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Old 21-07-2019, 15:55   #16
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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Simple procedure (having just done it) ...


1. Search Schengen area and learn which countries are involved (+ rules etc).
2. If you have a passport from one of them, use it as you can travel freely in any & all of those countries, indefinitely.
3. If not, then plan on staying only 3 months, at any time, anywhere in Europe ... the rule is 90 days in and 90 days out (of all the countries in the Schengen area). A day out in another country (say Turkey) does not allow you to return and the 90 day count to start again.
4. To stay longer, you will need a visa. One for 12 months can be applied for (retirement Visa usually the easiest), but you cannot work. You will need to prove things like ... your health won't burden their health systems, clean police record and your ability to support yourself financially (somewhere around 2k Euro per month).

Your vessel is another question!

Good luck ...
If I check in with a US passport, can I check out with an Italian one?
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Old 21-07-2019, 16:08   #17
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pirate Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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If I check in with a US passport, can I check out with an Italian one?
No.. because you've entered as an American so if you passed the 90 days your in the dodo..
Go for the Delaware LLC and your Italian passport, all it needs is chump change in comparison to 21% of the value of your boat.. and you still get to fly the stars and stripes.
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Old 21-07-2019, 22:46   #18
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

VAT is based on residency not citizenship. Use your Italian passport in Schengen and you can stay as long as you want. As long as you are not resident your boat can be in the EU for 18 months at a time without paying VAT.
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Old 21-07-2019, 23:33   #19
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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VAT is based on residency not citizenship. Use your Italian passport in Schengen and you can stay as long as you want. As long as you are not resident your boat can be in the EU for 18 months at a time without paying VAT.
Correct. It is based on Residency not Citizenship.

But you still need to be careful. If an official catches on that you have been in the EU for the last 18 months continuously, they may decide you meet residency requirements. I believe several countries, it's as low as 6 months and you are considered a resident. This could also trigger income tax and other issues.

Bouncing around between EU countries will muddy the waters most of the time as residency is still country specific but if you get an ornery official, he may decide you owe the VAT and issue a bill (possibly with impounding the boat and adding penalties for not paying when due) then it becomes your problem to prove otherwise.
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Old 22-07-2019, 01:05   #20
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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Correct. It is based on Residency not Citizenship.

But you still need to be careful. If an official catches on that you have been in the EU for the last 18 months continuously, they may decide you meet residency requirements. I believe several countries, it's as low as 6 months and you are considered a resident. This could also trigger income tax and other issues.

Bouncing around between EU countries will muddy the waters most of the time as residency is still country specific but if you get an ornery official, he may decide you owe the VAT and issue a bill (possibly with impounding the boat and adding penalties for not paying when due) then it becomes your problem to prove otherwise.
Thanks Valhalla. The days to be considered a resident in Italy are 183, but you also have to meet the following criteria:

I criteri per la determinazione della residenza fiscale delle persone fisiche sono dettati dall’articolo 2 del D.P.R. n. 917/1986 (“TUIR”), il quale stabilisce che ai fini delle imposte sui redditi si considerano residenti nello Stato le persone fisiche che per la maggior parte del periodo d’imposta (i) sono iscritte nelle anagrafi della popolazione residente, (ii) hanno la residenza o (iii) il domicilio nel territorio dello Stato ai sensi del codice civile. Le condizioni appena indicate sono tra loro alternative; ciò vuol dire che la sussistenza anche di una sola di esse è sufficiente a far ritenere che un soggetto sia qualificato ai fini fiscali residente in Italia.

Basically you have to meet any of these 3 criteria (apply for residency, take residency or domicile) for at least 183 days

Source here.

I will not stay for sure 180 days. And this I think will solve the VAT problem.

Regarding the Visa problem, I can check out with my US passport, sail to Tunisia and check in and out with my Italian passport to prove I've been out of the country. Then check back in Italy with my Italian passport.

That would solve the problem, I think.
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Old 22-07-2019, 01:30   #21
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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Thanks Valhalla. The days to be considered a resident in Italy are 183, but you also have to meet the following criteria:

I criteri per la determinazione della residenza fiscale delle persone fisiche sono dettati dall’articolo 2 del D.P.R. n. 917/1986 (“TUIR”), il quale stabilisce che ai fini delle imposte sui redditi si considerano residenti nello Stato le persone fisiche che per la maggior parte del periodo d’imposta (i) sono iscritte nelle anagrafi della popolazione residente, (ii) hanno la residenza o (iii) il domicilio nel territorio dello Stato ai sensi del codice civile. Le condizioni appena indicate sono tra loro alternative; ciò vuol dire che la sussistenza anche di una sola di esse è sufficiente a far ritenere che un soggetto sia qualificato ai fini fiscali residente in Italia.

Basically you have to meet any of these 3 criteria (apply for residency, take residency or domicile) for at least 183 days

Source here.

I will not stay for sure 180 days. And this I think will solve the VAT problem.

Regarding the Visa problem, I can check out with my US passport, sail to Tunisia and check in and out with my Italian passport to prove I've been out of the country. Then check back in Italy with my Italian passport.

That would solve the problem, I think.
Ultimately, I think you would have to speak to a lawyer (probably an Italian lawyer) and possibly test it in the courts...but if you are found to be in Italy for over 183 days (roughly 6 months), they can decide you have taken residency or domicile even if you don't claim it, so it really is the number of days that you have to watch (or hope they don't catch on).

Going in and out using different passports...helps with the visa rules but with the Italian passport, that's not an issue anyway. It does muddy the waters but if they ever have reason to check, it's not hard to combine the time under both passports and hold you to the residency rules based on that and yes, they can figure out if you hold dual passports pretty easily.

This does bring up an idea I haven't heard discussed before, what if you had a USA and Canadian visa...could you leave the EU at 90 days for a day and return on the other passport and not be in violation of the Schengen? Probably not worth getting a new citizenship just for Schengen use but many people have it anyway.
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Old 22-07-2019, 08:41   #22
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
This does bring up an idea I haven't heard discussed before, what if you had a USA and Canadian visa...could you leave the EU at 90 days for a day and return on the other passport and not be in violation of the Schengen? Probably not worth getting a new citizenship just for Schengen use but many people have it anyway.
No. It doesn't work like that ... the laws concern when YOU are in the country not when your passport is in the country. Switching between passports just obfuscates the paper trail, but doesn't alter the fact that you have entered or left a country ... so you are just trying to game the system, and if they try to check, you will lose the game.

Once the OP enters Italy (and probably any other EU country) his US citizenship (and passport) is of no consequence, because he is Italian and an EU citizen ... The rules for US citizens are of no concern to him, he needs to look up the rules for non-resident EU citizens.
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Old 22-07-2019, 13:07   #23
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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No. It doesn't work like that ... the laws concern when YOU are in the country not when your passport is in the country. Switching between passports just obfuscates the paper trail, but doesn't alter the fact that you have entered or left a country ... so you are just trying to game the system, and if they try to check, you will lose the game.

Once the OP enters Italy (and probably any other EU country) his US citizenship (and passport) is of no consequence, because he is Italian and an EU citizen ... The rules for US citizens are of no concern to him, he needs to look up the rules for non-resident EU citizens.
This is not true. In Brazil for example, I checked out with my US passport and checked back in with the Italian one. Both the Polizia Federal (Federal Police) and the Receita Federal (Customs) approved this (I asked in advance).

I'm not trying to game the system, I just have the privilege to have 2 passports. Not many people are as lucky.
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Old 22-07-2019, 22:05   #24
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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No. It doesn't work like that ... the laws concern when YOU are in the country not when your passport is in the country. Switching between passports just obfuscates the paper trail, but doesn't alter the fact that you have entered or left a country ... so you are just trying to game the system, and if they try to check, you will lose the game.

Once the OP enters Italy (and probably any other EU country) his US citizenship (and passport) is of no consequence, because he is Italian and an EU citizen ... The rules for US citizens are of no concern to him, he needs to look up the rules for non-resident EU citizens.
My ending comment wasn't about the OP but someone who has two non-EU passports.

Also, I'm not sure you are correct as your approval to enter is based on the passport you use. The only question is do they cross reference both passports and add the time together. But even then, which rules do they use? Different countries have different visa rules for different nationalities.
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Old 22-07-2019, 22:32   #25
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

I very much doubt that you can legally use two different passports to enter Schengen but you probably often get away with it. If detected there should be enough info stored to make sure you get a very long ban on going to Europe.
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Old 22-07-2019, 23:25   #26
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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My ending comment wasn't about the OP but someone who has two non-EU passports.

Also, I'm not sure you are correct as your approval to enter is based on the passport you use. The only question is do they cross reference both passports and add the time together. But even then, which rules do they use? Different countries have different visa rules for different nationalities.
Each time you enter a country it will be according to whatever they deem the appropriate rules to be ... usually the rules for citizens of the passport you present. And if those rules are dependent on where you have been in the past ... it will be where you have been in the past that counts, not what stamps are present/absent in your passport.
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Old 23-07-2019, 04:11   #27
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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I very much doubt that you can legally use two different passports to enter Schengen but you probably often get away with it. If detected there should be enough info stored to make sure you get a very long ban on going to Europe.
You can't use two at the same time but you can most certainly use different ones on different trips.

The question is does the legal language consider those entries independently. While what you say sounds logical, often legal rules don't follow logic. Particularly for unusual situations, you can find odd but perfectly legal loopholes.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:14   #28
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

The majority on customs officials won't give you any grief. And those that do will just inform you. If you're really worried just "lose" your passport and start from scratch.
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Old 03-08-2019, 17:19   #29
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

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Your Italian passport means you are liable for full VAT as soon as you enter the EU zone. There's no way around that as it is based on citizenship not residence. As an Italian passport holder you are an Italian citizen. Citizenship comes with responsibilities.

However by using your Italian passport not your US one that does get you round the Schengen problem immediately as it no longer applies to you. However if anyone else in the family does not have an EU second citizenship then you are still limited to 90 days in any rolling 180 day period. Even the long stay visa's some have mentioned will NOT get you out of that as these are not full Schengen visas but long stay visas for that country alone.
Interesting point. Even if the OP checked into say France with the US vessel, the French may know of the Italian citizenship and rightfully know the US passport was presented in order to avoid the duty.

Therefore, renouncing the Italian citizenship might be required to avoid duty being due.
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Old 11-02-2021, 15:39   #30
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Re: Cruising West Med with USA passport for 6 months

We understand Gibraltar will soon be Schengen (April 2021), so for us (our boat is in Valencia, Spain - we are USA citizens) to get out of the Schengen area we are looking at Morocco. But the 2 marinas we thought would work are also Schengen...so, does anyone know of a marina in the Med in Morocco that might be good to dock our Amel 54? (the marinas that are off limits for us are in Ceuta and Melilla)

Thank you






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Very frequent question. Search the forum using the term Schengen and you will find several long, detailed discussions on the issue.


Short answer, leave Schengen for 90 days. Some options are UK, Ireland, Gibraltar, North Africa, Turkey
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