As Australians we are limited to how much time we can spend in Europe or the areas designated as the Schengen zone. We are allowed 90 days in any 180 day period and here is where the problem lies, if you want to stay in Europe for more than three months. For us the solution is to apply for long stay visa in Greece.
Today we visited and were granted an extended stay visa in Greece for 8 months to encompass the 7 months we want to spend in Europe this year. This allows us 3 months we would normally get in Europe as Australians entering the zone and then an additional 5 months which we can spend in Greece. The down side , we have to move rather quickly from La Rochelle, France to Greece in 3 months. The up side we get to spend a leisurely 4 months cruising the Greek Islands without the restraints of worrying about whether we are complying with the Schengen visa.
Win/ Win I say !
Thank you to the Greek Consulate in Sydney for making it a relatively simple process. We are excited for our time in Greece- a first for both of us and I am going to get my language books out and get into the Greek !
For more information on the Schengen Zone https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area