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90 day tourist limit - Schengen countries

Shazenalan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018
Hi - given a 2 year hiccup in our Camino plans we were hoping to ‘fill our boots’ this year 😊 However it seems as Brexited Brits (🙄)we can stay for 90 days on a tourist visa in any 180 days - meaning our plans to fit in 2 Caminos this year may be scuppered. I was reading that travel ‘for religious reasons’ may be grounds for a longer visa - would walking a Camino qualify? Can anyone with experience of post-Brexit travel offer advice or suggestions on how to legitimately extend our stay, or do we have to spend 90 days at home before returning? 🤞🙏🤞
 
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C clearly

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The 90-day limit in 180 days refers to a rolling total. On any day, count back 180 days and note how many days were spent in Schengen countries. It must not exceed 90.

You do not need to spend 90 consecutive days out of the Schengen region. It depends on #days in and days out, during the last 180. You need to do the count.
 
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I was reading that travel ‘for religious reasons’ may be grounds for a longer visa
I may be wrong but my impression is that the religious and cultural visa has the same time limitation as the general one.

No luck, sorry. And welcome to the less priviledged world outside of the EU. It's a drag, but lots of us are in the same boat.
 

Shazenalan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018
Wow - it takes some thinking to get around that - so say we did 60 days, Then after 60 days at home, did another 30 days. Back home for 60 days, and looking back 180, we would only have done 60 in that window? Am I doing thst correctly? 🤔😵‍💫😵‍💫🤣
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I was wondering how long your Caminos were going to be? Even with two 3 months Caminos you can fit them into a year, you could start in Mid Feb and finish in mid May and then come back again in Early October or maybe even earlier, if you get your timing right then you won't have been in Spain for 90 days in any 180 day period, apparently there is a calculator out there which does the sums for you, hopefully I I've got this right.
 

Shazenalan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018
I may be wrong but my impression is that the religious and cultural visa has the same time limitation as the general one.

No luck, sorry. And welcome to the less priviledged world outside of the EU. It's a drag, but lots of us are in the same boat.
Yes - certainly feels less free in many ways but it will make us consider carefully how we use the freedom we do have I guess. 🤞😊
I was wondering how long your Caminos were going to be? Even with two 3 months Caminos you can fit them into a year, you could start in Mid Feb and finish in mid May and then come back again in Early October or maybe even earlier, if you get your timing right then you won't have been in Spain for 90 days in any 180 day period, apparently there is a calculator out there which does the sums for you, hopefully I I've got this right.
We did the Frances in 2 halves in 2018 & 19. We aim to fo it sgsin in one go, stopping at Sarria, then pick up again SdC To Muxia & Finisterre. Later in the yesr we were thinking of the Portugues from Porto. As oldies - our pace is around 20k a day, We sre looking at starting mid April latest - last time we did late August and I struggled with the heat so going earlier we would maybe have weather more like UK climate in the Eastern regions. And be further West later in the year. We need to fo our sums……. Where did I put my abacus… 🤔🥴🙏🙏
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
my impression is that the religious and cultural visa has the same time limitation as the general one.
And isn't this option of a religious and cultural visa for people who do not benefit from the visa waiver program but who have to submit an application with justification of the reason for their trip?

It won't apply to third country nationals like British or American Camino pilgrims who benefit from the visa waiver system.
 

Shazenalan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018
I was not sure - I had wondered if this was a way for Spain to support all Caminos as distinct from tourism - but I will stop there for fear of getting into an unintended nettle patch. 🙏☺️✌️
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I was not sure - I had wondered if this was a way for Spain to support all Caminos as distinct from tourism - but I will stop there for fear of getting into an unintended nettle patch
It has nothing to do with Spain or with support for the Caminos. It's in the law about visas that is common to all EU countries.

Those people who must apply for a visa (UK nationals don't have to do so) must provide documents relating to the purpose of their journeys which can be: business trips; journeys undertaken for the purposes of study or other types of training; journeys undertaken for the purposes of tourism or for private reasons; journeys undertaken for political, scientific, cultural, sports or religious events or other reasons.

Not every exchange of information that has the word "religious" in it is is off-limits 🤓. Or did you mean the tourist vs pilgrim debate? The person at the consulate who will grant or deny the visa does not care about this.
 
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If you are British it is not necessary to obtain a visa
Correct. No pre-approved visa is needed. Just show up at the border, port or airport and get your passport stamped on Schengen zone entry and exit.
... spend 90 days in 180 for the Schenghen area.
The rules for the amount of time do apply to you though. Pretend you are a Canadian.
 

Peter Fransiscus

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My husband did speak to someone who was on a relgious visa several years ago that was working at Pilgrim House in Santiago. Maybe @natefaith has some information?
Are you from a non-European country

If you are coming to Spain from a non-European country, you will need both a work and residence visa. You can obtain this by showing an employment contract or by registering as a self-employed person.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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BTW, a country doesn't have to be in the EU to be in the Schengen zone. Has the UK government considered joining the zone?
Surely a hypothetical question :cool:? They weren't in it before Brexit and one of the many reasons for Brexit was the desire to end the right to free movement for goods and people. Schengen is about free movement for EU citizens and EU residents. Schengen is not about facilitating touristic travel from non-EU+ countries.

The four non-EU Schengen countries - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland - are all bound by treaties with the EU and are subject to (some of) the EU's laws, without having a say in how it is being shaped.

Note: This is not a backhanded attempt to discuss anything political. These are just facts, and I did not express an opinion about any of it.
 
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Kathar1na

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Time of past OR future Camino
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Rule of thumb for what matters in relation to entry restrictions when you don't have a passport from an EU country:

Schengen: Which country's nationality you have
Covid-19: Which country you fly from

The news media often fail to make this fine distinction. But it matters because EU border control staff knows what to look for. 🤓
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
The 90-day limit in 180 days refers to a rolling total. On any day, count back 180 days and note how many days were spent in Schengen countries. It must not exceed 90.

You do not need to spend 90 consecutive days out of the Schengen region. It depends on #days in and days out, during the last 180. You need to do the count.
Confirming this. When I've had a lot of clients in Europe simultaneously, I've kept a simple spreadsheet documenting my time in the Schengen Zone to make sure I didn't exceed the limits in any given 180 day period:

Date
Country I visited that day
Trip Start Date
Trip End Date

The British Isles were never part of the Schengen Zone for Americans. I spent a few weekends in London or Dublin to extend the weekdays when things were particularly intense, and I had a previous trip that was about to roll out of the 180 day window but hadn't quite done so. Be sure to count both your arrival day and your departure day as "in Zone."

I never needed to show it to anyone, but I felt better keeping it accessible on a tablet when passing through Passport Control either direction.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Wow - it takes some thinking to get around that - so say we did 60 days, Then after 60 days at home, did another 30 days. Back home for 60 days, and looking back 180, we would only have done 60 in that window? Am I doing thst correctly? 🤔😵‍💫😵‍💫🤣
Yes.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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Yeah, confusion. I was trying to prevent it though.

This post was correct.
If you are British it is not necessary to obtain a visa to spend 90 days in 180 for the Schenghen area.

I was concerned though that to someone not familiar with the rules it could (or would) look like the combination of:

1) If you are British it is not necessary to obtain a visa ...

2) If you are British it is not necessary ... to spend 90 days in 180 for the Schenghen area.

Getting confused with #2 and getting it wrong would be bad.

And that's why I wrote:
The rules for the amount of time do apply to you though. Pretend you are a Canadian.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Yeah, confusion. I was trying to prevent it though.
I would word it differently in this context (90 days out of 180 days): If you are British in 2022 and don't live in an EU country then the same rules apply to you that apply to Americans and Canadians in 2022 and had applied to them for the last 10 years (at least). Let them guide you and follow their advice. They know the ins and outs of the Schengen rules. You are one of them. Welcome to the club of third-country nationals and the EU visa waiver scheme. 🤓
 
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I think responding to @Kathar1na's post in detail wouldn't be too helpful because I'd mess it up. So, since I know some Brexiteers are miffed that their continental jaunts are going to get messed with, can I change this:
BTW, a country doesn't have to be in the EU to be in the Schengen zone. Has the UK government considered joining the zone?

To this?:

Is the UK government doing anything to promote ease of travel (not work or residency) between the UK and Schengenia (my term)?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Is the UK government doing anything to promote ease of travel (not work or residency) between the UK and Schengenia (my term)?
Not to my knowledge. There was once talk about it. There was apparently at least one petition to the UK parliament in this context. It garnered only 20,000 votes while 100,000 would be necessary for the UK parliament to even debate it - and debating doesn't mean acting upon it. The petition is closed and there is a comprehensive statement by the British government. I think it answers this question.

BTW, the proper term is Schengen Area but it's not commonly used. Schengenarea instead of Schengenia perhaps? ☺️

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/569365?reveal_response=yes
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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I think it answers this question.
For me it does. Thank you.

BTW, the proper term is Schengen Area but it's not commonly used. Schengenarea instead of Schengenia perhaps? ☺️
Normally I use Schengen Zone. Maybe because that may have been the term used when I first encountered it. At times I think clarity calls for treating the various nations as if they were one entity.* That's when I use Schengenia, with a good portion of the reason being an attempt at humor.

* Like the old usage of The United States of America are ... changed to The United States of America is ...
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I think I used the term ‘Schengen Area’?
I don't doubt it. It's the term used in EU law. I myself am with @Rick of Rick and Peg: I often write Schengen zone. Or Schengen countries. Or just Schengen although that's a small village in Luxembourg, strictly speaking. Schengenarea was an attempt at humour.
 
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chinacat

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Surely a hypothetical question :cool:? They weren't in it before Brexit and one of the many reasons for Brexit was the desire to end the right to free movement for goods and people. Schengen is about free movement for EU citizens and EU residents. Schengen is not about facilitating touristic travel from non-EU+ countries.

Wasn’t this a (very funny) joke??? 😉
(on @Rick of Rick and Peg ’s part)
 
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jl

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BTW, a country doesn't have to be in the EU to be in the Schengen zone. Has the UK government considered joining the zone?
As an Aussie I hope that never happens! At least now we can spend 3 months in the Schengen 3 months in UK and then back to the Schengen and so on. It would also scupper plans, like I have, to spend 6 months walking the pilgrimage paths in the UK.
 

Bristle Boy

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Time of past OR future Camino
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As an Aussie I hope that never happens! At least now we can spend 3 months in the Schengen 3 months in UK and then back to the Schengen and so on. It would also scupper plans, like I have, to spend 6 months walking the pilgrimage paths in the UK.
As an Australian with a valid passport you will be able to visit the UK for up to six months or 180 days (this applies to Canadians and visitors from the US also) so your plans should not be scuppered and there is no need to "come and go".
A normal visitors visa to the UK is more generous than allowable within the Schengen Area.
If your plan is to spend six months in the UK there is no problem so plan ahead...you are most welcome.

 
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Bristle Boy

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I should add that the Schengen rules are different and do not allow for a 90 day stay and 90 day visit to the UK and for you then to have a further 90 days continuous within the Schengen area (assuming Spain is your plan) Calculation is done over a 180 day count back. The Schengen calculator should help.
I wish you luck with your plans.
 
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jl

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so your plans should not be scuppered and there is no need to "come and go".

I was referring to the previous comment (presumably made in jest) of maybe the UK should be encouraged to join the Schengen. UK not being in the schengen means that we Aussies can come and go (saves coming home) to abide by the 180 day rule for the schengen. I have already spent 6 months walking in the UK and have plans for another 6 in the future - hopefully Brexit doesn't' change that time allowed. Switzerland joining the Schengen meant that when walking the VF I had to do it 8 days faster than I had originally planned!
 
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Bristle Boy

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Time of past OR future Camino
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I was referring to the previous comment (presumably made in jest) of maybe the UK should be encouraged to join the Schengen. UK not being in the schengen means that we Aussies can come and go (saves coming home) to abide by the 180 day rule for the schengen. I have already spent 6 months walking in the UK and have plans for another 6 in the future - hopefully Brexit doesn't' change that time allowed. Switzerland joining the Schengen meant that when walking the VF I had to do it 8 days faster than I had originally planned!
Brexit will have no affect for you whatsoever...only for people living in the UK so is the proverbial "red herring".
I hope your visit was a good one.
I should add that the UK was never a member of the Schengen zone whether a member of the EU or not.
The comment was made in jest...I know the member and he is a wag. 🤣
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I didn't even know this. I had a quick look on various gov.uk websites.

EU nationals and Swiss nationals can enter the UK visa free and stay for up to 6 months in one go. Same as AUS nationals. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-as-an-eu-eea-or-swiss-citizen

It is not possible to go "in and out" of the UK to stay quasi permanently, like 6 months in, 1 day out, 6 months in. Apparently, in practice you can only stay 6 months out of 1 year. There is no formal law but these are the Home Office's instructions to border control; they have to look at the previous travel history and make their decision about refusing or allowing a visitor in. They don't have the rolling 90/180 days system that EU/Schengen has.

Both the EU and UK treat all their visa free foreign visitors the same, ie no exceptions for EU visitors in the UK and no exceptions for UK visitors in the EU. That was already explained in the UK government statement to the online petition quoted earlier if you read that.

The EU call their visa free foreign visitors "third country nationals". The UK calls their visa free foreign visitors "standard visitor". I learnt a new term today.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
So, apparently in 2022, you can stay a total of 6 months in either the EU or the UK as a visa free foreign visitor.

The difference is only how you can distribute your time over these 12 months of 2022. I am happy to be corrected if I got that wrong.

Is there a long-distance path in one direction in the UK where you would need 6 months to walk it? The straight line from Land's End to John O'Groats is only 600 miles/1000 km.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
So, apparently in 2022, you can stay a total of 6 months in either the EU or the UK as a visa free foreign visitor.
So is it not possible to return to the SZ after first staying in the SZ for 90 days, then leaving to go to the UK for at least 90 days? I'm confused, because I have been told that's totally possible.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Huh? Why not?
90 + 90 = 180.
What am I missing?
You are correct and you are missing nothing. This is allowed: 90 days in Schengen, 90 days out of Schengen, 90 days in Schengen, 90 days out of Schengen and so on and on.

All one has to do to check how it works is putting dates into the calculator and press "Calculate". If your timing is not allowed, red text appears. If your timing is allowed, green text appears. Here's a sample from today onwards, with no recent previous visits and maximum periods of continuous stay in Schengen. For this year 2022 and next year: You can stay in Spain and/or any other Schengen country during March, April, May, September, October, November, then March, April, May again, and so on.

90 days in Schengen.jpg
 
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Kathar1na

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Time of past OR future Camino
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So is it not possible to return to the SZ after first staying in the SZ for 90 days, then leaving to go to the UK for at least 90 days? I'm confused, because I have been told that's totally possible.
I know that it can be confusing and I am often not explaining it in the most simple way. What you say is entirely possible.

I was simply exploring the question whether one of the two parties is more generous to their visa free visitors over a longer period of time, whether one of the two parties grants more days for visiting, such as during one year or two years in total. They aren't.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Oh ... I went through the thread again and can now see some logic that I didn't see at first. You spend 90 days in Schengen. You leave and want to come back. You need to stay elsewhere for a while. You must stay elsewhere for at least 90 days but you could stay longer elsewhere, for example for 6 months instead of just 90 days.
 

dick bird

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Time of past OR future Camino
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Hi - given a 2 year hiccup in our Camino plans we were hoping to ‘fill our boots’ this year 😊 However it seems as Brexited Brits (🙄)we can stay for 90 days on a tourist visa in any 180 days - meaning our plans to fit in 2 Caminos this year may be scuppered. I was reading that travel ‘for religious reasons’ may be grounds for a longer visa - would walking a Camino qualify? Can anyone with experience of post-Brexit travel offer advice or suggestions on how to legitimately extend our stay, or do we have to spend 90 days at home before returning? 🤞🙏🤞
The 90 days is a total. So if you can spend say, 45 days doing one camino. That leaves another 45 to do another camino without having to wait another 180 days.

As for a pilgrimage counting as travel for religious reasons, I don't fancy your chances. But if you get away with it, we would all dearly love to hear about it. But the Schengen rules are very hard to get round.
 
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As an Aussie I hope that never happens! At least now we can spend 3 months in the Schengen 3 months in UK and then back to the Schengen and so on. It would also scupper plans, like I have, to spend 6 months walking the pilgrimage paths in the UK.
It is possible to spend more than 90 days at once in the Schengen Zone as a tourist by using bilateral treaties. Australians and New Zealanders seem to be especially fortunate this way. Check out the webpage below and then search the forum, a lot has been written on this here.

It involves work, record keeping and care as, once your "free" 90 days are up your route and method of travel has to keep you out of countries you did not get permission to stay for an extra period.


The URL of the above is https://thefreedominitiative.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/unlimited-visa-in-europe-for-free-maybe/
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I found some further info on religious visa. The source is a paper done as part of the many projects and programs that the EU finances, in this case the TEMPER EU Project. Title is: Inventory of visa policies and agreements: Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

The visa for religious reasons allows the entry to a foreign religious minister of worship belonging to a religious organization in order to participate in a religious event or exercise ecclesiastical, religious or pastoral activities. The requirements and conditions for obtaining the visa are: a) the actual conditions of "religious", or minister within his/her organisation; b) documented proof of the religious nature of the event or activity; [etc.etc.]
All this is based on Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 (the EU's "Visa Code"). If people 'believe' that there are any other separate rules that would grant a visa free stay of more than 90 days in a Schengen country for religious purposes, it would be best to not just believe but quote the relevant national law.

For any Schengen country, anyone can try to apply for a visa that will grant a stay of more than 90 days. Numerous people have tried this and succeeded, including people who want to walk long caminos. The application process at the Consulate (located in your own country and at the Consulate that belongs to the Schengen country of your first entry) takes time, a bit of money and perseverance. Perhaps also luck.

Rule of thumb: For a stay of up to 90 days, some nationalities have to apply for a visa, other nationalities don't. For a stay of more than 90 days, all nationalities have to apply for a visa (I'm ignoring the legacy bilateral visa waiver agreements; not many people make use of them but they could).
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
For any Schengen country, anyone can try to apply for a visa that will grant a stay of more than 90 days. Numerous people have tried this and succeeded, including people who want to walk long caminos. The application process at the Consulate (located in your own country and at the Consulate that belongs to the Schengen country of your first entry) takes time, a
Here is one way to go.

A few years ago we were hiking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and we met a Mexican who wanted to through hike the entire trail, a six months trip (he had walked the Camino Francés previously). The normal tourist visa was for three months. Visa extensions required a consular interview. He went in prepared with expected costs and proof of savings, etc. But he thinks what got him the extension was he went in with maps, pictures, trail guides and a lot of enthusiasm. He left with the visa and left behind an official who said that he wished he could have gone with him.
 

jl

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
It is possible to spend more than 90 days at once in the Schengen Zone as a tourist by using bilateral treaties. Australians and New Zealanders seem to be especially fortunate this way.
Yes those bi-lateral trade agreements are a bonus for us. Care has to be taken though. I have used them twice. The first time I was told by the embassy (German) that I only had to leave the country. I did this - leaving Germany and heading towards SDC via Paris, though I had to catch a train for part of the way. I had to talk fairly hard at the customs desk on departure, on about day 165, with the letter from the embassy re-read several times and a queue building behind me! The second time, instead of just leaving the country, I left the Schengen, via the Munich airport, flying to London for the day. I was waved through in seconds at the customs desk when I went to return home on day 130. My conclusion is that, by leaving, and returning, the schengen via an airport my name didn't have a flag against it. I suspect that leaving the Schengen to go via bus / train, or even walking to those small municipalities such as San Marino, Vatican city etc would mean that names would continue to be displayed with a flag against them.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
would mean that names would continue to be displayed with a flag against them
There are no flags against names when you leave 😊. There are no automated checking systems to control exit and entry of a visa free traveller. The only way to check overstaying is a visual check of the Schengen entry/exit stamps and dates in your passport. They don't check for overstaying when they put your passport under a scanner at the airport or in Paris or London Eurostar train stations; these automated checks have other purposes.

All this is going to change, perhaps as early as at the end of this year 2022 when they finally start their EES system. Quote: "The EES is expected to be operational end of September 2022."
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
I didn't even know this. I had a quick look on various gov.uk websites.

EU nationals and Swiss nationals can enter the UK visa free and stay for up to 6 months in one go. Same as AUS nationals. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-as-an-eu-eea-or-swiss-citizen

It is not possible to go "in and out" of the UK to stay quasi permanently, like 6 months in, 1 day out, 6 months in. Apparently, in practice you can only stay 6 months out of 1 year. There is no formal law but these are the Home Office's instructions to border control; they have to look at the previous travel history and make their decision about refusing or allowing a visitor in. They don't have the rolling 90/180 days system that EU/Schengen has.

Both the EU and UK treat all their visa free foreign visitors the same, ie no exceptions for EU visitors in the UK and no exceptions for UK visitors in the EU. That was already explained in the UK government statement to the online petition quoted earlier if you read that.

The EU call their visa free foreign visitors "third country nationals". The UK calls their visa free foreign visitors "standard visitor". I learnt a new term today.
And in the airport we are referred to as "Aliens" and must take that queue.
 
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Kathar1na

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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
And in the airport we are referred to as "Aliens" and must take that queue.
Really, "aliens"? As in "extraterrestrials? Which airport in which EU country and language is that? Never seen or heard it in my part of the world. I know that they use this expression in the USA in the context of visitors who are not US citizens.
 
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GraemeHall

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
Really, "aliens"? As in "extraterrestrials? Which airport in which EU country and language is that? Never seen or heard it in my part of the world. I know that they use this expression in the USA in the context of visitors who are not US citizens.
Heathrow
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
Really, "aliens"? As in "extraterrestrials? Which airport in which EU country and language is that? Never seen or heard it in my part of the world. I know that they use this expression in the USA in the context of visitors who are not US citizens.
Sorry, pre-Brexit, meaning neither UK nor EU.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I've often wondered why we call you foreign visitors "third country nationals". I mean you are the national of a third country but who are the other two countries? So I looked it up. As so often, it is not so much about tourists coming to the EU but about those who have rights as EU nationals or EU residents to work, live and travel within the European Union. The definition is:

In the European Union, the term "third country national" (TCN) is often used, together with "foreign national" and "non-EU foreign national", to refer to individuals who are neither from the EU country in which they are currently living or staying, nor from other member states of the European Union.
I think it is useful to explain this because, often, in the context of current Covid-19 travel restrictions, "third countries" and "third country nationals" are mentioned but the term is not known to a wider public. For example the Spanish government's Travel Health SpTH website uses it: For more information on the entry requirements for Spain, from third countries, please visit this link. And also their weekly list of third countries that are considered as Covid-19 risk countries.

Come to think of it, not such a great definition in the EN Wikipedia. Wiki articles in other languages are better: Third-country national is a legal term from the law of the European Union. It is essentially used to designate those nationals who are excluded from the right to freedom of movement under European law.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
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My Schengen tool. It is intended to be used as an educational tool. Don't use it for real. I will edit with corrections as long as the forum software allows me to.

Get 270 tiles like in a Scrabble game and create a rack for them, again like in Scrabble but much, much longer. The rack must hold 180 tiles, no more, no less. Paint 90 tiles green and 180 tiles red.

The setup consists of going to the leftmost end of the rack. If you are currently in the Schengen area or were for any minute of the day put a green tile there, if not put up a red tile. Next place another tile to the right of the last one to represent where you were the day before; green if any time was spent in the Schengen area, red if not. Repeat until 180 tiles have been put up. Place the remaining tiles in a bucket at the right end of the rack so a sliding tile will fall into the bucket. The rack may end up having several sections of multiple green tiles separated by red tiles. This is not abnormal.

To use this tool: Each morning push all the tiles over one to the right so the rightmost tile falls off into the bucket. Now count the number of green tiles in the bucket. That is the number of days you can spend in the Schengen area. If you will be in the Schengen area then put up a green tile in the now empty leftmost place, if not place a red tile there. Repeat each morning.
 
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Bristle Boy

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Exactly right Rick and a good analogy to make. It is the 180 day read back.
You cannot be in the Schengen zone for 90 days and out for 90 days and the clock resorts to zero again. It has only just started ticking again.
At the end of your 90 days out the 90 days in still count.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Exactly right Rick and a good analogy to make. It is the 180 day read back.
You cannot be in the Schengen zone for 90 days and out for 90 days and the clock resorts to zero again. It has only just started ticking again.
At the end of your 90 days out the 90 days in still count.
They count for what? At end of 90 days in and 90 days out, 180 days are over. Gone. In the past. The clock IS set to zero. Or am I missing something?
 

C clearly

Moderator
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At the end of your 90 days out the 90 days in still count.

They count for what?
The first 90 days are still in the count, but they are counting down at the same rate that your new days are counting up

See? You are both right :)! And I am sitting at home far away from the countries in question, counting the days.
 
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Bristle Boy

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Time of past OR future Camino
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The first 90 days are still in the count, but they are counting down at the same rate that your new days are counting up

See? You are both right :)! And I am sitting at home far away from the countries in question, counting the days.
It is a rolling 180 day calculation.
For a ninety day stay in the schengen zone after a further 90 days outside the zone every extra day is subtracted one day off your original stay and so it goes on.
Hope this helps.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
So, apparently in 2022, you can stay a total of 6 months in either the EU or the UK as a visa free foreign visitor.

The difference is only how you can distribute your time over these 12 months of 2022. I am happy to be corrected if I got that wrong.

Is there a long-distance path in one direction in the UK where you would need 6 months to walk it? The straight line from Land's End to John O'Groats is only 600 miles/1000 km.
If one were to distribute the time correctly, couldn't one spend six months in the EU* and six months in the UK in 2022 (rather than or)?

January 1- March 31 in EU (90 days)
April 1 - June 30 in UK (3 months)
July 1 - September 28 in EU (90 days - since it is a rolling 180 days this shouldn't be a problem)
A couple of days in Morocco, or somewhere else in neither the UK nor EU
October 1 - December 31 in the UK (3 months - totalling 6 months within the year)

* Actually, 180 days, which is slightly less than 6 months, which is why I stuck in a couple of days elsewhere. Also noting that I'm assuming that Kathar1na was using EU for SZ and I have done similarly. Also, I'm assuming that the six months for the UK is six calendar months rather than 180 days. If it is 180 calendar days one could avoid the couple of days elsewhere, return to the UK on September 29, and return to the EU after 90 days had passed for a third time within the calendar year and spend the last couple of days of the year in the EU.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
I've often wondered why we call you foreign visitors "third country nationals". I mean you are the national of a third country but who are the other two countries? So I looked it up. As so often, it is not so much about tourists coming to the EU but about those who have rights as EU nationals or EU residents to work, live and travel within the European Union. The definition is:

In the European Union, the term "third country national" (TCN) is often used, together with "foreign national" and "non-EU foreign national", to refer to individuals who are neither from the EU country in which they are currently living or staying, nor from other member states of the European Union.
I think it is useful to explain this because, often, in the context of current Covid-19 travel restrictions, "third countries" and "third country nationals" are mentioned but the term is not known to a wider public. For example the Spanish government's Travel Health SpTH website uses it: For more information on the entry requirements for Spain, from third countries, please visit this link. And also their weekly list of third countries that are considered as Covid-19 risk countries.

Come to think of it, not such a great definition in the EN Wikipedia. Wiki articles in other languages are better: Third-country national is a legal term from the law of the European Union. It is essentially used to designate those nationals who are excluded from the right to freedom of movement under European law.
Well, Wikipedia is editable. If you change the definition and include a footnote reference to the official definition, your edit might stick and you will have improved things. :) Almost as good as updating/correcting Gronze.com!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Exactly right Rick and a good analogy to make. It is the 180 day read back.
You cannot be in the Schengen zone for 90 days and out for 90 days and the clock resorts to zero again. It has only just started ticking again.
At the end of your 90 days out the 90 days in still count.
At the end of your 90 days out, the original 90 days in still count. But the next morning, only 89 of the 90 days in still count, so you can re-enter the Schengen Area. The morning after that, only 88 of those first 90 days still count, so you can stay in the Schengen Area. And so on. Until you have spent another 90 days in the Schengen area, at which time you will have to leave.
 

Bristle Boy

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
At the end of your 90 days out, the original 90 days in still count. But the next morning, only 89 of the 90 days in still count, so you can re-enter the Schengen Area. The morning after that, only 88 of those first 90 days still count, so you can stay in the Schengen Area. And so on. Until you have spent another 90 days in the Schengen area, at which time you will have to leave.
Quite correct.
Strictly speaking if you want to stay another 90 days within the schengen zone you need to have been outside for 180 days. The 180 day calculation starts from day one of your first visit.
It would take a further 90 days (180 days) for your first 90 day stay to totally disappear from the calculations.
 
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David Tallan

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Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Quite correct.
Strictly speaking if you want to stay another 90 days within the schengen zone you need to have been outside for 180 days. The 180 day calculation starts from day one of your first visit.
It would take a further 90 days (180 days) for your first 90 day stay to totally disappear from the calculations.
That's not what everyone else is saying. Not counted forward from your first visit but counted backward from the present. On any given day, look at the previous 180 days. If more than 90 of them were in the Schengen Area, you are out of compliance. That's what everyone else in this thread has said. If everyone else is correct, you only have to depart for a full 90 days.

It may take a further 90 days (180 days) for your first 90 day stay to completely disappear from the calculation. But you don't need it to completely disappear to return. You just need enough of it to disappear for the days you've added with your next visit. Hence you don't need to have been out for 180 days. By the time you have finished adding on the next 90 days, the first will have disappeared, even if they were almost all still present when you started your second 90 days.
 

C clearly

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Strictly speaking if you want to stay another 90 days within the schengen zone you need to have been outside for 180 days. The 180 day calculation starts from day one of your first visit.
That is true, in terms of planning for that exact scenario of 90 days out, 90 days in, and how long you can stay on the next entry.
It would take a further 90 days (180 days) for your first 90 day stay to totally disappear from the calculations.
Also true. But there is no need for the first 90 days to totally disappear from the calculation. One day at a time will suffice.
 

Bristle Boy

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
That is true, in terms of planning for that exact scenario of 90 days out, 90 days in, and how long you can stay on the next entry.

Also true. But there is no need for the first 90 days to totally disappear from the calculation. One day at a time will suffice.
I totally agree that you do not need to wait for the 90 days to disappear. I have only given this as an example for it to happen.
If your next visit needs to be (for evample) 14 days you would only need to wait 14 days after the ninety to reduce the ammount of time off of your original visit to the zone. This would still show 90 days out of the last 180 spent in the SZ
What you add at the end of a 180 day rolling calculation period you can take off the front.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
My Schengen tool. It is intended to be used as an educational tool. Don't use it for real. I will edit with corrections as long as the forum software allows me to.
Neat.

Today was actually the first time that I explored the EU Online Schengen Calculator. Or perhaps they have enhanced the tool since I had a look at it the last time. It has a Control mode and a Planning mode and a Passport function. It took me a while to understand what it was doing, especially the initially somewhat cryptic summary messages. The Passport function is neat. You can enter the dates of all your entry stamps and exit stamps in your passport in any order and it will sort out the correct sequence and will tell you how many days you can stay from today onwards. Or in fact from any future date onwards.
 
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Kathar1na

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BTW, the EU Online Schengen Calculator comes with a user manual. In it, they address the topic of the legacy bilateral visa waiver agreements between certain Schengen States and certain third countries as provided by Article 20(2) of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement. So this is not a secret and @Rick of Rick and Peg has mentioned these agreements and provided a link to more information. They can allow pilgrims of certain nationalities to stay longer than 90 days in certain Schengen countries. However, they also note that it is merely a possibility for these Schengen countries to apply their "old" bilateral agreements for an extension of stay but it is not an obligation.

I've read some time ago that there are moves to abolish them altogether but this has not yet come to fruition.
 
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That's Southern Ireland to you Rick 🤣
Incorrect. For me it is Ireland. 🇮🇪

They can allow pilgrims of certain nationalities to stay longer than 90 days in certain Schengen countries. However, they also note that it is merely a possibility for these Schengen countries to apply their "old" bilateral agreements for an extension of stay but it is not an obligation.
I did mention work was required but I left it up for the webpage to elaborate. But the work I was thinking of was getting visas or permissions from embassies or consulates of the countries for the extensions. You can't just expect to show up and be let in (or stay in one of the bilateral countries past the Schengen time limit without doing anything).
 
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The 90-day limit in 180 days refers to a rolling total. On any day, count back 180 days and note how many days were spent in Schengen countries. It must not exceed 90.

You do not need to spend 90 consecutive days out of the Schengen region. It depends on #days in and days out, during the last 180. You need to do the count.
How difficult is obtaining a long-stay Schengen visa (U.S. citizen)? I'm hoping to walk the Gebennensis from Geneve, then the Podiensis to SJPP, then up to Irun, then the del Norte, Muxia, and Fisterra, some rest and "cultural" days, and transition days on each end. All in, I'm estimating about 110 days. Most documents are no problem, but obviously cannot prove lodging accommodations all the way across in advance. Is this doable or should I reconcile to a 90 day limit? I've emailed the Swiss consulate near me. Visa services are not available in the France or Spain consulates closest to me.
 
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C clearly

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How difficult is obtaining a long-stay Schengen visa (U.S. citizen)? ... All in, I'm estimating about 110 days.
I have no particular knowledge of this, but my impression is that it is not a trivial task and maybe not worth it unless you want to move to Europe. I expect that it is a lot easier to modify your route to fit within 90 days!

Here is a 5-year old thread on the subject.
 

Peter Fransiscus

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Time of past OR future Camino
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How difficult is obtaining a long-stay Schengen visa (U.S. citizen)? I'm hoping to walk the Gebennensis from Geneve, then the Podiensis to SJPP, then up to Irun, then the del Norte, Muxia, and Fisterra, some rest and "cultural" days, and transition days on each end. All in, I'm estimating about 110 days. Most documents are no problem, but obviously cannot prove lodging accommodations all the way across in advance. Is this doable or should I reconcile to a 90 day limit? I've emailed the Swiss consulate near me. Visa services are not available in the France or Spain consulates closest to me.
If you need to remain longer than 90 days in Europe, then you must apply for a residency permit according to the Schengen visa website.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Here is a 5-year old thread on the subject.
Unfortunately, that thread discusses only plans for a long stay visa but there is no feedback from someone who has applied for and obtained a long stay visa. I think there are some forum members who did this but I can't remember who. In any case "long stay visa" and "residence permit" are not the same thing.

Long stay visa: visa to stay for a duration that is longer than 90 days/three months. In Spanish: visado para estancia de larga duración. In other EU languages: list here. Contact the Consulate of the country in question in your own home country. Note: It may not give you the right to move between EU countries, just to stay in the country who issued the visa!
 
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Molly Cassidy

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Unfortunately, that thread discusses only plans for a long stay visa but there is no feedback from someone who has applied for and obtained a long stay visa. I think there are some forum members who did this but I can't remember who. In any case "long stay visa" and "residence permit" are not the same thing.

Long stay visa: visa to stay for a duration that is longer than 90 days/three months. In Spanish: visado para estancia de larga duración. In other EU languages: list here. Contact the Consulate of the country in question in your own home country. Note: It may not give you the right to move between EU countries, just to stay in the country who issued the visa!
I have a friend who is a UK citizen and resident in the UK but has a holiday home in Spain. When he looked into a long-stay visa, he was told he needed to provide a certificate from a doctor to say that he was in good health. He was unable to this as he has various medical conditions so he gave up.

This is in contrast with my experience applying for a residence permit in two different EU countries as a UK citizen, where I was expected to have only basic emergency health insurance.

There are different types of visa available but as Kathar1na says, it's probably not worth it for a short trip.
 
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should I reconcile to a 90 day limit?
My recommendation is to reconcile. Although in theory Americans can spend more than 90 days in the Schengen Area it would only be in Denmark and/or Poland. Obviously not helpful for your camino plans. I don't believe it is automatic to enter either. I think you need to apply for visas.
 
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trecile

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Unfortunately, that thread discusses only plans for a long stay visa but there is no feedback from someone who has applied for and obtained a long stay visa. I think there are some forum members who did this but I can't remember who.
My friend @pinkwadingbird went through the process and is now living in Granada. I dont know if she is on the forum very often nowadays.
 

Kathar1na

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I checked with a few people I know to learn more from their practical experience with long-stay visas but they were either already the spouse of an EU citizen or came on a short-stay visa and then obtained a residence permit, and therefore they know as little about long-stay visa as I do. But as I thought, long-stay visas are entirely a matter of each EU country; they do not allow the holder to roam around in other countries expect in the one country who issued the visa. In case someone wonders how that is controlled: I don't know. You probably signed something to this effect; it may say so on the long-stay visa papers that you received, and you are expected to comply.
 

henrythedog

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Time of past OR future Camino
X
There are no flags against names when you leave 😊. There are no automated checking systems to control exit and entry of a visa free traveller. The only way to check overstaying is a visual check of the Schengen entry/exit stamps and dates in your passport. They don't check for overstaying when they put your passport under a scanner at the airport or in Paris or London Eurostar train stations; these automated checks have other purposes.

All this is going to change, perhaps as early as at the end of this year 2022 when they finally start their EES system. Quote: "The EES is expected to be operational end of September 2022."

That’s interesting, and a little surprising. I’m a UK passport holder; but I have two passports - from the days when I was working and needed to constantly be able to travel. At one time I used one for South Africa and the other for Israel ( both of whom would deny entry if you had the others’ stamp in your passport) but more recently for Saudi Arabia who can take ages to grant a visa.

So, if there’s no electronic record I could use my passports alternately?

If I choose to do so I’ll be sure to set up a donations page first to cover my prison food bill!

Note: this is not a serious suggestion!

I did once have a friend who was a ‘queen’s messenger’ his job was to fly with diplomatic bags from the UK to fairly obscure parts of the world. He had six UK passports!
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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So, if there’s no electronic record I could use my passports alternately?
It is in your own interest to use the same passport when travelling into and out of the Schengen area. The reason are the tiny entry stamps and exit stamps that you now, after the end of free movement, get each time you cross an external EU/Schengen border. If you only have an entry stamp but no exit stamp in one passport, how do you want to prove that you remained within the 90 days/180 days limits during subsequent trips?

I know that numerous people believe or claim that their entry and exit is registered and that their data are stored electronically in some EU wide system. I've read some tall tales on the forum that were presented with great conviction. Such a system does not exist. But they are working on it. Eternal issues, apart from technical issues, is protection of personal data where numerous EU countries don't see eye to eye and which has caused many delays.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Unfortunately, that thread discusses only plans for a long stay visa but there is no feedback from someone who has applied for and obtained a long stay visa. I think there are some forum members who did this but I can't remember who. In any case "long stay visa" and "residence permit" are not the same thing.

Long stay visa: visa to stay for a duration that is longer than 90 days/three months. In Spanish: visado para estancia de larga duración. In other EU languages: list here. Contact the Consulate of the country in question in your own home country. Note: It may not give you the right to move between EU countries, just to stay in the country who issued the visa!
I applied for a long stay visa for Sweden in 2008. I went to the embassy in the city where I live. They gave me the forms and advised what information they needed.

From memory, it took 6 to 8 weeks but was otherwise not particularly onerous. I am sure that I had to prove that I had sufficient income to cover my visit and that I had a permanent home to return to.

I was living in one place within Sweden and my stay was associated with KTH University and so not as a pilgrim moving every day.
 
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But as I thought, long-stay visas are entirely a matter of each EU country; they do not allow the holder to roam around in other countries expect in the one country who issued the visa. In case someone wonders how that is controlled: I don't know. You probably signed something to this effect; it may say so on the long-stay visa papers that you received, and you are expected to comply.
I did not need to promise to stay only within Sweden and I travelled to Germany while I was there.

My understanding, which could be wrong, is that the visa gave me the right of residency for 6 months (the period that I requested) in Sweden and that as I had that right I was also free to travel elsewhere in the Schengen zone, the same as anyone else with the right of residency has.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Hi - given a 2 year hiccup in our Camino plans we were hoping to ‘fill our boots’ this year 😊 However it seems as Brexited Brits (🙄)we can stay for 90 days on a tourist visa in any 180 days - meaning our plans to fit in 2 Caminos this year may be scuppered. I was reading that travel ‘for religious reasons’ may be grounds for a longer visa - would walking a Camino qualify? Can anyone with experience of post-Brexit travel offer advice or suggestions on how to legitimately extend our stay, or do we have to spend 90 days at home before returning? 🤞🙏🤞
You need to put yourself in the mind of the immigration officer who will consider your application for a longer stay visa. Their job is to encourage and enable non-permanent visitors who will benefit the country's economy by spending money while stopping permanent immigrants and/or people who will work.

There are three basic questions that the person considering your visa request will want answered and one possible supplemental one.

1 Is this request for an extended stay reasonable and believable?
2 Does the applicant demonstrate that they have the means to support themselves while they do their activities without needing to work locally?
3 Do they have a strong reason to return home when their visa expires?

Supplemental - Are they likely to require medical services while they are here and if so do they have insurance or some other way of covering those costs?

With this in mind then the more concrete your plans are, the more likely that you will get your visa.

E.g. Saying that you have not been to Spain for a while and you want to come and walk a couple of different Caminos, you are not yet sure which ones, and when you are finished you will go home.

Vs

Between X date and Y date I will walk the Camino Z from A to B. Rest three days in Santiago then between V and W I will walk the D Camino from C to B.

In addition you will probably need to demonstrate your Camino experience by showing where you have walked in the past and perhaps even get an endorsement from a credible local religious order.

You will need to show that you have sufficient resources and time to do what you say you will do. If you are not of retirement age then you might need to explain how you are getting this extended time off work. Saying that you are currently unemployed is NOT a good answer for this question of how you will get the time to do this pilgrimage (s).

You will probably need to highlight your family and/or other permanent connections to the UK and demonstrate that you have an ongoing place of abode within the UK, either owning a home in the UK or showing that you have a long-term lease or rental agreement.

You may need to show that you are currently in good health and that you have adequate health insurance to cover the period of your visit.

When you have this stuff, decide which country you will spend the most of your time in and apply to the embassy of that country.

Once you have done this then you should have no problem getting an extended stay visa.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Apparently, long-stay visa are called D-Visa in the EU countries and there are study/research visa, work visa, business visa, joining-family visa, work-experience visa, training-for-a-job visa, and employment visa. It will be interesting to learn whether there are Camino/long-distance-hiking visa and to hear from someone who got one. Best of luck!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
There is a D-7 visa that is called a non lucrative visa. I couldn't get the Spanish web sites to work but a Portuguese government website describes it as "REQUEST A RESIDENCE VISA TO ESTABLISH RESIDENCE FOR RETIRED PEOPLE, RELIGIOUS PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WHO LIVE ON THEIR OWN INCOME". While this sounds like a live-in-Portugal visa it seems that there is a possibility of getting it for a short term, such as six months. Apparently it takes 60 days to process the visa application and costs E90.
 
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Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Apparently, long-stay visa are called D-Visa in the EU countries and there are study/research visa, work visa, business visa, joining-family visa, work-experience visa, training-for-a-job visa, and employment visa. It will be interesting to learn whether there are Camino/long-distance-hiking visa and to hear from someone who got one. Best of luck!
There is also a financially independent visa. This simply requires proof that you can support yourself. In Greece that means have €2000 a month from unearned income ( pension, investments etc). In Portugal you only need around €7000 a year. Every country is different, so you need to check. Also, there may be a requirement to deposit money in a local bank account for the duration of your stay.
 
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