I am an Asian research student in the UK. I took part in a European project so that I have to work abroad in Schengen countries. I spent 2 months in the Schengen area, using a tourist visa, from mid-April to mid-June and my visa expired in August.

I flew back to the UK to apply for a new tourist visa and got a new 2-year visa beginning in August. After that, I went back again to continue my work in Schengen countries and spent another 2 months there. Then I came back to the UK without any issues.

I just found out about the 90/180 rule from my friend. According to the 90/180, I have already spent more than 90 days within the last 180 days. So, I'm a little confused why I did not get a penalty when I entered, or does a new visa reset the 90/180?

Next week I have to enter the Schengen country again due to my work. Should I go or did the new visa reset the 90/180 clock?

  • It sounds to me like you might be at a school in the UK. Is this correct? – Benjamin Oct 18 at 15:47
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    "work" and "tourist visa" don't go hand in hand, @GGG.... – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 18 at 16:35
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Is e at a UK school or working in the UK? – Benjamin Oct 18 at 16:37
  • @Benjamin Actually, to be fair, it could be a commercial lab or anything really. Carry on :) – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 18 at 16:56
  • By work I think you might mean more of a research collaboration, as you were still paid by your host institution in the UK and not by an institution in the Schengen zone, I am correct? I also worked for a European Project and that is at least how we did collaborations, it was not actual work for visa purposes. if you were paid by a institution in the Schengen zone that is a different story. – Matias Valdenegro Oct 18 at 20:24
up vote 14 down vote accepted

There is no resetting of the 90/180 day counter; the rolling 180-day count continues unabated no matter what you do.

It sounds like you got lucky; since there is no Schengen-wide entry/exit database to check automatically, detection of overstays depends on the border guards looking through all of the entry and exit stamps in your passport and doing the calculations on the fly. If there's a busy line and you otherwise look trustworthy, they may have neglected that.

That is no guarantee that you will be lucky again next time, however.

It is strongly recommended that you count up your days yourself before traveling and change your plans if you would get over the limit, rather than waiting to be stopped at the border. You can use the official calculator if you find the rules complex to apply.


Also, if you're doing actual work for months at a time under a short-stay visa, you're probably in violation of national law in the host country unless you've got a work permit. This is independent of visa rules as far as Schengen is concerned, though.

  • Thank you for your answers. Another question, Is visual inspection on passport an only way to check the previous length of stay? or does it show on the screen when they scan the passport? – GGG Oct 18 at 14:16
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    @GGG It's very likely that the authorities will find out as soon as you apply for another visa. During the application process they have time to check your travel history and might refuse a visa due to such overstays. – ahemmetter Oct 18 at 14:26
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    @GGG: Currently, to the best of my knowledge, visual inspection is the only way. But this will probably change in the future. There's already a Schengen-wide requirement to scan all travel documents electronically at the entry/exit checks; all that's missing now is a shared database that remembers the result of those scans. – Henning Makholm Oct 18 at 16:09

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