Ninety in any 180 days

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

As readers might remember, we are only allowed to visit the EU for up to ninety days within a 180 day period without requiring a visa.

Get it wrong and the very worst that will happen is that you could be banned from re-entering any of the 26 countries for up to 5 years.

If you need to spend more time in an EU/Shengen country (and that includes San Marino, Vatican City, Switzerland, Monaco, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) then you need a visa.

How will the EU know how many days you have spent in their lands?

By stamping your passport on each entry and exit you make from one of the countries concerned.

They will then add up the number of days according to the entrance and exit stamps for all the countries concerned.

What happens if you get an entrance stamp but not an exit stamp or vice versa?

The advice from the FCDO is that border security will assume you to have exceeded the time and they could could deny you entry.

Therefore it is vital that you make sure that you have entry and exit stamps in your passport and that you add up the number of days you have spent in EU countries and the others so you don’t exceed you limit.

This applies particularly to those that take multiple holidays per year, have a holiday home or have a frequently used timeshare.

As a precaution, keep hold of boarding cards, invoices and anything connected to your holiday just in case you need them. If, for example, you don’t get an exit stamp, if you can show proof of when you left a country one of the border staff can authorise a stamp to be made in your passport to show when you left.

If you are are planning on multiple cruises next year, CLIA UK (Cruise Lines Industry Association) say cruise passengers cruising in waters deemed to be owned by Shengen countries won’t have any visa/passport issues even when disembarking for day trips even if passengers cruise over the 90 day in 180 day limit.

Will this rule stay in place?

Given the number fo people who have long term winter breaks in warmer countries like Spain, France and Greece, I can see the UK and the EU (on behalf of Shengen countries) discussing this issue in the years to come.

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