One of the most impressive accomplishments of the EU is relative freedom of movement among member states. This is known as the Schengen Zone, and it includes a few non-EU countries as well. Within Schengen, US, CA & AU citizens, as well as many others, do not require a tourist visa to enter or travel around.
Although there are often patrols (technically illegal), which the police call identity checks, you are free to roam the vast majority of the European continent without having to go through countless border checkpoints.
If you’re interested in visiting, studying, or working in the EU, or if you need to make a visa run, here’s what you need to know. *Note that some countries do have their own policies, especially the UK, so be sure to double check on their official immigration websites.
Tourist Visa Information
Americans, Australians and Canadians automatically receive a 90 days within 180 days tourist visa on arrival. Passports are stamped without fee at all airports and land borders.
However, some land borders and airports can be stricter than others. To avoid being interrogated, detained and/or sent home, here’s what you need to know.
1) Present Yourself Well
If you look like a migrant worker with nothing but a backpacker, there’s a good chance you’re going to be detained. This is especially true if you’re entering Europe via UK airports or from Morocco or Turkey land borders. So try and look half decent. If you’re flying into the UK be sure to check out, Visa Requirements For The UK.
2) Show Proof Of A Return Ticket / Sufficient Funds
Although not a requirement, it’s always good to have a return ticket to avoid suspicion. If you don’t have a return ticket you may want to consider faking one. It’s something I do all the time. Check out How To Make A Fake Plane Ticket.
It’s also not a bad idea to be able to prove sufficient funds.
How To Extend Your EU Tourist Visa
After 3 months you need to either exit Schengen, apply for an extension, or stay and risk it. Since there are
If you want to stay more than 180 days in the EU, you can either apply for an extension or make a visa run.
A visa run refers to visiting a non Schengen Zone country in order to renew your 180 days. The easiest countries to do this in are Morocco, Turkey, and the Ukraine. However, you will
Europe is a great place to go backpacking simply because you don’t need a visa to visit for up to 180 days. For official information for EU and Schengen member tourist, work, and study visas head to, European Commission’s Home Affairs. For individual country rankings on backpacker friendliness, check out the Top Countries For Budget Backpacking Map. Good luck and safe travels!