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2 years roaming Europe? How does it work at customs?

2 years roaming Europe? How does it work at customs?

Oct 19th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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2 years roaming Europe? How does it work at customs?

2 years roaming Europe? How does it work at customs?

I am planning a European tour (lasting well over a year, maybe 2) due to the large number of countries I want to visit (pretty much the whole continent).

I'd like to know how long I can stay in the EU as a Canadian visitor (non-working, non-student, non-visa status).

I know I'm allowed to stay in Spain (my first destination) for up to 3 months without a problem, but what is this carta de invatation (at the police station) they talk about? Or at least my online research talks about it.

After Spain, I'd probably enter Morocco, to escpae the winter in Europe, but I'd like to come back in, and do Portugal, Spain again, France, Italy (and probably in that order). This leg of the trip might take longer than 3 months. I travel VERY slowly, sometimes spending a whole month in a region, or city.

Will there be a point where I'd be kicked out of Europe, and have to head to North Africa for a while before returning back in again?

In Scandanavia, will I have to go to Russia, and come back to avoid the 3 month duration limit? What about in the Balkans, and Central/Eastern Europe?

How does it work in border customs for travelers/backpackers constantly roaming around Europe?

As for purpose: It's world travel.
As for money: I tell the custom's agents I have lots of euros, a bank card with more euros, a family credit card number for emergencies, and loving parents who add money into my account if I need it.

sandy456 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 08:31 PM
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Customs doesn't care - their job is to control the importation of goods into a country. Not people.
ipod_robbie is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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I think sandy meant immigration, not customs. Many people confuse the two.

You may want to repost with a title about visa/immigration requirements.
J62 is online now  
Oct 19th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Yes, it's immigration that you have to worry about. You can spend 90 days in any Schengen country within 180 days. So if you spend 90 days in a Schengen country, you have to be out of any Schengen coutry for the next 90 days before you can reenter a Schengen country. That's if you don't have a visa. If you want to stay longer, you have to have a visa to do so.
SusanP is online now  
Oct 19th, 2007, 10:20 PM
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Note that the Schengen zone is expanding rapidly with several new countries just about to enter the system. This further limits your possibilities.
kerouac is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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That doesn't mean leaving Schengen for a few days or few weeks and re-entering. You can only be in any/all Schengen nations for a total of 90 days in any 6 month period.
janisj is online now  
Oct 19th, 2007, 10:32 PM
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As with all legal questions re. immigrations, I would suggest to get in touch with one of the embassies of the countries you want to visit.

Once you travel outside that Schengen scheme of 90days in, 90days out, you are back to the national regulations of immigration of the individual Member States.
Cowboy1968 is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 12:32 AM
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You don't mention insurance in your list of how prepared you are - how are you going to insure your self healthwise? And also against theft - most travel insurances do not cover such an extended period of travel.
The Schengen area is expanding this year so you need to be aware of whiic countries fall under Schengen.
For Russia you will need a visa. Iceland and Norway are also Schengen countries, along with all EU countries I believe (or they will be from this year). Only the UK and Ireland are not Schengen.
This severely limits visa free travel - you can only be in the Schengen zone without a visa for the stated 90 days out of 180. WHich means aither spending a lot of time in the UK and or Ireland or in Africa. Apply for a Schengen visa to make it easier for you.
Unless you can convince the immigration officials (certainly in the UK) that you don not intend to work you may have problems.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 12:49 AM
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please don't let this put you off completely. There must be ways around it, you just need to explore a bit more. Check out the ThornTree on www.lonelyplanet.com especially the Long Haul and Round the World Travel forums. There are lots of people doing similar things. We are Australians and lucky enough to be living and working in the UK now which to me, is a dream come true. All of Europe is so close now! We do loads of travel. (We do have visas which allow us to stay though.)

Good luck with your plans. Don't give up.
KayF is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 01:31 AM
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KayF - he has
alanRow is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 04:12 AM
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Schengen -- I wouldn't worry about it, as a Dutch passport policeman advised me last year on my departure. I have overstayed the 90 day rule in Holland and France. No problem. Almost nobody is checking passports or stamping passports anymore. They don't know where you've been or when. Just stay off the radar screen. Keep your nose clean and keep some cash in your pocket.
hopscotch is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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There's no legal "way round" this for most Canadians.Kay F, for example, can't do what she's saying you can.

You've asked for "non-working, non-student, non-visa status" to roam Europe at your will. That's simply impossible for a non-European.

You can try staying the full six months you get for the UK, commuting back and forth to the xenophobic countries on the continent who create these lunatic restrictions (probably basing them on your country's equally anti-foreigner policies). But UK immigration won't let you keep this up for a series of 6-month stays adding up to two years if you don't have a job or course back in Canada

As a Commonwealth citizen, you can get a UK Ancestry visa if you've got a British grandparent. This entitles you to 5 years' stay in Britain. But Schengen rules still apply to you in the unenlightened belt (ie most of the European land mass)

With an Italian or Irish grandparent (and one ot two other nationalitiews as well, like I think Polish) you can get a passport of an EU state, which gives you unrestricted access to the rest of the EU to stay, and for most nationalities, unrestricted ability to work.

Or you can apply for a working holiday visa (you don't have to work) for some European countries, or a Schengen long stay visa.

But to do what you want (roam free) you need either EU nationality or some kind of longstay visa. You might try telling German immigration they can't deport you because someone on a website got told by a Dutch policeman passports don't matter.

But anyone who's actually travelled in Europe will know that if that's what Hopscotch really thinks, Hopscotch should spend less time in Dutch "coffee" shops.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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<You've asked for "non-working, non-student, non-visa status" to roam Europe at your will. That's simply impossible for a non-European.

This is simply not true and I know too many people who have done it. That said, it is much easier with a long term visa .

BUT it can be done as there are still lots of countries outside of schengen.

Look at bootsnall.com , they have lots of info on this topic by people who have done it.

It is equally challenging for Europeans to do a long stay in north America, but I also know penty who have done that too. They go to US, Canada and Mexico.

You just have to plan well.

BTW we are almost 14 months into our open ended trip around the world, having spent all of it in Europe so far and time in Morocco, so I know what I am talking about.

We did go after and got a long stay visa for Spain. Not an easy thing, but doable for some.


WTnow is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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Hopscotch does not patronize "coffie shops." He goes to "brown bars" and smokes Dutch cigars.

In 1999 I spent about 6 months in Holland -- non-working, non-student, non-visa status. I have actually traveled in Europe a lot and all over. I have crossed every border, except Russia's. The only place where a passport is requested nowadays is in the former commie lands and on disembarking from your trans-Atlantic flight. Last year I made two dozen border crossings and was only asked for my passport in the Baltics. I had to ask for an exit stamp when I flew out of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and that's where the Dutch policeman told me, emphatically, that I'll never need to worry about Schengen.

As I wrote, keep your nose clean. In other words, look decent and don't give the police any reason to check you out. Also, don't tell anyone about your "status" over there. A jilted lover may want to get even.

hopscotch is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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"You've asked for non-working, non-student, non-visa status to roam Europe at your will. That's simply impossible for a non-European."

Have you tried it? Ive done 2 stints in europe for more than a year and have never had a problem. Like others have said borders in europe arn't what they used to be and during the 14 months that I spent in Europe my passport was stamped once. The best advice I can give you is buy a one way ticket to Spain or somewhere else and buy your ticket home flying out of somewhere else. As long as you keep to the trains and buses you won't have any problems. Having proof that you can afford a ticket home and expenses while your in Europe also helps. Have fun.
Travelingjunkie is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 05:28 AM
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What the other posters are suggesting is that it cannot be done legally. Whether you get caught or not is a different story.

Nobody will argue that many, like travelingjunkie, do this every year.

Once you exceed the the tourist visit allowance you are consider an illegal alien.

J62 is online now  
Oct 20th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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It can easily be done legally. Most countries allow you three months and since there are roughly 35 countries that are not apart of Schengen you can stay in europe quite a while without having a problem if you were going to roam around. Just get a medical card.
Travelingjunkie is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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Ok, just to clarify I am a Canadian of Non-European decent, and I leave for Spain in less than a week (leaving no time to apply for Working Holiday visas), and I'm flying one-way.

Check this out, and tell me if it'll work:

Remember, I'm not planning on applying for a SHENGEN visa. I want to do this without it.

-Barcelona (all of November)
-Baleric Islands, coastal Spain, and Andalucia (all of December) THAT's 60 days in SHENGEN.

-Morocco (all of January)
-Algeria/Tunisia (all of February) THAT's 60 days OUT of SHENGEN

-Italy (back in Shengen for 30 DAYS in March)

-Swiss (to escape SHENGEN for 30 DAYS in April)

-Germany (back in SHengen May 1st).

6 months between entry (NOV1), and re-entry to Shengen (MAY1)
sandy456 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Go for it sandy456.

I would at least go down to Valencia from Barcelona.

hopscotch is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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go for it sandy! Sounds exciting.
freeman0819 is offline  

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