I'm a Canadian, which is one of the visa waiver countries for the Schengen Area.

I understand the 90/180 day rule is based on your first arrival date, so the 180 day period is calculated from there.

If I entered the Schengen Area on January 1st of 2013, and stayed for two weeks, and then left, and then returned on June 1st and stayed until June 30th, I would have about 1.5 months used in that 180 day period. A new period should now start on July 1st, which should enable me to be there for another 90 days before requiring me to leave.

Am I correct in this? I think I am based on what I read here: How does the Schengen 90/180 rule work?

But my real question is do I need to leave to a non-schengen state on June 30th, and then fly back immediately? Or can I just stay in the country I am for the new 90 days?

  • I thought it was based not on your arrival date but on the "window" spanning 180 days such that on any given day if you found the day 180 days previous and added up all the days in the country between those two points, if the total is over 90 days you have broken the rules. I didn't think there was a concept of "new periods starting". At least this was how I always understood it. Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 9:25

1 Answer 1


My initial answer might be incorrect as of October 18, 2013, see About Schengen 90/180 rule. Under the new rules, the travel you were planning is not possible anymore as you would need to stay out of the Schengen area for three months to be able to get another three-month stay.

Reading the court decision cited in the relevant part of the Handbook, it seems indeed necessary to leave the Schengen area for a few days so as to never stay for more than three months at once. Other than that, your interpretation seems correct.

The relevant bits:

33 Thus, the Commission, and likewise the Finnish Government, observe that a national of a third country not subject to a visa requirement who, having taken care to leave the Schengen Area on the very day of his first entry, has effected a stay of three months less a day at the end of an initial period of six months, could, by leaving that area for a single day at the end of that initial period and entering it again the following day, stay in the area for three additional months during a second period of six months, thus allowing him to move freely within that territory for a period of six consecutive months less a day.


38 It follows from this that, regardless of compliance with the requirement as to the period of six months following the date of first entry in Article 20(1) of the CISA, nationals of a third country cannot in any event stay in the Schengen Area pursuant to that provision for more than three consecutive months in all. As regards nationals of a third country not subject to a visa requirement, that absolute maximum limit is clear from Article 5(1) of the CISA and Article 1(2) of Regulation No 539/2001.


42 As for the risk of circumvention of the rules applicable to long stays, as submitted by the Commission, it is sufficient to point out that while Article 20(1) of the CISA allows, as its wording now stands, a national of a third country not subject to a visa requirement to stay in the Schengen Area for a period of almost six months by aggregating two successive non-consecutive stays, it is for the Community legislature to amend that provision, if necessary, if it takes the view that such an aggregation is capable of undermining the rules applicable to stays of more than three months.

Now, don't forget that even if you are not falling foul of the three-month-in-a-semester-rule, your stay must be for certain purposes only and you are not entitled to enter merely because you don't need a visa and haven't overstayed. What I mean by that is that staying for three months and then reentering could invite extra scrutiny about what you are actually doing in the Schengen area.

  • Could you link directly to the court case? Some more context would be helpful. Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 22:30
  • Sorry, it was in the comments to the other answer. I added a link.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 23:08

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