The Schengen area represents a border-free zone between several European countries. In addition, these countries issue a uniform Schengen visa for foreign nationals. To control the comings and goings of millions of people who enter the Schengen area, the 90/180-day rule was established.
What does it mean? The 90/180-day rule states that any foreign national who enters the Schengen zone (any country within the area) can stay for up to 90 days within any 180 days. At first glance, it seems a very simple rule, but it’s often misunderstood, and many people overstay it, resulting in them facing penalties. This is why it’s important to know how exactly the 90/180-day rule works.
Calculating your 90/180 period can also be done more simply with the following online calculator:
Using the calculator is fairly simple— there are four main components of the tool:
Reminder: This calculator is a helping tool; it does not constitute a right to stay for a period resulting from its calculation.
Disclaimer: Though we have created this calculator with the utmost attentiveness, the results are not guaranteed. The owner of this site disclaims all responsibility for anything that may or may not happen to you. Remember to double-check these dates!
There are two main components to this rule; the 90 days and the 180-day period— both represent different calculations as follows:
The 90/180-day rule applies only to the European countries within the Schengen area, which include the following:
The above calculator cannot take into account more favourable rules applicable to short-stays of third-country nationals under bilateral visa waiver agreements between certain Schengen States and certain third countries as provided by Article 20(2) of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement (CISA).
According to that provision, Member States have the possibility to “extend” the duration of stay of visa-free third-country nationals beyond 90 days under the following circumstances. In case a Schengen State concluded a bilateral visa waiver agreement with a third country of the so-called “positive visa list” (like Canada, New Zealand or the US) before the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement (or the date of its later accession to the Schengen Agreement), the provisions of that bilateral agreement may continue to apply. [source: europa.eu]
Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when calculating the 90/180-day period:
They count the 180 days as six months. Counting your 90 days or the 180-day period as three months and six months often results in mistakes. This is because some months are longer than others, so 180 days does not necessarily coincide with exactly six months. So, make sure you count your days correctly.
Knowing how the rule works, in theory, doesn’t mean that applying it in practice is any easier, so here are a few examples to make the calculations easier:
Scenario one:
If you count back 180 days from April 30 (your most recent exit date), you have to include the time you spent in Schengen in January. So, by April 30, you have spent 60 days in the Schengen area within a 180-day period.
The 180-day timeframe begins rolling on your first day of entry (n this case, on January 1). So, on July 15, you get another 16 days to spend in the Schengen Area because your 180-day period only extends back to January 16.
 
Scenario two:
If you enter the Schengen Zone on July 1, then you can stay for another 30 days because, in the last 180 days, you have only been in the Schengen Zone for 60 days (in March and in May). The time you spent in Europe in January no longer counts because it is more than 180 days ago.
The following categories are subjected to the 90/180-day rule:
If you stay more than 90 within a 180-day period, you’ve effectively breached the 90/180 rule, and you will most likely either be deported, fined, or banned from entering the Schengen zone for several years. See overstaying in the Schengen area.
In any 180-day period, you cannot stay more than 90 days in the Schengen area. If you need to do so, you must apply for a national visa for the specific country where you want to visit for more than 90 days.
No, you can use your 90 days spread out as needed; as long as you remember, you can’t stay for more than 90 days within the most recent 180-day period.
If you are not registered as a resident in the EU country in which you have a second home, then you are subject to this rule also.
No, the amount of 90 days applies to all EU countries in total, and not 90 days to each.
Yes, once ETIAS is made effective, the 90/180-day rule is still valid for all citizens from countries eligible for ETIAS.
Since the Brexit transition period ended on December 31, 2022, British passport holders travelling to the EU, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have been subject to the EU rules of entry and stay for third-country citizens – including the rule that permits non-EU citizens and residents to stay in the Schengen territory for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-days period.
No, Ireland does not participate in the Schengen Agreement and has no intentions of joining it; thus, it does not apply this rule to British citizens or other travellers.
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