I am a citizen of India (third-country national?) and I currently reside in the United States. I will be joining a job in France on a "Long stay French visa". I was looking around the web to see if I could find correct information about whether or not I would be allowed to travel freely within the Schengen states on a long stay visa.

I came across this answer which says that "Third-country nationals who are long-term residents in a Schengen state may also acquire the right to move to and settle in another Schengen state without losing their legal status and social benefits."

So assuming that I am a "third country" national, how do I acquire the right to travel for tourism?

I am yet to apply for a long stay visa but I was just considering my options and possibilities right now.

  • 5
    You're misunderstanding the answer. You always have the right to travel for tourism. You can acquire the right to "move and settle" which means become a resident of a different Schengen State (country). And yes you are third country national.
    – Karlson
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 18:25
  • @Karlson Is it possible to point out the right source for this information. I understand what you mean by "right to travel for tourism" but one can never be too careful! Thanks.
    – dearN
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 18:30
  • 1
    I am not even sure I understand your question. Why would anyone stop you from leaving the country? This isn't the old Soviet Union...
    – Karlson
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 18:33
  • 5
    No it won't but do remember that the UK is very close to France, a common location for conferences and the like but is not in Schengen. Working at a university, I have many colleagues who had to deal with this particular issue at one point or another.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


If you are a resident of one of the Schengen countries you can automatically travel in the other Schengen countries. This is not something you need to "acquire".

In theory the 90/180 rule applies, but in practice there are no border checks between Schengen countries, and your movements are not tracked, so you are basically free to travel where you want, when you want.

  • Interesting. I think the answer I alluded to confused me with the way it was worded. It seemed that I would need to acquire the right to move between countries. Thank you for your perspective on this.
    – dearN
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 18:15
  • While there are no border checks within the Schengen Area, it's worth bearing in mind that a non-EEA national with a valid visa for one Schengen country does not necessarily have a valid right to be in other Schengen states. If someone happened to get into trouble with the police, for example, then they might get into more trouble with they were, for example, in Austria when they only had a valid visa to be in Germany. Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 19:57
  • 1
    @OwenBlacker: The usual kind of German long-stay visa does give the holder a right to travel in the other Schengen states (including Austria) for 90 out of every 180 days. Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 13:22
  • @HenningMakholm Yes indeed. Though I definitely remember a non-EEA colleague with a valid Schengen short-stay visa for one country not being able to visit another Schengen country on the same visit — that might have been related to the specific country's short-stay visa, rather than anything else. (The colleague in question had a valid UK work-permit and visa but that's not relevant to Schengen nations, of course.) Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 12:41
  • @OwenBlacker: That sounds strange and not consistent with the rules as I believe I know them. Short-stay visas are generally always issued with a validity area of "Schengen States" (in the issuing country's language), unless some very special exception applies to the particular traveler. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 12:44

Having a Schengen visa only gives the right to travel , not to reside in another Schengen country. Even EU citizens have to request a residence visa for any country other than their own after 3 months , and this will only be given if the person can prove being able to support themselves through having a job or pension . And the person will also have to register their national health card with the local health authority.

  • 4
    do you have any reference? Never heard about residence visa vor EU citizens.
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 8:46
  • It's not exactly a residence visa but rather a change of residence. This is the case for Italian citizens residing for more than 180-something days per year in another country (EU or not) must give up their residency in Italy and all the advantages it carries (public health care for example). This is also useful to avoid being taxed on income in two countries at the same time as some have agreements. The job or pension part is completely new to me however. Moreover I don't know if this applies to all EU countries. I just know about Italy for obvious reasons. :)
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 10:04
  • 2
    @JoErNanO It doesn't apply to all EU country pairs. There's definitely no such thing as a “residence visa”. EU citizens don't need to apply for the right to reside elsewhere in the EU provided that they have a source of income (simplifying a bit); some countries require that you declare your residence but that is only a declaration, it cannot be denied. Obviously you still need to declare your situation correctly to tax administrations, healthcare administration, etc. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 18:52
  • @Gilles You are absolutely right, sir.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 19:03

You must log in to answer this question.

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