Traveling in Europe is an enticing prospect for citizens of many nations across the globe, thanks to the visa-free travel opportunities provided under the Schengen rule. However, the nuances of this rule often cause confusion among prospective travelers.
Making complicated things easy is our job. In this Guide, we provide clear and easy guidance to frequent travelers to help ensure their European journey is as seamless as possible.
Understanding the 90/180 Day Rule
According to the Schengen rule, numerous non-European citizens can enter and stay visa-free in Europe for up to 90 days. The rule actually stipulates 90 days within any 180-day period.
Here’s how it works:
Always consider a 180-day period calculated backward from your intended date of entry. For instance:
- if you aim to enter Italy on August 2, 2023, you must consider the 180 days preceding this date, i.e., back until February 3, 2023.
- If you have not visited Italy or any other Schengen area during this period, you can stay for up to 90 days.
But what if you have already stayed in Italy or any other state of the Schengen area during the 180-days?
Here is how it works for you.
Applying the 90/180 Rule for Frequent Travelers
For frequent travelers, implementing the 90/180-day rule can be a tad more complicated. However, there is a straightforward way to approach this:
If you already spent time in the Schengen area within the 180-day period before your intended arrival date, you must subtract those days from the 90-day allowance. For example:
- if you wish to enter Italy on August 2, 2023, but you spent 7 days in France in March and 15 days in Italy in June, you have already used 22 of your 90-day allowance. This information is documented and presented during passport control at the border check.
- Therefore, from your arrival in Italy on August 2, you can stay for a maximum of 68 days (i.e., 90 – 22). This means you must depart Italy and the entire Schengen area before October 9, 2023.
While the Schengen rule provides a fantastic opportunity for travelers to explore Europe, it is essential to accurately calculate your stay within the Schengen area to avoid any legal complications. Always keep your calendar at hand and calculate carefully starting from the date that you wish to enter any member state of the Schengen area.
Do you want to know more?
Click here and let me send you more information about the rights of family members of Italian citizens.