The Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement is a European treaty that effectively removes border control between 25 countries in, what is known as, the Schengen Area. While loosening border controls between member countries, the agreement also tightens borders with non-member nations.
The Schengen Agreement and You
While the agreement has complicated benefits and implications for residents of member nations, there is a specific impact to the traveler from the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
- Visitors from the nations above may visit a country within the Schengen area without a visa.
- Visitors may move between Schengen nations without having to show their passports.
- Visitors traveling as tourists may only stay in the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180 day period.
Staying Longer Than 90 Days
- Staying longer than 90 days within a 180 day period under a standard tourist visa in the Schengen Area is illegal.
- Because of the 180 day rule, a traveler may not leave the Schengen Area and immediately reenter.
- If caught, travelers risk the possibility of deportation and future entry restrictions.
The only way around this rule is to study abroad or apply for a visa that allows travel for longer than 90 days, but be prepared for a heavy inquisition and mountains of red tape.
- The Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
* Treaty signed but not yet implemented
Illustration by Marie McLaughlin