
    March 31, 2014 at 9:47 am (5 years ago)

    Germany and France’s youth visas for Canadians extend to age 35… you just have to apply before turning 36.

    Apparently youthfulness lasts longer in those two countries :)

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      March 31, 2014 at 11:22 am (5 years ago)

      I think it’s the cheese! :-P

      • Lash
        July 6, 2017 at 8:11 am (2 years ago)


        It sounds like a lot of work and enough rules to drive someone batty. What if you start in Germany and get a self employed visa. Then you can stay in the other countries longer since you originated from inside the S zone.

      • Marie-Eve
        August 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm (2 years ago)

        Not sure it works like that. The visa is only valid for the country you’re residing in.

  2. Bratran Mavuabu
    April 1, 2014 at 6:09 am (5 years ago)

    Maybe I missed a meeting or two, but can someone remind me why exactly it is such a cool idea to stay an extended period of time in Europe? This article sounds desperate about this subject, but I fail to see why the objective is so attractive. I never ever in my life wanted to spend an extended time anywhere in the world, let alone Europe… so a bit of enlightenment would perhaps help me understanding this new craze? Thanks! :-)

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 1, 2014 at 9:33 am (5 years ago)

      Well, some people like the idea of taking a sabbatical year from work or a gap year after college and go explore Europe. Some people are drawn to the idea of switching daily obligations (bills, work, schedule, etc.) for a couple of months of discovery, lazy mornings, culinary experiences and long walks on the beach.

      • SSmith
        September 18, 2018 at 12:13 pm (6 months ago)

        In reference to your answer to the comment below from RICK, what could you do to earn money? I understand the moving around a bit to “legally” play with the border/country rules. But, unless you have 100K in the bank, you’d have to get a job here and there, right?

      • Lindsey
        January 10, 2019 at 3:03 pm (2 months ago)

        If you save up about 10k you will be good to backpack around europe for 4 months. I bus tables and was able to do it.

    • Rick
      April 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm (5 years ago)

      I am an American and would like to spend the rest of my life in Europe if i could figure out how to accomplish it.

      • Marie-Eve Vallieres
        April 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm (5 years ago)

        Well I’ve just told you how to do it :-) You just have to move around a bit!

  3. Andrea
    April 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm (5 years ago)

    My understanding of the law is that you have to spend 90 days out before you can “renew” another 90 days with Schengen. It’s so frustrating because they keep expanding the zone. Personally I think they should increase the time to 6 months, as should the United States because who can see the whole country (or in Europe’s case, countries) in three months? And to the commenter above, golly – I love Europe and could spend a year there easily just travelling around. So many countries and all accessible by train, with such different cultures so close together…bliss!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 1, 2014 at 8:52 pm (5 years ago)

      Yes, that’s exactly what the law states. I’m sorry if I made that unclear. And I completely agree with you — 90 days is not nearly enough time to cover all of Europe! But I see it as a great opportunity to focus on countries that are less popular or not within the zone, like the UK, Ireland, Turkey, Cyprus, etc.

      • Carol
        January 12, 2016 at 8:48 pm (3 years ago)

        I’m not sure I understand the restrictions but the way I’m reading it is that you spend 90 days in Schengen, then 90 days out, then I have to leave altogether unless I get a long term visa? I’m starting an open ended trip in a few months so it could be a year, but just to know if I’m understanding correctly?

      • Marie-Eve
        January 12, 2016 at 11:13 pm (3 years ago)

        If you spend 90 days in, and then 90 days out, you are free to come back for another 90-day period. Remember the 90/180 rule: you can’t spend more than 90 days within Schengen over each 180 day period, consecutive or not.

        If you are planning to be there for 365 days (i.e., 2 x 180 days), you’ll have to break it down into four 90-day periods. One in, one out, one in, one out.

    • Jamie Quarfeld
      March 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm (3 years ago)

      Sorry for my confusion… but this whole idea of going to the UK is a bit confusing for me…
      It was my understanding that you can visit the UK for even just a few days and the stamp offers you an additional 90 days in both the UK and the Schengen zone…
      But this explanation about leaving for a full 90 days after the 90-day Schengen period is used seems to indicate that I shouldn’t plan on returning to the EU before spending 90 days outside of it?

      This is a bit confusing. I already extended it this way once after an exchange in the Netherlands. But at that time there was some gray area with the student visa and when you should leave. So now I am a little more concerned. Some clarity would be helpful! Thank you.

      • Marie-Eve
        March 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm (3 years ago)

        Hey Jamie, the clock doesn’t start back every time you re-enter Schengen. If you’ve been in Schengen for 90 consecutive days, you need to go to a non-Schengen country or countries (e.g., the UK) for 90 days before you can legally re-enter.

  4. Grifel
    April 2, 2014 at 9:10 am (5 years ago)

    First I want to thank you for this excellent explanation of the Schengen zone visas. It’s a keeper!

    Then I want to ask: Has anyone ever heard of people being deported for overstaying a Schengen visa? Or of anyone’s “visa” being checked? I have often gone to Europe without a thought about the visa since the first year, when we stayed for 6 months within the “zone.” I really don’t think there’s much to worry about here. I have flown into London and then traveled into the Schengen zone to avoid the stamp of a Schengen country in my passport but I don’t think I’d do that now. If you stay for a long time in one locale, you might wish to apply for a long-stay visa, but in general the reality is that this seems very unnecessary for the traveler on the move. I think it’s been created to limit the stays of those who might be considered “undesirable.”

    Am I wrong?

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 4, 2014 at 10:46 am (5 years ago)

      I think the general rule is to not overstay, period. However, the trouble you will be in (or lack thereof) really depends on the border officer.

    • Abigail
      January 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi, thank you Marie-Eve for the site and the thread. Although the thread is older at this point, people like me may still be reading it in 2016. I want to address the above where it is asked if anyone has really run into any problems overstaying their Visa. I am one of those people. I travel a lot in Europe and never had the problem I had. I didn’t realize I was barely even two days over my visa when I was staying in Lesvos, Greece. I wanted to go for the day to Turkey. For some reason I had it in my mind, as did those around me that it was three months in one country that was the limit. I had been in Germany during this trip as well. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Well, I was detained by 9 police people in a very scary, sparse room and situation. I had to gather over 650 Euros in cash to pay for an extension. There were no major banks near the port. I had to go into Turkey, leave my passport with the Greek officials, as is the custom- this in a very exposed box where mine was the only US passport, go to a bank in Turkey, make a whole bunch of currency exchanges, come back the same day into Greece, only to be detained again. Had I not had sufficient funds, and maybe a rather serious love story, I would not have been allowed to my hotel back up in the mountains and yes been deported straight away. I had help here in the states. They called the consulate making sure this was all on the up and up dealing with cash especially. And we were told yes it was all quite legal. The questioning I went through at the border was not pleasant. The whole experience was one I would never want any one to go through. So, please play by the rules folks.

      • Mary
        January 29, 2016 at 7:47 pm (3 years ago)

        I wish I’d read this post/thread before last year. I always had in mind that Canadians could stay 6 months in the EU/Sch zone w/o visa. So, I took a 3-month trip through 4 countries, and extended another month. On my departure I was told by the officer who stamped my passport that it was 3 months. Whoops. And *&^%$#@. Now I’m worried I’ll have an “illegal” on my passport. Scary, since I can’t wait to go back and would live there if I could (legally–I’m no good at cloak and dagger).

      • Marie-Eve
        January 30, 2016 at 9:31 pm (3 years ago)

        Well, the worst that can happen is that your passport will be more thoroughly checked at the border. I wouldn’t worry about it :-)

  5. Gerardo Fainsod
    April 7, 2014 at 12:31 am (5 years ago)

    Hi Marie,
    I really appreciate your blog, its been a great guide for my trip to Europe… I´ll be traveling for 3 months (going solo).

    The thing is that Im mexican and I don’t quite understand the limits that I might have. I know most of your audience are americans and canadians, but if you have any advise regarding the Schengen area I´d really appreciate your help.

    Im starting May the 1st, and Im already nervous and excited!


    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 7, 2014 at 9:52 am (5 years ago)

      Hello Gerardo! As per the Schenge agreement, Mexicans can stay up to 90 days at a time in the Schengen area without a visa. Pretty much the same rules applies to Mexicans, Canadians and Americans. Hope this helps, have a great trip! :-)

  6. Gerardo Fainsod
    April 7, 2014 at 5:22 pm (5 years ago)

    Thanks a lot Marie! Any recommendation? Im pretty excited about Scotland, Portugal, Croatia and Norway…

    Of course the must visit countries (France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands)… Im looking forward for places with amazing views, landscapes, small folkloric towns (thats why im talking about Scotland, Portugal, Croatia and Norway)… what do u think?

    Thanks again!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      April 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm (5 years ago)

      All of the places you listed are amazing, and very different from each other. I’m positive you will have a fabulous trip!

  7. Maya
    August 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m going to be studying abroad in Seville, Spain this September and later graduate in December. Therefore, I will be a fresh graduate and not having to return to the U.S. for school. I want to travel, however my University made our program within the 90 days. So…when school gets out what country would you recommend me to go, in order to stay in Europe longer to travel without a student visa????


    or ideas…

    Maybe marriage?

    Please list.

    Thank you


    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      August 6, 2014 at 10:39 am (5 years ago)

      Hello Maya,

      You will need to exit the Schengen area once your 90-day stay is up. You will have to be gone for another 90 days before you can return, which means you can go anywhere outside of the Schengen area, including the UK, the Balkans (except Greece), Ireland and Romania. You could also consider Morocco and Turkey.

    • John Gutherson
      September 8, 2015 at 5:05 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Maya,

      I am travelling to Spain for an exchange in the same circumstances with you, travelling without a visa. Did you experience any difficulties travelling without a visa? What did you end up doing after your exchange?


    • Erin
      February 8, 2019 at 9:41 am (1 month ago)

      So I know you’ve been talking about 90 consecutive days but say this:

      In Spain
      45 days

      Back to USA
      135 days

      45 days

      At that point, I will have hit my 180 days.
      Will it automatically roll over? Or do I have to leave the S zone to reset my 180 days?

  8. andrew w
    October 17, 2014 at 11:58 am (4 years ago)

    Hi there, thanks for the info. My understanding of the 90 day rule is a little different – please correct me if I’m wrong. Say you went to Europe March 1st and stayed for 2 weeks. The 180 day clock would start at this point and end around Sept 1. So, if you returned to Europe in July, you could technically stay through December because your 3 month allotment would start over around Sept 1. Thanks!

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm (4 years ago)

      The rule doesn’t really apply to visitors just popping in every once in a while, but only to those staying for several months. If you only travel a few weeks at a time then that’s not a concern for you.

      The 90-day clock doesn’t start over every time you enter the Schengen area within a 90-day period – it starts upon first entry (say March 1st), and ends 90 days later (May 31st). You are allowed to travel within the area as you please for that period. But as soon as it ends (May 31st), you have to remain outside the Schengen area for 90 consecutive days, and only after this can you return to the Schengen area (from September 1st). And then the cycle starts over.

      If, as you say, you decided to return to Europe on July 1st, you could only stay until September 30th. Your first allotment would have ended on May 31st.

      • Adrienne
        May 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm (4 years ago)


        So does this kinda mean you can ‘pause’ your 90 days? I’m trying to go from Italy to Croatia to Greece. I would spend two weeks in Croatia (non Schengen) but the rest of the 90 days in the Schengen area. I realize the time doesn’t re start but can it be put on hold…?



      • Marie-Eve
        May 28, 2015 at 9:53 am (4 years ago)

        You can’t really pause the 90 days; they don’t start over every time you re-enter the Schengen area. You are given 90 days out of 180 days during which you can stay legally in the Schengen area. The period starts over every 180 days.

  9. Ric Lopez
    October 19, 2014 at 7:06 am (4 years ago)

    Hi great info here. Hope you can help. Im a US citizen living in Cyprus with a permanent resident permit. Can I stay in Schengen area for more than 90 days in this scenario?
    Thanks for any help.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      October 22, 2014 at 1:59 pm (4 years ago)

      Ric, I am not an immigration specialist, but I believe that as a resident of the EU the 90-day rule doesn’t apply to you. However, it remains to be seen whether you keep your Cyprus residency if you stay outside the country for so long.

  10. danny
    October 21, 2014 at 4:52 am (4 years ago)

    The new rule is 90 days in any 180 day period as of October 2013. That is, one has to go back 180 days at any point and make sure that 90 days only have been spent as a tourist.

  11. Catherine
    November 30, 2014 at 5:36 am (4 years ago)

    My passport entering France says Leave to Enter for Six Months. I would think I could stay for 6 months, is that not correct? If not why don’t they put the rule on the stamp, no one seems to know what the interpretations are. Thanks for your help.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      November 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm (4 years ago)

      Maybe France had a different stamp for you depending on where your passport was issued; this post is for Canadians, Australians and Americans.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm (4 years ago)

      Just stick to what’s in your passport – general rule is 3 months, but if your passport says 6 months then enjoy!

    • Milton
      March 2, 2016 at 12:07 pm (3 years ago)

      Assuming France customs grants a 6 month visa 1) can one travel throughout the SCHENGEN during that period or is it restricted to 6 months in France. In other words ‘enter in France-depart from say Switzerland after 6 months? As France a member of the SCHENGEN.
      2) would the holder of a French 6 month visa be obliged to stay out of the Shengen for 6 months?

      • Marie-Eve
        March 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm (3 years ago)

        France does not grant 6-month visas unless you specifically apply for one. The UK does, to Commonwealth citizens, and it only applies to the UK.

  12. David
    December 15, 2014 at 2:57 am (4 years ago)


    I’m an EU passport holder and my girlfriend is American. I’m teaching in southern spainand she’s ‘on vacation’. We arrived I October and have been doing the maths on her days left before she has to leave and when she can return. Before we arrived in Spain, we spent 2 months visiting my family and traveling in the UK. I don’t suppose it’s possible that her ‘Shengen Clock’ started when we landed in the UK in August? I know the UK isn’t part of Shengen, but we’re kinda hoping for a miracle here.

    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 27, 2014 at 12:37 pm (4 years ago)

      That is indeed not possible because the UK isn’t in the Schengen zone. Her Schengen clock as you call it started when she entered Spain – from that point, she has 90 days in the country until she has to leave the Schengen area (either to go back to the UK or any another place that isn’t in the Schengen area).

  13. Ethan
    January 12, 2015 at 4:10 am (4 years ago)

    Its worth checking out your country’s bilateral visa waiver agreements with individual Schengen countries. For example, I contacted the Dutch embassy in Canberra (Australia) about travel through the Schengen space, and they responded stating:

    “An example of what is possible/allowed:
    – An Australian passport holder flies to London and continues to Germany. He travels through Schengen (outside of the Netherlands) for the first 90 days.
    After this trip he can stay another 90 days in the Netherlands and fly out of the Schengen zone using a Netherlands airport or by boat from a Netherlands marine port.”

    “An example of what is not possible/not allowed:
    -An Australian passport holder flies to the Netherlands, travels from there through Schengen and then returns to the Netherlands. This person cannot stay an additional 90 days in the Netherlands.”

    While it may take a traveller less than 90 days to see the Netherlands, the waiver offers a chance for Australian passport holders (probably US and Canadians too) to explore the area for a bit longer, e.g. spend more time in another country knowing that you have 3 months allowance for the Netherlands at the end of the first period.

    I am waiting on a response from the Norwegian, Italian, Austrian and German embassies for confirmation on similar agreements;

    Norway: Bilateral agreement between Norway and Australia, allowing stays for up to 90 days visa free in Norway, in addition to any days spent in a Non- Nordic Schengen country.

    Italy: Spend three months in Italy, and you may return after one month abroad, for another 3 months stay.

    Germany: 90 days outright, depart the country and return (even on the same day) for another 90.

    It would be a good idea to print such emails off to show to border control, should they be unaware of visa agreements between countries.

    Check here for Aussie agreements with some countries, but I would definitely suggest confirming through your local embassy:

    • rick
      January 14, 2015 at 5:17 am (4 years ago)

      Ethan, that is contrary to everything I have ever been told, or read about Schengen visas, in fact I just had an email from the Dutch immigration dept confirming there was no way round the 90 day rule for Australians.

      It would also seem extremely unlikely that 1951 treaties regarding visas would still be in force, especially given that they predate the EU.

  14. V
    January 16, 2015 at 9:17 am (4 years ago)

    Ethan interested to know the responses you get. Can you update when you get response.

    • Ethan
      January 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm (4 years ago)

      “The German Embassy in Canberra confirms that the German-Australian Agreement on the Exemption of Visa Requirements, dated 22.12.1952, allows Australian citizens to travel to Germany and to stay in Germany for up to 90 days without having to apply for a visa, as long as their passport is valid for the entire duration of the stay and as long as they do not engage in gainful employment in Germany.

      According to this agreement the duration of one stay in Germany must not exceed 90 days. The number of entries to Germany is not limited. In order to re-enter Germany for another 90 days visitors have to depart Germany for any other country and can come back even the same day. Since visitors need to be able to document the period of time they have been spending in Germany we recommend to enter and to depart via a German airport in order to obtain an official entry and departure stamp in their passport.”

      “Dear Sir

      An Australian passport holder does not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days in any 180 days period in the Schengen area.
      The notion of “any”, implies the application of a “moving” 180-day reference period, looking backwards at each day of the stay (be it at the entry or at the day of an actual check), into the last 180-day period, in order to verify if the 90 days/180-day requirement continues to be fulfilled.

      Please find the link to the calculator for your reference

      In addition the Embassy can inform you that, according to the SPF Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the actual bilateral agreement formally confirmed through an exchange of Notes on 25 July 1951 between the two countries, entitles Australian citizens to stay for two more months without a visa in Belgium after 90 days spent in any other Schengen countries.

      If you need further clarification, please contact us.”

    • ethan
      January 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm (4 years ago)

      Dear Ethan,

      You are allowed another 3 months on top of the 90 Schengen days according to the bilateral agreement with Australia and Sweden. This is provided that you have not entered into Sweden, Denmark and Norway during your 90 Schengen days. Once you have used all the 90 days in other Schengen countries you are allowed another 3 months in Sweden.

      If you spend any of the days of the 3 months period in Norway or Denmark they must be included in the in the 3 months as it is part of the agreement between Australia and Sweden.

      Kind regards,

      Malin Nilsson

      Visa assistant

    • Marty Sammon
      June 18, 2017 at 1:34 am (2 years ago)

      Dear Ethan
      Thank you so much for bringing the bilateral agreements to my attention. We are retiring this year and planned a gap year in Europe, and had never heard of the Schengen Zone!!

  15. ethan
    January 26, 2015 at 4:45 pm (4 years ago)

    Dear Ethan,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    The Austrian Embassy confirms that due to the still existing bilateral agreement between Austria and Australia you are able to enter Austria for 3 months, exit the Schengen region (proof to be provided such as exit stamp in passport!) and re-enter Austria for another 3 months visa-free. This, however, is only possible for a total of 6 months per year. The so-called “Schengen-clause” not necessary applied for Australian citizens in Austria.

    Please be aware that other Schengen-countries might not have such an agreement with Australia and would consider any stay exceeding 90 days within 6 months as overstay. You therefore must not enter, travel or exit through these countries. However, you can always check before starting your travel with their respective diplomatic representations in Australia.

  16. ethan
    January 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Dear Ethan Lewis,

    Reference is made to your e-mail dated January 13 2015.

    I can confirm that there is a bilateral agreement as mentioned in your e-mail, and that you may stay in Norway for 90 days after a 90 days stay in the other Schengen countries. However, when leaving Norway, be sure to have a direct flight out of Schengen.

    Vennlig hilsen/Best regards
    Anne Aubert
    senior legal adviser
    Oppholdsavdelingen/Residence Departement

  17. suzie
    February 10, 2015 at 4:13 am (4 years ago)

    I have dual citizenship with Canada and Finland because both my parents are Finnish. I applied a long time ago for dual citizenship, so I am a citizen of Canada and Finland. Do you know the rules different if I am considered a Finnish citizen as well?

    • Andrew
      August 18, 2015 at 3:29 am (4 years ago)

      This discussion doesn’t apply to your situation. If you are a citizen of Finland, you can stay, work, or settle for as long as you only wish in every of EU member countries.

  18. Toriano Sanzone
    April 15, 2015 at 12:28 pm (4 years ago)

    Does anyone know, if you get a Work Contract in if you can stay in the country without getting a Visa (going back to your home country to apply for a Work Visa)? A Company in Spain has offered me a job, but I was told you could stay if a company gives you a contract, but this seems to easy…..

    Any help would be appreciated…


    • Marie-Eve
      April 20, 2015 at 3:20 am (4 years ago)

      I’d be tempted to say that in order to work and stay in a country you need a visa. In order for you to get a visa, the company needs to prove that no one else in Spain can make the job and that you’re the only candidate. Only then will you get the visa. They have to ask it for you, you can’t do it yourself.

  19. Kristin M
    May 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm (4 years ago)

    This is GREAT information! Thank you so much, Marie-Eve for clarifying the Schengen area vs. other ares in Europe. I am American and am interviewing for an unpaid internship in Ireland. They want me there for 6-9 months. I have been out of school for over a year and I’m 33. Do I have any options that would allow me to stay 6-9 months? What about a freelance visa? Or maybe a highly-skilled worker? I’m working for free but I have a Master’s degree and will be doing digital marketing in the tourism industry. Could I get a freelance visa in another EU country but then finish out my internship in Ireland? Thx!

    • Marie-Eve
      May 28, 2015 at 9:56 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Kristin,
      I’m not familiar with the Irish immigration laws, but I’m guessing that if you are working even though you are unpaid you will need a work visa. It will most likely have to be sponsored by the company. Perhaps you can apply for a working holiday visa, but this means you will have to stay in Ireland for double the time you will be working (this type of visa doesn’t allow you to work more than half of your time in the country, the other half has to be spent without working).

  20. Andrew
    May 17, 2015 at 5:55 am (4 years ago)

    i have a question about the bilateral treaty between Germany and Australia. If i was to use this treaty to stay a further 90 days on top of my 90 days in other schengen countries, could i stay in shengen area for 80 days, then go outside shengen zone, enter into germany and go to denmark for a week and return to germany (at around day 88) and then make use of the bilateral treaty to stay in germany for a few more weeks?

    AS border checks have been abolished between neighbouring schengen countries, would the authorities know if i visited other schengen countries? i know i have to leave via a german airport of course.

    if anyone could help i would be very grateful. xx

    • Marie-Eve
      May 28, 2015 at 9:52 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Andrew,
      Since you don’t get passport control between Schengen countries, authorities have no way to know where you have been (except perhaps by your credit card records?). But I am not an immigration officer and I do not know about this German-Australian bilateral treaty. Perhaps contacting your embassy would be best!

  21. Shannon Moran
    May 23, 2015 at 10:14 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve! I am extremely excited to move to Spain for the allowable 90 days. I wish I could stay there for a year! I will be bringing my two little dogs with me and I know that I can afford Spain as a virtual accountant. I am a freelancer and can work anywhere there is internet! If i stay the 90 days in Spain, do you have a suggestion as to comparable places to visit, cost-wise? I am willing to go anywhere and would love the UK or Ireland, but it doesn’t seem that I can afford the cost of living/rentals. I have been to these countries many times when I used to travel with my Grandmother.

    Also I thought maybe I could get a freelancer Visa from Germany. But, I found I would have to set up residence there and show proof of lease for a property, which I would assume would have to be for the entire year. Germany is not a place I would ideally like to settle in for a long period of time. I would prefer the beaches of Spain. Any suggestions?

    • Marie-Eve
      May 28, 2015 at 9:40 am (4 years ago)

      If you want to stay on the cheap side I would suggest all of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and eastern Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary). These are the most cost-efficient options, and there are tons of low-cost airlines flying from Spain. If you want an easy, relaxed lifestyle then Spain is your best bet!

  22. Lauren
    June 1, 2015 at 8:36 am (4 years ago)

    This is great – thank you!

    So to confirm, I can travel between any of the Schengen countries within a 90 day period without a visa as an Australian passport holder? Staying for as long or as little in each of them as long as I don’t exceed 90 days in total?

    Also does it matter whether you travel between these countries by plane, train or other?

    • Marie-Eve
      June 3, 2015 at 6:47 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, I believe you can. If you have doubts I suggest you confirm this with your consulate. You basically cannot stay longer than 90 days (from first entry) in the zone, regardless of your mode of transportation, every 180 day period.

  23. ilana
    June 10, 2015 at 7:01 am (4 years ago)

    Im currently 17 years old, and turning 18 in december this year. I’m planning to set off and begin my travels around Europe in the beginning of september. However due to not being 18 I cannot apply for a working visa, however this does not bother me as I’m going to travel not work. Although I was wondering, do I need any sort of travel visa to travel Europe, or can i literally book my ticket and enter any of the Schengen countries without a visa as long as i leave within the 90 day period? If so can I apply for this ‘travel visa’ being 17?
    Secondly if I leave september 1st and I have 90 days to stay in the Schengen countries, is it possible that at the end of the 90 days if I’m still wanting to travel can I leave the Schengen area for say a day or two, get my exit and entry stamp etc, and then return to the Schengen area for another 90 days?
    Sorry if my questions aren’t clear enough, but thank you if anyone can help me that would be wonderful!

    • Marie-Eve
      June 11, 2015 at 10:22 am (4 years ago)

      Hi Ilana! Whether or not you need a visa depends on where you come from. Americans, Canadians and Australians normally get the 90-day stays in the Schengen area. If you are from another country, best to verify with you consulate before your departure. Regarding the 90-day stay, it’s a maximum of 90 days within a 180 days period – if you enter the Schengen area on September 1st and leave on December 1st, you won’t be authorized to re-renter the Schengen zone until March 1st. Basically, you can stay a maximum of 90 days (consecutive or not) within a 180 day period, which starts from your first point of entry, in your case September 1st. Hope this helps!

  24. Gabriela C
    June 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm (4 years ago)

    Great article Marie-Eve!

    I’ve some questions about UK and the Schengen area. So, I’ll be studying for a semester in the UK, and I booked my flights for 6 months from Chile to London. I want to visit some European Countries, so I’ve 3 more months, right? But, if I spent 6 months in the UK, and then I spent 3 months in the Schengen area, and then I come back just to get on the plane, is that legal?

    • Marie-Eve
      June 30, 2015 at 10:34 pm (4 years ago)

      The UK isn’t part of the Schengen area, so your time in the UK doesn’t count towards the limit of your stay in continental Europe. You indeed have three more months after the end of your UK stay to visit Europe, but not a day more :-)

  25. Ane
    July 3, 2015 at 7:24 am (4 years ago)

    I have a question about the situation of my Australian boyfriend who is currently in the prosess of applying for a Norwegian work and holiday visa, he is living in Norway now (I am Norwegian..).
    We are planning on going to Spain for a week, but we are having some difficulty finding out if he is even able to go now that his original 90 out of 180 days in Schengen is expired/on hold, but he is currently waiting on getting his work and holiday visa. The UDI in Norway says that he can get in and out of Norway ok, but there might be an issue at the airport with the airlines and the immigration in Spain.
    Have you or anyone been in a similar situation or know anything about this?

    Answers appreciated :)

    • Marie-Eve
      July 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm (4 years ago)

      If he has expired his 90-day stay in Schengen he shouldn’t go to another Schengen country; he should leave the area altogether for at least 90 consecutive days. My best advice would be to stay put until he has a Norwegian visa, otherwise I suspect he’ll get flagged at customs.

  26. Rhys peel
    July 11, 2015 at 5:32 pm (4 years ago)

    Great post! It’s Hard to find all this info together.

    Do you have to use up the 90 days in the schengen region before you spend 90 days out?

    My sister and I have been in the region for 6 weeks but are in the uk now and would like to try to reset our time.

    So If I spent 90 days in the uk and Ireland would it reset or would it need to add up to 180 days?

    • Marie-Eve
      July 12, 2015 at 11:31 am (4 years ago)

      That’s a good question, Rhys! Not necessarily – basically, if you leave the Schengen area without using all of your 90 days, then the limit doesn’t apply. In other words, you can’t spend more than 3 months (consecutive or not) during the same 6-month period in the Schengen area. If you spend three months in the Schengen area during any six-month period, you must wait another three months before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa. The counter doesn’t start back every time you re-enter.

      There really is no such thing as resetting your time. Since you haven’t used up all your allotted time in the Schengen area (you’re saying you have 6 weeks left) you shouldn’t be worried about re-entering before your 90-day is up. You would technically be fine by staying 3 months in the UK and Ireland (or Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania, which are not part of the Schengen area).

  27. Lor
    July 12, 2015 at 1:09 am (4 years ago)

    Hi there,
    I have a question. I was recently in Spain/portugal for 3 weeks, I arrived on April 3 and left back to Canada on the 25th. I was planning to come back to Europe in August for a few months however I am now unsure if I legally can.

    So, does it mean that since my 90 days is up july 2 from when I visited Portugal that I can’t go back to Europe until Sept 30, which would be 90 days after July 2/180 days after April 3?

    • Marie-Eve
      July 12, 2015 at 11:34 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Lor,
      You needn’t worry. You weren’t in Europe for a full 90-day stay the first time around and August is more than 3 months away from your first visit. Just as long as you don’t stay more than 90 days during your trip in August you’ll be fine :-)

  28. Chelsea Smith
    July 12, 2015 at 8:06 pm (4 years ago)


    I’m getting ready to travel extensively in Europe and the UK. I’m hoping to stay (at least) 1 year and hop to and from a few countries for a few weeks at a time. Do I need a visa for this?

    • Marie-Eve
      July 13, 2015 at 12:41 pm (4 years ago)

      Hey Chelsea,
      Unless you are a EU citizen, yes, you will need a visa if you want to stay more than 3 consecutive months in Europe. Best to contact your embassy for this.

  29. Kris
    July 15, 2015 at 10:22 pm (4 years ago)


    If I am planning a trip that is roughly 95 days in Europe (mostly the Schengen Region) but I am planning on leaving the schengen region within that period to visit countries outside the schengen region do I require a long term stay visa as long as my total amount of days within the 95 is less then 90? Or do the 90 days start and running consecutively from the date of entry no matter if I leave the region or not? If this is correct that when I leave for a few days I just need to ensure my passport is stamped that I left and came back?


    • Marie-Eve
      July 16, 2015 at 11:58 am (4 years ago)

      Rule of thumb: you can never stay within the Schengen zone for longer than 90 days at a time, period. The clock doesn’t reset when you leave the country.

  30. Alison
    July 19, 2015 at 7:19 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello Marie-Eve, Thank you so much for all the time and energy you have put into this great post and all the follow-on questions! I hate to be thick about this, but I am unclear on one point. Is it correct that if I plan to spend four months in France, for example, and i go to England for a few days half-way through my stay, this does not re-set the clock? I would still have to get the long-term visa? Thank you.

    • Marie-Eve
      July 20, 2015 at 10:46 am (4 years ago)

      It does not reset the clock. If you plan on spending the majority of your time within the Schengen area for four months then yes, you will need a visa. My best advice would be to spend three months as a tourist and then a month in the UK.

  31. Erik
    July 19, 2015 at 11:59 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m american, could I buy two homes, one in france one in england and stay 90 days in my france home and 180 days in my england home then 90 on france and so on? I’d rather not have a home in the United states at all.

    • Marie-Eve
      July 20, 2015 at 10:44 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Erik,
      When it comes to investing in foreign countries it’s always better to go through your embassy. Being a home owner might mean you are subject to different rules.

  32. Stewart Walford
    July 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm (4 years ago)

    After deciding to stay 125 days in Portugal, my spouse and I went to the Portuguese Consulate in Toronto to confirm visa requirements. We were told that, once in Portugal, we could simply go to the Government office dealing with immigration issues and obtain an extension of the 90 day requirement or, to be “really safe”, obtain a formal Schengen visa. In other words, the 90 day restriction seems to be soft. Your comments please.

    • Marie-Eve
      July 22, 2015 at 10:54 am (4 years ago)

      Hey Stewart, I really can’t advocate to go around the law regardless of how rigid or soft border agencies are. Some countries are indeed easier to get into or don’t mind you staying longer, but I’m a wuss at heart and I like to play by the rules. It really is up to you to decide :-)

  33. Trish
    July 23, 2015 at 10:30 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi Maria-Eve, I read that you can apply for a long term visa in countries like France with proof of income and no plans to work. If you are granted an extended visa in France would this allow you to stay longer in any of the Shengen countries while travelling?

    • Marie-Eve
      July 24, 2015 at 12:20 pm (4 years ago)

      Hey Trish,
      I am not an immigration advisor and therefore cannot comment on that particular issue. My best tip would be to contact your embassy in France.

  34. Bob
    August 18, 2015 at 11:58 am (4 years ago)

    Question please. I am an Irish citizen. am I entitled to stay indefinitely in any EU country or are there any restrictions? I note that Ireland is outside the Schengen area but does being an EU member give equal rights?

    • Marie-Eve
      August 20, 2015 at 1:18 am (4 years ago)

      It indeed doesn’t apply to you. You’re a citizen of EU first and foremost, Schengen doesn’t concern you at all. LUCKY YOU!

      • Dean Forward
        February 9, 2017 at 3:10 pm (2 years ago)

        Okay, I am a Canadian who holds both British and Irish citizenships. Obviously with Brexit the British passport will not be EU but the Irish one, by what you tell the previous poster allows for unrestricted travel and residency in any and all of the Shengen Treaty states. To wit, I could grow old and die in Portugal without anything else but holding a Republic of Ireland Passport. Correct? Or am I missing something?

      • Marie-Eve
        March 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm (2 years ago)

        Confused as to how you can hold three citizenships? But at this point it’s hard to predict what the Brexit will mean for British passport holders but to be on the safe side it seems it would be wise to use your Irish passport to travel in Europe.

      • Dianette
        March 8, 2017 at 1:42 pm (2 years ago)

        Dean, no one really knows what will happen to British passport-holders once the Brexit actually takes place – established residents in the EU may be allowed to stay on a country-by-country basis, for example, but it’s all up for negotiation at this point. I expect the worst would be that they’d be subject to the same visa rules as other non-EU nationals.

        But, lucky you, your Irish citizenship means you’re an EU citizen – so go find that cozy spot in Portugal and curl up and enjoy for the rest of your days!

  35. Laura
    August 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm (4 years ago)

    Hi there! Wow, thank you for explaining all of this so detailed and thoroughly! It has really helped me :). I do have a question regarding the 90 day, non-consecutive stay.

    I went to Europe on and off with the 90 day period beginning on May 11th. The 180 day period ends on November 7th. I’ve only spend 37 days in the Schengen area and I hope to spend 42 days there between Oct. 13 – Nov. 24. My question is, will I have to exit the Schengen area after Nov. 7th or will I be able to stay, as I wouldn’t be superseding the 90 days within the 180 day period? However, the next 180 day period would begin while I was still in the Schengen area.

    Am I violating any rules by staying in there when the old period ends and the new 180 day period begins?


    • Marie-Eve
      August 23, 2015 at 1:38 pm (4 years ago)

      If you’re opting for the non-consecutive stay, then you don’t have to leave once your 180-day period is up. This only applies to consecutive stays. Starting Nov. 7th you will enter a new 180-day period, during which the same rules apply. You’re basically starting over.

      Hope this helps!

  36. Dawn S
    August 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you! This is a very clear and concise explanation. My two daughters and I are traveling to Europe for a year starting in 2 weeks! The Schengen visa would have applied to our itinerary as we were hoping to stay in each country for a month, then move to the next. We have changed it to 3 months in UK & Ireland, then Schengen area, back to UK & Ireland, back to Schengen area, then home. The Schengen visa is different with children as in some countries they have to be enrolled in school to get the visa. I CAN NOT WAIT!!! What an experience for children to see the world!

    • Marie-Eve
      September 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm (4 years ago)

      That’s a good strategy, Dawn! And it looks like you will have a wonderful time.

  37. jessica
    September 11, 2015 at 11:15 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve, thank you very much for the detailed information and for the prompt replies.
    I hope you have any idea about my situation. So I entered to Schengen zone on July 1st and got married on September 5. My 90 days period expires on October 1st. Do I have to leave the Schengen zone or there is a special procedure on spouses of French citizens?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Marie-Eve
      September 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm (4 years ago)

      Hello Jessica,
      As your situation is quite specific and unique, I would suggest you contact your embassy for further details. Best of luck!

      • jessica
        September 12, 2015 at 6:17 am (4 years ago)

        Thank you Marie-Eve!

    • Marie-Eve
      September 30, 2015 at 11:10 am (3 years ago)

      Hello Jessica, you will need to get a visa before you can remain in France – getting married does not entitle you to stay in Europe, it entitles you to get a visa to stay in Europe. Which is different ;-) Get it over with ASAP!

  38. James
    September 17, 2015 at 1:26 am (4 years ago)

    Do you have any information on how the Schengen applies to stateless people? If I enter a Schengen country (France, for example), and then apply to stay on the basis that I have nowhere else to go, would I still be required to leave the Schengen area after 90 days?

    • Marie-Eve
      September 30, 2015 at 11:07 am (3 years ago)

      Hello James, for particular situations like yours I would suggest you contact your embassy.

  39. Mark
    September 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello Marie, thanks for writing this. I travelled in Europe for 3 months a few years back not knowing I could have stayed for even longer. Im Canadian by the way so applying for a Schengen visa doesn’t apply. I just wanted to clarify that I can spend 90 days in the Schengen Area then head over to the UK and travel between the UK, Ireland, Romania and Bulgaria for another 90 days then head on over to the Schengen area again. Repeat? Provided the flights between those countries are direct flights. And this is all legal?

    • Marie-Eve
      September 30, 2015 at 11:05 am (3 years ago)

      Yes, all of that is legal. It takes a bit of planning but it’s entirely possible. Know that the longer you stay, the closer border agencies will look at your entry/exit dates so gaming the system isn’t recommended.

  40. Lauren Allardyce
    September 23, 2015 at 5:27 am (3 years ago)

    Very helpful post! During our first trip to Europe me and my husband spent 90 days within the Schengen zone traveling between France, Germany, Austria and some other countries, and loved it so much, that we applied for a long term visas in Germany. We loved living in Europe and we officially moved there last year. Nowadays we live in Italy. Greets!

    • Marie-Eve
      September 30, 2015 at 11:00 am (3 years ago)

      That’s a great story Lauren! Enjoy Europe for me :-)

  41. Al
    October 13, 2015 at 9:17 pm (3 years ago)

    You have gone over the 90-day consecutive and non-consecutive rules and I’m still confused? If I entered Spain March 1 and intended to leave June 15 (107 days) I would be over the 90 days by 17 days. If during that time I left Spain either multiple times or one time for the 17 days in a non-Schengen area would I be legal with only spending 90 days in a Schengen area during a 180 day cycle?

    • Marie-Eve
      October 14, 2015 at 6:22 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Al, the counter doesn’t start back every time you re-enter the area. You have 90 consecutive or non-consecutive days over a period of 180 days from the first entry within the Schengen area. You technically overstayed.

      • Al
        October 15, 2015 at 1:18 am (3 years ago)

        Thanks Marie-Eve, I am not the only one reading this that is confused? During that time period I would only spend 90 days in Schengen area? The other 17 days outside of Schengen area? Would the 90 days within not be considered non-consecutive and the other 17 days outside of the area just don’t count? We will undoubtably understand your response to this – I hope :)

      • Marie-Eve
        October 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm (3 years ago)

        Hey Al,
        Whatever you do, you can’t stay for more than 90 days within the Schengen area within a period of 180 days – consecutive or not consecutive. If you’ve been within the area for 90 consecutive days from your first point of entry within the area, you will have to spend the remaining 17 outside of the area, and you will have to spend at least 90 consecutive days outside the area if you want to re-enter. If your stay wasn’t consecutive, then it doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t spend more than 90 days out of 180 within the area. Hope this helps!

  42. Elizabeth
    November 1, 2015 at 11:01 pm (3 years ago)

    I have a question about individuals 40 or over and the best method and country to obtain a work Visa. We cannot qualify for a holiday work visa and are unclear of our options. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Marie-Eve
      November 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm (3 years ago)

      If you can’t qualify for a working holiday visa then you need to get a regular work visa, which has to be sponsored by a company in the country you are looking to reside in. In other words, you have to be promised a job before you can even think of moving. The company will have to prove there are no other individuals in the country who have the qualifications for the job, only you do, which is why they sponsor your visa.

      • Elizabeth
        November 15, 2015 at 8:42 am (3 years ago)

        Thank you Marie-Eve…. I was afraid that may be my only option. I’ve also been researching student Visa’s as a possibility; although I do have a Master’s degree I believe I could still qualify if I was enrolled as a full time student.
        On a side note, are you aware of the specific countries in the EU where is may be easiest for an American to obtain a work visa; where the skills or the workforce may be limited?

        Thank you again for your time and expertise!

      • Marie-Eve
        November 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm (3 years ago)

        Hey Elizabeth,
        In most countries, getting a full work visa (not just a working holiday) requires for a company to sponsor you as a skilled migrant. You need to have a job offer before you leave.

  43. Michael Faust
    January 14, 2016 at 7:53 am (3 years ago)

    Great post. For my fellow Australians please note that Germany and the Netherlands have individual bilateral visa waiver agreements with Germany and the Netherlands which means they do NOT look at the time you spent in other Schengen countries when you enter Germany where you can also stay 90 days. The only requirement is you need to leave the EU first and then fly directly into say Germany. So for example you could spent 90 days travelling around Europe leaving out Germany and the Netherlands and then fly to the UK and then fly directly into Germany and spend the next 90 days in Germany. Good to know for freelancers, travel bloggers, or those on permanent vacation who are looking for ways to maximize the time they can spend in the EU. As Marie says you can also utilise places like Croatia where we just spent 3 months that are part of the EU but not part of Schengen allowing you 90 days in Croatia without impacting your Schengen visa.

    • Martin Sammon
      June 18, 2017 at 2:34 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Michael, very helpful Cheers Marty

  44. james
    January 29, 2016 at 7:21 am (3 years ago)

    To help you calculate / keep track of your 90 in 180 limit in the schengen area you can use Its free and easy.

  45. Annie
    February 1, 2016 at 8:40 am (3 years ago)

    Hello Marie! Thank you for this great post and information! I realize that it has been posted several years back but I have one quick question regarding US citizens who are able to work remotely? I know that there is a lucrative visa however I don’t meet all of the requirements at this time, income yes, however debt free… not yet. I have medical insurance which covers me for life “Tricare” and globally. I am a IT Consultant where my boss and company approves remote work in US and Abroad. I read and some of the posts that on the 90-180 you are not allowed to work or requests social services, but I already have work and I have medical care when I fall into the same category? i’m looking into making arrangements for this year and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. :)

    • Marie-Eve
      February 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Annie, since your case seems to be very specific and complicated I suggest you contact your embassy directly.

  46. Dan Dwyer
    February 2, 2016 at 7:21 pm (3 years ago)

    Hey there i have a quick question sorry but I’m australian and I’m looking to spend a year in europe. i am taking plenty of money to sustain myself without working for the entire time but the whole schengen thing is proving more difficult to understand than i thought, a few people have told me i can enter each european country without this schengen visa or anything for a period of 90 days? providing of course i can support myself etc now i get the feeling this isn’t true reading up online and i can’t just go from say germany for 90 days (if i happened to stay that long) to maybe sweden for 90 days, then spain etc i correct in thinking this isn’t the case and i need to go about it in a few ways you’ve specified e.g. ducking over to england for a while or other non schengen countries? probably a silly thing to ask but could you please put my worries to rest :)

    • Marie-Eve
      February 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm (3 years ago)

      Well, that’s the thing – you are free to stay within the Schengen area for up to 90 consecutive days. If you wish to stay in Europe longer, you’ll have to get a visa, or go to a non-Schengen country for another 90 consecutive days. You can’t just skip between Schengen countries for 90 days – you could do Germany for 90 days, like you said, and then you’d have to go to the UK/Ireland or the Balkans (or elsewhere close to Europe, like Morocco or Turkey).

  47. Kate
    February 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve,
    Thank you so much for your post. This is amazing. One question I had is how were you able to continue traveling for a long period of time? I would love to go in and out of the Schengen Area like you said every other 90 days for a few years, but am not too sure I will have enough money. Are there ways to earn money since I know working is forbidden without a working permit. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you. Your blog is absolutely wonderful and inspiring…Happy Traveling!

    • Kate
      February 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm (3 years ago)

      I’m not too sure if my question was clear enough (since you already explained how you were able to travel in and out of the Schengen Area!) I meant how were you able to continue traveling for eight years without working? I hope to stay in Europe for as long as I possibly can :)

    • Marie-Eve
      February 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm (3 years ago)

      I never stayed in Europe for more than 90 days at a time without a visa, in my case. My post was only written to let other people know that it is technically possible to do so. I had a working holiday visa for my time in London, and a spousal visa for my time in France. There are some ways you can earn money, either by working remotely for a company or by freelancing.

  48. Ivette E.
    February 13, 2016 at 1:26 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie, I had the pleasure of coming across your blog and found it to be a helpful understanding of the basic do’s and don’t’s of being visa-less in Europe. I did however have a question, using my hypothetic situation (which I am still working on mapping out) so I am planning on heading out to Europe next year as of March 1st (spending my birthday in Europe March 3rd) now that I have already picked out the countries I want to visit I wanted to make sure I was in Ireland to experience St. Patrick’s Day in the mainland. My first day in the Schengen Area would begin March 31st. I continue on to visit different countries around each other to avoid long distance traveling and maximize my times in the different places. I make exactly 180 days counted on September 27th. My 90 days in the Schengen Zone are scattered over the 6 months because once my clock reset I wanted to make sure the countries I had left on my list were some of the warm ones because I would visit the coldest ones (Russia, Sweden, Norway etc) during the warmer months because I am not a fan of the cold weather. Now my conflict lies in the fact that I want to plan it out so that while I am in London filling out my non Schengen Zone days in September I wanted to make sure that where I didn’t miss London during Fashion Week September 18-20th, I also wanted to shift my time in Germany so that I could be in Munich for Oktoberfest September 23- October 8th. Long story I wanted to know if I would be in trouble if I was in Germany (clocking in days for my first 90 days) but at the same time those dates fall when my clock resets September 28th. Am I allowed to stay through or do I have to leave and then return? Sorry for the rant but I wasn’t sure whom or where else to ask such a specific question and you seem very knowledgable and experienced : )

    Thank You!

    • Marie-Eve
      February 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Ivette! If you are spending 90 non-consecutive days in Schengen then you don’t have to worry about your time being up.

    • Lachlan
      April 26, 2016 at 9:55 pm (3 years ago)

      The rules are different depending on which country you’re from. The rules changed in 2013, so there are “old” rules for people from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mauritius, and Seychelles, and there are “new” rules for every other country’s citizens that are allowed in to travel. Just be aware that the “new” rules state that the 180 day ‘clock’ is a rolling clock that looks back from today (the day an official looks at your passport). So you can only have 90 days out of the LAST/PREVIOUS 180 days. Therefore once you’ve spent 90/last 180 days in Schengen, you have to leave for at least 90 days before you can re-enter. Never mind what day you first entered the Schengen zone, it’s irrelevant (unless you’re on the “old” rules). Use this calculator with your proposed itinerary to see if it’ll work – or

  49. Yasmin
    February 29, 2016 at 9:32 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie,
    I am an Australia living in the uk.
    i was wondering if I go the the Schengen area for 2 days then leave, so I can start the 180 days cycle and come back to the Schengen area towards the end of the 180 and travel for lets say the last 2 months of the 180 day cycle. I would then leave the Schengen area again for couple of days and reenter to start my 180 day cycle all over again. therefore i have more travel time closer together.

    I am hoping this made sense.
    Thank you

    • Lachlan
      April 27, 2016 at 6:31 am (3 years ago)

      Short answer – no. The ‘clock’ is a rolling 180 day period that looks BACK from today (the day an official checks your passport). You can stay in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days out of the PREVIOUS 180. The you have to leave for 90 days before you can re-enter the zone. For Aussies, there are ways around that through bilateral visa-waiver agreements we have with a bunch of countries. Check out the comments above from Ethan. Basically, you can spend your 90 days wherever you like in the Schengen zone, then you can fly into any one of either Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark (maybe the Netherlands?) and stay for another 90 days in THAT country. Belgium is 2 months. Then you have to leave the Schengen for 90 days and start again, except in Germany, where it appears you can stay indefinitely by simply leaving and then coming straight back in the same day. But don’t take my word for it (or anyone else’s on a blog), look at the bilateral agreements between countries online, and email the embassies/consulates to get something in writing to show boarder guards.

  50. Pat
    March 19, 2016 at 2:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie, I went to one of your conferences in Montreal in 2015 :) I think it was hosted by Hostelling International or something. Anyways, my 12-month working holiday visa in France will be ending in June this year. I was wondering if I can leave the Schengen zone and come back to France for a 90-day stay. I’m Canadian so no need to apply for a Schengen visa, simply need to get stamped in and out? Thanks for the help!

    • Marie-Eve
      March 20, 2016 at 9:05 pm (3 years ago)

      How nice to hear from you Pat! I’m not sure since your situation is very specific, best to check with the Canadian embassy in Paris.

  51. Marina
    April 7, 2016 at 1:59 pm (3 years ago)

    Is there a limit for how long you can legally stay (as an Australian without any visa) in the European Union? It’s common knowledge that it’s 90/180days in SCHENGEN but I’m yet to get a firm answer about the EU. I don’t mean “Europe” but I mean the European Union. All the segregations are tricky..

    • Marie-Eve
      April 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm (3 years ago)

      It doesn’t work that way. The EU is solely an economic organisation; it doesn’t have “borders”. If you are out of the Schengen area, you are subject to the individual immigration laws of the country you’re in.

  52. Emily Chen
    April 12, 2016 at 9:33 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie! Thanks so much for this lovely blog entry. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for two items:

    1.) Working holiday UK applications for USA citizens (currently I see this page but US is not listed:

    2.) Do you happen to know anything about artist’s visas for France, Spain or Italy?

    Thanks so much :)

    • Marie-Eve
      April 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Emily, if you have very specific questions regarding your application I suggest you contact your embassy in each of these countries. Best of luck!

  53. maddy
    May 10, 2016 at 8:24 am (3 years ago)

    Hi~ i am wondering if my trip will work based off your
    2nd option
    Non-consecutive stay: Allows for 90 non-consecutive days within the Schengen… Visitors opting for this scenario will NOT have to wait to re-enter the zone once their initial 180-day period is up.

    If i enter the Schengen area in say Paris in February for 2 nights (starting the 180 day clock), then leave Schengen for 90 days in norway/london/sweden, then return to Schengen in France, Germany, Italy and Spain for approx 88 days until my 180 days since arriving in Schengen in Feb has finalised, can i then start another 180 day straight away whilst in Italy. Or do i have to be physically out of Schengen once my 180 day count down has finished, and then come back (so be in italy for the 90th Schengen day since 180 days of arrival, then leave Schengen for a day, then return the next day to start another 180 in-and-out cycle??).


    • Marie-Eve
      May 10, 2016 at 11:38 am (3 years ago)

      Norway and Sweden are part of Schengen, so that doesn’t work. In Europe, only the UK, Ireland, most of the Balkans except for Greece, Ukraine and Turkey are NOT part of Schengen. This is where you can spend your non-Schengen time.

      • maddy
        May 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm (3 years ago)

        Sorry…I’d spend it in the UK and ireland then.. thank you.

        So once the 90 of 180 days has finished and your in Schengen, you can stay in Schengen to start another round of 90/180 days.
        Even though this means you could be in Schengen for say 150 consecutive days from the overlap.

  54. Errol
    May 10, 2016 at 8:47 am (3 years ago)

    Hi, I am a dual citizen (Australian-Italian) and I’m going to Europe in July. Will any of the schengen zone 90 day rules apply to me since I am an Italian citizen? I was unable to get an Italian passport due to my local consulate being booked until November but I have been registered as an Italian citizen since I was young.

    • Marie-Eve
      May 10, 2016 at 11:35 am (3 years ago)

      Since this is a very specific and personal question I would advise you confirm with your consulate.

  55. Aleena
    May 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve!
    This is a great article and super helpful!
    I also have a question (which may have been answered above but I read quite a few and didn’t find the answer).
    So right now I am on a student visa/au pair visa in France (which expires sept 10), I have emailed the immigration police here in France and they have confirmed that I can stay another 90 days (on my tourist visa) after this current one expires seeing that I leave the Schengen zone before it expires and re enter as a tourist.
    My question is, after my 90 days of the tourist visa is up… Would I be able to stay in the UK for 6 months? Or do I need to leave all of Europe for a period of time?
    How exactly does it work for the UK with visiting. Like let’s say I just got to Europe and am staying in the UK for 6 months… How long would I have to be gone until I could come back?

    Thank you so much for your help! You are an inspiration!


    • Marie-Eve
      May 17, 2016 at 4:29 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Aleena, I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to stay in the UK for 6 months (unless you’re American; then it’s just 3 months, I believe). In Europe, only the UK, Ireland, most of the Balkans except for Greece, Ukraine and Turkey are NOT part of Schengen. This is where you can spend your non-Schengen time.

  56. Lauren Pray
    June 13, 2016 at 3:49 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi This is a wonderful site and I love your story of how your dreams unfolded as you jumped out into the world, and life gave you a parachute cause you trusted it : )

    I thought I was just going to visit Ireland, but I fell in love with the taste of Europe and I belong here on this side of the Planet. I am from Ohio, U.S.A. I want to either live in Spain or London or maybe (but not ideally) Ireland. If I lived in Ireland it certainly would be temporary as I eagerly await Spain, France, London, and even possibly Greece.

    I am 26 years old. I was planning on leaving July 5th…but like I said, I think I want to just simply stay and maybe ship some necessary things from home! What do you suggest I do? If you were me, with your amount of knowledge and wisdom, what would you do considering my situation and desires?

    (I am a freelance filmmaker and musician, by the way)

    Oh also, just one more question…if I found happen to find a job out here in Europe (like modeling or extra work, etc.) would that change things?

    Thank You!

    • Scott G
      June 13, 2016 at 6:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Lauren, I’ve been heavily researching this myself, and to no avail, at least yet. I too am a filmmaker and a television director, and we have a channel in London yet that still is a difficult try unless they can’t fill it from within the country. I’m not going to speak for Marie at all, but yes it can be difficult. Oh and no offense, but I can understand why you’d want to leave Ohio… ;)

  57. Scott G
    June 13, 2016 at 6:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie…like the site, and congrats. However I must ask, why don’t you write your dates with the number day first, as in Europe? Also, why don’t you spell organization with an ‘s’ or color with a ‘u’? Haha just having fun here, but I’m still back in the states and in anticipation of moving to Wales I myself love doing such. Take care, safe travels…

    • Marie-Eve
      June 14, 2016 at 10:33 am (3 years ago)

      That’s the Canadian way I’m afraid ;-)

  58. Charlotte Wood
    June 26, 2016 at 4:02 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve a scenario which you may not be able to help, but I’ll ask. I love Ireland, I am 44% Irish and 49% British, but American citizen. Ive an Irish granny born in Scotland so I dont qualify for an Irish passport or even a UK ancestry visa. Ive been to Ireland 5 times in the last 2 years, but Im trying to stay permanently with my daughter while being able to support us. Its an excellent idea you suggest and ive sort of been doing that when I was alone. Now that I want to take her Im so lost as to how to do it. I need to work, clearly, yet I’ve no degree. So even though I have marketable skills in IT, Sales, Marketing, Luxury Hospitality and Medical Administration there are many ineligible employment categories for permits there. I also have years and years worth of invaluable work experience in many fields. I cant try the WHV route because although Ireland has no age restriction, it does have a restriction regarding having completed or almost completed a degree program. Also on that plan you are not allowed dependents to join you. Tell me if you have any advice for a hard-working, ambitious smart American woman who is having trouble giving up her dream of changing her life and spending it in Ireland as well as Europe. Im not rich, so my only hope of giving my daughter a priceless gift of world exploration would be this way somehow. It’s too bad Ive made this choice so late in life, but here we are. Any thoughts would be welcome as Im getting nowhere on my own. (FYI I do run an Irish Social Networking Website, but its not profitable yet)

    • Marie-Eve
      June 28, 2016 at 11:26 am (3 years ago)

      Have you fully explored the ancestry routes? Besides that, I would suggest contacting the Irish consulate in the USA and consult with them to figure out what your options are. Best of luck!

  59. Diane Gomez
    July 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm (3 years ago)

    Hello Marie, I have asked this question to Customs and Immigration officials on 2 occasions, and they confused me with their replies as they were in conflict with one another. I am an American with an American passport. I have been to the UK visiting friends on and off since July of 2011 but have been spending more time in the UK since 2013. It is my understanding that I may remain in the UK for 180 consecutive or nonconsecutive days out of a total of 365 days.

    I spent a little over 2 weeks in the UK from July 27 through August 15, 2011.

    I attended a wedding in the UK and was there from March 30, 2012 to April 2, 2012.

    I returned to the UK on June 23, 2013 and returned to the US on July 1, 2013.

    I returned to the UK on March 17, 2015 and came home April 2, 2015.

    I was in the UK from Feb 8, 2016 through February 20, 216 but spent only 7 days there as went to Spain with friends.

    I returned to the UK for 22 more days (April 15, 2016 through June 9) but spent 15 days of this time period in Spain before flying out of London.

    In your opinion, how would I calculate where my 180 days per 365 days begins and ends? Thank you for anything you can do to help me understand this 180/365 UK rule.

    • Marie-Eve
      July 13, 2016 at 11:18 am (3 years ago)

      Hey Diane, you really don’t seem to have gone over your allotted number of days in the UK even though you’ve gone there frequently. In my point of view, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to spend a few weeks there next year or this year. Custom agents do prefer travellers with a return ticket, though, so keep that in mind.

  60. Sara Elizabeth
    July 17, 2016 at 2:49 am (3 years ago)

    The information you have posted is extremely helpful! Thank you!

    I just wanted to double check, however. My ultimate destination is actually Romania (or maybe Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am still debating), so I am hoping to use the Schengen Area as my ‘hack’ to staying in Europe overall. I am trying to make sense of the entry and exit laws regarding Romania:

    ‘U.S. citizen visitors are granted 90 days of stay without a visa within a given six-month period. For stays longer than 90 days, you must obtain an extension of stay from the Romanian Immigration Office in the area of your residence. If you stay longer than 90 days, you will need an exit visa. We do not recommend “extending” the 90-day period by traveling to another country for a short period and then returning to Romania; people attempting this are often denied re-entry to Romania.’

    If I want to stay in Romania or B&H for 90 days total and spend 30 – 90 days in a Schengen country, is this legal? Does this mean I’ll get in trouble if I spend (just for example) 30 days in Romania, hop over to the Schengen Area for 30 – 90 days, and then come back into Romania for another 60 days?

    • Marie-Eve
      July 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Sara, there’s no such thing as “going around” visa limits. Neither BH or Romania are part of the Schengen Area so you are free to stay up to 90 days in each country over a period of 180 days. However you choose to spend those days is up to you, but you can’t be in Romania or BH for more than that. From what I gather your itinerary would work.

  61. Rach
    September 3, 2016 at 10:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve,

    If we use the 90days within the 180day period non-consecutively, say 7 days in January, then go to a country out of the Schengen Area for 90days, and then come back for the remaining 83 days in the Schenden Area which is in total 180 days, does a new 180 day period start immediately on day 181? So we then have another 90days which we could spend immediately within this area? Ie. we could technically spend up to 179 days consecutively in this area split over two 180 day periods (as long as the first is activated 3 months earlier)?

    • Marie-Eve
      September 6, 2016 at 11:57 am (3 years ago)

      I don’t think it works that way. If you are staying consecutively for 83 days, you will have to leave on day 90.

  62. Tommy
    September 6, 2016 at 5:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Here is a new question for you. I entered Spain on the 15th of January, 2016. I stayed until my 90 was up, but I managed to get another 60 days added by the Spanish government, who gave me a special stamp on my passport. I left July 1st. Well, now I have a long term visa, and it is Sept. The visa does not go into effect until the 15th of Sept. Do you thing I will be fine trying to re-enter before the 15th?

    • Marie-Eve
      September 7, 2016 at 11:05 am (3 years ago)

      Technically your 180 days are up, so I can’t see why you wouldn’t be allowed in the country as a visitor for the first few days.

  63. Levi Haynes
    September 13, 2016 at 11:21 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Marie! This article is exactly what I was looking for. First off, totally understand your disclaimer. I have reached out to the local consulate for guidance. However, would love your feedback/suggestions. I’m 41, a US citizen, and have decided to take a gap year. My plan was to travel to Ireland, setting up a base, and then travel throughout Europe, for a period of one year. But with my “home” being in Ireland that entire time. Seems that isn’t exactly possible. I can stay in Ireland for 90 days, travel outside Schenden for 90 days, then come back for 90 days – four separate stays as you mentioned in one of your earlier posts. Is that right? So, assuming the UK is non Schenden, I could just move back and forth every 90 days? But Ireland is also not Schenden? Sorry, I’ve confused myself just writing this. Appreciate your feedback and any suggestions. Thanks!

    • Marie-Eve
      September 13, 2016 at 11:28 am (3 years ago)

      Setting up base in Ireland would work as Ireland is not part of Schengen; you need to check how long you can legally stay in Ireland without a visa (I believe it’s 6 months for Americans but do not take my work for it).

  64. Adrian
    October 14, 2016 at 10:06 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m really confused about it all. I would appreciate a little help please.
    My fiancé lives in Lithuania and I’m from England. I first went over to Lithuania on the 27th of July 2016. I arrived there at 00:20am. I then arrived back at England on the 6th of August 2016 at 6:20pm. I then went back to Lithuania on the 25th September 2016 arriving at 1:00am and then returned back England on the 4th of October 2016 at 6:20pm. Is it 90 days in and then 90 days out? And if so that means I still have 70 days left to use right?

    • Adrian
      October 14, 2016 at 10:16 pm (2 years ago)

      So could I stay from the 6th of January 2017 to the 16th of March 2017? And the stay out for 90 days and the go back for another 90 days?

      • Marie-Eve
        November 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm (2 years ago)

        Yes that sounds about right!

    • Marie-Eve
      November 4, 2016 at 4:20 pm (2 years ago)

      As a resident of the EU (well, the Brexit has yet to be validated) you do not have to worry about any of that as you can travel freely inside EU.

  65. Jason
    November 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m curious to understand the definition of “working” in a country. I have the ability to work remotely anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. If I’m not taking a job locally but am.working for my US employer, is that still “working” in the country I’m visiting?

    • Marie-Eve
      November 13, 2016 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

      No. Working in a country means you have a contract of some sort with a local employer, pay and use social benefits, etc. If you’re a freelancer working on the Internet then you don’t need a working visa. You still have to comply with tourist restrictions, such as the 90-period in Europe.

  66. Sam
    November 17, 2016 at 9:26 am (2 years ago)

    Does the 90 day limit apply to the spouse of an EU citizen?
    I have a UK passport, my husband has a US passport, we are traveling for a year & are currently in Asia.
    We planned to travel in the shengen area for 4 months (hiking through Italy, france & Spain) Does the ‘freedom of movement’ I have as an EU citizen extend to my spouse?

    • Marie-Eve
      November 17, 2016 at 10:02 am (2 years ago)

      I’m not sure, as he himself does not hold a EU passport. I think it would be best if you asked the British Consulate.

  67. Bri
    November 29, 2016 at 8:44 am (2 years ago)

    We are living in France for a few years with the proper visas. Our son will be visiting us from December 28-January 9. He will then go to London for a study abroad program until April 29th. During that time he will probably visit us in Paris for a few weekends. He will then return to France on April 29th for the summer. Will his 90 days start on April 29th or do we have to go back to December and add the days he visits over the winter?

    • Marie-Eve
      December 1, 2016 at 10:43 am (2 years ago)

      The 90-day count will start upon his first entry in France. You will have to make sure he doesn’t exceed 90 days in France per 180 days – basically, he’s only granted 90 days in France between late December and late May. His UK visa might grant him the right to stay longer in the EU, you should check with your consulate.

      • Bri
        December 2, 2016 at 3:40 am (2 years ago)

        Thank you! He was with us the first time this past July for 6 weeks and then a week in October, so I am assuming his 90 days during a 180 day period started in July?

      • Marie-Eve
        December 12, 2016 at 11:23 am (2 years ago)


  68. Heidi
    February 7, 2017 at 6:44 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m planning a trip to fly in and out of Paris where my return ticket is 110 days after the entry ticket. I plan to spend at least 20 of those days outside of the Schengen area so I don’t exceed the 90 days. Do you know if I’ll be questioned about exceeding the 90 days allowed when I first arrive to Paris if I have no airplane ticket or other documentation of my plans to go to a non Schengen county? Or do they only care about the 90 days when you’re leaving?

    • Marie-Eve
      February 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm (2 years ago)

      You won’t be questioned at all, as you will have stamps in your passport that will prove you were out of the area.

  69. Daniel
    February 11, 2017 at 4:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi, my friend and I are traveling around Europe and we got some doubts.

    We spend 87 days inside the Schengen area and now we are traveling around some Balkans and Non-Schengen countries for the another 90 days. Do we have to complete the 90days inside to be able to reset them once you spend the other 90days outside?

    On the other hand, we found out that Macedonia isn’t inside the Schengen Area nor the European Union. So, if we go to Macedonia, we shouldn’t have a problem to get inside the country, right? Since we already spent our 90days from Schengen area and the other 90days from Non-Schegen Countries (But EU countries).

    Other doubt is that if we travel around Non-shengen countries, the 90days stay is for each country or is is a general period of time for all of them?

    I hope you get my doubts haha thanks!

    • Marie-Eve
      March 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, you have to remain 90 days outside of Schengen to make up for the 87 days you spent inside Schengen. You won’t have any problem getting into Macedonia. When you travel outside Schengen the maximum duration of your stay in each country is up to the laws of each country. To get back into Schengen after that it doesn’t matter where you’ve been as long as you’ve been continuously outside of Schengen for 90 days.

  70. Kristianna
    February 14, 2017 at 6:43 am (2 years ago)

    Hello! Do you know if it is possible for a US citizen to rent an apartment and sign a lease for two months without a visa in Italy? I am a student in Rome and a friend of mine from the states wants to come live with me for two months and pay the other half of my rent. Can he do this legally?

    • Marie-Eve
      March 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm (2 years ago)

      I wouldn’t know about US requirements as I am Canadian. Best to consult with the US embassy in Italy to find out!

  71. John Welsh
    March 16, 2017 at 9:44 am (2 years ago)

    Hi. I have a question and wondering if you might shed some light on the topic. I am 56 and looking to get a 12 month residence visa for Austria. My departure would be in late September and was hoping to get a residence visa. While in Austria, I would be studying German and continuing a small online business. After consulting the Austrian Consulate’s website, totally confused as to the possibility of achieving this. Would it be better to go for the 90 day allotment and then apply in Austria or get a temporary rental for 90 days and then use this as residence for application? Thanks in advance.

    • Marie-Eve
      March 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey John, if the consulate or embassy can’t answer your question you can imagine that I am not equipped to do so either. Best of luck!

  72. jocelyne
    March 22, 2017 at 11:33 am (2 years ago)

    we are going to france for 87 days depending how immigrationdept counts eitherfrom the day you leave or arrival date to france then the departure back..

    we were in europe last january till 15th no intentions of going back in 2017.

    calling thw French consultate i wasnt given the right thing to do…do i really need toapply for extended visa for 10 days/

    • Marie-Eve
      March 24, 2017 at 5:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Sorry Jocelyne, your explanations are not very clear. I can’t help you at this time.

  73. chad medellin
    March 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm (2 years ago)

    hi marie i hope you can help me with this question

    im from mexico im plannin a trip to Europe again (last year i stayed only within schengen area) and im confused about this 90 days in the shengen area

    if i travel from USA to a country in Schengen area lets say France and stay there for 3 days
    than i leave and go to croatia for 5 days
    finally i reenter italy for 5 days

    can i enter the schengen area then leave/reenter like this based on this rule

    my trip wont be longer than 16 days anyways but im confused

    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm (2 years ago)

      As extensively mentioned in this article, it’s for Canadian visitors and not Mexican. I am not familiar with Mexican regulations.

  74. Micheline Toritto
    March 30, 2017 at 12:45 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Ève,
    I am Canadian. I decided on a Spanish (Lanzarote) winter relief this year. When the time arrived for me to return home, I decided against it. Having not planned for this situation before leaving Montreal, I am without a visa and overstaying. I just read Tommy’s post where he managed to have his passport stamped for an extended stay. How did he do it and how can I do it?

    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 5:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Your only option at this point is to contact the Canadian embassy in Spain.

  75. Isabella
    March 30, 2017 at 10:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Marie-Eve,

    Your blog and this thread are so helpful! My boyfriend and I are both American. My boyfriend just received an offer from his company “with a proper work visa” to work in the UK for one year. I am 33 and hoping to take the year off and live with him in London. If I apply for a travel visa that will grant me 6 months, does that also mean I can add the 90 days on top of this for me to stay in the UK?

    Thanks so much!

    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 5:45 pm (2 years ago)

      No. The UK isn’t part of Schengen.

  76. Philious Fog
    April 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you for all the great information .
    I too have sort out lots of information regarding this subject .
    Embassies both my own being Australian and those of other countries were about as handy as a left handed screw driver . I have found 99% of those that work at embassies to be nothing but unhelpful arrogant and misinformed.
    What I have found is this link from a previous post and its spells it out very plainly .
    That the 180 days are a rolling calendar in other words it never ends .
    You simply need to count backwards from today’s date 180 days and calculate the amount of days you have been in the SCHNEGEN in those 180 and the difference is the days you have left .
    The date you enter and depart are included in the days counted as being in the SCHNEGEN .
    Funnily they are also included in the calculation for the next region you enter as well .
    So theoretically you can come and go from the SCHNEGEN indefinitely .
    7 days in 7 days out or any other combination of equal days as the date of the 180 just keeps moving forward ,,

    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Love the metaphore! ;-) Very sorry to hear embassies were not able to help you out. Your explanations sounds about right!

  77. Brandie
    April 11, 2017 at 1:53 am (2 years ago)

    I just want to make sure I can come to Switzerland every other 90 days is this correct I can stay 90 in and I have to stay 90 day out on my American passport

    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 4:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, that appears to be correct. That doesn’t only apply to Switzerland, though, but to all of Schengen Area.

    • Ximon
      February 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm (1 month ago)

      Every country has the right to control their borders so it is not always true that a traveler has the absolute right to enter Schengen and stay 90 days. Each country can make decisions on a case by case basis to keep certain people out. And immigration officers are often given a lot of discretion in waking these decisions.

  78. Jason.G
    April 11, 2017 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

    Hey Marie Eve.

    Thank you for all the information you provided.

    I had a question. Not to long i had just finished my long stay family visa in France, my titre de sejour. ( th I am a canadian married to a French citizen) It finished last year September 28, 2016. I was able to make an appointment to get it renewed in Novemeber of that year. Went to it, but didn’t get a full a renewl but a temporary work permit extend till February 02, 2017. I was scheduled for another appointment to get the full renewal in Januray. I went to it and unfortuantly i was missing one document and didn’t get it. So my work permit ended on the date that was given to me as i mentioed above.

    So i’m just curious to know, would it be an issue if syated on as a visitor vsa for 90 days? I feel like it wouldn’t be an issue considering i am aslo married to a french person. Also take into consderation i went to the uk just before my work permit ended and came back a few days later into paris and they didn’t blink an eye.


    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Jason, I’m not an immigration adviser so I suggest you contact your embassy in France to find out what your options are for your specific case.

  79. Seeling Tan
    April 27, 2017 at 10:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Marie, I have this same dream and would like to know If I get a return ticket from Singapore to Italy within 3 months which is 90days and in between I would like to do Turkey as well in that 90 days does it means when I get out of Italy after 2months and spend another 3 weeks in Turkey and can I still come back to Italy with my valid return tickets for 90days. Im abit confused with the rules like once I enter I got 90days and I got to stay out for another 90days before I can come back. Are you able to help clarify if my idea is possible to travel like that without being stop at check point.

    • Marie-Eve
      May 3, 2017 at 12:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes that’s correct – if you spend 90 days in the Schengen area you have to spend 90 days out before you can enter again, in other words a maximum of three months for every six months.

  80. Anne
    May 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm (2 years ago)

    Canadian citizen. Entered Italy April 23. My family wants to come visit me and tour Italy from July 21-August 12. That would put me days over my 90 limit.
    If I were to leave and visit a friend in Romania for 3 weeks in June or early July, does that mean I am safe to remain in Italy with my family until August 12?

    • Anne
      May 20, 2017 at 1:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Sorry. I missed the “21” – I would be 21 days over my 90 if I stay until August 12

    • Anne
      May 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm (2 years ago)

      Also, is spending time in Monaco an option as well? I think, from what I can figure, I just need to get to a non-schengen country for 21 days and then I can spend those 21 days with my family back in Italy? So few days in Monaco plus a trip to Romania?

    • Marie-Eve
      May 23, 2017 at 7:31 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, I believe so.

  81. Yuna
    June 3, 2017 at 4:56 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Guys,

    Actually – between Poland & USA there’s bilateral agreement that allows Americans to visit Poland 90 days on EACH visit.

    Pay attention: 90 days in Poland, not other countries.
    So, if you about to break 90/180 rule – leave Schengen and enter Poland for 90 days, then leave and re-enter again Poland.

    • Ximon
      February 6, 2019 at 3:48 pm (1 month ago)

      I have heard the same but I would be prepared to be questioned when entering Poland as the offer may not know about this treaty. There are also treaties with Denmark and reportedly France that allow the same access but again, you may need to prove it when entering.

  82. Christopher Watson
    June 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Marie… is it all really as simple as getting a dated Schengen area entry stamp in your Australian passport at the time you first enter a Schengen Convention country? That stamp establishes the start of the 90-day clock, correct? And with that stamp, you can freely move about within the 26 countries that are party to the Schengen Convention, yes?

    • Marie-Eve
      August 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes. I believe so.

  83. luxury305
    August 21, 2017 at 10:14 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello Ma’am,
    I’ve already traveled to Switzerland for 25 days in then left and travelled back to the USA. I am travelling back to switzerland Sep. 5 for 64 days then back to the USA. When will my time start back over again for me to re-enter. Will it start back over in December? Or does the 90 days start after the 64th day and not count the days I was out of the territory in July and august.? I am very confused.

    • luxury305
      August 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm (2 years ago)

      I;m sorry forgot to be more specific! >

      Switzerland on June 10th for 25 days, then left and travelled back to the USA. I am travelling back to switzerland Sep. 5 for 64 days then back to the USA. When will my time start back over again for me to re-enter. Will it start back over in December? Or does the 90 days start after the 64th day on Nov.6th and not count the days I was out of the territory in July 5th-Sept 4th.?

  84. luxury305
    August 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m sorry forgot to be more specific! >
    June 10th for 25 days, then left and travelled back to the USA. Back to switzerland Sep. 5 for 64 days then back to the USA. Will it start back over in December? Or does the 90 days start after the 64th day on Nov.6th and not count the days I was out of the territory in July 5th-Sept 4th.?

  85. Adriana
    October 20, 2017 at 2:27 pm (1 year ago)

    Hello, I have a couple of questions and hopefully you will be able to help me. I was born and raised in Romania, I have two children that are American citizens. We are planning on visiting my family and we would like to stay in Romania for 6 months. From my understanding the kids would only be allowed to stay 90 days in Romania, if we travel out of Romania for 10 days let’s say would we be able to go back to Romania afterwards? My other question would be about Germany. Our first stop in Europe will be Germany where we will spend a couple of days and than fly to Romania. After the 5 1/2 months are gone we will go back to Germany to fly to Hawaii. Are we going to have problems flying back from Germany if we stay almost 6 months in Europe?

  86. Paul Ortiz
    January 23, 2018 at 1:36 pm (1 year ago)

    Just started researching an extended stay in Europe. I want to legally stay in Europe for a year! My wife and I will be retired so the need for work is not an issue and neither will be the funds to stay. But as I have learned in your article remaining longer than 90 days can be an issue. How do we legally stay for a year so we can experience Europe from England to Romania and Sweden to Spain?
    Thank you for your article. The fever to travel for an extended stay in Europe has just spiked!


    • Susan Lopez
      August 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm (8 months ago)

      Hello Paul-You can look into applying for a long stay visitor visa to one of the EU/Schengen countries you plan to stay in such as Spain or France. They will ask you for proof of sufficient funds to support yourself. This one-year visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area freely for 1 year (both in and out).

      • Ximon
        February 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm (1 month ago)

        Sorry but not true that a one-year visa for France allows you to spend one year traveling through Schengen. Yes there are few to no border checks so you may get away with it but its not permitted.

  87. Louise Thistlewhite
    August 10, 2018 at 12:18 am (7 months ago)

    I am on a South African passport and have been issued a single entry shengen visa. I have entered Greece and fly straight to France from
    here. Will I have a problem? Is it still classified as staying in the shengen states or considered leaving? The rest of my family were issued with multiple entries

  88. Rebecca
    October 25, 2018 at 2:32 pm (5 months ago)

    I live in the US and currently in Germany. I have been here since the 7th of October. I will be leaving on the 30th to go to Ireland and the UK. My plan was to come back to Germany on the 21st for Thanks Giving with my son and then go to Italy and Spain. Come back for Christmas and New Years and then go tour other places like France and other places. My question is while I am in the UK and other countries that are not part of the open borders does the 90 days basically pause or does it keep going or does it start back over when I come back?

    • Cecil
      November 1, 2018 at 9:22 am (5 months ago)

      I read that you allowed to stay in Schengen area for either 90 consecutive days and then you must leave for 90 days, or you can stay a total of 90 days over a 180 day period.

  89. Dan
    November 26, 2018 at 11:16 am (4 months ago)

    I’m australian (36) and I’ve just stayed 6 months in the UK visaless with my girlfriend (she’s from London) and as I understand that’s the most I can stay without a visa. No choice now but to go home to Oz which has been heartbreaking but that’s how it goes. My question is, if you know how long I have to stay away before I’m allowed to renter for another six months? I’m assuming the same period of time (around 6 months) would be wise but I don’t know for sure. There are no visas that I know of that would allow me to return. She can’t come to me either as she has years of study still left to do. It sucks that these rules keep two people who love each other apart for these great lengths of time. It really impacts a relationship and makes things difficult. :(

    • Ximon
      February 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm (1 month ago)

      You probably have your answer but if not, I believe that the informal rule for the UK is that after spending 6 months in the UK, you must exit for six months so similar to the Schengen rules but 180/365 and not 90/180.

      May I ask if you had a 6 month visa or did you enter under the visa waiver programme? What questions they asked you when you entered the UK? I heave read that UK immigration officers are suspicious of people who want to stay 6 months to visit a loved one or family member as they fear you may be trying to make the UK your home.

  90. Rose
    February 4, 2019 at 3:29 am (2 months ago)

    Hi Marie and all who is reading,

    Hope you guys can give me your opinion on below questions.

    I intend to travel around Europe and am holding Singapore passport (visa is not required for me to enter Schengen zone and most countries). So I intend to buy an air ticket that allows me to change my exiting date any time within a year. But from the very first beginning I need to already select my exiting date, would it be better if I select my exit date within 3 month or can I select an exit date at a later time which will be after 3 month. I was thinking if the destination custom officer would ask for my return ticket, will they question that I only can stay 3 month but why is my return ticket beyond 3 month? In any case, I think it is also not good to say that I will exit schengen and back in 90 days right?

    • Ximon
      February 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm (1 month ago)

      It would be bad for you to show immigration officer a return ticket that is more than 90 days out. I would not do it and don’t really understand why you would?

  91. Shauna
    February 6, 2019 at 10:30 pm (1 month ago)

    I have one question. My daughter is going to school in France. 90 days-no visa. Is there any way she can extend her stay, say 3 more months. Can she apply/attain a visa while in France or does she have to return to Canada to apply. This is not feasible. Any suggestions appreciated. She’s running out of time! :)

  92. brittany
    February 8, 2019 at 1:14 am (1 month ago)

    does this mean i can go back n fourth fr ireland and northern irland 90 90

  93. Tom Williams
    March 16, 2019 at 9:13 pm (4 days ago)

    Please be aware that I am stressing that the rules ARE the rules but this being said, in the southern European countries such as France Spain, Italy the true situation is that they basically do not enforce the 90 day rule in any manner if you do not appear A; young B; that you might work while in the EU C: that you appear to be of limited means D: just look like a criminal. This blog seems to be centered on younger people so I say stick to the rules. The actual truth is that there is not even a hint of anyone evr being even blinked at if you are basically over 40, look well off etc. They are only on the alert if they think you might work, avail yourself of public services, try to stay illegally or commit a crime of some sort. The immigration officials are not in the business of discouraging wealthy older Americans from spending loads of money in the EU. Call it unfair or “profiling” but this is the unvarnished truth. If you fit this older, well off, dress well profile do not give the 90 day rule a second thought. There is not a single case ever posted on any travel blog to the contrary as far as i know, not ever a second glance. To say that the immigration people just don’t care would be a gross understatement.


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