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Rules for calculating short stays of non-EU citizens in the Schengen area

(This article expired 17.10.2014.)

From October 18, 2013, a new definition of the notion of short stay of non-EU citizens in the Schengen area is applicable, introduced by the amendment of the Schengen Borders Code.

The relevant provisions of the Schengen Borders Code establish the following:

For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay, …“.

The phrase „90 days in any 180-day period“ has replaced the original „three months during the six months following the first entry“. The notion of “any“, implies the application of a “moving“ 180-day period, looking backwards at each day of 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.

The above stated change concerns travellers who will have been to the Schengen area in the 180-day period preceding their next planned trip. Their next visa may be issued/ stay authorised for the maximum of days calculated by subtracting the number of days already spent in Schengen (in the 180-day period preceding the planned date of the next entry) from 90. There is, however, no right to be issued a visa with the validity of accordingly calculated maximum of days, as it is always for the Member States’ competent authorities to make a decision on the length of the authorised stay.

Please note that periods of stay in the Schengen territory authorised under a residence permit or a long-stay visa shall not be taken into account in the calculation.

Please also note that this 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.

More information, including a special calculator that has been developed for an easier orientation of non-EU citizen travellers and its User Manual, can be found at the webpage of the European Commission.