Schengen issues for US travelers

Old Dec 13th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Schengen issues for US travelers

Does anyone know if people who leave the Schengen area of countries prior to their allotted time being used up have any trouble coming back in to complete their 90 days?

Specifics- I'm flying into Amsterdam and out of Madrid and am hoping to travel outside the Schengen countries in between. Is there any possibility that if I leave the group of member countries I will be denied re-entry?

(After the Netherlands, I am thinking of flying to Poland and visiting Czech Rep. then coming back overland through Germany/France.)

Thanks for any help!

===
Given: US citizens can travel within Schengen member countries for 90 days each 6 months on passport alone.
http://www.eurovisa.info/SchengenCountries.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_treaty
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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MaureenB
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Would you be returning to a Schengen country after the 90 day limit? In other words, are you asking if the 90 days is only counted while you are within a Schengen country? Or does the calendar begin the day you enter a Schengen country and the clock keeps running till you leave entirely. It's a good question. You might have to call the appropriate consulate (Spain?) to find out for sure. We have been researching the Schengen visa and it seems each country applies the rules differently. If you have time, you might need to get a visa just to be sure. It's a hassle, though, and time-consuming and requires a visit in person to your consulate.
 
Old Dec 13th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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I believe it works like this: once you leave a Schengen country the time period is over. Once you enter it starts again.

Between the Czech Republic and Germany, via rail, there may not even be a passport check.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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I recall reading that the 90 day period does not run during the time that you spend outside of the Schengen area, but that a new 90 day period does not start when you return; you only have the balance of your original 90 days. The specific issue was whether once could leave the Schengen area for a day or two to get a new 90 day period, and the answer was no.

However, you have to remember that you will be dealing with the authorities in a single nation when you reenter, and I would not be surprised at all to find that the different member nations give different answers.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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On a recent trip there were passport checks on trains between Hungary and Austria and between Austria and the Czech Republic. Our passports were checked and stamped by both the countries that were leaving and entering.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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The basic rule as it was last explained to me: You can be in the Schengen countries 90 days out of any 180-day period. The 180-day period begins when you first enter any Schengen country. I've also seen it presented as 3 months out of 6 months.

Other proposals have been made that would add other options, but I don't know the status of these options.
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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ttt
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for your replies. It's convoluted and nobody I've spoken to seems to be that interested in making it clear. Someone at the US State Dept. told me they thought it was 90 days for EACH Schengen country, which is not true.

After many unsuccessful calls to the consulates for Spain in Boston, New York and the Washington office, I finally got an answer (though unsatisfactory) from a real person who didn't just put me through to a recorded message or send me to a web site.

He said if I leave the Schengen group with days remaining (out of my 90 days) and want to return to complete them, I enter only at the discretion of immigration for whatever Schengen country I'm entering and it's not guaranteed that you can finish up your 90 days. I think perhaps this is a stock answer, as everything is always at the discretion of the border authority, no matter what the standard policy is.

I'm going to assume that you have ANY 90 days within a 6 month period, no matter how they're divided up, and therefore will try to have my passport stamped when exiting the Schengen member countries the first time so the days I spend outside the area will not be counted towards my 90-day stay.

If anyone thinks this is a bad idea, please let me know. Thanks!
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 10:44 PM
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Regarding your travel plans and the "Schengen" treaty. The Schengen Treaty simply allows for open boarders between the signatory countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. I donít think that you have anything to worry about. Once youíve left a signatory country and wish to re-enter, the standard Visa provisions apply. You will receive a new visa stamp when re-entering the signatory country.
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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If MoveableFeast has a visa, the 90 day rule is moot. If you have time, I suggest you get a visa just in case.
 
Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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No visa, no time!

BTW MaureenB - I've appreciated some of the discussion regarding your daughter's decision on study location, etc. as I was weighing where to enroll in a language school. (I'm not in a study abroad situation, but will be enrolling for a 2-wk language school course in Madrid.) I also read your question about the whole 90-day thing. The necessary headaches, eh?
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Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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MoveableFeast, fortunately her Italian Schengen visa arrived yesterday. So that headache is resolved-- hurray! I wish I was going to Florence for a semester...
 
Old Dec 14th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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Another BTW- I posted this separately, but perhaps your daughter and others traveling to Spain would enjoy this Brit expat's podcast- http://www.notesfromspain.com

It's quite well done as these things go. I've enjoyed it quite a bit and learned about a few things I now want to check out.
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 05:41 AM
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I too am now researching the question. Any ideas on this one? I dont know how long I will be in Europe so i thought of getting a one way... now i see you must have confirmation (another ticket) to enter many countries. Then there is this crap with the 90 day "schengen" thing. Ya see any problems with flying one way into Ireland, then flying with a ticket to somewhere else for a month later? I figure if i pick a country that isnt a "schengen" country, then even if i backpacked into a schengen country, my days wouldnt actually start until i registered somewhere. Here is another issue. Many countries say you have to have "sufficient funds". Exactly how much is that. For me, $25 US a day may be enough, but many of them i am sure would like me to spend more. If i get a round trip ticket to the UK and have five grand (i think you can visit there six months with no visa), that only comes out to like $25 a day. Will I be admitted with that even though Five grand is a fairly decent amount of money or do they only look at it as so much a day.

tony
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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****I agree, this 90 day Shengen thing is crap. But where do you think our wise European leaders got this idea? Try to find out how long European tourists can stay in the US without a visa, and you will have your answer.
****To answer the question about "sufficient funds"
*If you stay with a private person: 38 Euro/day
*If you stai in a hotel: 50Euro/day
*If you have a credit card with you: nothing at all.
****Finally to answer the basic question: you can stay one period of 90 days, or 9 periods of 10 days, or whatever combination you can think off.
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Old Jan 7th, 2006, 05:04 PM
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While i do agree with saying that USA only allows europeans in the US for a certain time, and comparing them, its not quite the same. I could see it being 30 or 90 days only, but that is PER COUNTRY. Saying that you can land in Spain, and have to be out of Germany in three months makes no sense. Its not like you can only visit NORTH AMERICA for a few months. That goes by countries. With the Western Europe countries, they are saying ALL COUNTRIES are considered one for the most part.
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Old Jan 8th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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I think the consolidation of sovereign states under Schengen is more a convenience to tourists than an impediment. We can travel to many countries without the inconvenience of changine currencies and getting visas for each country.

Those who want to exceed the 90 day limit (which seems fairly generous for the typical tourist) can still do it the old fashioned way, be getting a visa from each country they will visit.
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