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Are there particular european countries not in the Schengen Treaty (for example, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, etc) that enable a US citizen to stay over for 90 days to "reset" their Schengen visa indefinitely?

In other words, if a US citizen wants to stay in europe for 10 years without ever getting a visa, can one just pop out of the Schengen area to a neighboring country every 90 days, spend 90 days there, and then return to the Schengen area?

And if so, which countries' visa requirements make this the easiest for a US citizen?

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2 Answers 2

US citizens can stay in the UK for six months as “general visitors” so it would be easy to use it for that. There is no hard limit on the number of visits or total duration of stay (but see the note at the end).

Croatia already applies rules very similar to the Schengen area and should eventually join it (as do Bulgaria and Romania). For the time being, it should however be possible to go there and come back to the Schengen area repeatedly if you stay for some time in two of these countries (otherwise there would be one day missing, by my count).

Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia all have a limit of 90 days in any 180 days period so you could go there too, with the same caveat. In Turkey, US citizens do however need an “e-visa”. It's mostly a formality, not too different from an ESTA, but it means you have to pay a fee.

In any case, border guards in the Schengen area and elsewhere should in principle check a number of other things (purpose of the trip, financial means, insurance, etc.) even for people who don't need a visa. If there is something suspicious, a border guard can always rule that they don't believe the stated purpose of your visit and send you away, even if you have never overstayed.

They are not always very thorough but if your stamps reveal several long stays, they might be more careful so you need to make sure you have everything in order. If you are genuinely visiting various part of the Schengen area and you can show you are sufficiently wealthy, you should be OK but if it looks like you have been working illegally in the Schengen area or are always coming back to the same place, you could be denied entry.

Same thing for the UK, where this is actually the main way to prevent “hidden” residence since they don't have any hard limit on the duration of stay beyond the six months per visit rule.

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From my reading of Denmark's immigration rules, you can go to Denmark for an additional 90 days, even if you've already stayed 90-days in the Schengen zone (excluding Denmark or any of the other Nordic countries). This special provision applies only to citizens of certain countries (U.S. included).

For details, see: http://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-us/coming_to_dk/visa/Visa_free_travel.htm

Apparently, Germany and Poland have similar provisions, but I don't have any links to back this up.

(Technically, not an answer to your question as this approach won't "reset" your Schengen visa, but it appears to give you a way of travelling within the Schengen countries for more than 90 days).

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My reading of that is you could have 90 days in a non-Nordic Schengen country, then 90 days in Denmark (assuming you're from the right country), but because Denmark is Schengen you still need to spend 90 days outside Schengen after that before you can head back to any Schengen country (inc Denmark) –  Gagravarr Aug 2 at 16:27

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