Regulations regarding stays of more than 90 days.

Question & AnswerQuestion: I intend to travel throughout the EU and will be overseas for roughly 5 months. I heard that there are regulations regarding stays of more than 90 days. So, is this true and how do I deal with it?

Answer: Yes, this is true of certain countries in the EU. Stays of longer than 90 days are governed by the Schengen Area Pact. This pact limits travel in those areas to 90 days or less within any 180-day period. The original signatories to the act were Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg and Netherlands. It became law 20 years ago in Luxembourg.

The Schengen area consists of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders (See for details). The simplest way to extend your European stay is to visit non-Schengen areas after your 90-day period is up. Countries such as UK are non-Schengen. You may stay there or in other non-Schengen countries for 90 days or more and return to Schengen countries afterwards. For helpful travel advice see “the Savvy Backpacker” at

Another option would be to apply to the respective governments for permanent residence status or by marrying to a local resident.