I am an Indonesian passport holder. I have a multiple entry Schengen visa, duration of stay: 90 days, valid for 2 years, issued by the Dutch embassy on November 2014 (valid until November 2016). I will be staying in the Netherlands for 90 days starting on 1 January 2015 and ending on 31 March 2015.

My question is: can I spend 90 days in Romania/Croatia/Serbia/Bulgaria for 90 days starting from 1 April 2015 until 30 June 2015 using my existing Schengen visa? I will then fly back to the Netherlands on 1 July 2015 until 30 September 2015.

My aim is to stay in Europe for one whole year in 2015:

  1. 90 days in the Netherlands (January, February and March)
  2. 90 days in either Romania or Croatia (April, May and June)
  3. 90 days in the Netherlands again (July, August and September)
  4. 90 days in either Serbia or Bulgaria (October, November and December)
  • Nope maximum 90 days in total in 365(366) days. Else what is stopping people from using this visa as an illegal immigration ploy.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:07
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    @DumbCoder It's 90 days in 180 days, not 365.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:26
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    @skv That's why the OP is going to Romania, Croatia or Bulgaria, those are not Schengen states.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:27
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    mfa.gov.rs/en/consular-affairs/entry-serbia/visa-regime - here it's. But it's a new rule (from 30.10.2014)
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:55
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    @DumbCoder No, it's not, see annex VII of the Schengen Visa code. How did your friend check, incidentally? The visa sticker will have either “90” or “XXX” under the “maximum stay” rubric, never more than “90”, but, if the visa is valid for more than six months, it means 90 days per 180-day period. There is no provision to issue a visa limited to 90 days in a whole year.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 9:35

1 Answer 1


You could probably do something like that without falling foul of the 90-day maximum stay rule but there are two problems, a small one and a big one:

  • The small one: The day you go from the Netherlands to, say, Romania counts in both countries (except if you fly around midnight?). By my count, if you stay exactly 90 days in the Netherland and then another 90 days in Romania, you will miss one day when coming back to the Schengen area and possibly have some trouble entering Romania (see comments). You need to stay at most 89 days during the first stay in the Netherlands or spend a few days in a third country for this to work, on a purely arithmetic level.
  • The big one: You are kind of bending the rules, Schengen visas are intended for short stays and visits. What you are considering is awfully close to living in the Netherlands for half a year with some trips in-between, which is not what your visa is for. Did you submit this itinerary when applying for it?

Remember that border guards can always ask about the purpose of your stay, refuse entry or even cancel your visa if they believe you will do something else than what you claimed you would do or have obtained the visa fraudulently. They have some discretion there, it's not enough to be clever and to fulfill the maximum stay requirement.

My guess is that it might work, at least once, but I don't really know. It's possible that going to other Schengen countries, travelling in and out the Schengen area more frequently and cutting a month or two here and there to avoid the impression that you are misusing the visa to stay in the Netherlands could help too.

  • @skv Where did you find this? I was actually looking for authoritative information about that as I remembered a rule like that. But the EU regulation is not too clear about it and the Romanian foreign ministry website is a mess. It would be one more reason to stay 89 days instead of 90…
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:43
  • mae.ro/en/node/2040 this mentions "Also, the right of stay in the territory of Romania shall not exceed the right of stay granted as per the visas/residence permits issued by Schengen Member States." so would that be interpreted as a stay of 89 days in Nederlands and 2 days in Romania as "exceeding the right of stay granted"?
    – skv
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:53
  • @skv The English is so poor that I always have trouble making sense of this website…
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:54
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    You must be careful with the calculation of this period, as new rules apply starting 18 October 2013. The 180 days period is defined as the period of 180 days preceding each day of stay in the Schengen area. This means that, on any day of your stay in the Schengen area, you must not have stayed more than 90 days over the preceding 180 days.
    – James
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 16:36
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    @skv, I agree with James' comment. Also with Relax's observation that the OP will face re-examination at the border. A 3rd back-to-back will fail about 97% of the time for that reason (i.e., building up a private life).
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 16:36

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