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Consider a student in a Schengen country whose visa expires on August 31st. The student is a national of a country whose citizens are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Schengen visa for short-term stays, and has been present in the country continuously for over 90 days. This person would normally be allowed to stay for 90 days in the Schengen area, counting from September first.

Now suppose this student spent five days in August in a different Schengen country. Would that reduce the number of allowable days to 85, counting from September first?

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I think it's impossible to give a definitive answer to that question.

The controlling norm is the Schengen Borders Code, specifically article 5:

For the purposes of implementing paragraph 1, the date of entry shall be considered as the first day of stay on the territory of the Member States and the date of exit shall be considered as the last day of stay on the territory of the Member States. Periods of stay authorised under a residence permit or a long-stay visa shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the duration of stay on the territory of the Member States.

I don't think it unambiguously answers your question one way or the other. As all languages have equal weight, I also checked the German and French versions of the regulation and they are similarly ambiguous.

The strongest evidence that this sentence should be interpreted in a specific way would be a ruling of the EUCJ but as far as I know it never had to decide on this particular issue.

And of course, with no entry or exit stamps at internal borders, enforcement would be nearly impossible, but that's obviously a distinct question.

  • Thanks for your answer. I asked this question under the belief that a holder of a residence permit or long-stay visa is limited by the 90/180 rule with respect to travel in other Schengen countries (than the one that issued the permit or visa). However, I don't see that in the code. Do you know where that comes from? – phoog Jun 16 '15 at 20:56
  • @phoog The Schengen Borders Code can be read that way, if you combine “For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period” at the beginning of article 5 with 5(1)(b): “they are in possession of a valid visa, if required pursuant to […] except where they hold a valid residence permit or a valid long-stay visa;” – Relaxed Jun 16 '15 at 21:14
  • The Schengen convention was more explicit, especially article 21: “Aliens who hold valid residence permits issued by one of the Contracting Parties may, on the basis of that permit and a valid travel document, move freely for up to three months within the territories of the other Contracting Parties […]” – Relaxed Jun 16 '15 at 21:15
  • @phoog Incidentally, the current status of the Convention is a bit confusing (for me at least). Originally, the whole Schengen system was a separate thing but the Schengen acquis has been integrated in EU law, mainly through the two regulations (Visa code and Borders code). But parts of the convention haven't been replaced and/or still apply to non-EU countries like Switzerland (which became a party to the convention but does not automatically apply EU regulations). – Relaxed Jun 16 '15 at 21:19
  • Consequently, the convention and regulations are always amended in parallel to keep them in sync, see eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/… for an example (and good luck to keep track of it all!) – Relaxed Jun 16 '15 at 21:21

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