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Tourist visa extensions in the Schengen area
August 28, 2013 12:15 AM   Subscribe

My family and I would like to spend an extended time (5-6 months or more) in Europe. My wife is a US/Canadian citizen (the rest of us are Dutch citizens), and that seems to present a problem if we want to stay more than 90 days, which is the maximum length of Schengen tourist status. I'm not getting very far trying to figure out if and how that time can be extended. The process seems to vary from country to country. We're pretty flexible about which countries we stay in, so which countries make this relatively easy and cheap?

One possibility we're already considering is to spend time on the British Isles, which are not part of the Schengen area. That's not at the top of our list of areas to visit, but could be part of the plan.

Another possibility is that, since I am an EU citizen, there may be some kind of "family reunification" type process that's usable. I've looked at the process for the Netherlands and it seems complex and expensive, and assumes that I actually live in the country (which I have never done -- the only official tie I have to the Netherlands and EU is my passport). Are there countries that by virtue of my EU citizenship would make this relatively easy/inexpensive?

We are particularly interested in northern Europe and Scandinavia, but willing to spend time in other areas as well.

Bonus questions:

* If the time is extended in one country, would that apply to the whole Schengen area or just that one country?

* The Faroe Islands aren't part of Schengen, so would time spent there not count toward the 90 days? Given we'd almost certainly need to transit through a Schengen country to get there, and there are no passport controls between the Schengen area and the Faroe Islands, how would that work exactly?

* I will be working during this time, doing the same remote contract work for an American company as I do in Canada. I know my wife will need some kind of proof of funds; will proof that I have a job and will continue to be payed for that work during our stay be sufficient?

(PS. Despite the title, I realize my wife does not need an actual visa in her passport to enter the Schengen area)
posted by Emanuel to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
She's your wife so she is entitled to the same visa status as you

I wouldnt worry about it.
posted by frequently at 12:31 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


There MUST be a way to do this. Perhaps, as you say, a visa from another (non-NL) Schengen country. I say this because as the wife of an EU citizen, your wife is legally entitled to be in the EU. In fact, she is legally entitled to live and work anywhere in the EU.

In the UK, outside Schengen, you do this via an EEA Family Permit which you could get for her even if you are not a UK resident. It just allows both of you to legally enter the UK for 6 months.

A forum post about this very topic.

This blog entry has a bit more information.
posted by vacapinta at 12:34 AM on August 28, 2013


Another possibility is that, since I am an EU citizen, there may be some kind of "family reunification" type process that's usable.

To be clear, there is no "process". Your wife already has the rights. Its just a matter of having the paperwork to show to immigration officers. Certainly a visa makes this easier than carrying around a sheaf of papers.
posted by vacapinta at 12:37 AM on August 28, 2013


Since you're an EU citizen, your wife would be eligible to apply for a 'residence card/permit' to let her live there for 5 years. It doesn't matter whether you're a tourist or planning to live there forever. It doesn't matter if you have income or a job or not. It is renewable, and costs very little, and includes full work rights.

Every single EU country is required by law to make this available to you.

Helpful/relevant post:
http://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/6807/non-eu-spouse-of-an-eu-citizen-is-visiting-eu-without-needing-a-visa-possible

Possibly required: marriage certificate that is recognised by the EU country in question. Given they have an Australian marriage certificate, this should not be a problem.
posted by Ashlyth at 1:20 AM on August 28, 2013


And the official page for the entire european union on this:

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/worker-pensioner/non-eu-family-members/spouses-children-parents_en.htm

http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/non-eu-family/index_en.htm
posted by Ashlyth at 1:30 AM on August 28, 2013


* If the time is extended in one country, would that apply to the whole Schengen area or just that one country?

The entire Schengen area is considered "one country" for the purposes of your stay. A tourist visa (which is essentially the entry stamp in your passport) is good for 90 days, but once this period of time expires then you have to stay outside the Schengen area for 90 days before you can reenter.

We are particularly interested in northern Europe and Scandinavia, but willing to spend time in other areas as well.

The Faroe Islands are not part of Schengen, but they are Danish so they fall under a Schengen-like agreement between the Nordic countries. For example, Norway is not part of the EU, but you can enter Norway via Sweden without showing any passport (usual customs rules apply at every national border.)

Your wife already has the rights.

Not sure about that vacapinta. She would have the right to apply for Dutch citizenship, but unless her husband and she actually reside in the Netherlands, it's not clear she would automatically be granted a residence permit.
posted by three blind mice at 2:08 AM on August 28, 2013


three blind mice. Sorry for not being clearer about that. I meant she has the right to travel freely within the EU. This is guaranteed by EU directive. All she has to show is that they are married and that he is an EU citizen.

Dutch rights are a different matter altogether, of course. They may choose to impose stricter requirements on their own citizens than that imposed by the EU. This does create a paradox as is seen in Britain by Brits exercising their EU rights which are greater than their rights as British citizens!

What this means for the OP here is that they should get an EU entry permit or residence permit from any European country other than the Netherlands - because of the paradox above.
posted by vacapinta at 2:16 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Since you're an EU citizen, your wife would be eligible to apply for a 'residence card/permit' to let her live there for 5 years. It doesn't matter whether you're a tourist or planning to live there forever. It doesn't matter if you have income or a job or not. It is renewable, and costs very little, and includes full work rights.

Ashlyth, thank you for the helpful information. Reading this page you linked, it looks like for my wife stay more than three months she would need to apply for a five-year residence card, which can take up to six months. The requirements for that say that I would need a residence permit in the EU country first, but I'm not a resident of any EU country and I don't see how I could become one six months before we travel. Am I misunderstanding the page?

I didn't mention in my original post: we all live in Canada.
posted by Emanuel at 9:40 AM on August 28, 2013


Ok, hope I'm not threadsitting too much here, but I think I'm starting to get how this could work: Can anyone poke any holes in this? I'm a bit concerned about the limbo she'd be in after her 90 day tourist status expires but before her residence permit is approved.
posted by Emanuel at 10:17 AM on August 28, 2013


Your wife can still apply for a tourist visa via the dutch embassy, despite being granted an automatic 90 days; they can grant tourist visas for longer periods, and your status as a citizen will probably simplify the process.

With respect to your other plan, I submit this data point: I overstayed my 90 days in Schengen and got only slightly narrowed eyes from an English border guard as a result. No questions, no problems reentering later, no problems applying for residence or later citizenship in a Schengen-area country. I overstayed only by a few weeks, however, not a whole 90 days.
posted by beerbajay at 11:15 AM on August 28, 2013


I was in almost exactly the same situation as you last year: I (German citizen) live in the US with my wife (US citizen) and daughter (dual citizen). Last year, we spent 8 months in Germany. Getting a residence permit for my wife was uncomplicated: She entered the country on a tourist visa, then we registered our new residence in Germany, and after that she applied for her residence permit. We did this within the first two or three days of our stay. It took a while for her to get the actual document (about three months, if I recall correctly), but it wasn't too much hassle. The only slightly annoying thing was the 100 EURO fee (this had been free until a few months before we applied, we were told).
posted by tecg at 11:26 AM on August 28, 2013


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