Touring - Can you tour Europe for more than 90 days?
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09-03-08, 11:20 AM
I've been planning to make a round trip from the south of Europe (Croatia) to north (Sweden) and back, starting spring next year. With plans well underway, I have now found out that it is only possible to stay within the Schengen zone for 90 days in any half a year (being from Croatia, which has a non-visa agreement for stays under 90 days). Which is a problem as I reckon the trip would take between four and five months.
This page on crazyguyonabike.com:
suggests that you need a visa for staying over 90 days. But that contradicts all the info I've unearthed online so far, which suggest that the only possible way to stay longer is to get a type D visa / residence permit for a specific Schengen country. And even then it's unclear how much movement that would allow you outside that specific country. But it doesn't seem to matter anyway, as I visited the Swedish embassy in Croatia and the lady behind the desk said that I shouldn't even bother applying for it, as there is no way they'd issue one for the purpose of touring.
Does anyone know of a possible workaround? I've been so excited over the trip, and now it's been shot to pieces!
Some of the British cycling forums might be a good place to ask this question. http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php would be a good place to start, a lot of the members have spent a fair bit of time traveling and working on the continent.
Have you visited any other embassies, or just the Swedish embassy?
Call your embassy, ask to make an apointment to discuss what they can possibly do for you. If you can somehow fangle there support they may be able to smooth thing out for you using there contacts. You could make your trip even more interesting by arranging to stop at your countries consular offices (or honorary consuls) along your route.
I have read of tourists from South East Asia being hosted by there ambasodors/consuls while on tour. Sounds very interesting.
09-03-08, 05:04 PM
Okay, this is an interesting document, for all those who might find themselves in a similar situation:
Apparently, if you have a long term visa for one of the Schengen countries, the time you spend in that country does not count towards the 90 day limit. Which does help my case, providing I can get hold of a long term visa for Sweden. Longest part of my route runs through Sweden, and I would be able to make it through all the other countries in less than 90 days.
But that means the Swedish visa is the only one that can help me, so, markf, visiting other nations' embassies wouldn't do me any good. Now I need to figure out how to get my hands on it... I don't know if I'm better off presenting the application for a tourist visa or as visit to friends. As I am going to visit a friend there, but only for about a week. On the other hand, I can't escape the feeling that applying for a tourist visa for 4 or 5 months would cause many an eyebrow to raise. And I don't think I can flat out tell them I only want the visa to stay within Schengen longer either.
Camel, what did you mean by "call your embassy"? My Croatian embassy, in one of the countries I want to tour? Because I'd be a lot more comfortable sorting the legal stuff out before I actually go, as opposed to negotiating extended stay while already abroad.
I'd love to visit consuls along the route for fun though, such an interesting idea!
I should also point out I am taking my dog with me, so I can't risk overstaying. Worst thing they could do to me is fine me and ship me back, but I don't know what would happen to the dog, and it's not something I'd take chances with!
09-03-08, 05:18 PM
Getting a visa shouldn't be all that difficult, you just have to jump through a few hoops mostly to prove that you aren't likely to overstay your visa & try to settle down and/or work. Sounds like there are companies that specialize in handling the paperwork for you, too.
It's a better option than, say, returning to Croatia every 75 days....
...Camel, what did you mean by "call your embassy"? My Croatian embassy, in one of the countries I want to tour? Because I'd be a lot more comfortable sorting the legal stuff out before I actually go, as opposed to negotiating extended stay while already abroad.
I'd love to visit consuls along the route for fun though, such an interesting idea!...
I supose I mean talk with the office/department who oversees interntional affairs/consuls/embasies. It looks like it would be the MInistry of Foreign affairs office:
Berislav Rončević, LLB
Phone: +385 1 6122 405, +385 1 6122 129
Fax: +385 1 6122 452
He, or his office might be able to clarify some of the visa information for you traveling in the Shengan countries. He, or his office may be able to help you out with a letter of introduction if applying for a Visa, with an explanation as to why (which may help things go smoothly). He, or his office may be able to arrange introductions for you to his consular services throughout Europe. A place to stay, a meal, conversation etc etc.
I'd recon' you may want to type up a letter explaining what you are doing. Like some grand esoteric mission like "spreading Croatian friendship" throughout Europe or some such...
Kind of like having a sponsor, but not really. Even if you decide to go no further than an initial contact, it may prove helpfull to you should you run into problems while on tour.
--Sounds like a really fun tour by the way--
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