I'm currently travelling through 4 European countries while remotely working for my own companies for salaries and doing this on a tourist Visa. Currently this is Germany, Belgium, Netherland and France - I'd like to live in more places, but my tourist Visa expires after 3 months.

The Schengen Visa we get in South Africa only allows 3 months stay - can this 3 months be extended indefinitely? Is there a better way to be a nomadic remote worker without having to fly back every 3 months to re-apply for another Schengen Tourist Visa?

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    Legality aside, one approach that might work for some time is alternating between Schengen countries and stays in non-Schengen countries like Turkey, Balkan countries, etc.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 8, 2018 at 23:31
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    You should read this question for definitive evidence that UK immigration considers "nomad working" to be "working", and thus requires a work permit. Schengen countries tend to take a similar approach. What you are doing is not considered a tourist activity.
    – MadHatter
    Feb 10, 2018 at 9:06
  • In a comment on the answer, you wrote "the whole stay has been pre-booked and approved when given a tourist visa." Does that mean that your visa application mentioned your plan to work remotely while you were in the Schengen area? I am interested to know because that would be the first evidence I've seen indicating a Schengen country's attitude toward remote workers. Which country processed your application and granted your visa?
    – phoog
    Sep 26, 2019 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Short answer is no, that's not possible. Flying back won't buy you anything either, you will be forced to remain outside the Schengen for some time if you want to visit again under short-stay rules.

You're already skirting if not outright violating the rules as it is. This is simply not what Schengen visas are for. You can probably get away with doing it for three months but the simple fact is that Schengen countries do not welcome this and avoiding the inconvenience of a visa run is the least of your problems.

There are long-stay visas that would allow you to stay in the Schengen area for more than three months but even those do not really allow you to hop between countries and working visas are typically designed to serve the needs of local companies, not accommodate remote workers.

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    Did you mean "skirting"?
    – phoog
    Feb 9, 2018 at 1:36
  • @phoog, working remotely while on a C visa?
    – o.m.
    Feb 9, 2018 at 6:00
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    @JanVladimirMostert Sure but that's not relevant. "for companies in the EU" is not part of the rules, you're abusing it by working, period, that's not what tourists do. Ditto for staying longer than three months, working or not. Not that I care personally but it might be useful to understand how the rules are intended to work.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 9, 2018 at 19:09
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    @JanVladimirMostert unfortunately for you, few countries' immigration laws have evolved to keep up with the reality of remote work. Similarly, the Schengen area has not developed a way to allow people to stay in the area for longer than 90 days -- the only possibility is to get a single Schengen member to allow you to stay for longer than 90 days, but in that case you're still officially limited to 90 days in the other countries. In practice, it's not possible to enforce that systematically, however, so you have a couple of options....
    – phoog
    Feb 11, 2018 at 3:26
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    ... 1) Establish yourself as an independently wealthy resident of one of the Schengen countries that allows this, or set yourself up as a business in a Schengen country that sells your services to your employer, thereby getting a residence permit, or 2) comply with the 90/180 rule by spending at least half of your time being a tourist (or doing whatever) in non-Schengen countries. But do realize that some border officers might refuse entry if they figure out that you are supporting yourself by working remotely while in their country. Canada is the only place I know that explicitly allows this.
    – phoog
    Feb 11, 2018 at 3:30

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