Important Visa Information for Europe

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After a lot of frustrating calls to embassies for EU countries and mixed answers from all sides- I finally got an answer to my questions on how to travel through Europe long-term. Drum roll please:

You Can’t! Ta-daaaa

Unfortunately, you can’t as far as I can tell. If any country is apart of the Schengen, Agreement- The countries in Blue-

schengen-area – they share one Visa. However, they don’t all share the same entry prerequisites. Let me break it down for y’all:

If you are an American Citizen (and some other countries, but I’m focusing on me here), you may:

  • Enter the Schengen Zone without a visa for up to 90 days. You may travel throughout the entirety of the Shengen area wherever your feet take you. Yay!
  • If you wish to stay longer, you must apply for a Long-Term Schengen visa which is specific for each country, not the entire Schengen zone. This means that you can enter, say Germany, for up to a year (or if you are a student, longer).
  • But! If you would like to go to France with the same visa, well tough luck. You can’t. You have to apply for a specific French Schengen visa from your home country. Not cool. 

In my opinion, this defeats the entire purpose of the Schengen visas. But whatever, rules are rules and I’m just a lowly foreigner, who am I to disagree? I’m nobody. SO! It’s up to me to find loopholes… as best I can. I have created this wonderfully professional photo to explain what I’m thinking:




I would spend 2-3 months in both Ireland and the United Kingdom because they’re rebellious and at this point in time unconnected to the Schengen Zone. Once I hit France though, I’ll have three months to get through it, along with Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. After that, I can spend 2 months or more in Belarus, Russia, and the Ukraine in order to spend the 6 month required absence to RE-ENTER the Schengen territory. I can run through those bottoms ones, and exit into the lower European nations. I can use another 6 months rummaging in them until I hit the 6 month mark for a second, giving me permission to obtain an additional 3 months in Schengen.

I would have to really book it to get down to the port and catch my ferry to Morocco, but I can do it. This isn’t ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do.




3 thoughts on “Important Visa Information for Europe

    Denny Barger said:
    April 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Well that’s s bummer. How long can you visit each country on the Schengen if you’re just passing through?


      Samuel Barger responded:
      April 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      Depending on the countries that are in the Schengen Zone, not much. I’ll be going in three times, so for the first it looks like France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are going to be one month, and then another month for Germany, and the third month would be Poland.


    Europe, 3,999 Miles « Minimalist Backpacking said:
    April 11, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    […] Enter the Schengen Zone which includes multiple countries in the EU. They all share the total of 90 days. This changed a ton of my previous plans, which you can read why on this page. […]


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