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Visas for EU

Traveling for longer than 3 months in Europe, how do I get a visa that will allow this?
9 years ago, September 12th 2006 No: 1 Msg: #7455  
All, my wife and I are flying to Portugal on Nov 7th and had planned to stay in the Eu/Europe for a year traveling. I just found out that without a visa we can only legally travel for 3 months within a 6 month period. How do we get a visa to allow us to travel for longer periods than this? Anyone know? I'm really nervous about this! Reply to this

9 years ago, October 3rd 2006 No: 2 Msg: #7706  
B Posts: 5,138
I spent some time looking for information on this - but I found nothing really useful. (I'm assuming you're from the US)

It looks as though - yes 3 months is your visitors permit length for the EU - they harmonised agreements in the Amsterdam agreement in 1999 - with the UK and Ireland being exceptions. European Visa Requirements - so this is different to a visa! - this is automatically granted to you upon entry.

The UK says you do not need a visa - and gives a visitors permit on entry but I couldn't find an indication of maximum duration of stay - maybe there is none? UK USA Resident Visa info - though this page makes it look like you need a visa for a 6 month visit Britain USA

The agreements are reciprocal in nature - eg an EU citizen is under pretty much the same situation visiting the US, so I don't see an easy way around it.

I can only advise talking to an expert - there are premium rate numbers advertised on the Britain USA page - talk to a travel agent, maybe they can supply some more contact details. Let us know what you find out!

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9 years ago, October 6th 2006 No: 3 Msg: #7775  
Short of applying for residency in a particular country, there's no tourist extension of the Schengen visa. (Trust me: I've had to rework my own plans to accommodate this.) Many people have suggested that, as an American, you can just choose to ignore those restrictions, since Americans aren't closely scrutinized at border crossings. And many have given first-hand accounts of either traveling or living in Europe well past the three months and not running into any problems at all. Just bear in mind that such a route is illegal, and not entirely fail-safe, and if you get caught overstaying the three-month period, you'll have to deal with the fall-out.

My suggestion: As long as your plans aren't set in stone (I can't imagine you've booked a year's worth of flights and hotels), shuffle up your itinerary so that your time is split between Schengen and non-Schengen countries in three-month chunks. As a point of reference, the 15 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. You'll notice that the UK isn't included there; neither is most of Eastern Europe. (Neither is, oddly, Switzerland.) For that matter, neither is North Africa - not a bad stop during the winter. I'm side-stepping Schengen by spending my first three months in Spain and Portugal (admittedly, if I was hell-bent on it, I would've included more of Western Europe); then ducking down to Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey for the winter; then coming back through Eastern Europe; then back to Western Europe. Entirely feasible - and, on second glance, more sensible than my original plan.

On paper, you might think your plans have been ruined. But once you start to think through the many attractive options, you'll realize that - even if it's not in the order you first planned - you can still see all of your sights in a year.

Travel better.
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9 years ago, October 10th 2006 No: 4 Msg: #7860  
Gentlemen, Thanks for your assistance. My wife and I expanded our scope and are now spending 3-5 months in SE Asia and Australia/New Zealand which will be a blast and considerably cheaper anyway. I do appreciate all the work you did trying ti get us information. If you find yourselves in Richmond, Virginia, US let us know and you could definitely stay a few nights on us! Reply to this

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