SCHENGEN – New System for Calculating Short Stays
Switzerland has confirmed that it will, from 18 October 2013, implement the new Schengen regulation changing the method in which short stay duration in the Schengen area must be calculated.
What is the New Regulation?
Previously, travellers to the Schengen area (which comprises much of the EU, plus Switzerland, with the exception of the UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia), were permitted to visit for business or tourism reasons for short stays of up to 90 days out of a 180 day period. This 90 day period was calculated from the date of the first entry to the Schengen area. However, new Regulation 610/2013 of 26 June 2013 amends the method of calculation of the 90 day period, stating that the 90 day maximum time frame should be considered as 90 days maximum within any 180 day period.
Examples of the New Calculation Method
Under the new rules, the 180 day period should be considered retrospectively on each entry to the Schengen area. For example, it would mean that a U.S. national travelling to Germany on 09 September 2013 would have his or her passport examined for stamps showing previous stays in the Schengen area for the 180 days immediately preceding 09 September, i..e. back to 13 March 2013. If the traveller has spent 90 days in the entire Schengen area over the period of time dating from 13 March 2013, he/she will be refused entry to Germany.
The Swiss administration has provided a useful example sheet which can be accessed here.
Who Does This Apply To?
The new rules apply to nearly all business/tourism travellers within the Schengen area, including “visa waiver” nationals. The only exceptions are EU nationals travelling within the EU (i.e. not including Switzerland) where freedom of movement regulations are in place. Additionally, holders of residence permits for the destination country in question are not affected.
- Note the new EU regulation regarding Schengen date calculation and ensure that your business traveller population are aware of the new rules, which will be applied retrospectively.