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I have a 1-year residence permit from one Schengen country that is now expiring. Upon its expiration, I would like to get my 90/180 days validity as a tourist to stay, or return here as soon as possible.

I understand that the tourist short-stay scheme is based on the 90/180 days "counter". But what happens if my previous stay was not tourism but residence (as searching year). Wouldn't that mean that I can quickly exit and re-enter the Schengen area to activate my tourist stay?

Also, is there a way to change this purpose of stay without exiting the Schengen area?

  • 1
    @pnuts ok it likely means 'research' as in an academic type of thing. – Gayot Fow Sep 19 '16 at 23:57
  • Could it be a job-seeker's visa? – mkennedy Sep 20 '16 at 7:30
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There is nothing explicitly stated in the rules governing the switch from EEA resident to Schengen tourist except that you need to have a passport that allows for visa-free entry. I took a course in Schengen earlier this year and asked the instructor (Elspeth Guild) what she advised clients in this situation. See below...

Wouldn't that mean that I can quickly exit and re-enter the Schengen area to activate my tourist stay?

Yes, this is the recommended strategy. This enables you to cap off your residence visa and start a new stay as a short-term visitor with appropriate documentation at every step.

Also, is there a way to change this purpose of stay without exiting the Schengen area?

This depends upon the host nation and if they have a policy in place for an 'in-country switch'. If they provide the right passport stamps documenting that you did not overstay your residence visa, then fine.

You can find anecdotal evidence on the net indicating both strategies will work and that an 'implicit switch' (i.e., where there's no hard evidence of a status change) avoids a needless exit/re-entry solely to satisfy a formality. So your choice will ultimately depend upon your own appetite for having a clear paper trail.

Note also that we have a lot of questions/answers here explaining that time spent on a residence visa is not reckoned against the Schengen 90/180 day counting rule and this will apply to you. Your Schengen clock will activate with the full 90 days regardless if you exit/re-enter or make an 'in-country switch'. This aspect of your question is stated explicitly in the rules.

The Schengen Borders Code is here.

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It looks like the Schengen Borders Code was updated in March 2016, so it seems the relevant text is not at Article 6, paragraph 2 (rather than Article 5 paragraph 1a).

Here is the link to the updated Borders Code: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32016R0399

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You can indeed visit the Schengen area for 90 days, with a visa or on a visa-free passport, after the end of your Schengen residency permit. There is no requirement for you to leave the Schengen area before you do so. The relevant regulation is the Schengen Borders Code and in particular article 5:

  1. For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay, the entry conditions for third-country nationals shall be the following:

[…]

1a. 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.

  • Some Schengen countries hold that a person in this situation must leave and reenter the Schengen area. Germany and the Netherlands are among them, but I don't know about any of the others off the top of my head. – phoog Jun 27 '18 at 15:23
  • @phoog can German law supersede Schengen law if you have a German visa and travel outside of Germany after the end of your stay? – JonathanReez Jun 27 '18 at 15:34
  • The Schengen borders code doesn't say much about authorized presence; it leaves that to national law. The code is mostly about the crossing of external borders. And residence permits are explicitly governed by national law. The Netherlands, for example, has a law saying that someone with an expiring permit must leave by a certain date. But if someone in this situation were to go to another Schengen country, they would probably be fine. – phoog Jun 27 '18 at 16:03

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