New guidelines governing duration of stay within the Schengen Area

On 18 October 2013, new guidelines will come into force governing the maximum duration of permitted stay for foreign nationals visiting Schengen area countries.

From this date, short stay visa visitors (both tourist and business) to countries within the Schengen area will only be allowed to stay in countries within the area for a cumulative maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period.  Border authorities in the individual Schengen countries will count all the days spent in Schengen countries in the previous 180 days to ensure that the maximum allowable period of stay is not exceeded.

These new guidelines will affect all foreign nationals travelling to Schengen area countries, including those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter. Exemptions will include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area, as well as foreign nationals holding either long-stay visas or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

In addition to changing the duration limits for visits, foreign nationals entering a Schengen state must hold a passport issued within the past 10 years, which has a validity of three months beyond the date of anticipated departure from a Schengen area country