I'm a US citizen on an extended trip in Europe. So far, I've been very careful with the 90/180 rule. At no point in any 180 days have I stayed more than 90 days in the Schengen area; my "gap months" were spent in the UK and Croatia.
The end of another 90-day period is upon me, and I was planning to take a trip to Ireland. However, I recently learned that a few countries — Denmark, Poland, maybe France — might possibly have bilateral agreements with the US that let you stay 90 days passport-free, independent of any other Schengen area visits.
This is very appealing to me, since I really wanted to visit Poland and/or Denmark anyway. I'd much rather go to those countries than Ireland. However, the information about these agreements is extremely sketchy, at best. For the most part, it's people on travel forums quoting snippets of law and talking about how they weren't caught when they crossed the border. If a border guard confronts me, I do not, under any circumstance, want to run into a situation where I can get banned from the Eurozone!
On the other hand, the New to Denmark website (billed as "the official portal for foreigners") quite clearly states:
Citizens of Australia, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the US can freely enter and stay in Denmark for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, regardless of whether they have stayed in another Schengen country prior to entry into Denmark. The 90 days are counted from the entry date into Denmark or another Nordic country. If you have previously spent time in Denmark or another Nordic country within the previous 180 days, that time will be deducted from the 90-day maximum.
So I guess my questions are as follows:
- Are these rumors of bilateral agreements independent of the Schengen passport-free period true? Or has it just been instances of border guards being nice?
- Is the quoted statement above an official document that I can use as a reference?
- Does a similar statement exist somewhere for Poland (or France, if valid)?
- Why does the statement mention "another Nordic country"? Is this bilateral agreement with just Denmark, or does it include other Nordic countries as well?
- If I follow through with this and decide to go to one of these countries, how can I get official verification of the additional 90-day period? The Schengen area doesn't have border checks, after all; there won't be any official proof that I entered Denmark/Poland/France on a certain date.
- Do I have to do something to "activate" this extended stay?
- Does the 90-day Schengen period get put on hold while I'm in one of these bilateral countries, or is it still active? That is, if I spend 90 days in Schengen and then another 90 days in Poland, am I free to go back to Schengen for another 90 days? Or does the Schengen clock stop while I'm in Poland?
To clarify, I'm not looking to make a "border run", but to stay in one of these countries for a few months.