Travel How the Schengen and bilateral agreements between Australia and Europe allows travellers to stay almost indefinitely

23:21  12 february  2018
23:21  12 february  2018 Source:   traveller.com.au

This traveller spent 5 days hitchhiking through a frozen conflict zone in Eastern Europe -- here's what his trip was like

  This traveller spent 5 days hitchhiking through a frozen conflict zone in Eastern Europe -- here's what his trip was like Hitchhiking has become a preferred form of travel for photographer Alex Domenech. Hitchhiking has become a preferred form of travel for photographer Alex Domenech.

Norway: Bilateral agreement between Norway and Australia , allowing stays for up to 90 days visa free in Norway, in addition to any days spent in a Then you have to leave the Schengen for 90 days and start again, except in Germany, where it appears you can stay indefinitely by simply leaving and.

Here's how Australian travellers can stay in Europe for more than 90 days. For years now, Australians visiting Europe have been hamstrung by the rules of the Schengen Agreement . The bilateral visa waiver agreement between France and Australia allows Australian passport holders

Austria is one of the countries Australia has a bilateral agreement with, allowing you to stay 90 days.© Alamy Austria is one of the countries Australia has a bilateral agreement with, allowing you to stay 90 days.

For years now, Australians visiting Europe have been hamstrung by the rules of the Schengen Agreement. Under this agreement, Australian passport holders are permitted to remain and travel freely through the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

The Schengen Area, which covers most of Continental Europe, from Portugal in the west to Poland and the Baltic States in the east and including the Nordic countries, was set up to facilitate the movements of goods and traffic between the signatories. For travellers, it allows easy passage from one country to the next without the need to pass through border controls.

Travelling in Europe independently as a young woman: 10 lessons I learnt on my first trip

  Travelling in Europe independently as a young woman: 10 lessons I learnt on my first trip I was 21 and was planning my first independent trip abroad. It felt like everyone I knew had already been to Europe, so for me it felt like the obvious choice.With a friend along and three weeks to spend, we decided on three destinations:A school trip to Paris years ago made me fall in love with the city (a cliche, I know) so a stopover there was a must. Spain was next on our list and, unable to decide between Barcelona and San Sebastian, we figured porque no los dos? Greece had always been a dream of mine, so we settled on Santorini for the views and Athens for the history.

How long can Australian Passport holders stay in Europe ? Sweden and Australia /New Zealand have a bilateral visa wavier agreement with which allows Australian /New Zealand citizens to enter into Sweden for an There is a bilateral waiver agreement between Denmark and Australia .

Norway: Bilateral agreement between Norway and Australia , allowing stays for up to 90 days visa free in Norway, in addition to any days spent in a Then you have to leave the Schengen for 90 days and start again, except in Germany, where it appears you can stay indefinitely by simply leaving and

While this works well for most Aussie travellers, it's been a thorn in the side of those planning to stay longer than 90 days. One way around it is to leave the Schengen Area once your 90 days are up and spend the next 90 days in a European country outside the Schengen Area. The UK, Ireland and Croatia are popular choices – but there's another way.

In the 1950s Australia signed bilateral visa waiver agreements with a number of European countries. At various times the list has included Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Some of those countries have since rescinded those agreements, and the agreement with France came later, but for the most part those agreements still exist, and still apply despite the restrictions that apply to Aussie travellers under the Schengen Agreement.

Pilots reveal things they notice on planes when they fly as passengers that you probably miss

  Pilots reveal things they notice on planes when they fly as passengers that you probably miss Airline pilots are trained to be attentive when they're on planes so that they will notice details that slip by most passengers. Some of these details have serious safety implications.For most of us, air travel is an opportunity to sleep, work, read, or watch a movie with fewer distractions than you'd find on the ground.

The bilateral agreement between Austria and Australia allows you to spend an additional 90 days in Austria if you can prove that you have “left” the Schengen Area after the first 90 days and have not had any stay in other Schengen countries during the second 90 days.

See also: How Australians can stay in Europe ( almost ) indefinitely , visa-free. See also: 20 things that will shock first-time visitors to Europe . Listen: Flight of Fancy - the Traveller .com.au podcast with Ben Groundwater.

In essence, those visa waiver agreements allow Australian passport holders to stay in these countries without having any impact on the 90 days granted them under the Schengen Agreement. The usual period granted under the visa waiver agreements is 90 days.

Used judiciously, those visa waiver agreements give Australian passport holders the right to travel around Europe for a virtually unlimited period.

Of course, this article should not be interpreted as actual legal advice on visas. Visa and other entry and exit conditions are complex and can change at short notice, so you should always check with the embassy or consulate of the country you're visiting to get the latest advice".

The Ultimate Adventure Travel Bucket List For Thrill Seekers

  The Ultimate Adventure Travel Bucket List For Thrill Seekers The world is your oyster when it comes to travel destinations, but sometimes it can be tough to think outside the box for some real once-in-a-lifetime adventures. If you're a thrill seeker who's planning your next vacation, then this list of activities should be on your bucket list. Go out of your comfort zone and take a transformative trip that will be unforgettable. From gorilla trekking in Africa to diving in the Maldives, here are the best adventures around the world for every adrenaline junkie.

At no point in any 180 days have I stayed more than 90 days in the Schengen area; my For these reasons, bilateral agreements are best enjoyed as the FINAL destination prior to leaving Schengen altogether. 9. How can Americans visit Europe with as much flexibility and convenience as possible?

This is what the German Embassy in Canberra has to say on the issue:

"There is a visa waiver agreement between Germany and Australia which allows Australians to spend up to three months in Germany, without reference to time spent in other Schengen area countries … the agreement is a special agreement between Germany and Australia and is designed for Australians travelling through the Schengen states, who want to stay another 90 days in Germany."

And this from the Norwegian Embassy in Canberra:

"Please be advised that there is currently a separate bilateral agreement between Norway and Australia allowing stays for up to 90 days visa free in Norway in addition to any days spent in a non-Nordic Schengen country. As a consequence, Australian citizens will not be refused entry to Norway due to time spent in, for example, Spain."

While these visa waiver agreements expand the boundaries for any Aussies planning a long-term stay in Europe, using them to your advantage is not straightforward.

You need to document your travels fully. Say you spend 90 days travelling around the Schengen Area and then drive across the border from Italy into Austria. Under the visa waiver agreement between Australia and Austria you are entitled to stay for up to 90 days in Austria. However, since there is no border control between Italy and Austria there is no documentation in your passport to prove that you "left" the Schengen Area and "entered" Austria under the visa waiver agreement. It might subsequently appear to an immigration official that you have outstayed the 90-day limit under which you are entitled to remain in the Schengen Area. If you are deemed to be in breach and can't prove otherwise, that's a serious offence, with possible sanctions including a fine, deportation, a notice stamped into your passport and an entry ban. You need to validate your movements, and one way to do this is to keep all hotel and restaurant receipts and any airline, train and bus tickets.

Visiting the Demilitarised Zone on the border of North and South Korea: Touring the DMZ

  Visiting the Demilitarised Zone on the border of North and South Korea: Touring the DMZ Where kneeling for a photo might be taken as an insult and ripped jeans are a no-no.Winter snowflakes drift down outside our windows as we pass through the Civilian Control Line, 50 kilometres north of Seoul and the first checkpoint along Highway 1, the only road connecting the two Koreas. From this point north, 10 kilometres from the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) border that separates the two foes, civilian habitation is confined to just two small farming communities.

The actual period you are entitled to remain in a country under the visa waiver agreements varies. In most cases it's 90 days but there are exceptions. For example in Belgium, it's 60 days.

The Nordic countries regard themselves as a single bloc for the purposes of the visa waiver agreement. According to the Danish Embassy in Canberra, "Australian citizens are allowed to stay in Denmark visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180-day period regardless of stays in other Schengen countries. Please note that days spent in another Nordic country does count towards the 90 days maximum."

Advice from the Norwegian Embassy confirms this: "If spending 90 days in Norway, you must exit Norway and spend at least 90 days in a non-Nordic country before you are allowed to re-enter Norway."

Some other countries are less specific about the time you must remain outside before being allowed to re-enter under a visa waiver agreement.

This is the advice from the Consular Affairs and Visa Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: "In order to return to the Netherlands after a stay of 90 days, you need to leave the Schengen area for a minimal period first (for example, by travelling to the UK or any other country outside the Schengen area)."

Europe attracted 671 million international tourists in 2017: report

  Europe attracted 671 million international tourists in 2017: report Around 671 million international tourists visited European countries in 2017, marking an eight percent growth compared to 2016 thanks in large part to Chinese, Russian, French and Germany holidaymakers. According to the latest stats out of the "European Tourism 2017 Trends and Prospects" report, prepared by the European Travel Commission, nearly all monitored destinations in the region saw an increase in tourist arrivals, with more than half seeing a spike in excess of 10 percent.

"Minimal period" is vague, but it could mean that after a stay of just a few days outside Holland you would be permitted to return for another 90 days.

France is a tricky case. The bilateral visa waiver agreement between France and Australia allows Australian passport holders to remain in France for three months in any six-month period. This agreement was only signed after the Schengen Area came into existence, and it makes reference to that agreement.

Under a proposal from Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs to the French Ambassador in Australia dated 1998 and subsequently ratified by the government of the French Republic, "When (Citizens of Australia) enter the European territory of the Republic of France after having stayed in the territory of one or several states party to the Convention on the Application of the Schengen Agreement, dated 19 June 1990, the three-month period shall take effect from the date of crossing the external frontier delimiting the area of free movement constituted by those states."

It would appear therefore that if you enter another Schengen Area country other than France and stay for 30 days, you would be permitted to remain in France for only for the remaining 60 days of your allowance under the Schengen Agreement. However, if you were to enter France from the UK, for example, and before entering any other Schengen Area country, you could stay for up to three months under the visa waiver agreement without having any time subtracted from the 90 days allowed under the Schengen Agreement.

Confused?

The visa waiver agreements differ in significant areas. If you plan to make use of these agreements you need to be crystal clear that you're not breaking any rules. As far as most immigration officials within the Schengen Area are concerned, the right of Australia passport holders to travel freely are governed by the 90 days allowed under the Schengen Agreement. If you've stayed longer under a bilateral visa waiver agreement, you might need to prove its existence. When you have your itinerary worked out, write to the relevant embassies in Canberra and as concisely as possible spell out your plans for how long you plan to remain in their country as well as elsewhere within the Schengen Area and carry a hard copy of their response with you – you're probably going to need it.

How missing a flight can cause your other airline bookings to be cancelled .
You could find yourself stranded in a foreign city because of this one mistake.I had an inkling something was wrong. Normally, about 24 hours before a flight, Swiss Air will send through a boarding pass to inform you you've been automatically checked in. But I'd woken up that morning and there was nothing. No email. No boarding pass.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!