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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need more than one Schengen Visa?

No, you do not require separate Schengen Visas for each Schengen country that you plan to visit. 

The Schengen Area allows for border-free travel between its member countries, so once you have entered the Schengen Zone, you are free to move about.

Apply for your visa in the country that you intend to stay the longest or will conduct the main purpose of your trip. 

If you plan to stay an equal time in each country, you must apply for your Schengen Visa with the consulate of the Schengen Country you will visit first. 

Check if you need a Schengen Visa.

I have more than one nationality; What does this mean for entering the Schengen Area?

If you possess more than one nationality, the visa requirements depend on the passport you choose to travel with.

Can I enter a Schengen country that is not the country which issued my Schengen Visa?

Yes, you can enter at any of the Schengen borders with a visa granted by any Schengen country. However, you are not strictly guaranteed entry; see what documents will I need to show at the Schengen border?

I have less than three months left on my passport. Can I apply for a Schengen Visa?

No, your passport must be valid for three months after your return from your intended stay in the Schengen Area. However, in justified emergencies, consulates may deviate from this rule.

What documents might I need to show at a Schengen border?

When arriving in the Schengen Area, as a non-EU/Schengen citizen, you will need to show a passport that has been issued within the past 10 years and is valid for a minimum of 3 months after the date you plan to leave the Schengen Area.

If you are required to have a Schengen Visa, you will need to present it when crossing into the Schengen Zone. Check if you need a Schengen Visa.

A Short-Stay Schengen Visa doesn't guarantee your entry to the Schengen Area. You may need to show your visa at the border, but you may also need to show additional documentation- such as proof of funds and evidence of onward travel. 

To be safe, carry copies of the documents you submitted as part of your visa application (e.g. a letter of invitation, proof of accommodation, or other documents that supported your visa application).

When entering or leaving the Schengen Area, it’s vital to ensure that the border official gives you an entry/exit stamp in your passport. Without a stamp, you won't be able to prove that you haven’t exceeded the 90/180 rule and might face consequences such as being fined or detained. See what are the penalties for overstaying a Schengen Visa?

How do I keep track of my trips to the Schengen Area so that I comply with the 90/180 Rule?

We built the Schengen Simple app to be the best Schengen Visa calculator possible (modest goals). With the Schengen Simple app, you’ll never need to worry about overstaying. Simply enter all of your past and future planned trips to the area and instantly know how long you could stay in the Schengen Area for every date in your calendar.

Can I extend my Schengen Visa?

Unfortunately, you usually can't extend your visa. In order to apply for an extension of your visa, you must show that you are unable to leave the Schengen Area in the timeframe indicated on your visa for reasons of force majeure, humanitarian or serious personal reasons. 

As a rule, a visa can only be extended if you haven't violated the 90/180 rule.

My Schengen Visa was denied. Will the visa fee be refunded? Can I appeal?

Firstly, yes, you can file an appeal against the rejection notice. The decision for refusing a Schengen Visa and the reasons for refusal will be provided in a standard form by the consulate of the Member State that denied the visa. The notice must include the grounds of refusal, an outline of the appeal procedure and a time limit.

If your visa is denied, the fee will not be refunded. The visa fee includes the processing fee for your visa application.

If your application was rejected, you are free to reapply. However, before submitting a new application, we recommend that you make a note and try to address the reasons for the previous denial.

Which countries are in the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area consists of the following 29 countries and covers nearly all of Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Schengen Area is not the same as the EU as some members of the Schengen Area are not in the EU (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), and some members of the EU are not in the Schengen Area:

  • Ireland – which has opted out of the area.
  • Cyprus is seeking to join soon... 

Read more about the Schengen Area.

Is the UK in the Schengen Area?

The United Kingdom is not a member of the Schengen Area. Before Brexit, the UK was part of the European Union, and therefore Europeans previously had the right to live, work and travel in the UK without being subject to visa restrictions - as did citizens of the UK visiting European countries. Now that the UK has left the European Union, UK citizens are subject to Schengen Visa restrictions. Most commonly, this will be the 90/180 rule.

Was the UK in the Schengen Area before Brexit?

No, the UK was not in the Schengen Area before Brexit. Despite being part of the EU, the UK opted out of the Schengen Agreement, which was actually the case even before Brexit. It being part of the EU however meant that Europeans previously had the right to live, work and travel in the UK without being subject to visa restrictions - as did citizens of the UK visiting European countries. See "Is the UK in the Schengen Area?" above.

Do I need Travel Insurance to apply for a Schengen Visa?

Yes, you are required to have Medical Insurance for the entirety of your travels in the Schengen Area. A minimum cover of €30,000 for medical emergencies is required.

How do I comply with the Schengen 90/180 rule and avoid overstaying?

It's easy to unintentionally overstay due to the complexities of the 90/180 rule.

As the 90/180 rule is rolling, it makes not overstaying quite tricky, especially if you have future trips planned. 

This is where calculators like Schengen Simple are helpful - just pop all your past and future trips in, and the app will tell you exactly how many days you have left in your allowance - for each day in your calendar, instantly know when you can travel and for how long. It will also tell you when is the soonest you can next go for the full 90 days. Summer break anyone? Or maybe a ski season?...

How long can I spend in Europe after Brexit?

Most commonly, the answer will be no more than 90 days in any 180-day period (aka the 90/180 rule), which applies to the Schengen Area. 

The Schengen Area is actually distinct from the EU or Europe. This rule can be difficult to stay on the right side of - as the 180-day window is rolling. 

Using an app like Schengen Simple can help you to ensure you never overstay and avoid receiving potentially significant penalties.

Can I stay for longer than 90 days in the Schengen Area?

Ah, if only! 

That's the traveller's dream. While there are options, they are limited and may not suit everyone. These include:

  • Getting a student or work visa in your Schengen country of choice. See more on Schengen Visas.
  • Marrying a Schengen or EU citizen - yes, sometimes love is the answer.
  • Acquiring a Golden Visa to acquire residency through investment - rules vary by country. Usually, you will need to invest a minimum sum of money into either starting a business or buying property in your host country. Schengen Area countries presently offering Golden Visas, and their minimum investment amounts are:
    - Malta €150,000
    - Portugal €250,000
    - Greece €250,000
    - Italy €250,000
    - Spain €500,000

How do I get a Multiple-Entry Schengen Visa?

You need to apply at the consulate or embassy of the Schengen country that you intend on spending the most time in. 

See more on Schengen Visas.

How long is a Schengen Visa valid?

This depends on which visa you have applied for. See more on Schengen Visas.

Is there a Schengen Visa 90/180 rule calculator?

Yes! We built the Schengen Simple app to make navigating the 90/180 rule as simple as possible. Just enter your past and future trips to instantly know how long you can stay for each day in your calendar. It was made specifically for frequent travellers who need to plan ahead and see what trips they could hypothetically take without overstaying.

Can you get a Schengen Visa if you are unemployed?

Yes, you can; however, you will need to show that you have enough funds to support yourself throughout your stay.

Find more details on Schengen Visas.

Can you stay in Europe for more than 3 months after Brexit?

It depends, but usually, the answer will be no. The 3-month limit or 90/180 rule applies to the Schengen Area, which is distinct from the EU or Europe. 

In most cases, you will be bound by the 90/180 rule, meaning you cannot stay for longer than 90 days in any 180-day period.

See more on Schengen Visas.

Is Croatia in the Schengen Area?

On 1st January 2023, Croatia officially joined the Schengen Area.

Any trips to Croatia from this date will count toward your Schengen 90/180 allowance.

Until 1st January 2023, when Croatia joined the Schengen Area, it was a common destination for travellers to "reset" their Schengen allowance. After using your 90 days in the Schengen area, you could go to Croatia for 90 days and then back to the Schengen area for another 90 days and so on. This strategy was entirely legal until 1st January 2023; however, it is no longer possible.


Before joining the Schengen Area, Croatia maintained its own separate 90/180 rule (which can cause some confusion). So although trips to Croatia before 1st January 2023 won’t count towards your Schengen allowance, they will still count towards your Croatian 90/180 allowance.

To illustrate the implications of this, if you spent the last 90 days of 2022 in Croatia, you would not get another 90 days in Croatia immediately on 1st January 2023, i.e. you would not be able to have two 90-day stays back-to-back in Croatia, as the Croatian 90/180 rule still applies.

Is Bulgaria in the Schengen Area?

Bulgaria joined the Schengen Area on 31st March 2024.

From 31st March 2024, trips to Bulgaria have counted towards the Schengen 90/180 rule.

Is Cyprus in the Schengen Area?

Cyprus is not part of the Schengen Area, however it does have its own 90/180 rule which can cause confusion. The key difference is that Cyprus’ 90/180 rule only applies to Cyprus, whereas the Schengen 90/180 rule applies to all Schengen countries (excluding Cyprus, which is not part of the Area).

Is Romania in the Schengen Area?

Romania joined the Schengen Area on 31st March 2024.

From 31st March 2024, trips to Romania have counted towards the Schengen 90/180 rule.

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