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I've read a plethora of forums and websites on this topic. It appears that many experienced and recent travelers do this and there is no problem, especially from France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Yet, I'm in no position to take a serious chance and I do want to come back here as a self employed person, possibly get a Visa when I go back to the States. I would love if I could go hang out in Croatia for a few days and come back here and have my visitor pass renewed another 90 days. Getting close to the deadline to change my air ticket and I need a definite answer. I have read the legit country websites and rules and...still, is this possible? I'm guessing between Schengen and Non-Schengen zones and I being an American, they will run my passport through the digital stamp? OR --> Since I'm renting an apartment here and living underground a bit...chance the stay until June (arrived Jan 1)and chance they won't notice or care about my over-stay. Not ideal, since I want to return.

marked as duplicate by Nate Eldredge, Jonas, Gagravarr, Karlson, Gayot Fow Mar 16 '15 at 17:30

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    I thought the rule for Schengen short-stay visas was 90 days in any 180-day period. So if you've been there 90 days, that would mean you'll have to stay away for 90 days before you can come back. – Nate Eldredge Mar 16 '15 at 4:23
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Unlike the US, Schengen doesn't have the notion of your "90-day period," and there's never anything to "reset" at some threshold. The Schengen rules are that you may not be in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in any 180-day period without a long-stay visa. It doesn't matter how long your stays are or where you go in between; what matters is the total number of days you're there out of 180 days. If you just spent 90 straight days in the Schengen area, it doesn't matter where you go next, but you can't reenter for 90 days. The only legal way around this is a long-stay visa.

As for consequences: I can't speak to practical border enforcement, but in general it's best to not be breaking the law in the hopes that you don't get caught. Especially if you intend to apply for a long-stay visa later, they may well give more scrutiny to your travel record, and overstays can make them worry that you won't leave when your long-stay visa is up.

  • Thank you. It's odd how much there is on the internet that states how many people do what I was questioning and have done it for years and it is supposedly not illegal."If you just spent 90 straight days in the Schengen area, it doesn't matter where you go next, but you can't reenter for 90 days. The only legal way around this is a long-stay visa.". – KatarinaML8 Mar 16 '15 at 5:06
  • Thank you. It's odd how much there is on the internet that states how many people do what I was questioning and have done it for years and it is supposedly not illegal. "If you just spent 90 straight days in the Schengen area, it doesn't matter where you go next, but you can't reenter for 90 days. The only legal way around this is a long-stay visa.". As I wrote, I was planning to leave for Croatia before my 90 day period was over, go to a non-Schengen zone country, Croatia, and return before my 90 days is up. So, you are saying that the new digital time stamp won't change anything? – KatarinaML8 Mar 16 '15 at 5:22
  • @KatarinaML8 Correct. The 90-day period thing is rules for visitors to the US; as far as Schengen's concerned, what matters is how many days you're in Schengen in a 180-day period, but they don't care how you distribute that time. If you entered on January 1 (so 90 days takes you to March 31), and go to Croatia on March 19, then you've spent 78 days in Schengen. You can then spend up to 12 days more in the area before June 18. There is no legal way to be there for more than 90 days in any 180-day period without a long-stay visa. – cpast Mar 16 '15 at 5:43
  • "You can then spend up to 12 days more in the area before June 18.". My flight leaves from Rome on the 31st. Basically, in a nutshell, as us nutcase Americans say, I would have to stay in Croatia for a while to extend my stay in the EU. I could change my departing ticket from Rome to a later date and then come back for whatever days I have on the clock by then and stay those days left in Italy, to depart from here. I am self employed. I work on line with my biz and I write. Apply here now for a self-employement Visa? Do you know of this? Grazie – KatarinaML8 Mar 16 '15 at 6:30
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    @KatarinaML8 The reason why you still find a lot of information in the internet about "resetting" the 90 days is that the current rules are quite new, so you often find outdated information. – DCTLib Mar 16 '15 at 8:57

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