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A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

Corvallis, Oregon
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A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

We are USA citizens.

My husband and I want to go to Europe for a year beginning in May 2015.

Our current plan is to spend 2 months each in France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

As it stands, it looks like we could be having problems with obtaining a visa for that length of time.

I work as a writer, and was wondering if this will influence the visa process?

Can I get a working visa?


Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

Hi Bridget63...........................................you are best to check with a proper agency with regard to obtaining a work permit for a country in Europe...............TripAdvisor is a travel site only....personally I would not rely on the word of a stranger I met on the internet to give me legal advice.........I've never worked overseas, so can't tell you who the proper authority is that you should check with, but I'm sure starting with a Google search will turn up some information which will guide you to the proper authorities..............good luck with your plans........

Corvallis, Oregon
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2. Re: A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

Thank-you Eden 7.

I agree with your advice, however what I'm looking for is a starting point.

I've googled excessively and have no idea where "the proper authority" is.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

As you are only spending two months in each country, then you should be fine with a travellers visa, but you will have to make sure that you get visas where required for each country, as there are no border crossings. It would be different if you were planning to get an apartment and stay in one place the entire time, but the fact you are moving around means that you will fall under the immigration laws of the different countries. I think these laws are harmonized across the EU, but I'm not sure.

So, lets start with France:


A search for "France Immigration Visa" got me this page. It looks like provided you are not staying in France for more than two months, then you should be fine (as noted, I'm not an immigration lawyer and if you are concerned, you should be consulting someone who actually knows). Just don't say *anything* about working as a writer. This is a vacation only and leave it at that.

Ok, next, Spain:


This was my top hit for "traveler visa spain" and its been helpfully provided by the US government. You might be able to find everything you need there.

I think so long as you keep this as a vacation and don't stay in one country for more than 2 months at a time, then you can probably make this work with tourist visas.

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4. Re: A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

You may be limited to a total of 90 days for all the 28 or so European countries covered by the Schengen treaty.

As posters here are not immigration experts, you should check with the US immigration services on what visa's you will need, and their duration.

As you are a US citizen, applying for a work visa's may need advance planning. You may find it useful to contact the immigration websites for each of the countries you intend to visit. Each country in Europe can set it's own rules on work visa's (especially for self employment).

You may also need to ensure that your passport is still valid for 6 months after your scheduled return date. Some airlines have been known to refuse outward boarding if you either don't have a return ticket, or if a passport has less than a 6 month expiry date for a return date. It may be worth investing in a fully flexible return ticket, just in case you need to return home before your scheduled return date.

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5. Re: A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa


As an US citizen you would potentially be able to get on arrival visas for each of the 5 countries that you are visiting. If you are however travelling by road, the problem is there would be no immigration to pass through.

If you were flying after the end of the first 6 months you could look to re-enter via an airport or Eurostar for UK which could give you a further 6 months, however this may not be the most appropriate method as it would mean exiting and then re-entering.

With regards to the working visa, there is no EU wide working visa as such, all countries have their own immigration visas systems and you need to have a job offer and be employed to apply for a work permit for that country.

I guess entry and then exit is an option and as US nationals, you are likely to be given a further 6 months, however you would need to satisfy Immigration at airport of what you were doing for so long in those countries and further confirm that you are not working.

Hope this helps

PermitsandVisas.com Team

6. Re: A Year in Europe: Need Help w/ Visa

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