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New rule short stay Schengenarea

 As of 18th October 2013, the method of calculating the days one can stay in the Schengen area, is changed. Even a “Short stay calculator” is fabricated to be able to check the possibility of entry of the Schengen area.  One part of the “User manual” you will find on this page. The full manual and the calculator you will find on the EU Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/index_en.htm

It is highly recommendable to consult a immigration specialist / immigration lawyer of our firma ahladvocaten in Utrecht, The Netherlands, for a thorough check and solid advise concerning your stay in the Schengen area.

Fill in the contactform or call 0031 (0) 30 230 20 60 or 0031 (0) 6 83 59 56 88 to make contact with an immigration lawyer / immigration specialist today.


1. Introduction

Regulation (EU) No 610/2013 of 26 June 2013 amended the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement, the Schengen Borders Code and the Visa Code and – among others – re-defined the concept of “short stay” for third-country nationals in the Schengen area which is a fundamental element of the Schengen acquis.

1 http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/schengen/index_en.htm

As from 18 October 2013 for the vast majority of third-country nationals – irrespective of being visa required or exempt – who intend to travel to the Schengen area for a short stay (contrary to reside in one of the Member States for longer than 3 months) the maximum duration of authorised stay is defined as “90 days in any 180-day period […]”. “The date of entry shall be considered as the first day of stay on the territory of the Member States and the date of exit shall be considered as the last day of stay on the territory of the Member States. Periods of stay authorised under a residence permit or a long-stay visa shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the duration of stay on the territory of the Member States.”

The notion of “any”, implies the application of a “moving” 180-day reference period, looking backwards at each day of the stay (be it at the entry or at the day of an actual check), into the last 180-day period, in order to verify if the 90 days/180-day requirement continues to be fulfilled.

Among others, it means that an absence of an uninterrupted period of 90 days allows for a new stay for up to 90 days.

Stays in Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Romania, Cyprus and the United Kingdom shall not be taken into account as they are not (yet) part of the Schengen area without internal borders. At the same time, non-EU Member States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland belong to the Schengen area; short stays in these countries count when assessing the compliance with the 90 days/180-day rule.

Please note that the change does not apply to the visa waiver agreements concluded between the EU and Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mauritius, and Seychelles with reference to which the old definition (“3 months during a 6 months period following the date of first entry”) continues to apply. For citizens of these 7 third countries the calculator might give wrong results and it is not recommended to use it.

The length of stay of non-EU citizens travelling with a visa issued in accordance with the visa facilitation agreements concluded by the EU and certain third countries is to be calculated according to the new calculation method as there is reference in these agreements to “90 days per period of 180 days”.

2. The short-stay calculator

In order to apply the 90 days/180-day rule, a calculator has been developed for the general public and for the Member States’ authorities. The calculator is a supporting tool only; it does not constitute a right to stay for a period resulting from its calculation. It is always for the Member States’ competent authorities (in particular for the border guards) to implement the provisions and make a decision on the length of the authorised stay or on the overstay. 2


The calculator has been extensively tested before making it available to the public, nevertheless irregularities cannot be excluded. Efforts have been made to limit the number of them to the very minimum. It is a JavaScript programme and, in principle, its use does not require any other programmes to be installed on the computer, nor an Internet connection. However, opening the programme needs a web browser (e.g. Explorer, Mozilla, Chrome).

The calculator deals with the 90 days/180-day rule only. In case of visa-obliged third-country nationals, the length of authorised stay is clearly stated on the visa sticker and often differs from 90 days (which is the maximum that can be granted). In addition, the authorised stay should be used within the validity period of the visa. The calculator does not support the calculation of stay against the authorised stay indicated on the visa sticker, if this period is shorter than 90 days within 180 days and against the validity of the visa. On the basis of the previous entry and exit dates, the software can “only” calculate whether the third-country national fulfils the general 90 days/180-day rule or not, and it can give projections for the maximum length of stays in the future from the intended date of entry on the basis of previous entry and exit dates. Holders of short-stay (C-type) visas should therefore also check the validity of the visa and the number of days authorised as indicated on the visa sticker.

The calculator cannot take into account more favourable rules applicable to short-stays of third-country nationals under bilateral visa waiver agreements between certain Schengen States and certain third countries as provided for by Article 20(2) of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (CISA). According to that provision, Member States have the possibility to “extend” the duration of stay of visa-free third-country nationals beyond 90 days under certain circumstances. In case a Schengen State concluded a bilateral visa waiver agreement with a third country of the so-called “positive visa list” (like Canada, New Zealand or USA) before the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement (or the date of its later accession to the Schengen Agreement), the provisions of that bilateral agreement may continue to apply. The CISA provides the possibility for a Schengen State to extend a visa-free stay beyond 90 days in its territory for the nationals of the third country concerned in accordance with such an existing bilateral agreement. Thus, for example the nationals of Canada, New Zealand, USA, etc. – depending on the continued application of the agreement by the Schengen State – may stay in such Schengen States for the period provided by the bilateral visa waiver agreement in force between the two countries (generally three months), on top of the general 90 days stay in the Schengen area. Article 20(2) of the CISA only provides for the possibility for the Schengen States to apply their “old” bilateral agreements for such extension, but this is not an obligation. No algorithm can be developed in the calculator to take this possibility into account.

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