The following questions may have crossed your mind. How do I travel to Europe for more than 3 months without having legal problems? Or, how do I make more trips to Europe without staying illegally? Keep reading for a step by step guide to everything you need to know.

I always recommend that the first thing you should do is to have all the documents you need to travel to Europe in order, and thus not have problems with the immigration authorities.

Caption: Plaza Mayor of Madrid. Spain is part of the Schengen Zone and a member of the European Union.
Plaza Mayor of Madrid. Spain is part of the Schengen Zone and a member of the European Union.

1. The Basics: requirements to enter Europe and other points to note

First of all, there are certain requirements to travel to Europe as a tourist without a Schengen visa. By clicking on the article (requirements to travel to Europe without a visa) you can read all the information about it.

However, from 2021, travelers from third countries who do not need to obtain a tourist visa must apply for an online authorization to travel to Europe: ETIAS, new visa system for Europe from 2021.

Regarding Latin America, citizens of the following countries can travel to Europe without a Schengen visa:

ArgentinaEl SalvadorPanama
Costa RicaNicaraguaVenezuela

– Currently, only citizens of the following Latin American countries need to obtain a visa to travel to the Schengen area for tourism: Belize, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

– The maximum time to travel in the Schengen area without a visa is 90 days (note: this is not the same as three months) in any period of 180 days, this is for short-term stays.

– The 90 days (three months approximate) in the Schengen Area, do not have to be consecutive days but are cumulative in the space of 180 days.

– Before traveling more time in Europe without worrying about the visa, remember to renew your passport or process a new one so that you have a long period of validity.

2. Which countries do not need a visa to travel to Europe?

Citizens from the following 62 countries can travel to the Schengen Zone for periods of up to 90 days without having to process a visa. Travelers exempt from a European visa need to travel with a valid passport and other reequirements from one of the following countries:

AlbaniaJapanSolomon Islands
Antigua and BarbudaSaint Kitts and NevisSingapore
ArgentinaSouth KoreaSan Marino
AustraliaSaint LuciaEl Salvador
Bosnia and Herzegovina North MacedoniaTimor-Leste
BruneiMoldovaTrinidad and Tobago
BahamasMarshall Islands Ukraine
CanadaMauritiusUnited States
ColombiaMalaysiaSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
Costa RicaNicaraguaVenezuela
Dominica NauruVanuatu
MicronesiaNew ZealandSamoa
GrenadaPanamaHong Kong SAR
GeorgiaPeruMacao SAR
GuatemalaPalauUnited Arab Emirates 

3. Steps to follow to travel to Europe for more than 3 Months

After seeing reviewing the costs and knowing that a trip to Europe does not come out cheap, I imagine that you want to take full advantage and as much time as possible on the continent, I will reveal the “secret” to allow you to stay for more than 90 days without having legal problems.

To do this it is necessary to know two very specific terms that you must take into account to exceed 90 days:

– What is the European Union and what are its countries?

– What is the Schengen area/zone and what are its member states?

With these two answers it will be easier for you to understand the “trick” to stay more than three months in Europe, and without exaggeration, you could spend more than a year legally and without cheating.

What is the European Union and what are its countries?

The European Union is an economic and political association unique in its kind and composed of 28 European countries that together cover a large part of the continent.

As the previous paragraph states, there are 28 countries that it is made up of:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

How to Travel to Europe More Than 3 Months Without Issues
The European Union countries.

To see a constantly updated list you can enter this link.

What is the Schengen Area and what are its member states?

The Schengen area or agreement without borders, allows free movement of people between member countries.

By 2019, this space is made up of 26 European countries:

Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

By this I mean that you can travel for up to 90 days to any country without the need to manage a visa for each member state, since there is no visa control at the borders of these nations thanks to this treaty.

▷ For updated information on the countries, you can enter this official website of the European Union.

Having knowledge of the previous paragraphs, it is time to do your planning and ready the suitcase to travel in Europe more than three months.

4. Travel itinerary through Europe without leaving the Continent

Now that we know the theory, it is time to practice with the simulation of a travel route to Europe mixing days in countries inside and outside the Schengen area:

– Enter the Schengen Area. You have up to 90 days to enjoy all the dream places.

– After the previous trip, you could now travel to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), for a maximum of 6 months for most Latin and American tourists. So you could also take advantage of doing a short and intensive English course or something similar. Good plan, right?

– You can re-enter the Schengen Area, only if you have been in the United Kingdom and/or Ireland for more than 3 months.

Bucharest, the beautiful capital of Romania, a member country of the EU but not of the Schengen Area.
Bucharest, the beautiful capital of Romania, a member country of the EU but not of the Schengen Area.

– Now it is time to leave Schengen territory again, and a good option is to go to Eastern European countries such as: Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, Serbia, Moldova, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Ukraine, Croatia and North Macedonia. These European nations have cheaper prices than the rest of the more touristy continent, and with incredible landscapes few known.

– To continue I recommend you consider traveling through Europe without changing the continent to other countries that are still outside the Schengen area: Ireland, Cyprus and the principality of Andorra.

– And so on, travel knowing European destinations, taking care not to fall into illegality, so it is your responsibility according to your nationality, to understand the requirements and the time spent as a tourist in countries outside the Schengen area.

As you have seen in the example, you can travel for tourism to Europe for more than three months, even longer than one year legally and without having any immigration problems. If so, think about the sabbatical year you can do traveling by train.

Other points to leave the Schengen Area

The good thing about being in Europe is that you can book cheaper flights to travel to various parts of the world.

Therefore, it is good to consider leaving the Schengen area and changing the continent and then re-entering.

And if I may put examples on the table, you can go to Africa: get to know Morocco, Egypt and South Africa. Or travel to Turkey in Asia where there are many countries that are very cheap for tours and standard of living.

Flag of Morocco in Tangier. A destination very close to Spain.
Flag of Morocco in Tangier. A destination very close to Spain.

Other Cases to travel to Europe more than 90 days

I know that some travelers have stayed in Spain for more than 90 days and were able to travel through Europe as a tourist illegally, but it is something that I do not recommend at all because you run the risk of being deported and cannot return to the Schengen area in the near future. Do not do it!

For this reason, one of the tips that seems obvious is that you do not stay longer than the time allowed if you travel for tourism.

Travel Insurance for Europe

If your idea is to travel more time in Europe, I recommend taking out a one-year or annual travel insurance policy. it will be cheaper than buying for months.

✔️ By reading this blog, you have a 5% discount when you book your Travel Insurance with Iati Insurance.

It’s your turn

What do you think of these options or plans to travel to Europe more than three months? Are you ready to travel for a while without worrying about immigration issues?

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