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I have a question about the 90 Day Rule for going to the Schengen Area (I'm an American). Last June around the 20th I entered Germany as a tourist, and around the 30th of June I got an Au Pair visa that allowed me to stay for 6 months. I left Germany around the 10th of December. I am planning to go to Italy in the first week of June this year (just to travel), and am wondering about this whole 90 day within a 180 day period thing. It will not have been 180 days since I left Germany, but if I had a long term visa while I was there, rather than just a tourist visa, will I be allowed to enter and stay for a full 90 days? Does the 180 day period start from when I first entered Germany, thus I really only used 10 "tourist visa days" before leaving?

I realize this is a super specific question, so if anyone can even just point me in the right direction as to where to find more info on this that would be great!

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As far as the maximum stay rule is concerned, you should be fine, for two reasons:

  • The rule is such that you only need 90 days (and not 180 days) between stays. It's a bit counterintuitive but if you left 91 days ago, the first day of your first 90-day stay is now exactly 181 days in the past and does not count anymore. So you have the right to stay for one day. The day after, the second day of your first stay is now out of the sliding window too (but the first day of your second stay counts!), so you still have exactly one day left. And so on until you reach 90 days again. With multiple stays, the whole thing can get confusing but fortunately there are calculators to help, see How does the Schengen 90/180 rule work?

  • The time spent under a long-stay visa (like your au-pair visa) is indeed excluded from the count. For more on that, see e.g. Does tourist visa (90 days) apply after a long-term visa ends in Schengen countries? You could even stay for 90 days immediately after the end of your long-stay visa or leave and re-enter the Schengen area during this time. Do carry any relevant documentation with you (au-pair visa, proof that you left the country, things about your status in the US or what you plan to do in Italy, etc.) in case there are questions but I would not expect any problem (don't volunteer anything, just have it ready if needed).

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