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Schengen Visas: Some Welcome Changes to the Short-Stay Rules

By Val Ellis last modified Dec 08, 2015 09:25 AM
Contributors: Thanks to Katia of SV Bliss for notifying noonsite of these new rules.
Changes applicable from 18th October 2013 to the definition of a short stay which will affect most non-EU visitors to the Schengen Area whether they require a visa or not.

Published: 2014-03-18 00:00:00
Topics: European Union

A clearer definition of short stay of non-EU citizens in the Schengen area ("90 days in any 180 days period") is applicable from 18 October 2013. Since then a new method of calculation of short stays applies.

The maximum duration of authorised stay is now defined as "90 days in any 180-day period". So the 180 day period should be counted back from the current date, totalling up the days spent in the Schengen area during that time. This total must not exceed the 90 day limit.

The short-stay calculator can be used for calculating the period of allowed stay under the new rules. The user's guide contains information on the new rules, the use of the calculator and practical examples.

This is good news for cruisers as, with careful planning, it can make it much easier to extend the time spent in, for example, the Mediterranean, as days spent at sea can be excluded as long as you properly clear out of the Schengen country before leaving.

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 respect to which the old definition ("3 months during a 6 months period following the date of first entry") continues to apply.

EU: Move to end 'visa' limits to non-EU sailors (April 9, 2014)

RonLlewellyn says:
May 03, 2014 10:56 AM

In any dealings with Brazilian officialdom rules and regulations are subject to the 'whim' of a particular official on any different day. The interpretation of rules varies from state to state and office to office. In the south of Brazil (from Rio de Janeiro) once you have made your initial check in with immigration and customs (Policia Federal and Receita Federal it is then only necessary to visit the Port Captain's office (Marinha do Brasil, Capitania) at each subsequent port visited. North of Rio the requirement is to visit all 3 offices at every port visited. The order of visit is generally Policial, Receita, Capitania – but may change.
The 2013 changes to the Schengen visa requirements appear to have had a very mixed interpretation by Brazilian officials, some of whom regard these new restrictions as a direct affront to Brazilian citizens visiting Europe. There have been a number of yachts which have reported quite confrontational attitudes from officials enforcing ‘their interpretation’ of these changes. Schengen countries will get 90 days and no extension – refer to first sentence of this comment.
In general, Brazilian officials are usually pleasant to deal with, especially in those ports where yacht visits are infrequent. In the larger, more frequented ports, attitudes can be less tolerant.
The requirement for men to wear long trousers when visiting any government office is enforced throughout the country regardless of nationality.

Bill&Judy Rouse
Bill&Judy Rouse says:
Mar 20, 2014 06:14 AM

I really hate to say that we are fed up with the EU Schengen and all of its changes and interpretations. The original Treaty never defined the term "months" and never gave rules for calculating 3 months within 6 months. Judgment of the EUCJ of 3 October 2006, Case C-241/05 Bot vs Préfet Val-de-Marne an French court case defined that, but now some other authority has chosen to disregard that court case and issue "new rules." The above referenced court case defined the poorly defined Treaty and allowed for 2 back-to-back 180 day periods (less 1 day) with 2 back-to-back 90 day periods each 90 day period within each of the 180 day periods.

I realize that Schengen was primarily designed for EU residents to be able to move freely within the EU, but there was little regard for other citizens and absolutely no regard given for cruising sailors.

In all of the 49 countries we have visited so far, we have always obeyed rules and regulations of those countries, but now with this recent change, I believe we will have to budget for fines.


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