Schengen for Non-EU residents


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Hasbun
Hasbun
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Bill Balme - 6/21/2020
with possible stops at non-Schengen countries limited to Morocco, Croatia and Turkey (without hitting the north African countries)

Our Schengen escapes in the Med were:

1 Montenegro,
2 Tunisia,
3 Turkey,
4 Israel,
5 Greek Cyprus.

6 Gibraltar can be used but it requires insistence to go to the Spanish/Gibraltar border and stand on the Spanish side until a supervisor agrees to give you an actual Schengen exit or entry stamp as the case might be —many a sailor have naively fallen for the non-Schengen square stamp routinely issued there, which is strictly for local use and which is not a valid rounded-corners Schengen stamp and which is not recognized by any other EU country. Most of the Spanish policemen at the Gib border crossing don’t even realize their boss keeps the genuine Schengen stamp locked in his desk, and so deny that a Schengen stamp exists, or that they have it, or that they can issue it. But if you hang around long enough the supervisor with the real deal eventually emerges.

7 Morocco we never needed to go to, so far.

8 Croatia we didn’t go on grounds of crowding, fee abuse at most _anchorages_, abusive border police with regard to points and times of entry and exit, and the fact we sailed there in a previous life. However, it is gorgeous cruising grounds and most cruisers report absolutely loving it there.

9 Many report lovely wintering in Turkish-occupied north Cyprus. We didn’t feel right supporting the occupation and in any event had no need to go there, but by all accounts the marinas are world-class.

10 Malta has been used by some as a Schengen refuge. No less than two boats of our closest friends have out-Schengened there in recent years, as the authorities were willing to stamp them out and let them stay in Malta for months. It’s a lovely place. Having said this, one or two people with whom we shared this were, for whatever reason, unable to get the same deal our friends got, and had to escape to Tunisia.



Dick
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Hasbun - 6/21/2020
Bill Balme - 6/21/2020
with possible stops at non-Schengen countries limited to Morocco, Croatia and Turkey (without hitting the north African countries)

Our Schengen escapes in the Med were:

1 Montenegro,
2 Tunisia,
3 Turkey,
4 Israel,
5 Greek Cyprus.

6 Gibraltar can be used but it requires insistence to go to the Spanish/Gibraltar border and stand on the Spanish side until a supervisor agrees to give you an actual Schengen exit or entry stamp as the case might be —many a sailor have naively fallen for the non-Schengen square stamp routinely issued there, which is strictly for local use and which is not a valid rounded-corners Schengen stamp and which is not recognized by any other EU country. Most of the Spanish policemen at the Gib border crossing don’t even realize their boss keeps the genuine Schengen stamp locked in his desk, and so deny that a Schengen stamp exists, or that they have it, or that they can issue it. But if you hang around long enough the supervisor with the real deal eventually emerges.

7 Morocco we never needed to go to, so far.

8 Croatia we didn’t go on grounds of crowding, fee abuse at most _anchorages_, abusive border police with regard to points and times of entry and exit, and the fact we sailed there in a previous life. However, it is gorgeous cruising grounds and most cruisers report absolutely loving it there.

9 Many report lovely wintering in Turkish-occupied north Cyprus. We didn’t feel right supporting the occupation and in any event had no need to go there, but by all accounts the marinas are world-class.

10 Malta has been used by some as a Schengen refuge. No less than two boats of our closest friends have out-Schengened there in recent years, as the authorities were willing to stamp them out and let them stay in Malta for months. It’s a lovely place. Having said this, one or two people with whom we shared this were, for whatever reason, unable to get the same deal our friends got, and had to escape to Tunisia.



Hi Hasbun,
Thanks for the info. It underlines, among other points, the import of being up to date as there are clear differences from when I knocked around the Med.
Thanks for confirming that Gibraltar is a difficult place to get Schengen documenting done. Your song-and-dance description is different from the one I remember being described, but similar in having challenging requirements.
We went to Smir in Morocco and had a lovely week there with some really nice land cruising into the mountains.
Agree completely in your description of cruising Croatia. One hopes that their perfection of nickel-and-diming (pence and shilling) the cruising community and borderline harassment does not catch on in other countries.
I am surprised that Greek Cyprus was a Schengen bail-out as Greece is certainly in Schengen: is there an explanation?
I wish someone with skills in this area would estimate the loss of money to the EU countries because of Schengen. There is the actual $$ and also the anxiety and bad feelings generated by the difficulties this policy generates and the restriction outsiders experience in really getting to know well these fascinating countries and their history.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Hasbun
Hasbun
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Cyprus is an independent country which is part of the EU but not part of Schengen. The other countries in this category are Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

All of these are good Schengen clock wait-out locations, though unfortunately harbor infrastructure and accommodation in the latter two are less than ideal, so only a few hardy souls sail there. We have an extended trip to Transylvania and the Carpathians laid out since about 15 years ago that we’ve never had the chance to take, and especially not while living aboard full time, but it remains high on our priority list after our sailing adventures wrap up. We’ll do it by airplane and car, when we get the chance.

Dick
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Hasbun - 6/21/2020
Cyprus is an independent country which is part of the EU but not part of Schengen. The other countries in this category are Croatia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

All of these are good Schengen clock wait-out locations, though unfortunately harbor infrastructure and accommodation in the latter two are less than ideal, so only a few hardy souls sail there. We have an extended trip to Transylvania and the Carpathians laid out since about 15 years ago that we’ve never had the chance to take, and especially not while living aboard full time, but it remains high on our priority list after our sailing adventures wrap up. We’ll do it by airplane and car, when we get the chance.

Hi Hasbun,
Understood, (I think). And we wonder why these things are confusing to us mere mortals. Your planned land cruising sounds great. Dick
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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The RYA is conducting a survey of British citizens to see how Brexit will affect British boaters once Schengen rules kick in.  
https://marineindustrynews.co.uk/the-rya-asks-recreational-boaters-for-input-on-schengen-discussions/ 

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Hasbun
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I would like to confirm that Spain, like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, does issue national stay extensions beyond the 90 day Schengen limit. We had been told about this about 5 years ago from another U.S. cruiser who got it, but did not have 1st hand experience with it.

The Norwegian, Danish and Swedish stay extensions are treaty-based, so these are only available to about 20 countries, including Honduras and the U.S., for example. No justification is needed, though some paperwork may be required.

The Spanish extension is not based on any treaties, so anyone, even the British, can apply for it. However, justification is needed. In our case, we explained that because of hurricane season it was not safe to depart transatlantic on our 90-day expiry, the 3rd of November. Pleading safety and attaching documentation that proves hurricane season only ends the 1st of December, and that certain bodies advise an even later departure, we were issued extensions until the 3rd of February.

The cost was €17.50 per person, payable once the extension is approved, and €1.05 per person per day requested, payable before the extension is approved. In the Cádiz office, it appears the criteria is not too demanding, so I think if you have a half-decent excuse you will be issued.

Since this is Spain, expect no-one at the government offices to speak any foreign language. I doubt anyone with zero Spanish would succeed at navigating the procedural rigours, particularly in these times when the Cádiz office won’t give you the time of day unless you secure an online appointment weeks in advance.

The application will be summarily rejected unless on the day of application one is still within the original 90 day period.

The procedure exists, in reality, all over Spain, but issuance leniency and knowledge that it even exists will vary from city to city. The very same “Extranjería” government office in some cities issues extensions and unaccountably simply does not offer the service in others. Information on which ones do and do not is on the web but extremely difficult to find.

We’ve heard of others also getting extensions in La Coruña. If anyone has questions, feel free to reach out to me.
Hasbun
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I will re-post this here because I had forgotten all about it:

  Denmark has changed the terms of their automatic extension above and beyond Schengen for certain nationalities.

For people from NZ and US, an excellent update: days spent elsewhere in Scandinavia no are no longer deducted! One should be able to do 90 days Schengen, 90 days Norway/Sweden (combined), and 90 days Denmark, for a grand total 270 days before having to sail directly to Ireland, UK or Russia. Small new downside: any days spent in Denmark itself in the previous six months are now deducted. A big net win.

Malaysians, Chileans, Koreans, Australians, Canadians, Israelis, Japanese and Singaporeans, on the other hand, all get slightly worse terms than before. Here is the government page:

https://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-GB/Applying/Short%20stay%20visa/Visa%20free%20visits

Dick
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Hasbun - 11/27/2020
I will re-post this here because I had forgotten all about it:

  Denmark has changed the terms of their automatic extension above and beyond Schengen for certain nationalities.

For people from NZ and US, an excellent update: days spent elsewhere in Scandinavia no are no longer deducted! One should be able to do 90 days Schengen, 90 days Norway/Sweden (combined), and 90 days Denmark, for a grand total 270 days before having to sail directly to Ireland, UK or Russia. Small new downside: any days spent in Denmark itself in the previous six months are now deducted. A big net win.

Malaysians, Chileans, Koreans, Australians, Canadians, Israelis, Japanese and Singaporeans, on the other hand, all get slightly worse terms than before. Here is the government page:

https://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-GB/Applying/Short%20stay%20visa/Visa%20free%20visits

Hi all,
This sounds like a great opportunity for those from the US and NZ wishing to cruise Europe at a more leisurely pace.
I would urge those vessels going this route to document every step of the way, both he relevant gov’t documents and the vessel documents pertaining to adhering to the rules.
My take for my 10+ years in Europe on a boat was that many officials are pretty fuzzy on the Schengen rules. Then there were the countries I experienced as aggressive in pursuit of Schengen violations and assumed guilt so you needed to document innocence. That said, most officials were just fine, but it only took one outlier to ruin your day.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy


Hasbun
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Dick,  100% agree with you on all points.

By the time we depart Spain in late January, we will have been 5 years 7 months in Europe, all this time as tourists.

Well, we are counting six months in Asia Minor (Turkey), three months in Israel, and two weeks in Tunisia as “Europe”, when in reality these three are not, but these were part of our Med Schengen strategy and it worked.
Hasbun
Hasbun
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It turns out that the non-treaty-based national stay extension available in Spain is also available in Portugal, along similar lines. A non-OCC friend reports the following:

«We have done this in Portugal in Madeira.

Our “reason” was warranty issues with some work done in a shipyard in Lisbon. We presented the receipts of the time the boat had stayed in the yard and noted we needed to return to Lisbon to the yard for rectification of works.

No questions were asked or more details requested but we had to have flight tickets to depart Schengen to receive the visa extension.

Proof of a certain of amount of money in a bank account/ proof of income, and had to pay a fee of 1€ per day of visa.

We got 95 days, basically the date of the flight ticket.

We were informed we could not move on to any other Schengen country under that visa and that we would have to clear the passport time before re-entering Schengen

In Portugal the visa extension is requested at SEF (serviço de estrangeiros e fronteiras) counter in the Loja do Cidadão (it’s like a place that has all sorts of administrative service counters in big towns)
»



So the Portuguese national extension is analogous to the Spanish one, except the officers in Rota and Cádiz realise sailors don’t fly and therefore do not request exit airplane tickets.

GO

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