At present, non-European nationals are not permitted to stay in the Europe Union for more than 90 days as per the Schengen agreement that allows free movement of those residing in 180 day period, from 26 countries which cover the union. These stretch from Malta and Cyprus in the south to Sweden and Iceland in the North.
Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many other nations are affected by this rule. As per the current rules, people with such passports are allowed only for 90 day period within the Schengen area.
The Cruising Association has been wondering since long time and advising non-European members on how to get rid of the present restrictions, members are also updating the Cruising Association about their experience whenever things would go wrong.
The best and appropriate way to get residence permit is to obtain it in advance. And this is impossible as yachtsmen have no fixed residence and are always on boat cruising.
Last week the European Commission has put forward proposal to make changes to EU’s visa regulations for third-country visitors to the Schengen area. The object is to simplify and shorten the process for those wishing to visit the European Union for temporary stay, with the intention of improving job creation and economic activity.
The Schengen region covers 22 EU member countries plus Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein Iceland. To visit Schengen area there is no single visitor visa. Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus may join and are waiting to get the approval.
The UK is not part of the Schengen region. Though Ireland is interested in joining the Schengen region, it cannot join as long as UK joins.