schengen visa - american in europe

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!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11259 posts

This same question was discussed at some detail a few days ago, but here it is again. You can enter as many times as you like. The restriction is that you can only spend 90 days in the Schengen zone in any 180 day period. Assuming that is calendar days and includes the first and last partial days as "days", if you entered on June 2, the 180th day is November 28, 2013, and you can be in the Schengen zone for only 90 days or partial day up to and including November 28, 2013. So, you were in the Schengen zone for all or part of 17 47 days in June & July; you can go back as many times as you like as long as the total additional days is no more than 73 43 by Nov 28.

Posted by merrie
new boston, nh, usa
15 posts

thank you lee and nancy- that is very helpful. so if that is what i do, spend the remaining 40 odd days there before nov 28 - then i leave, when can i go back? after another 90 days? i will probably have even more questions about this. i really appreciate the help! it is confusing and a lot of ppl have different answers.

Posted by Will
Columbia, SC
315 posts

Merrie, people explain it in different ways, but it's always a matter of how many days out of the previous 180 you've been in the Schengen zone. If it's less than 90, you're good; if it's more than 90, you're breaking the law. Say you return on Oct 1 and spend 43 more days... you could return On Jan. 15, 2014, which is 180 days after the end of your June/July trip. On Jan. 15, since all of your June/July trip is more than 180 days previous, you'll be able to spend 47 more days. If you wanted to return earlier, say Jan. 1, part of your June/July trip would be within the previous 180 days, so you couldn't stay as long.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4864 posts

Merrie, you asked this same question under General Europe. Have you also asked it elsewhere on this forum? You should delete all but one of your questions.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7671 posts

I think Lee misread your post. During your first period of travel you spent 47 days in Schengen. If you go back before November 28 (180 day mark), you can only stay 43 days, not 90.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11259 posts

You're right. I misread her OP as June 2 to June 18. It should be 47 days already, so she has 43 more days until Nov. 28.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7671 posts

Read Emily's post. Once you run out of your 90 days, you have to leave for 90 days.

Posted by Will
Columbia, SC
315 posts

Nancy, that statement from the U.S. State Department is based on a continuous stay of 90 days. If you come and go, you don't have to be gone for a full 90 days after reaching 90 out of any 180. I found this statement on a French consulate's site: "The Schengen Agreement allows you to stay for a maximum of 90 days in total over a period of 6 months. This can be used either in one go or within multiple trips... If you use your 90 days in one go, you will have to wait 3 months before being allowed back in." http://www.ambafrance-au.org/General-rules-applying-in-France

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7671 posts

True, it is based on a continuous stay. But a non-continuous stay must still total only 90 days in any 180 days (not the same as 6 months). If she returns on Oct 1, she can only stay until Nov 12. The 180 day period that started on her first entry (Jun 2) isn't over until Dec 8. After Dec 8 she could come back for 90 days.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10854 posts

To address a couple of your other questions. You are not required to fly with a round trip ticket but if the immigration official becomes suspicious of your intent, he/she may ask and you better have a damn good explanation as why to you do not have a rt ticket. I have never been asked but it is a possibility. And probably a greater possibility for a younger person. And there are good reasons why you might not have a RT ticket. You can return as soon as Oct 1 but as pointed out you would be limited. What are you exactly trying to do? It would help to know your exact travel plans or at least what you would like to do.

Posted by merrie
new boston, nh, usa
15 posts

thanks nancy, will, frank.. and maybe i should let you know more about the situation because you might have some better suggestions- im american, my boyfriend is european. he must be there for work, i am more flexible and would prefer to be there than here anyways- so trying to figure out how we can spend max time together without breaking any rules. help?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10854 posts

Get married! The purpose of the visa restriction is to prevent long term stay just as you are trying to do. You might look into various visa options that might be available to you. Not sure what those might be but maybe he could explore from his end and you could contact the nearest local consulate. One thing you do not want to do is get caught overstaying the vistor's visa because you could be ban from return for a certain number of years.

Posted by Will
Columbia, SC
315 posts

So your boyfriend lives in Greece? You could contact the Greek consulate in Boston about the possibility of a one-year residence visa. After a brief search online, it looks like you'd have to prove financial reserves of at least 24,000 euros or a steady income of at least 2,000 euros per month, plus full medical insurance. Otherwise, you could keep going back and forth as long as you, once again, are never there for more than 90 days out of any 180.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7671 posts

The boyfriend situation makes no difference. You still must be gone from the Schengen area by Nov 12, and you do not get another 90 days until after Dec 8 (unless you do as the others said and either get married or get a long-stay visa of some kind). Unmarried, you will have to supply various documents that indicate that you will not be intending to work or become a drain on the social system if they let you stay.