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Old 03-11-2019, 17:44   #1
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Location: Iowa & Valencia, Spain
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Schengen, USA & flying between

Retiring (finally) in June, 2020 to our sailboat in Spain. Looking at flights, wanting to book something asap while the rates are better, but it's not possible to book the return flight when we think we want to return (early November - Jan). We've heard we cannot book a one-way since we don't have a Visa - is that true? How do people book return flights? Do you book a one-way and when you're able to book the return do it then - or wait until it's closer to your departure to book a round trip. (We'll skip out of Schengen for about 6 weeks or so probably in Sept - Oct/November is what we're thinking.)

Thank you for your help.
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Old 03-11-2019, 23:33   #2
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

We are American cruisers who have spent the last two seasons in the Med doing the schengen dance. We also fly on one way tickets to a schengen area country from the US and have never been asked for proof of return ticket. We visited Europe several times prior to buying the boat and the same there - never asked.

If worse comes to worse, I was asked at the airport ticket counter in Hong Kong when traveling to Thailand for proof of a return ticket. I was flying one way due to the length of the trip (our boat was in storage in the Med for the winter) and I quickly bought a one way return on Expedia.com with my iPhone while standing there. The US version of the website has a 24 hour cancel policy (its required by the DOT) and I cancelled the ticket after getting processed through. Full refund. I would think something similar could work if push came to shove.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:48   #3
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

Officially, you do need an onward ticket...though they often don't check if there is nothing suspicious about your profile but they always have the right to check.

Also, it often depends on the airline if they check. The airline is responsible for repatriating you if you aren't allowed in, so they want evidence you have a way out that isn't on their dime...but different airlines are more strict than others.

You should be able to book November 2020 shortly and as long as it's not a restricted ticket, pay the change fee if desired.

Also, check your Schnegen limits. June-Nov is 6 months (approx 180days). You get 90 out of the last 180 days as part of the standard Schengen Visa. 6 weeks is only another 42 days...that's 132 days...what are you going to do for the remaining 48 days?
- The 90 day clock doesn't reset by leaving for a few days.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:35   #4
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

I fly one-way much more often than return. Ship's documentation, cruising permit, and anything else that shows you can leave by sea takes care of issues when they arise.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:10   #5
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

Are you saying you have NO credit card ? How do you do it ?
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:48   #6
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

We are Australians living aboard our boat in the Mediterranean. We often travel on a one way ticket when we return to our boat after visiting family and friends in Aust or other countries. Have never been asked for a return ticket, but if we were we would try showing evidence of our circumstances as liveaboards. Congrats and enjoy your retirement.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:05   #7
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Also, check your Schnegen limits. June-Nov is 6 months (approx 180days). You get 90 out of the last 180 days as part of the standard Schengen Visa. 6 weeks is only another 42 days...that's 132 days...what are you going to do for the remaining 48 days?
- The 90 day clock doesn't reset by leaving for a few days.
Valhalla is very very correct so don't ignore the simple mathematics of Schengen. Any non Schengen citizen is only allowed to stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days in a rolling 180 days. In other words for every day you stay in the zone you have to be out of the zone. You can not do 89 days, pop out for a weekend then come back for another 90 days. The only way around that is to get a Schengen Resident Visa but that raises the issue of taxation by the state issuing the full Schengen Resident Visa.

Based on your plan you can stay for the first 90 days then must leave for 90 days before you can return so if you arrive on 1st June you must leave by 29th August then can not return until late November. And Border Control do check the numbers despite what others might claim.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:48   #8
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

We are US based, living on our boat in the Med about 6 months of the year. We've never been asked about a return ticket. Once, when I was concerned about it, I bought a 39 Euro ticket from Paris to London on the cheapest day/carrier I could find. You won't need it in all likihood, but at most, the cheapest proof of ticket from any point in the Eurozone to any point out of the Eurozone works. For you, it could even be a ferry ticket from Tarifa to Tangier, if that's cheaper. You don't have to use it, if asked, you just have to have a way out of the Eurozone.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:39   #9
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

Both Valhalla 360 and KAS are 100% correct.*

The following is lengthy but hopefully will help many who are uncertain about the rules.

We bought and keep our boat in Mallorca. I hold 2 passports: American and British.* Prior to the Brexit issues, over the years my British passport has enabled us to go in and out of Europe for unlimited visits and unlimited time frames even though my wife with her US passport was technically restricted to 90 days in any 180, she was given the same privileges as I, as my spouse. Now, it appears that my British passport will not afford me any advantage over any other traveller from a Nation that would normally be offered 90 days without a visa. For 2020 as we still do not know the final Brexit rules and regs we have booked to be in Mallorca for 90 days so as to carefully comply (nobody wants a stamp in their passport stating that they have 'overstayed there visit as it is conceivable that one might be stopped from entry for some years ahead). To help one calculate when you must leave the EU, use the www.schengenvisainfo.com/visa-calculator. It also has a wealth of EU entry information. This past May we left the US for a 4.5 month trip to stay on our boat in Mallorca but when my wife checked in with her US passport and a return ticket for a date that was over 90 days in Europe, they refused to let her board the flight until I was able to show that she was traveling with me, a British passport holder. So watch out, they are strict about the return ticket date being within 90 days unless you have a visa to the contrary.
Regarding tax. If you buy a boat in the EU make sure the VAT has been paid because it is a hefty 21%. But if you apply for residency in order to be able to stay for longer than 90 days you could be liable for tax on your boat again (even if already paid).
Feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to give accurate answers. Cheers.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:43   #10
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

AZUS. If you have the time, please contact me. captainnick@comcast.net
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Old 05-11-2019, 13:07   #11
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

U.S. Travelers in Europe
If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement is a treaty creating Europe's Schengen Area, which encompasses 26 European countries, where internal border checks have largely been abolished for short-term tourism, a business trip, or transit to a non-Schengen destination. Because many Schengen countries assume that all travelers will stay for the full three months allowed for visa-free visitors, we recommend the following:

PASSPORT

Have at least six-month’s validity remaining on your passport whenever you travel abroad.
Check the expiration date on your passport carefully before traveling to Europe – especially children’s passports, which are valid five years, not 10 years like those issued to U.S. citizens aged 16 and older.

If you:

Spend continuously or cumulatively three months in the Schengen area during any six-month period, you must wait another three months from the last date of departure from the Schengen area before you can apply to enter the Schengen area again without a visa.

Do not meet these conditions, or if you plan to stay in the Schengen area longer than three months, contact the embassy of the country where you plan to spend the majority of your time to apply for a visa.
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Old 06-11-2019, 20:30   #12
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Re: Schengen, USA & flying between

We fly to Europe on 1-way tickets, and the airlines have not stopped us, nor have officials in Europe asked to see return tickets (not yet). But it is very important, even if very inconvenient, to make sure you get your passport stamped the day you arrive in Euroland. A fender bender, etc., will result in the police checking your passport and determining that you have not over-stayed. You have the burden of proof. Usually, this is accomplished at main airports, but if you arrive on a ferry or military plane, etc., you may have to take a taxi to the nearest national police station to get stamped in. And make sure they didn't run out of ink and you can't read the date.
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