Schengen Short Stay Calculator: How-To Calculation Guide & Tips

by Europe, Visa Guides & Immigration34 comments

If you are a non-EU (European Union) national who is planning to travel or are currently traveling in Europe’s Schengen Area with a tourist visa, you must pay special attention to your 90-day limit so as not to overstay your welcome. (Schengen Short Stay Calculator)

In fact, as of October 18, 2013, member states have agreed to redefine the concept and calculation of ‘short stay‘ in the Schengen Area and this change can truly affect your travel plans! It’s a piece of old news, but still, it seems like a lot of people do not know this yet (with some travelers being deported or fined). As such, I wanted to discuss this in more detail so you don’t encounter any problems during your Eurotrip!

Schengen Short Stay Calculator Update

OLD DEFINITION: Non-EU foreign nationals are only allowed to stay for a total of 90 days within a 180-day period from the date of 1st entry.
NEW DEFINITION: Non-EU foreign nationals are only allowed to stay for a total of 90 days within any given 180-day period.

  • This ONLY applies to short-term business/tourist visas or ‘short stays’, regardless if you are a non-EU national that is visa-required or exempt. On the other hand, those who have a residence permit or are allowed to have a long-term stay in the Schengen Area (that is longer than 3 months) are NOT included in this rule.

…So, what does this mean? And what’s the difference…?

The basic rule that a short tourist stay NOT exceeding 90 days (3 months) remains, however, the way to calculate the length of 180 days (6 months) is the concept that has been changed.

– – –

In the old definition, non-EU nationals are allowed to enter Schengen for 90 days within each period of 180 days, wherein the 1st day is calculated from the date of the first entry.

Over the years, this had led to a lot of confusion and varying interpretations that resulted to:

  • Unexpected entry denials by Schengen Countries
  • Reduced duration of stay
  • Non-EU nationals taking advantage of an ‘unclear’ rule

Regarding the 3rd bullet above, it is said to be typically done by those who are visa-exempted as well as those who are granted multiple-entry visas.

For you to better visualize how it worked, let’s take an example that is discussed in this article. Accordingly, “the old rule made it possible for a person to spend most of the 90-day period in the Schengen Area at the end of the 180-day period. [And then they will] enter again for another 180-day period and spend the allowed 90 days at the beginning of that new period.

This is at the most extreme but apparently, some countries had allowed it because it’s how the old rule was phrased. To best illustrate this, see the diagram below:

Schengen Area Short Stay: Old Definition Calculation

You will clearly see how it can enable a non-EU national to stay in the Schengen period for almost a continuous 180-day period. They only have to leave the Schengen Area for probably a day or two (usually called a ‘reset’), spend it in a nearby European country that is not part of the Schengen territories (like the U.K.), and then come back in again to fulfill another period.

Often times, so as not to put it in such a severe way, some would do it like this:

Schengen Area Tourist Visa Stay: Old Definition Calculator

Still and the same, it would seem like one can stay in the Schengen zone almost in a steady manner with only short breaks of exits in between.

– – –

With the new definition, the above scenarios are NO longer possible.

You can still country hop in Europe, alternating from one Schengen country to a non-Schengen one and then back to another Schengen country; however, you won’t be able to do it in such a quick and continuous manner.

Given the phrase at any 180-day period‘, instead of calculating forward from the first date of entry into the Schengen Area as per the old rule, you will now have to calculate your 180 days by looking backward at each time you enter (or re-enter) the Schengen Area.

In a way, there is like this “moving 180-day reference period” that you have to consider.

Sounds confusing? Maybe the illustration below will make it clearer for you:

New 90-Day Calculation

If you still find a hard time understanding this, you can always head to the European Commission’s official calculator for short Schengen Area stays where you can input your travel itinerary and it will confirm if you’re overstaying or not.

*You can also use this other calculator: [click]

• • •

Who is Affected by This?

As previously mentioned, this new rule ONLY affects non-EU foreign nationals (also called as third country nationals) that are:

  • On a multiple-entry short-term business or tourist visa
  • On a short-stay as a visa-exempted national (passport already serves as a ‘visa’)

The new rule does NOT apply to:

  • Non-EU foreign nationals who are on a long-term or long-stay visa
  • Non-EU foreign nationals who have a residence permit or any other long-term immigration permits
  • EU / EEA (European Economic Area) nationals
    > EU: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
    > EEA: Includes EU countries (above) as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway that are non-EU member states. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but it has the same rights as EEA countries therefore they are still a part of this group.
  • “Visa waiver agreements concluded by the EU with countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Saint Kitts, and Nevis, Mauritius, and Seychelles where the old definition (“3 months stay during a 6-month period following the date of first entry”) continues to apply.

If in case you are wondering what European countries are member states of the Schengen Area and who are the visa-exempted nationals, simply check this article wherein I have discussed all these things in detail.

NOTE: Another thing that you should know about is that the Schengen Area requires passports to be issued within the past 10 years and have at least 3 months of validity remaining beyond the intended date of departure from the Schengen Area.

• • •

What Happens if You Overstay?

As a general rule, anyone who overstays will be fined or deported — worst-case scenario is that the offender will be banned from the Schengen Area for a period of time (1 to 3 years) or even indefinitely!

So please make sure that you are fully aware of this new rule; share it as well with your friends who are planning on a ‘Eurotrip’ sometime soon.

Wanna stay longer in Europe LEGALLY?

Here is a comprehensive guide about the different ways you can properly stay in the Schengen Area longer.

NOTE: Every Schengen country has its own set of rules and policies; some would simply ask that you pay a fine, others would deport you, while the rest would ban you from entering. It is said that since it is a new rule, there are a few countries that are currently strict on checking and calculating your number of days (e.g. Slovenia, Germany, Belgium, and Greece). However, this does not mean that other countries won’t check — they might and they will, and as time passes, they will become stricter too, so it’s best that you abide by the law.

DISCLAIMER: It is your responsibility to ensure that the facts I have stated here are still up-to-date or true at the time that you read this Schengen short stay calculator article.


• • •

Schengen Short Stay Calculator


I hope this article that discusses the Schengen short stay calculator will help you plan your EU itinerary!

• • •

Have you seen my latest vlog?

How I Afford to Travel the World (Vlog)

About Me

About Aileen : Sidebar

Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (online entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.

My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel no matter the odds — and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel hacks, guides, resources, tips, and MORE!

Follow Along


Trending Now

Shop Local: Top 30 Christmas Gift Ideas 2023 for Her & Him (Philippines Online Shopping Grouped by Category)

Start shopping for presents! These Christmas gift ideas cover Filipino-made items: from cheap to luxurious clothes, holiday boxes and more.

7 Surprising and Wonderful Facts About South Korea You Need to Know

Explore these 7 must-know surprising facts about South Korea and discover the fascinating culture and traditions of this vibrant nation!

20 Best Spots for Autumn in Japan: Top Places for Fall Foliage Viewing

Find out the top 20 places for autumn foliage viewing — experience the breathtaking beauty of autumn in Japan like never before!

Korean Visa Application Requirements for Filipino Tourists in Manila, Philippines (Single / Multiple Entry)

Make your South Korea travel dreams come true and get a single or multiple South Korean visa in Manila, Philippines!

Seoul Itinerary: Ultimate DIY Travel Guide for South Korea for 5 Days (More or Less)

Heading over to South Korea anytime soon? Follow this ultimate DIY travel guide in order to make the most of your Seoul itinerary!

Learn Today

How to Start a Successful Blog

and Earn Money!

Up for Grabs


Use this promo code on Klook to get 5% off on ANY tours & hotels worldwide!


1 2 3 4
  1. Holly

    Great info. I love the way you set it up! Would never want to overstay in the future.

    • Aileen

      Thanks Holly! Hope this helps guide you well. Cheers to your future travels!

  2. Rechito

    Great information, I didn’t know about this and I’m planning to travel to Europe next year. Thanks for doing all the research for me.

    • Aileen

      Glad to be of help, Rechito! Safe travels :)

  3. Anna

    I think it’s change for better, but it might get a bit confusing – when I read the rule I didn’t understand what changed but your graph explains it all – thanks!

    • Aileen

      Yes, I think so too so that others won’t exploit the rules too much. Glad that the illustrations made it better for you to understand ;)

  4. Baldpacker

    Great post!!! I am actually in the process of calculating my stay to ensure I didn’t go over the limit but was getting confused by conflicting posts online. This sets the visa rules straight. Thanks for doing the in-depth research so I didn’t have to!

    • Aileen

      I’m really glad to hear this! Glad I helped you ensure that you won’t overstay. Enjoy your trip!

  5. Penda

    This is quite informative, thanks for sharing! And you really did your best to make me understand but there are certain things I’m so lazy to comprehend so I’ll go ahead and use the calculator you offered LOL

    • Aileen

      HAHA! Thanks Penda, I tried my best in the illustrations :P but indeed, the calculator really helps. Glad you found this helpful!

1 2 3 4

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest