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If you're not an EU citizen, but you have a valid residency permit, what is to stop you from spending more than 90 days in another Schengen country. I mean, the passport is stamped only on Schengen entry from outside. Isn't internal movement thereafter basically untrackable?

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    It will only be untrackable when you don't live any where (on long term rent contract), don't pay untility bills (such as electricity) or any other payments and of course don't work (paying taxes etc.). But if it comes to their attention of the authorities that you do, then questions will be asked that you must answer to showing that you have not overstayed. Feb 19, 2023 at 14:40

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There are several questions and answers on this topic over at Travel, for example How are non-Schengen nationals with a Schengen residence permit checked to obey the 90/180 rule while travelling inside Schengen?

The basic answer is that there's not much to stop you. There are also all sorts of edge cases that do not fall within the letter of the law but for the most part nobody is much bothered about. For example, suppose you live and work in one Schengen country but you live near the border with another one and the shortest daily commute takes you through the other country's territory. You would reach your 90-day limit after doing this for 18 weeks, a little over 4 months. Is anyone going to care if you keep doing it after that point? I doubt it, at least not in the Schengen border regions I'm familiar with.

The fact that the restriction isn't systematically enforced, however, does not render the restriction useless. You can expect it to be enforced against people who are using a residence permit from one Schengen country to live in another, if the person comes to the attention of the authorities for some other reason. When the authorities investigate the person's residence status and see that there is a residence permit from another Schengen country, they may try to establish how long the person has been in that country, which could lead to the person's being sent back to the country of residence or being expelled from the Schengen area entirely.

To reiterate, most people will never have to worry about this and most authorities won't care about a little stretching of the rules as long as it is incidental to a legitimate visit. Even in a relatively strict country such as Germany, I would be surprised if the consequences of, say, six sixteen-day visits in six months would be very severe.

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    There was a report from the European Commission, about 10 years ago, that the misuse was considered to be so minimal that it is simply not worth the effort to introduce ways of enforcing it. Feb 19, 2023 at 21:32
  • @MarkJohnson thanks, do you have a link or any more information about it? It would be nice to have an official source supporting my somewhat anecdotal assessment of the situation.
    – phoog
    Feb 20, 2023 at 16:58
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    I didn't save it at the time of reading and looked for it last year, but couldn't find it. It was a short paragraph within one of the commission reports. Feb 20, 2023 at 17:19

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