Entry into any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area for short-term tourism, a business trip, or in transit to a non-Schengen destination, requires that your passport be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure. Because many Schengen countries assume all travelers will stay the full three months allowed for visa-free visitors, we recommend that U.S. citizens:
You can find passport validity requirements for your destination country, along with other important information, on our country information pages. If your passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, you may:
To ensure that your travel plans are not disrupted, plan ahead and renew your passport before traveling. Visit our passport section for more information on applying for a new passport or renewing an existing one. An immigration official will determine if you qualify for entry when you first cross any external border of the Schengen area and present your passport for entry. You may be denied entry if the officer determines you do not qualify for entry. Ensure your passport is stamped upon entry and exit.
If you spend 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. If you 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.
Schengen area countries may reinstate temporary internal and external border control without advanced notice. U.S. citizens should carry their U.S. passport with them at all times when traveling to/from and within the Schengen area. For additional information on traveling to and within the Schengen area, see our FAQ below.
The Schengen Borders Agreement permits citizens from certain countries—including the U.S.--to travel freely to 26 European countries within the Schengen area (see list below) for up to three months for tourism or business.
With a valid U.S. passport, you can stay up to 90 days for tourism or business during any 180 day period. Do not overstay! You must wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area.
To stay longer than 90 days, you must have a visa. Apply for a visa through the embassy of the country where you will spend most of your time.
Click on the country name for more information.