The US state department contains this confusing statement that implies that there is an additional 90-day waiting period before I can restart a 90/180 Schengen visa. This does not match several other posts on this site.

If you spend three months in the Schengen area during any six-month period, you must wait another three months, from the last date of departure from the Schengen area, before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa. If you do not meet these conditions, or if you plan to stay in the Schengen area longer than three months, contact the embassy of the country where you plan to spend the majority of your time to apply for a visa.


Could anyone provide any insight? All of the other posts seem to indicate that a second 180 day period could begin immediately after a prior period ends.

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    Closing as a duplicate because the rules are crystal clear regardless of what a random website thinks. – JonathanReez Oct 2 '17 at 15:10

Disregard that site. The US Department of State does not make the Schengen rules, does not enforce them, and has shown here once again that they have a particular talent for expressing them confusingly or incorrectly.

As you can see elsewhere on this site, the rule must be considered with respect to every 180-day period. On any day when you enter the Schengen area, you must look at the previous 179 days and count the number of days of presence in the Schengen area, and find that the number is 89 or lower. Similarly, on any day when you are in the Schengen area, if you look at the previous 179 days and find that you were in the Schengen area on 89 of them, then you must leave the Schengen area before midnight.

In practice, thus means that when you have been in the Schengen area for 90 nonconsecutive days in a 180-day period, the first date on which you may reenter the Schengen area will be less than 90 days after your most recent date of departure.

The maximum length of your stay at each entry depends only on how many of your days of presence were in the latter half of the 180-day period that ends on the date of entry, however. If you have been outside the area for at least 90 days, that number will be zero, and you can stay for up to 90 days. If the number is nonzero, then the maximum length of stay iw reduced accordingly.

The EU has created a calculator that will do the math for you.

  • Some of the other responses indicate a slightly different interpretation apparently started in 2013 whereby a 180 day period begins on your 1st entry into a Shengen country and you are only allowed 90 days within that time period. After that time period, you can start another 180 day period by entering (or staying in?) a Schengen country. This would use distinct 180 day periods rather than a rolling 180 day period. Either way, the 90 day wait period seems incorrect. Thanks phoog. – Francis Rumsky Oct 2 '17 at 13:02
  • @FrancisRumsky you're describing the old interpretation that applied before 2013. It still applies to a small number of countries' citizens, not including the US. The answers to the question I linked to describe the change. – phoog Oct 2 '17 at 13:13

The problem arises that this 180 days period does not start the moment you enter the Schengen area. These 90 days maximum stay must be valid for any randomly picked 180 days.

Let's make an example:

You stayed in the EU for 40 days, left, returned after 30 for 5 more days then left again for 60 days and returned for the remaining 45 days. That means you've stayed for 90 days during a 180 days period.

The first thing you'd think about is, "oh today is my last day, I have to leave." This is not the case. Tomorrow the first day of your first 40 day visit is outside the 180 days period. Thus you had 89 days in a 179 day period and may stay another day, filling that up again to 90 days stay in 180 days.
You can continue this for 40 days. Then you will reach a day when 180 days ago you left the Schengen area. Now you will have to leave for at least 30 days, because for 30 days you have been outside the Schengen area. Thus any day you now stay longer would make it 91 days during the last 180 days.

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