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Schengen - What does 90 days in 180 days really mean?

Schengen - What does 90 days in 180 days really mean?

Old Sep 13, 08, 4:57 pm
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Schengen - What does 90 days in 180 days really mean?

The background: I am a Canadian citizen with a Canadian passport living in the UK under an Ancestry Visa.

My question: How are the 90 days every 180 days under Schengen counted? Is it a rolling 180 days, or is it counted some other way?

By "rolling 180 days," I mean they only look at the last 180 days to determine if you've stayed more than 90. As an example, assume I go into the Schengen area on January 1st and stay for 90 days, leaving on March 31st. I assume that mean I can't enter again until for the next 90 days (June 29th).

Come June 30th, can I re-enter the Schengen, as I would have only stayed 89 days in the last 180? And can I continue to stay, as each day the rolling 180 day window moves, giving me another day?

If it isn't calculated by a rolling 180 days, how is it counted?

Cheers,
Greg
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Old Sep 13, 08, 6:36 pm
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It's counted by the "date of first entry". The length of stay includes the date of arrival and the date of departure as full days. Thus, if you enter on January 1, the 180th day is June 29. You could re-enter on June 30, which would then be your date of first entry within the new 180-day period.

Here's some general Schengen documentation, though you might find more reader-friendly references on the sites of the consulates for Schengen members.
Schengen agreement
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Old Sep 13, 08, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by GregWTravels View Post
The background: I am a Canadian citizen with a Canadian passport living in the UK under an Ancestry Visa.

My question: How are the 90 days every 180 days under Schengen counted? Is it a rolling 180 days, or is it counted some other way?

By "rolling 180 days," I mean they only look at the last 180 days to determine if you've stayed more than 90. As an example, assume I go into the Schengen area on January 1st and stay for 90 days, leaving on March 31st. I assume that mean I can't enter again until for the next 90 days (June 29th).

Come June 30th, can I re-enter the Schengen, as I would have only stayed 89 days in the last 180? And can I continue to stay, as each day the rolling 180 day window moves, giving me another day?

If it isn't calculated by a rolling 180 days, how is it counted?

Cheers,
Greg
For those who have implemented and follow the EU Schengen rules (and while I could be wrong) -- I'm told it's a rolling calendar basis that is used -- so on the date of your current, past or future stay, you should not have stayed in the zone for more than 90 days in any 180 day period.

In practical terms, if you are close to the limit and the stamps in your passport are not many, they may ask you to demonstrate that you are leaving on time, not overstaying and not violating the terms of entry during the duration of your stay; if you are close to the limit and you have a lot of stamps in your passport, they probably won't care much or otherwise make an issue of it unless you have a passport with the stamps in perfect chronological order and are entering via a country/airport where they are more attentive than at most major hub airports in the EU Schengen countries.
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Old Sep 17, 08, 8:52 pm
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From a practical perspective, you have a UK visa, your a Canadian citizen. Due to the UK visa they aren't overly concerned that your working without paying taxes or using social services in the EU without paying taxes and your from a country that they welcome.

If you were ever challenged, Switzerland often doesn't stamp passports and Zurich to London gets you outside the Schengen area.

I've lived in various European countries for periods of time - and travelled a lot when doing so and was NEVER questioned regarding 180 days.
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Old Sep 19, 08, 6:41 am
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I've done a lot of research on this topic, heard all the "official rules", but here's what I've experienced.

It seems basically there are the RULES, and there are the rules
It just depends on if you get someone who is a rookie going by the book, or someone who knows what rules can and can't be broken.

Im from Canada, and have been living now in Holland for 4 years now, (only 6 months of it on a residence visa) I've come and gone at least 12 times in and out, often over my schengen time (I had thought the rule was 6 months, then it gets reset once you leave. ah well ignorance is bliss.)

The only times ive really been challenged, were once coming back from Switzerland where they asked for my return ticket. I told them I didn't have one, they said "oh, an open ticket". I said yeah, that's it. (Whatever an "open ticket" means)

My last encounter though was the hardest, and is what got me searching these sites since my plan is to live in holland, but the immigration process is taking so long, I figured I'd just go for broke and stay as long as I can.

I was coming back from a weekend in England, when he looked at my passport (just renewed, only with 4 stamps in it, coming in and out of holland twice in 2 months) and asked how long I planned to stay. I said umm.... 2 months. he handed it to another guy who took me aside. I was getting pretty nervous at this point, he said "normally we don't check these" in an apologetic tone. It seemed as if the guy who had called me out was a new guy or something. He took my passport and asked other people at the office what the rule was for Canadians. I mentioned that I wanted to live there, and its a bit hard to follow the rules when the people enforcing them don't even know what they are. He looked in an old book and found Canada, and that it was 3 months in 6. then he took my passport, using his cell phone calculator, added up the stamps and figured I had 2 weeks remaining (luckily he didnt see my old passport which showed how long I'd really been there).
He told me Id have to book a ticket to leave before that 2 weeks were up, and he'd trust me to do it. I wonder what would have happened if I had been over the limit already. All in all he wasn't very enthusiastic about keeping me out, and mentioned the IND if I want to immigrate. But ive been trying that for years now through my work, and they send you around in circles, so my only choice is to sit on my thumbs in Canada, or risk it and stay in Holland with my fingers crossed. (not a very secure way to live though, but better than staying in Canada).

The 2nd closest time was coming once from Switzerland, they asked for my return ticket, i said I didn't have one, but they stamped me anyways.

So in summary, as the previous poster mentioned, it seems the more stamps the better, since they pretty much have to do the math on the spot, and the more confusing it is the harder it is for them to catch you. It does not seem to come up on their screen as many people think, otherwise he wouldn't have had to use his personal cell phone to add up the days. It all seemed like they were rather poorly informed, and that I knew more about it than they did.

Another interesting thing i observed was that he stamped my passport on page 1 instead of page 3 where the uk stamp was. Thus making it harder for rushed border guards to add up the days in their head.
If this was on purpose or not I don't know, but that was the vibe I was getting.

Going through italy once, someone was checking passports as I was leaving, and said how long have you stayed for? I said 6 months. she angrily swiped my passport, and gave it back. that was about it. Every other time has been problem free.

Another case I had, was when I had a temporary living visa, which expired. I even got an official letter saying to leave Holland in so and so days. But I didn't leave.
I wanted to know once and for all if I would be refused at the border when returning from Canada, so I asked to speak to a customs agent at the airport. He told me that if you have a girlfriend in Europe then you can go anywhere in the EU. I asked, and you dont need any papers to prove that or anything? he said if you have a serious relationship and aren't working then its fine. Sounds pretty wishy washy, but he seemed like he was high up the ladder at Schipol airport, since it took a few call transfers to reach him.

My next flight back to Toronto I'm going to take a transfer at Frankfurt, since they seem to be more expidited in stamping passports due to the number of people transferring flights there. Maybe after that my passport will be beefy with stamps like before and more easily confuse newbie border guards who try to go by the book.

In any case, im still going to keep pursuing my proper papers, as it would be terrible to be blocked from the EU after buiding a life here for 4 years.

(as for people getting shipped home, I've met only an Australian guy who was blocked from the UK for reasons unknown and sent back. The UK seems much tougher.)

Essentially if you are coming, staying for a long time then going, then I don't think you will have any trouble at all. Except in Greece apparantely you can get a fine.

If you are re-entering over and over, it seems that they only ask questions after you have been to switzerland or the uk.

But hey, that's just my experience, I thought it might help to share.
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Old Sep 19, 08, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by Ian79 View Post
Im from Canada, and have been living now in Holland for 4 years now, (only 6 months of it on a residence visa)

I mentioned that I wanted to live there,

All in all he wasn't very enthusiastic about keeping me out, and mentioned the IND if I want to immigrate. But ive been trying that for years now through my work,
I'd say you have been lucky. And of course Canadians are treated better in the Netherlands than everyone else. (for those who don't know, Canadian troops liberated the Netherlands at the end of WW2)

Does your employer know he can get a large fine for employing an undocumented foreigner?
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Old Sep 19, 08, 6:50 pm
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Ian 79.......I'm an easy going guy and the EU is easy going in their approach to Canadians coming and going.....BUT I'd say that your living on borrowed time.

First, your employer should have helped you to obtain a work permit....which then makes it possible for you to get a residency visa. You should read your own post where the gentleman you spoke with in Schiphol said they didn't care IF YOU AREN"T WORKING.....and I believe him. But you indicate that your working - and they WANT THEIR TAXES!!!

Yes there is some bureaucracy, but the Netherlands is pretty straight-forward in terms of getting the work permit and residency visa. I'd highly recommend you get it - you aren't on a long holiday or backpacking across Europe - your working there and that they will take seriously when someone figures it out. How is your employer paying taxes to the government?

4 years is simply way too long and your time will come.
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Old Sep 19, 08, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by MacDaddie View Post
Ian 79.......I'm an easy going guy and the EU is easy going in their approach to Canadians coming and going.....BUT I'd say that your living on borrowed time.
+1

I think it's especially risky in the Netherlands, given the laws requiring you to carry ID with you at all times and show it upon demand.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by Ian79 View Post
I wanted to know once and for all if I would be refused at the border when returning from Canada, so I asked to speak to a customs agent at the airport. He told me that if you have a girlfriend in Europe then you can go anywhere in the EU. I asked, and you dont need any papers to prove that or anything? he said if you have a serious relationship and aren't working then its fine.
That is the biggest nonsense I have ever heard. I can't speak for the Netherlands but here in Germany the authorities are pretty strict when it comes to people who want to get married in order to obtain a residence permit. There was too much abuse of this. I don't think the Netherlands are different.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:07 am
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If I were living somewhere as an illegal immigrant I certainly wouldn't go round bragging about it.

And as caspritz78 has correctly pointed out, the story about "you can stay in the EU as long as you are in a relationship with an EU citizen" is just complete and utter nonsense (and how would a CUSTOMS person be able to give an authoritative answer in any event? Customs don't deal with Immigration matters...). Marriage to an EU citizen would give a non-EU citizen the right to live in the EU, but not without going through the appropriate formalities first.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
Marriage to an EU citizen would give a non-EU citizen the right to live in the EU, but not without going through the appropriate formalities first.
Marriage or registered partnership, at least in those member States that recognise the concept. Also to some extent, other forms of established long-term partnership can create some immigration rights, but we are entering the grey zone there.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Marriage or registered partnership, at least in those member States that recognise the concept. Also to some extent, other forms of established long-term partnership can create some immigration rights, but we are entering the grey zone there.
Furthermore, the relevant pieces of EU legislation are interpreted differently in different member states, it seems. But yes, in principle, marriage (or where relevant a civil partnership) to an EU citizen should enable the non-EU partner to live in an EU country under EU law except (in most cases) where the country in question is the country of which the EU partner is a citizen, in which case that country's own immigration laws take effect; the main exception to this last point is when the couple have already exercised their EU treaty rights in this regard (i.e. have already lived as a couple in another EU state).

But as I say, even where EU law applies, different countries have different standards of implementation...
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Marriage or registered partnership, at least in those member States that recognise the concept. Also to some extent, other forms of established long-term partnership can create some immigration rights, but we are entering the grey zone there.
In the Netherlands, just declaring in front of an immigration official that Mr/Ms XYZ is your "partner" can be sufficient. That is exactly what I did to sponsor my partner to become legal here. There is no need to be married or to enter into a registered partnership. So the OP's girlfriend could sponsor the OP (assuming she is legally residing in the Netherlands, her income is sufficient and her/their house is big enough)
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Old Sep 22, 08, 3:44 am
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I know, it did sound like nonsense, but that's what he said.
This is what I experienced, not my opinion of how I'd imagine things ought to be. And im sorry, I mean't Immigration officer, not customs...

what is it about the internet that makes people so confrontational?

But anyways, that's why I take it with a grain of salt, but after looking into the IND, it says that you can be living with someone and as long as they earn over 1500 or something euros a month, then you can have a residence permit which must be renewed every year.

As for the work permit, my company has been trying for 3 years going in different ways, but the laws keep changing, and we've been getting the runaround over and over. Its full of catch 22's and things that make it very hard to get the permit since you have to prove that nobody else in europe can do your job, plus the offices are way understaffed and way overworked.
We are currently trying through the kennismigratie which is apparantely faster, but we'll see how that goes *fingers crossed*.

Until the real papers ever come through its a business to business deal since I have a company in Canada to which they send money, so im technically not working illegally. However it is a bit grey, and a situation im getting tired of really. But my boss says if it really comes down to it, he'll make me a partner in the company, and that's another way in.

(as a side note, once you are inside the EU I've had my passport checked about 4 times in random document checks and I've never witnessed anyone even remotely caring how long I had stayed there. But then again you never know, right)

I'm not bragging I'm just wanting to share what I've experienced first hand since message boards are so awash with opinions and people cutting and pasting what they read off official websites, and very few actual experiences.

And the advice I'd give to anyone worrying about this or anything before they travel somewhere, is to go for it and sort it out as you go along.

Address problems as they arise and don't become paralyzed with fear before you even set out on your journey. (Paralysis through analysis)

9/10 times out of 10, the worst thing that happens is something you never even knew you should have worried about.

And even when the worst happens, with enough persistence there's always a way to solve it.
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Old Sep 23, 08, 10:25 pm
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I know someone who last month flew from the USA to Belgium ,

they had already been in Europe over 90 days out of the last 180 and were detained ,

luckly they were able to buy a ticket to the UK and were escorted to the plane , if there were no flights they would have been put in jail with the other illegals !

so do check your days , they "may" check

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