In the visa-free requirement, some countries prescribe it as "within 90 days" while other countries prescribe it as "within 3 months".

For example: this is for US citizens but it prescribes Japan as "90 days" while Israel as "3 months".

While "90 days" is pretty obvious, how is the "3 months" calculated in this case? Is it the same as "90 days"? Or do you calculate it by adding +3 only to the month part of the date (e.g. from 2017-05-12 to 2017-08-12)? If it is November 29 or 30, how is it calculated?

  • There are too many countries which allow 3 months visa free to be able to enumerate them all here. I would think it is simply by adding +3 to the month and conservatively February 28 or 29 for the November scenarios you mention for non leap vs leap year scenarios. May 12, 2017 at 21:11
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    @SheikPaulofOsawatomie I didn't ask for each specific country; I asked whether it is different from 90 days in a way it is written in any country. If it depends on the country, it shall be the answer.
    – Blaszard
    May 12, 2017 at 21:44
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    +1, It's a nice question, for us in the UK there are both day counts and month counts. Some of these are recent and some are provenanced in English common law going way, way back. To cover the globe it can get too hairy; Try narrowing it down to a single sovereignty.
    – Gayot Fow
    May 12, 2017 at 21:51
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    Well, maybe the question shall be "why do some countries prescribe it as months, not days?". But if it does depend on the country, which means some countries count by days but nonetheless show it by months, I wonder why some countries like to prescribe it in a way it is so obscure.
    – Blaszard
    May 12, 2017 at 22:03
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    @Blaszard even 90 days is not necessarily obvious. For example, someone on a 90-day short stay in the Schengen area needs to leave 1 day earlier than someone staying in the US on the visa waiver program. So to answer "how is 3 months calculated": sometimes by adding 3 to the month, and other times by adding 3 to the month and subtracting one from the day (that's how the US does it, IIRC).
    – phoog
    May 12, 2017 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


The short answer is they are not the same.

There is no internationally agreed upon method for specifying length of stay allowed for visa free or visa required entries. Each country has the right to specify their own rules. Most countries use either XX days or X months, but they are also allowed to use XX weeks or even XX hours (as transit visas often do).

Likewise there is no universal method of counting those time periods. Many countries use a "calendar day" (midnight to midnight), so 01:15 or 23:45 both count as one calendar day even though one affords almost 24 hours more in the country. Other countries use a "24 hour period", so if you arrive at 14:00, you need to exit by 13:59 on your last day. To compound things further, some countries using the calendar day method, start their count from the first full day in country, not the partial arrival day.

To answer the OP's question, because of the variances, there is no simple formula to apply. You need to research how each country counts their days, then do the math from there. And you need to use the units specified, you can not assume 30 days and one month are the same.

  • One extra bit of fun: in Saudi Arabia, visa validity is measured in Islamic lunar months! May 13, 2017 at 6:58
  • @jpatokal - I had thought about listing lunar months as well (but I was thinking Asia lunar calendar not Islam).
    – user13044
    May 13, 2017 at 7:24

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