Limit visitors to a maximum stay of just 90 days

Dear Editor,

Portugal and the rest of the EU are short of cash, we hear in a constant refrain.

Why, then, under the EU’s Schengen agreement do this group of 28 nations limit (non-EU) visitors to a maximum stay of just 90 days?

There are plenty of retirees and others from non-EU countries on decent incomes (derived from outside the EU) who would like to spend longer periods getting to know Portugal and elsewhere in a leisurely fashion.

Sure Portugal’s SEF will grant a visa for a second 90 days to people of good character and means, on the basis of substantial documented evidence. BUT it will only be granted when the visitor is actually in Portugal with all that documentation AND within a day or two of the expiry of that first 90 day period.

Which means the intending longer-stay visitor may have to find a flight home within a few hours, dependant on a bureaucratic whim. Nor can a potential longer-stay visitor make meaningful plans before leaving home.

Portugal would do itself, and the EU a big favour, if it pressed for a change to the Schengen rules so that potential visitors could provide the documentation required for a stay of 180 days [or longer] and receive the appropriate visa before they left their home country.

Warwick Taylor

Orange, NSW, Australia

(presently enjoying Alcantarilha)