7

I just learned that from March 31, Bulgaria will join Schengen "by air and sea," but not by land, on March 31. Consider the following scenarios, all assuming a non-EU, non-Schengen citizen with visa-free access to Schengen and Bulgaria who has not been present in the Schengen area within the last 180 days:

  1. From Istanbul, I drive to Sofia on April 1. On April 8, I drive from Sofia to Athens. On this itinerary, it appears that I enter Schengen on April 8, since Bulgaria is NOT part of Schengen by land, so I can stay in Greece for the full 90 days.

  2. From Istanbul, I fly to Sofia on April 1. On April 8, I fly from Sofia to Athens. On this itinerary, it appears that I enter Schengen on April 1, since Bulgaria is part of Schengen by air, so I can only stay in Greece for 90 - 7 = 83 days.

  3. From Istanbul, I fly to Sofia on April 1. On April 8, I drive from Sofia to Athens. On this itinerary, I appear to enter Schengen twice without leaving in between.

  4. From Istanbul, I drive to Sofia on April 1. On April 8, I fly from Sofia to Athens. On this itinerary, I appear never to enter Schengen at all.

Now, I assume that I'm wrong about 3 and 4, since I shouldn't be able to enter Schengen twice in a row, and I shouldn't be able to be in Greece without entering Schengen. So what's actually supposed to happen on those itineraries?

1
  • 4
    I believe the “by air/by land” distinction applies only to the checks at internal borders (between Bulgaria/Romania and the rest of the Schengen Area), with checks still in place like at external borders when you travel by land. IMHO in all cases you enter Schengen on April 1st.
    – jcaron
    Feb 15 at 20:30

1 Answer 1

4

Bulgaria and Romania will join the Schengen area on March 31st. Your presence in one of those countries on or after that date will count towards your 90 days 'allowance'.

Upon intervention from Austria, due to fear of increased illegal immigration, immigration checks will still be performed at the countries' intra-schengen land borders, but that does not mean that travellers entering or leaving by land do not enter or leave the Schengen area. Austria has for years operated more or less permanent immigration checkpoints at their border to Hungary, but both countries are of course still Schengen members.

2
  • 1
    So even driving to Bulgaria, I would get a Schengen entry stamp, and then I would have my passport checked driving into Greece, but not get another stamp, correct?
    – A. R.
    Feb 16 at 12:51
  • @A.R. Yes, there is no reason to assume anything else. Feb 16 at 12:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .