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I'm an Australian citizen working in Germany but my work contract finishes this month along with both my work and residence permits. I would like to stay after my permits expire and travel to other countries in the Schengen area. Do I need to apply for a new visa, and if so then which one?

Note:
I originally arrived in Europe before the start of my work period and used up almost all of the 90 days I was allowed to travel for without a visa. I also travelled briefly to the UK and back almost six months ago (my passport was stamped for an entry period of six months).

Edit:
I mention my visit to the UK in case of the option to return to the UK and reset my 90 day Schengen travel period. Unfortunately, I visited the UK at about the same I got my six month residence permit, which if I understand correctly means I won't be able to reenter the UK as my six month entry period will have expired.

Timeline:

  1. Arrived in Europe (no visa)
  2. Stayed for 80 days
  3. Obtained work and residence permits (for six months)
  4. Visited UK for two days
  5. Worked for over five months in Germany
  6. Work/residence permits expire in less than one month
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    How long have you lived in Germany with the work and residence permit? If I am reading your question correctly, you spent 80 days travelling in Schengen area, then you got a work/residence permit in Germany. If this permit was issued 90 or more days ago, then, if I'm not mistaken, you have another 90 days to travel around. – Aleks G Mar 3 '15 at 21:45
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    If your permit was issued 90 days or more ago, your Schengen time has rolled off. – Gayot Fow Mar 3 '15 at 21:55
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If you have stayed on the residence permit for more than 90 days (or haven't stayed in the Schengen area immediately before starting the permit), you are fine, you can stay for another 90 days visa-free under regular short-stay rules. The time spent under a long-stay visa or residence permit does not count toward the maximum short-stay period.

If you have already made some other short stay or want to stay longer than 90 days, you will need a long-stay visa from Germany or another Schengen country. If you are young enough and haven't use it yet, a “Work Holiday Visa” is probably the easiest to get. You could for example get one in the Netherlands.

Beyond that, long-stay visas are typically hard to get (you need to have a spouse in the country, a very good job offer or meet other stringent requirements). In many cases, it might also be impossible to apply from within the country (which would mean that even if you qualify you might have to return to Australia or some other country where you could become a resident, just to be allowed to apply for the visa).

Finally, there is an arcane way to stay a bit longer without a long-stay visa under the provision of a reciprocal agreement that existed before the Schengen area was created. In your case, as an Australian citizen, it might be possible to stay for another 90 days in Denmark, even after having exhausted the maximum short-stay in the Schengen area (see the “Denmark” entry in the relevant Wikipedia article).

  • Ok, so I understand that the period I stayed in Germany under my residence permit does not count to towards the 90 day short-stay period. Does this mean I have an new allowance of 90 days after my permit expires or that I only have what was left over from my original short stay (10 days)? – halfwaycrook Mar 4 '15 at 12:50
  • @halfwaycrook The rule is a bit confusing, you can find some explanations and a link to a calculator in another question on this site. There is no notion of getting a new allowance or not, the limit is always the same: “not more than 90 days in any 180 days”. Because 90 + 90 = 180, this also means that staying out of the area for 90 days opens up a new 90-day authorized stay but the allowance does not get reset per se, it's just a side effect of the way the limit is defined. – Relaxed Mar 4 '15 at 13:29
  • So whether you can stay for another 90 days depends on how far back your 10-day stay was. That's why I mentioned staying on the residence permit for 90 days (because if there are at least 90 days since the last short stay, then you can in any case stay for another 90 days without violating this 90-days-in-any-180-day-period rule). In light of the timeline you added, I think you should be fine. – Relaxed Mar 4 '15 at 13:31

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