Legalities

Laws and what to say at Customs

General Guidelines
  • Be calm, composed, and pay attention
  • Wait in line patiently and follow any signs or directions
  • Generally phones are not allowed to be used, so keep it tucked away
  • Generally talking is not permitted either

  • When it's your turn, an official will ask you "What is the purpose of your stay?"
    • Your answer: Travel around [name of country] or experience [country's] culture
    • Legally, you are a tourist (or student, in some rarer cases)
    • If you respond with an answer like, "I'm working," or "I'm going to be an au pair!" they will ask you for your working visa (which you don't have)
      • When you don't have it, they'll ask you to turn around and go home ​​
    • Technically you are a Rome Abroad "Traveler," so it's the truth :) ​
    • If they ask about where you are staying, you can say with friends​
  • Note: As a tourist you are not allowed to stay in the Schengen Zone for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period (here's the official list of Schengen countries)
  • If you're a few days over 90 for your stay, consider spending a weekend in the UK/Ireland/Croatia/Hungary to "take off" a few days from your limit
  • If you exceed 90 days in the Schengen you may have serious consequences (a fine, deportation, and/or ban)
     
YES
  • You are a tourist
  • You want to experience the culture and travel
  • You are staying with friends (if they ask)

NO  
  • You are NOT an au pair
  • You are NOT working
  • DO NOT stay in the Schengen Zone longer than 90 days within a 180 day period

Got a question? Ask away!