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  • VR TEAM | Apr 4, 2024 | 0 comments

    The 90/180 Day Rule for Schengen Visas; What Is It and How Does it Work?

    In this article, we’ll explore the term 90 days in any 180-day period. This will help you to understand this particular term when applying for a Schengen visa and to ensure you don’t break it.

    The 90/180 rule when applying for a Schengen Visa
    Source: Pixabay

    What is the 90/180 rule and how does it work?

    If you have traveled to any of the countries in the Schengen Area or are in the process of making an application for a Schengen visa, you will probably have come across the term “90 days in any 180-day period.” What this means is that with a valid Schengen visa, you are permitted to enter and stay in any of the European countries for a maximum of 90 days every 180 days. When you enter, the 180-day period starts. If you stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days, you will not be able to enter again until a new 180-day period begins. 

    When applying for a new Schengen visa, there will be questions regarding previous travel on the application form. If you have entered any of the Schengen countries in the past, you will be obliged to declare this in order for the embassy to know if the 90-day / 180-day rule is met. If you have never applied for a Schengen visa in the past, you will be permitted to stay for the maximum of 90 days. If you have had a visa in the past and you are within the same 180-day period, you will only be permitted to stay for as many days as is left up to 90 days. 

    Who needs to follow the rule?

    Any traveler wishing to enter and stay in the following countries, will need to follow the 90-day / 180-day period rule:

    1. Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

    The 90-day / 180-day rule applies to:

    1. All nationals who are non-EU citizens who are permitted to enter the Schengen Area without a visa.
    2. All nationals who are in possession of a multiple entry Schengen visa

    “90 days in any 180-day period” rule explained

    In order to understand fully what the 90 days in any 180-day period means, we have to look at two things:

    1. Staying in the Schengen Area for 90 days
    2. Using your 90 days within any 180 days

    Staying in the Schengen Area for 90 days

    Entry to any country within the Schengen Area will be day 1 of your 90 days. If you go to one country, you will remain for however many days (up to 90 days) and the day you leave will be considered your last day in the Schengen Area. However, if you go to more than one country, the number of days you remain will be the total for all countries visited. For example, if you visit Greece for 15 days, then 15 days in Italy, and 15 days in the Netherlands, you will have spent a total of 45 days in the Schengen Area and you will have 45 days remaining.

    Using your 90 days within any 180 days

    The 90 days you are allowed to stay in any country in the Schengen Area is within any 180-day period. The idea of “any” means that the 180 days keep moving – each day spent in the Schengen Area affects this longer period. To calculate whether you have complied with the 90-day /180-day rule, the 180-day period is calculated by going backwards to your entry and/or exit dates. This calculation will determine the total number of days spent in the Schengen Area, how many days remain, and the duration of any new visa being granted. For example, if you enter the Schengen Area on 01 January 2023, you would then count 180 days backwards from this date and work out how many days you have already spent in the Schengen Area. If it’s been 30 days, you will have another 60 days left. If this is your first time traveling to any of the countries in the Schengen Area, you will have the full 90 days.

    Staying more than 90 days

    If you are granted a short-stay visa, you will be permitted to stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period. If you stay longer than 90 days, you will have broken the 90-day / 180-day period rule. This also means that you could be fined, deported, or banned from entering the Schengen Area in the future. Just because you may be able to leave Europe without being noticed by the immigration authorities, doesn’t mean they will not know. As your passport is scanned in airports, the entry and exit dates are registered, so the length of stay will be easily detected and it could result in a rejected visa application in the future. 

    If you know you are going to be in any of the Schengen countries for longer than 90 days, you must be in possession of a national visa.  

    At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa , Book Visa Appointment, Travel Guides, Visa Interview Guides and many more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.



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