As the UK is technically still a member of the EU, I just wanted to be sure of this before booking travel arrangements.

The idea is to arrive in the UK and stay there for 2-4 weeks, and then afterwards relocate to and stay in mainland Europe for another 80-90 days. Is this possible? Or would I be effectively limited to 70 days in the EU after staying for example 20 days in the UK?

  • 14
    The UK has never been part of the Schengen area. Commented May 19, 2019 at 17:59
  • 24
    Side note: please check whether you need a visa for the UK as well, as your Schengen visa will not cover entry to the UK.
    – stefan
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 19:26
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    The trick here is that there's nothing governing your time in the EU. The Schengen area and the UK are separate immigration territories, and their time constraints for visitors are reckoned separately.
    – phoog
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 23:05
  • 1
    it starts when you arrive in the Schengen Area...
    – Emobe
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 11:51
  • @MichaelHampton Isn't that implied by the question? If the UK was in Schengen, then this question wouldn't be applicable.
    – JBentley
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


The 90 day clock starts when you arrive in mainland Europe.

The UK isn't in the Schengen Area, so your time there has no effect on your Schengen time limit.

It's worth noting that the EU and Schengen Area, while related, are different things: several countries (UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Croatia) are in the EU but not Schengen, while some (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland) are in Schengen but not the EU.

  • 3
    i2.wp.com/craphound.com/images/… is helpful to see the many different relations. (It does not show the Common Travel Area comprising the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Island which is just as well because there's not a soul alive who'd know what happens to the CTA after Brexit. If there's a Brexit.)
    – user4188
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 4:48
  • 1
    @chx This graphic appear to be out-of-date, since Liechtenstein is a member of the Schengen Area.
    – idmean
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 6:59
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    @chx Irish and British governments have already said the CTA will stay after brexit...
    – BritishSam
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 7:20
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    I said Irish government too not just British @MSalters. Irish and British citizens hold more rights in each others countries that EU citizens, the CTA goes back before EU treaties. Its nothing to do with being in the EU or not.
    – BritishSam
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 9:02
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    "in mainland Europe" is imprecise. It really should be "in the Schengen area." Some counterexamples are Iceland, Azores, etc. (Schengen area, not mainland) and Bosnia, Croatia, etc. (mainland, not Schengen area).
    – phoog
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 15:12

Your stay in the U.K. does not count towards your Schengen stay limits. They are completely separate visa regimes.

Even if you stay for a whole 6 months in the U.K., it still is 0 days in the Schengen area.

Your proposed plan is perfectly fine. Your 90 day Schengen limit will start when you enter the Schengen zone, not when you enter the U.K.

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