Looking to escape the January blues and plan your next getaway? The Independent’s travel correspondent is on hand to tackle all your burning queries.
Q: I’m a classical singer, booked to be working in Denmark from 20 March to 1 June. Then briefly back and off to Brussels for two stints: 7-25 June and 16 August-30 September.
I have work visas for these engagements. Can I book a holiday in Italy between the Belgian dates, or will the 90/180-day rule scupper any chance of a European holiday?
A: Congratulations on these excellent gigs. As you apply for these work permits, I trust you are celebrating the many benefits of Brexit – such as blue passports and distances in the Dartford Tunnel now appearing in Imperial rather than metric measures – and agree that it was all worthwhile.
The UK asked to be subject to a rule limiting stays in the European Union and wider Schengen Area to 90 days in any 180: the 90/180-day rule.
My understanding is this: when you travel to and from a Schengen Area member state on a visa-supported trip, your 90/180 allowance is unaffected. You will be stamped in and out of Denmark which you can ascribe to the work visa. The same will apply for Belgium and back (if on Eurostar, it will happen at London St Pancras through French controls).
Your 90/180 count should remain at zero, and in the unlikely event that someone picks it up, you can explain the full circumstances.
If I am wrong, you will see the 90-day limit is reached at the end of your first Brussels trip. You will be free to travel only from 1 October (at which point you will be at liberty to stay away for 10 weeks, since your first trip will be steadily erased).
In your position, I would try to get an answer from the Danish consulate in advance. Or, indeed, obtain a second passport – which a professional musician like you surely needs. I will be writing more on these shortly.
Q: I have read many articles about passport dates, but I am still baffled. My passport runs from August 2013 to January 2024. For European Union purposes, then, it should be valid only until August 2023.
Going on a cruise to Norway in June this year and I believe you need three months date after return from holiday. Will my current passport suffice?
A: I am concerned that there should be any issue (and I hope that…