Staying in Europe (Schengen area) for more than 90 days…

90 days in Schengen is not enough! Unless you plan on spending no more than 2 days in each country you’ll miss out on large swathes of Europe, so it’s worth figuring out a few ways to get a bit longer time in arguably the world’s greatest continent 🙂

I’ve listed a below a few ways this can be done…

Working holiday Visa (Germany and Italy)

I am not fully up to date on how this works with America, but I’ll give the low down for all Aussie travellers. All visa applications must be lodged in person in Australia. You must make an appointment with your local Italian or German consulate. The working holiday visa programme is a bilateral partnership with Germany and Australia and Australia and Italy. Although considered a working holiday visa you do not actually have to work during your stay! You should apply at least 3 months in advance, and for the Italian visa you have to go to a police headquarters of an Italian city to get a permit to stay. Check out the websites for the full information on how to obtain either visa.


Got an English or European grandparent?

If you’ve got relatives less than 2 degrees of separation away you’re set! Apply for a passport and you can live and work anywhere in EU provided that country is Schengen. I’m half Brit, thanks mum! So I can live and work here 😀


Student visa

This is fairly simple to get in theory… You just have to enrol in a university in a Schengen Country. There will be a fair bit of bureaucracy as you’ll have to get certificates from your home country school, police certificates, passport photos, have residency status, health insurance and explain why you want to be in the course. The university you apply for will give you the full run down on this. Note… Saying because you wanna travel Europe is not a good idea 😉 Different courses obviously cost different amounts but some of the Masters programs are insanely good value (under 1000 euros a semester). So, to get to stay in Europe for a few years, it’s a pretty sweet deal!


Be self employed

If you’re self employed you can get a special visa. As far as I’m aware only Germany offers this (I met a traveller who had one for there). He had one year in the EU but it is available for up to 2. As long as you can show you’re a freelancer of some sort you can get it! So if you’re a copyrighter, ghost writer, web designer, agent or something similar you’re in luck!

To get this visa you must apply when IN Germany. It’s quite quick, generally taking under a week. You’ll need all the usual bureaucratic stuff like a passport, passport photos and bank statements. In addition to that you have to get health insurance in Germany (Super easy, just go to the GKV – it’s a government office – and pay for self insurance), have a copy of your resume (to prove you are a freelance worker), and evidence that you’re living in Germany (any rental agreement is fine). Find a german friend (they’re quiet easy to find, great people, even if they often have a somewhat weird humour 😉 ) to speed the process along and you’re well on your way! Don’t worry too much if yo udo it near the end of your stay of your original 90 day visa, the german government is pretty efficient and if you’re close to the end they’ll give you a 3 month temporary visa to tide you over while the work visa processes.


And… if all else fails… shack up with a European! There’s some very good looking men and women in this part of the world 😉


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