The EU has confirmed that days spent in an EU country where UK cruisers have a visa/residence permit do not count as days spent in the Schengen zone
The EU has confirmed to the Cruising Association that days spent in an EU country where UK cruisers have a visa/residence permit do not count as days spent in the Schengen zone.
Since the end of the Brexit transition period, UK sailors have only been allowed to visit Schengen countries for 90 days in every 180 day period, knowns as the 90/180 days rule.
The Schengen zone consists of the following 26 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Sweden and France are currently the only Schengen countries with cruising grounds that offer an 180 day visa/residence permit to UK citizens.
Some other Schengen countries offer resident visas but generally these are not appropriate for cruisers due to complications such as tax residency, VAT, and requirements as to minimum days.
The CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) has been in discussion with the EU over the interaction between the the 90/180 days rule and visas/residence permits granted by individual Schengen countries.
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It said there were still ‘areas of uncertainty around exit and entry formalities throughout Europe’, and it welcomed reports from CA members and other cruisers.
These should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A spokesman for RATS said the confirmation of the visa/residence permit not counting towards the 90/180 days rules does not apply to an extension of a Schengen visa.
This can be applied for in certain rare circumstances, such as humanitarian reasons, force majeure and medical reasons, before the expiration of the Schengen 90 days.
The holder of any such extension is only permitted to remain in the country where the extension is granted and, prior to the expiration of such extension, is required to leave the country and travel directly to a destination outside the Schengen zone.
The CA has been campaigning for sailors to be given a 180-day cruising visa for EU countries, rather than being limited to just 90 days in 180.
European sailors can visit the UK for 6 months visa free.