Long term live-aboard cruising on European waterways cannot be over for us Brits

saab96

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My long-standing wish to cruise the European waterways from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, even to the Black Sea, seem to be thoroughly Brexited. But I don’t want to give up on it just because the ERG got their little England way. Thanks to individual countries holding out the welcoming hand of residency, we can escape the 90/180 rule in a specific country but not the rest of Schengen, as we always could until 1st January.
So, I would like to know if there any provision or wriggle-room or loophole in either the (nowhere yet complete) withdrawal agreement or in the Schengen rules themselves to be a non-resident, live aboard wanderer across Schengen for third country citizens like us Brits? I can't be the only person wanting to still cruise and park up for more than 90 days out of 180 in Europe.
I have approached some of our embassies but they only know what they know and it isn’t much. Government websites are still struggling with the other things they never thought about until 2nd January. European waterway specialists seem to be baffled by Brexit rules and consequences.
What do people here know?
 

Trident

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Sadly the rules are very clear. You can only be in Schengen countries for 90 days in 180. If you take residency in one EU country that allows full time there but still only 90 in 180 elsewhere . Your only choices are to plan a route that ensures you can be out of Schengen within 90 days and then have a place outside Schengen to spend the next 90 days (which I'd guess is impossible on inland waterways) or simply stick to your home resident country and cruise out for 45 days outbound and then 45 back and then stay "home" for 90 days and start again in a different direction.

Basically unless new treaties and rules are agreed with the EU in the future its gone for good.
 

syvictoria

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Hi. It is painful..., and yes, it would seem that residency/long stay visas and/or the Schengen shuffle are the only real options, unless you (or a significant other) have access to an EU passport? As you say, residency only solves the problem for one EU state - 90/180 remains the rule outside of this (with the exception of travel to/from the country of residency, I believe). Residency rules differ between countries (sovereignty and all that jazz!) and often carries not insignificant costs and requirements. It's also important to consider potential tax implications, especially if you're planning on stays of more than 183 days in any one country. There may also be restrictions on work, depending upon the permit/visa.

Sadly there are no 'loop holes' that I'm aware of at present. Enforcement has yet to be seen, but I suspect the risk of being barred future entry back into the EU will be more than many are prepared to risk. It's a pity that we don't have more third country nationals on these forums, as they would have more first hand knowledge, given that none of this is actually new. I'm sure that this forum used (some years back) to have a few American regulars...

(I may have repeated some of Trident's response above as I see that we were typing at the same time!)
 

BoyBlue49

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I could be in same situation in a year or so, just waiting for the dust to settle. I hear that NL are matching our 180 days and Uk government may try to talk the rest of Schengen countries to follow.
With regards to NL, their 180 days in 180, does the clock stop at 180 and reset. Unlikely I think.
There is always the option of extended visas.
 

Kelpie

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There have been several recent threads on this. The outlook is pretty bleak.
Some rays of hope:
- France has a long-stay tourist visa, costs about EUR80 per person and valid for a year. This doesn't confer any rights in other Schengen countries but would be very useful if taking the inland route to the Med
- if travelling as a couple or family, and one of you has an EU passport, you can get a (free) visa allowing your dependents to accompany you. This confers rights to travel around Schengen.
 

syvictoria

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I could be in same situation in a year or so, just waiting for the dust to settle. I hear that NL are matching our 180 days and Uk government may try to talk the rest of Schengen countries to follow.
With regards to NL, their 180 days in 180, does the clock stop at 180 and reset. Unlikely I think.
There is always the option of extended visas.
Can you please provide some link to info re this? Both about NL, and that the UK government are negotiating again. I would love to believe both, but...
 

Graham376

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The only slight possibility of a loophole I've thought about is the transit rule. If residence held in one EU state, days spent in Schengen in transit to and from that state, don't count towards the 90/180. Maybe stretching a point but, there don't seem to be any rules about how long a transit could last or, means of transport.
 

capnsensible

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As people are suggesting, won't visas be the way ahead?

Pay to stay. As long as you don't take on employment.
 

syvictoria

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And on the health front, our government aren't even willing to provide vaccine passports... so don't expect any help there. We are Britain = we must go it alone.
 

capnsensible

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There's a lot of liveaboards around, I think, from places like Oz and the U S. Using Spain as an example, there is a non lucrative long stay visa. Bet it's a right pain in the arris to get these for multiple countries though. Or even just one...

applying for visas for Spain
 

BoyBlue49

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Can you please provide some link to info re this? Both about NL, and that the UK government are negotiating again. I would love to believe both, but...
Read it on this forum a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't surprised at the time as NL tend to favour UK, no conformation.
 

Kelpie

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There's a lot of liveaboards around, I think, from places like Oz and the U S. Using Spain as an example, there is a non lucrative long stay visa. Bet it's a right pain in the arris to get these for multiple countries though. Or even just one...

applying for visas for Spain
Apologies if I missed it in the links, but how long does that Spanish visa give you in the country?
 

Baggywrinkle

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I think that perhaps some folk need to calm down a little, neither the EU nor the rest of the world is about to become off limits for UK sailors any more than it it is off limits for US, Canadian, Australian, Canadian or (even) Russian sailors.

In the 1990's we did a 7,000 mile loop of European inland waterways - France, Seine, Ardennes, Belgium, Rhine, Germany, Cheque R, Slovakia, Serbia, Danube, Romania, Black Sea, Istanbul, Sea of Mamara, Greece, Italy, Med, France, up the Rhone valley, Paris, Seine, back to UK - Not all EU, no such thing as Schengen, some borders, some check in/out, nobody called us 'little Englanders' - some minor irritations but WE DID IT!

Delivery 70' TSDY Malta to UK 1994 Malta- Gib check in at Gib for refuel a R&R no big deal, Check in at Lisbon for crew offload R&R again no issues, check in Guernsey for fuel / R&R, - and another Customs check in on arrival UK - again some minor irritations but we still did it!

1998 arrived Ft. Lauderdale Florida in UK registered 65' MB, 6 months visa, renewed every 6 months, still there 10 years later! US customs more than happy with it - we asked their rules and followed them.

If you are a TRUE 'Sea Gypsey' then you will be 'in transit' and justify your visit that way.

If you wish to leave your boat (but not yourself) in the EU Med permanently and become a 'Snow Bird' then you can justify it that way.

If you wish to take up residency in an EU country, pay their full taxes, contribute to the economy and health service - then you can do it that way.

But, if what you are really seeking, is to have it all ways, the best of everywhere but committed to nowhere - then you might well be asked to explain your motives to the host country - I don't see anything wrong with that.
 

syvictoria

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Not all EU, no such thing as Schengen
Presumably back then, you applied for a 90 day (?) / short visit visa in each individual country as/where necessary? Arguably this would make travelling somewhat easier than the 90/180 days we have across the entire Schengen area now.

If cruising and wanting to stay multiple nights in places as a tourist, surely the 'in transit' thing won't work? It would be useful if it did!
 

Nom de plume

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Presumably back then, you applied for a 90 day (?) / short visit visa in each individual country as/where necessary? Arguably this would make travelling somewhat easier than the 90/180 days we have across the entire Schengen area now.

If cruising and wanting to stay multiple nights in places as a tourist, surely the 'in transit' thing won't work? It would be useful if it did!
I think that what I am trying to say is that the current situation is being made far more complicated than it needs to be - often by people with vested interests (mainly political). It is nothing new.

In the 1980's the Spanish had a habit of trying to milk money off visiting yachts (Precinto Fiscal iirc?) - they would decend on an area and attempt to extract funds - we were based in Porto Colom Majorca at the time. A few boats would pay, a few would panic and leave Spain forever, most just departed for S. France for a while until the Spanish saw the error of their ways and desisted. Money talks.
The EU is willy-waving over Brexit now just as the Spanish did back then - you cannot take a ham sandwich into Calais from UK even if the ham is Danish in origin! It's nonsense. It will die down.

Let the willy waving die down and the EU finish their pouting and posturing and all will (slowly) open up again. They like their politicking - but they like their money even more, and they need all they can get at the moment.

Can you name a single American, Canadian or Australasian who has not been able to tour Europe? (providing that they are legit and are financially self-sufficient of course).

Between the two of us we have visited every continent (including both arctics) and almost 100 countries - we have yet to be refused entry or exit (with or without boat) to any of them. There are indeed a few countries that shut themselves off from the rest (e.g. N. Korea) - but for all the posturing, I don't see the EU becoming a travel-restricted N. Korea any time soon - do you?
 
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