Replies: 4 - Last Post: Nov 28, 2012 6:07 AM Last Post By: wadef
Nov 26, 2012 3:48 PM
Schengen VisaIm an Aussie living in the UK on a family visa. My boyfriend and I are going on a massive 3-4 year round the world trip in a van. We want to spend 2-3 weeks in a lot of European countries. Am I simply unable to or should I go about getting visas for each country? When I drove through Europe a few years ago I simply drove through numerous countries without having to go through borders. How does this work and is this type of trip even possible? Please help!
Nov 26, 2012 5:38 PM
1Indeed, that's what the Schengen zone is: there are no passport controls for anyone travelling between 2 Schengen countries- be it by air, rail or road. Therefore you can drive between 2 Schengen countries without such a check.
As an Aussie passport holder, you're allowed to stay for 90 days in a 180-day period in the entire Schengen zone. Other posters will give you more info about this.
Nov 26, 2012 7:16 PM
Nov 27, 2012 12:44 AM
3First of all, please avoid speaking about "European countries" when asking visa questions - there are no European visas, and what matters in this respect is Schengen/non-Schengen rather than "Europe".
As #1 pointed out, unless you have dual citizenship in an EU country, you're bound by the Schengen restriction: max. 90 days per 180-day period in the Schengen Area. There is no legal way around this restriction, and overstaying can get you in serious trouble - even though the lack of regular border controls inside the Schengen Area means your overstay will probably not be noticed until you exit the area, your insurance won't cover you while you're in a foreign country illegally. Besides that, while some people (usually those who can't even tell the difference between "Europe", "EU" and "Schengen") may reassure you that you can safely overstay, others have reported being fined over €1000 and/or banned from Schengen for up to 7 years.
Long-stay visas are technically only valid for the country that issued them; if you have a (say) working holiday visa for Schengen country X, the 90/180 day restriction still applies to the other Schengen countries. In reality, however, again due to the lack of regular border controls it's near impossible for immigration to enforce this restriction - though if they don't like your face, they still may give you a hard time if they suspect you've been breaking the law.
Needless to say, countries not part of the Schengen Area all have their own visa policy.
Nov 28, 2012 6:07 AM
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