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Jerri Kerley

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2017-11/2017
Good morning from Santadem! I am currently on the Camino Portuguese. My plan is to spend 6 mths exploring Europe. I have researched the Schengen countries and it is my understanding that I can spend 90 days, within a 180 day period, in the 26 countries that are a part of the agreement. It is also my understanding that the UK and Ireland are independent of the agreement and have their own 90 day policy, independent of each other.
My plan is to pop into the UK near the end of my 90 days in the Schengen countries. However, a fellow Pilgrim told me that they stopped her when she tried to do that. Can anyone please advise me? Please humor me by basing your response on fact, rather than speculation. I appreciate and eagerly anticipate your response.
Thanks, Jerri
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
fact, rather than speculation
I would go to the UK government‘s gov.uk website, the one where it says „Do I need a UK visa“, enter my nationality and purpose of visit and see what it says.

To understand whether what happened to your pilgrim friend will happen to you one would need a few more facts, like whether her nationality is the same as yours, who the „they“ are who stopped her - Schengen border control or UK immigration control - that is whether she was stopped from leaving Schengen or stopped from entering the UK and why exactly, and what they made her do - stay where she was, go to her home country, go to her country of residence or what?

When you travel from an EU Schengen country to the UK and vice versa, you always pass through two separate border controls. They are sometimes in the same location, behind each other, but they are totally separate. The first one doesn‘t care where you will travel to next and the second one doesn’t care much where you are coming from - your nationality matters the most.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Jerri,

I want you to know that there are special cases where it is possible for someone traveling as a tourist in the Schengen zone on an American passport (and some others as well, see below) to stay in the zone for longer than 90 consecutive days. For Americans Poland allows this and Demark also (but with slightly more complicated rules taking into account time spent in other Nordic countries).

I bring this up because you may find it cheaper to spend some of your post 90 day time in Poland before traveling to the more expensive UK and Ireland.

For information on Poland see some of the posts in this forum thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/americans-needing-a-visa-updates-or-how-tos-please.46776/

For more on Poland (and Denmark too) see this web page: http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/39649/us-citizen-90-180-schengen-stay-bilateral-agreements-w-poland-denmark-etc

Citizens of Australia and New Zealand have it even better with lots more countries giving them special breaks. If they are careful about following the rules they can spend years in Europe as tourists. They should check out this web page: https://thefreedominitiative.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/unlimited-visa-in-europe-for-free-maybe/

Other nationalities should go to the above page too as it has information on how to see if there are special Schengen rules exceptions for you too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Since my last post I remembered something that may put your mind at ease. I read that the UK was starting to refuse entry to people that would use up their 90 days in the Schengen zone and then hop over to the UK for the next 90. But not for normal tourists. This was for people who would do this repeatedly multiple times in a row. Perhaps your informant was one of these?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
The 90-day rule in the Schengen zone means that at any time, you need to be able to count back 180 days and not have spent more than 90 of those days in Schengen. It is a rolling count. It is not that you can pop out for a few days and come back in with another 90-day allowance.

If you spend 88 days in the Schengen zone, leave for a day and come back, you will still only get a couple more days in the Schengen zone.

Various calculator tools are available on the internet.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Since my last post I remembered something that may put your mind at ease. I read that the UK was starting to refuse entry to people that would use up their 90 days in the Schengen zone and then hop over to the UK for the next 90. But not for normal tourists. This was for people who would do this repeatedly multiple times in a row. Perhaps your informant was one of these?
It‘s a general rule of UK immigration law: you cannot live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent tourist visits.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
The 90-day rule in the Schengen zone means that at any time, you need to be able to count back 180 days and not have spent more than 90 of those days in Schengen. It is a rolling count. It is not that you can pop out for a few days and come back in with another 90-day allowance.

If you spend 88 days in the Schengen zone, leave for a day and come back, you will still only get a couple more days in the Schengen zone.

If you use 90 consecutive days, leave for 2 weeks, then when you come back you will get 2 more weeks in the Schengen countries.

Various calculator tools are available on the internet.
The math for this doesn't add up. If, as you say "you need to be able to count back 180 days and not have spent more than 90 of those days in Schengen" then you must wait 90 days before returning after a stay of 90 consecutive days. It is the only way to ensure that you don't get more than 90 days in a 180 day period.

You also say "If you use 90 consecutive days, leave for 2 weeks, then when you come back you will get 2 more weeks in the Schengen countries." If you stay 90 days, leave for 14, return for 14 more days, that gives you 104 days (the original 90 + the next two weeks after your brief break) all within a 118 day period. I don't think this example works.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I started thinking about this when I considered adding the Via Francigena to my list of routes I'd like to walk. I might be able to do it in 90 days but it would be cutting it closer than I'd like to. I'd prefer to give myself a 100 days at least to have a nice buffer. Unfortunately, nothing I've seen seems to really allow for that. If I walk it, it is starting to look like I'll need to break it into two trips.
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
You will save a few Schengen days after GBs Brexit ;).

Have you ever asked for your options at an embassy?
You need a reason to extend the 90 day period, though it is possible.
how-to-extend-schengen-visa

So far I never thought of it, but do all these young people travel only 3 months within Europe?
And does a national visa (Italy) gives you up to 90 extra days?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
You will save a few Schengen days after GBs Brexit ;).

Have you ever asked for your options at an embassy?
You need a reason to extend the 90 day period, though it is possible.
how-to-extend-schengen-visa

So far I never thought of it, but do all these young people travel only 3 months within Europe?
And does a national visa (Italy) gives you up to 90 extra days?
I think that these days, young people are likely to do one of three things:
- stay for the summer (and limit themselves to less than 90 days)
- stay longer on a work or study visa
- not be entirely legal about it

I know that when I was young, there was no Schengen zone. On the one hand, it meant for more border checks. On the other, I could travel around Europe for as long as I wanted. There were enough countries that if you were doing a grand tour you were sure not to overstay your welcome in any one country. If you were staying in one country, it was easy to cross a border to a neighbor every few months to reset your clock. When I was 18, I wandered all over Europe for about 4 months. When I was 25, I stayed in Spain for a year and a half with occasional brief trips to Portugal, France or the UK.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
UK has a separate visa process already, so time there doesn’t count against your Schengen allowance. 👍
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019
I think that these days, young people are likely to do one of three things:
- stay for the summer (and limit themselves to less than 90 days)
- stay longer on a work or study visa
- not be entirely legal about it
There is also an extensive range of working holiday visa arrangements for young adults. My recollection is that these can be accessed by people under the age of 26 from eligible countries. The arrangements are bilateral or multi-lateral.
There are also other visa classes that can be accessed. My son used patriarchal visa arrangements many years ago when he first arrived in Britain.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I want you to know that there are special cases where it is possible for someone traveling as a tourist in the Schengen zone on an American passport (and some others as well, see below) to stay in the zone for longer than 90 consecutive days.
@Rick of Rick and Peg, this topic came up in another thread today and I'd love to share with you a link that I came across. Unlike all the other links to various travelling information websites, this one is a link to a European Commission document, ie the institution who produces the proposals for European Union law. It's from 2014 and quite boring but it touches on the subject of bilateral agreements and CISA (Common Implementation of the Schengen Agreement). The EU is "aware" of these bilateral agreements. ☺

So these bilateral agreements really are "a thing" and they are still law. Quote:

[...] if a Member State [= Schengen country ] concluded a bilateral visa waiver agreement with a third country [= not a EU country] on the list in Annex II of the Visa Regulation (‘visa-free list’) before the entry into force of the CISA (or the date of the Member State’s later accession to the Schengen Agreement), the provisions of that bilateral agreement may serve as a basis for that Member State to ‘extend’ a visa-free stay for longer than three months in its territory for nationals of the third country concerned. Thus, for example, citizens of Canada, New Zealand or the United States can stay in such Member States for the period provided by the bilateral visa waiver agreement in force between the Member States and these three countries (usually three months), in addition to the general 90-day stay in the Schengen area. For these countries, the Commission is aware of several bilateral agreements, meaning their citizens can legally stay for a virtually unlimited period in the Schengen area on the basis of short-stay visa waivers. New Zealand, for instance, has 16 bilateral visa waiver agreements, so on top of the 90-day visa-free stay based on the [Schengen] Visa Regulation, its citizens can in practice remain in the territory of the Schengen area for 51 months (three months plus 48 months). [What they mean here, of course, is not the whole Schengen area but just the part of the Schengen area that is the Member State with a bilateral agreement].
Some EU countries want to have these bilateral agreements terminated while some of the EU countries concerned are dearly attached to them. The European Commission withdrew this proposal eventually in 2018 and it never became law. As far as I can tell, these bilateral agreements are still in force.

Source: Explanatory Memorandum - 2014/0095(COD)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
@Rick of Rick and Peg, this topic came up in another thread today and I'd love to share with you a link that I came across.
Thank you for this.

Australians and New Zealanders are lucky with all these bilateral agreements but using them can be tricky. I may be mistaken but I remember reading that some countries require that one must fly in and out of the country to get the extra days and others require land transportation. Imagine driving into one of these countries and then realizing that the only way out is by driving to a country that requires you to fly into it.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019
Thank you for this.

Australians and New Zealanders are lucky with all these bilateral agreements but using them can be tricky. I may be mistaken but I remember reading that some countries require that one must fly in and out of the country to get the extra days and others require land transportation. Imagine driving into one of these countries and then realizing that the only way out is by driving to a country that requires you to fly into it.
New Zealanders might. Their government put a lot more effort into these bilateral arrangements in the day than the Australian government did, and our Kiwi cousins now reap the benefit of that effort.
 

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