schengen confusion

hello, i am wondering about the exact rules on an american traveling to europe. here is the situation: i spent june 2nd-july 18 2013 in greece and would like to return on oct 1, am i ok to return that soon? or do i need to wait 90 days before i can fly back? and once i do i have only 90 days to stay i understand before i must leave for another 90. also, just to be clear i must fly with a roundtrip ticket (i think one way ticket the officials will ask to see proof of finances that i can support myself?) i apprciate any feedback and i will have more questions, as this is very confusing sometimes. thank you in advance! oh also- i think i know the answer to this but to make sure: the visa is not a piece of paper really its just a big stamp in your passport you get when you enter that says you can stay until a certain day and month? so i wouldnt have to go to any consulate before my trip.. ok thanks!

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9130 posts

I don't have a calendar in front of me, so I'm going to roughly estimate the days. It seems you spent about 46 days in Greece. That would give 44 more visa-free days allowed in the period of 180 days that started when you entered originally in June... so, if you spent all those days in the Schengen zone consecutively after re-entering in October, you would have to leave again in November. Now, for the next part I'm not 100% certain, so I'll let someone else correct me if I'm wrong. If you waited until December to return, the 180 day period of your intitial entry would expire, and you would be allowed 90 new days. However, re-entering in October resets the 180 day clock, but it doesn't give you a reallotment of a new 90 days. So, you still have your remaining 44 or so days, but now, you don't get more until the new 180 day clock runs out in the spring of 2014.

Posted by Lo
Tucson
648 posts

Wow, I must be blind this morning. I thought there was a whole other thread to refer you to on this topic, but I'm not seeing it. It was more confusing than the answer you already got, which is very straightforward. For the basics, here's the US State Department's FAQs from May of this year: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4361.html. One thing I learned from the FAQs and that I had never seen emphasized before in these discussions is the necessity to have your passport stamped when entering and leaving Schengen countries.

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
308 posts

I saw that other thread too. The original poster was getting a little "fussy" so maybe the webmaster jumped in and deleted the whole thread.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10883 posts

That is not the webmaster's style. He will do some editing but rarely delete the whole thread unless it was unusually nasty all the way through. That wasn't the case with that thread. I am guessing the op was not getting the answer he wanted so he deleted the whole thing.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

I agree with Frank. Some people just don't want to deal with the truth.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11274 posts

OR, ... the webmaster might delete individual posts if they were becoming offensive, but if the original poster was the one being offensive, why not delete the whole thread? But then, again, I might not have seen the last posts, where he was allegedly getting fussy. I thought there was a lot of good information posted there by others. The idea that you could come in for 90 days, then leave one afternoon and come back the next morning, "resetting" the time period so you could stay another 90 days (180 out of 180) is obviously counter to the objective of the 90 in 180 requirement.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2386 posts

Tom is basically correct: You can re-enter on October 1 but only for about 46 days. Each time you enter a new 180 day clock starts, but the old clock still ticks and overlaps with the new one. So you can't exceed 90 days in on any of your running clocks. The easiest way to keep track of that is to always have less than 90 days in within any 180 day period previous. Your other assumption is correct: The Schengen "visa" is not a visa per se, but a time period you are allowed to stay as a tourist. Assuming you are a US citizen, you are automatically eligible for it (technically any nation can deny you entry but that only occurs for extreme cases or if they have reason to believe you are there to work). FYI - Russia requires a visa and it must be applied for well in advance. Some non-Schengen countries - like the UK - will require passport review but no visa.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

I don't think the webmaster did away with the other thread. It disappeared on a Saturday, and the webmaster isn't on the job then. I think Mikel couldn't handle the truth, and took his ball and went home.

Posted by merrie
new boston, nh, usa
15 posts

thanks so much for all the info. i dont want to confuse myself any further.. but what if i didnt go oct 1, what if i went on say oct 21st, and stayed 42 days- i so i would leave on dec 1. would that be ok? i have a feeling no, because my 180 day mark would be up on nov 28. but this all confuses me so easily. so i have to ask, and i appreciate all the answers and help so much! thanks!

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
611 posts

90 days within 180 days. Seems clear and easy to determine.

Posted by merrie
new boston, nh, usa
15 posts

im sorry bruce, but its not that clear i guess since i had to ask. and still am not 100% sure of the answer..

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
611 posts

No need to apologize whatsoever. This is a great forum to ask your question.

Posted by merrie
new boston, nh, usa
15 posts

ok cool. soo, i think my feeling is right? that i would have to be gone by nov 28 no matter which day in oct i arrived?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10883 posts

Merrie, this is problem we cautioned you about when you posted the same question in multi sections. The posters to this question may not be aware of the responses you have received to the same question on the other site. Which then leds to confusion for both you and us. You say you still do not understand? You are correct. Your above statement is not accurate. Iwill make another attempt. You entered on June 2 and a 180 day clock started at the same time. You used 47 of those days when you departed on July 18th. You have until Nov 28 (end of 180 clock) to use the remaining 43 days that you have available. If you return on Oct 1, then you would use up your 43 days by Nov 12 and you would have to leave by that date. That is the simple approach and answer. Now this is where it gets complicated and confusing. Each day in Europe a another 180 day clock starts running. If you do not return in Oct or any other time, then your last 180 clock runs out on Jan 12 (180 days after July 18th when you left), then you could return for another 90 continues days. However, and now it gets really complicated, if you return prior to Jan 12 and especially prior to Nov 28, those days will count as part of 180 days clocks running from you last visit and forward to your next visit. As Will frequently posted, the simplest approach to understanding if you are legal, is to take any date, count backwards 180 days, count the days your are in Europe, less than ninety you are OK regardless of when you entered or left. Over 90 you are in trouble.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3409 posts

Time to leave merrie to her own merry devices, I think. In spite of responses to both her posts on the subject, she is unable to fully grasp what people are saying about the Schengen rules. When she is fined and barred from Europe for 5 or more years, she will finally get it.

Posted by merrie
new boston, nh, usa
15 posts

great, actually think ive got it now. some things are harder for others to understand sometimes, really have appreciate all the patience and help!