EUROPE – New Guidelines for Calculating Duration of Stay Limits in Schengen Area

EUROPE – New Guidelines for Calculating Duration of Stay Limits in Schengen Area Adopted by Member States

Earlier this year, Schengen area member states approved new regulations defining how border officials should calculate the cumulative stay of a third-country national visiting the Schengen area in order to determine their maximum duration of stay upon entry.

Beginning 18 October 2013, any foreign national visiting the Schengen area on a short-stay visa or status will be allowed to remain in the region for a maximum cumulative stay of 90 days within any 180-day period. Before admitting a foreigner for short-term visitation, border officials will review the exit and entry stamps for the previous 180 days, counting all days spent in the territory of a Schengen area member state. The total number of days spent in the Schengen area during the last 180 days may not exceed 90 days or the foreigner will be denied entry. Furthermore, the duration of stay granted to the foreigner upon arrival will be determined by the remaining days available to the traveler when considered under the 90-day limitation.

In the past, border officials utilized varying strategies to determine the number of days a foreigner was allowed to remain in the region under the “90 days in a 180-day period” regulation (or “90/180″ rule). This frequently lead to denial of entry or a significantly reduced duration of stay for some visitors. The new regulation seeks to clarify the way maximum cumulative stay is calculated, consequently providing travelers a better understanding of the restrictions they may face when traveling within the Schengen area.

The “90/180″ rule will apply to all foreign nationals traveling to the Schengen area on short-stay visitor status (e.g. business and tourist), including nationals who do not require a visa to enter the region. EEA / EU nationals traveling to other EEA / EU member states will be exempt from the rule, as will foreigners holding long-stay visas or other long-term immigration documents (e.g. residence permits) for the destination country.

Passport Validity Requirements

In addition to the refined definition of the “90/180″ rule, European officials outlined new passport validity requirements for any foreigner transiting the Schengen area.  Third-country nationals entering the territory of any Schengen member state must now possess a passport issued in the last 10 years with a remaining validity period of three (3) months beyond the intended date of departure from the region.

A copy of the amendments may be found here, with pages four (4) and five (5) containing details on the revised calculation methods and passport validity requirements.  Travelers with concerns about how these new guidelines could impact their abiltiy to enter the region should contact the embassy of their country of first entry or speak with their Emigra Representative.

The information above was provided by our partners at Emigra.  The information herein is for general information only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work with or send an email to info@emigra.com.

What you need to do…

  • Note that foreigners traveling on short-stay visas, or entering the Schengen area under short-stay visitor status, may remain for a maximum period of 90 days in any 180-day period.
  • Understand that border officials will review the 180-day period immeidately preceding the date of arrival in a Schengen state to determine the maximum duration of stay upon arrival.
  • Short-stay business travelers in the Schengen area should remain aware of their cumulative time spent in the region during any 180 day period, ensuring that they remain under 90 days.
  • Travelers should also ensure they have sufficient validity remaining in their passport when traveling in the Schengen area.  Passports must now be issued within the past 10 years and have at least three (3) months validity remaining beyond the intended date of departure.
  • Contact your Emigra Ogletree Worldwide Representative for further details on how these changes may impact you or your clients.

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