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Can I Return to Europe After Overstaying Schengen Visa

Can you return to Europe as a tourist after overstaying the Schengen visa? Hello, This is a tough question to answer because immigration policy is often very inconsistently applied around the Schengen region, but it is my impression that you should be in the clear: you paid your fine in Zurich and have been away [...]

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Can you return to Europe as a tourist after overstaying the Schengen visa?


This is a tough question to answer because immigration policy is often very inconsistently applied around the Schengen region, but it is my impression that you should be in the clear: you paid your fine in Zurich and have been away from Europe for more than three months.

It is very unclear if bans are applied to travelers who are processed for overstaying their visas in Zurich, but it is my impression that if they are then they are only done so very tentatively. In point, many, many people write into this site with stories of how they were caught overstaying their visas in Europe, and, to date, I have not yet received a report of a tourist being denied entry after being away from Schengen Europe for an extended amount of time.

From what I have been able to collect on the issue, it seems as if you should be alright returning to Europe.

Please let us know what happens.

Walk Slow,


Original question about if you can return to Europe as a tourist after overstaying the Schengen visa.

Wade, I recently was fined in Zurich for overstaying a student visa. The thing that really has me riled is that I had no idea I over-stayed! As part of the Schengen visa application process, I submitted my travel itinerary and the dates of entry and departure. However, the visa did not cover these complete days; only the days I was actually in class! So lesson one: read that visa carefully! Second, I too, am planning to return to the Schengen as a tourist in June. The Italian embassy says I will have no problems, but I am traveling through Frankfurt. The German embassy said I need to send a request to Cologne to find out if I am in the SIS (Schegen system). I am going to take my chances, but I will be bringing with me evidence of my Italian bank account and property. Any other suggestions?

Do you have a Schengen visa question?

If so, then take a look at our Schengen visa community forum. It’s a community just for people who have questions or concerns related to Europe’s Schengen immigration zone.
Filed under: Europe, Germany, Italy, Schengen Visas, Travel Help, Visas

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3705 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Leslie April 30, 2010, 4:32 am

    I have a friend who is not allowed in Crete for that same reason…she overstayed her visa during an archaeology field school. She was arrested and put in a Crete jail until she could post bail which was an insane amount that currently escapes my mind. She tried to go back several years later…and with a new passport (her old one had expired). Crete customs let her into the country but fined her when she left and took her passport.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 2, 2010, 9:28 am

      This is really interesting, Leslie, especially as Crete is a part of Greece, and she was punished on the way out for a previous overstay. What grounds did they state for taking the passport, and how did your friend get back to the USA without one?



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  • Eleanor June 9, 2010, 6:52 am

    Hi there
    I have also recently received a fine for overstaying my Schengen visa, and received the fine from Zurich (I sense from online comments that Switzerland is a common factor in many fines).
    From the paperwork I have received it is not clear to me how to even pay the fine, let alone what the real consequences of not paying it might be. The (incomplete) translation I received with my fine mentioned 3 days of jail, but whether this is upon re-entering any Schengen country, or only if Swiss authorities happen to come across me I am unsure. Also, even if I pay it, I am unsure if I will still be recorded in the SIS (Schengen Information System) and what black marks have been made against my name/passport details. Will my ability to re-enter Europe (likely to be within the next 12 months, but not for more than 3) be affected?

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    • Samantha June 4, 2011, 2:24 pm

      How much is the fine for? I was recently a student in the Schengen and overstayed. I left from Zurich and they said they would send me a fine in the mail to my home in the U.S. Thank you.

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      • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com June 6, 2011, 4:59 am

        The fine is usually around 300-400 CHF, and a three year ban from the Schengen area is often applied with the ban.

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        • sean April 3, 2012, 2:36 pm

          I received a notice also. I am a US student studying aboard in Spain. I overstayed for 2 months. My questions is do I have to pay the fine? What happen if I don’t? Will I be banned forever? Thx!

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          • Wade Shepard April 13, 2012, 7:56 pm

            In terms of the information that we receive you’re banned if you pay the fine and you’re banned if you don’t. As of now paying seems to hold no advantage, but do what you think is best.

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  • Miss JC July 1, 2010, 5:37 pm

    Hi Wade,

    I’m currently in Paris with my husband (a citizen) and I have overstayed my visa by quite a bit, about 5 months. I came under the impression that I wouldn’t need one, since I’m the spouse of an EU citizen, I only learned later that the law is different in France.

    Anyway, I finally have enough money to fly home to the US and aply for a long stay visa so that I can get my residency card when I return. My question is this:

    who should I go to about my overstay? I want to let the French authorities know that I have overstayed and apologize to see if I can get some sort of waiver of my fees. Would that be a bad idea? Should I just leave and see if they notice? I’m not worried about leaving as much as I am about returning. I just don’t want to be banned from re-entry, I don’t have a home in the US, I live in France.

    I want to cooperate, I’m just not sure who to go see.


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  • JM October 12, 2010, 6:25 am

    The wife of an EU national has the right of free movement and residence in the EU. You should not have to return to the US at all. See EU directive 2004/38/EC Article 7.1 and 7.2. It says that you have right of residence for more than three months provided your husband is working/has sufficient resources or a few other options. To get your residence card they should only be asking you for your passport and marriage certificate (translated and certified) and cannot require any visa. Indeed you can enter France without visa even if one is required according to Article 5.4 using only your passport and marriage certificate.

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    • megan September 13, 2013, 3:10 am

      I am married to a dutch man and called the ind in amsterdam. I was informed though even married it would be illegal even if married to be here for more than 90 days. I want to know beacuse I do have accurate documanation stating I am married etc is it really illegal? I read the artical you stated above and that to me only applied to eu citizens not american citizens??? Or am I just really confused?? Would anything happen to me if I just didnt apply for a residance card beacuse my husband and I plan on returning to america fter his army contract is over??? any advice would be greatly appriciate for I to dont want to get in any unneccasssary trouble for overstaying. I have been here almost a year with my husband as well so this quite exceeds the 90 day tourist visa.

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      • Wade Shepard September 13, 2013, 3:35 am

        I no longer do this type of consultation for free. The cost is now $30. If you’re interested, let me know.

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  • michael February 3, 2011, 3:41 pm

    what is the grace period after the visa expires. i am a south african in italy for studies. i have to return home to renew my visa because it expires May 30, 2011. but I have exams in June. I was planning to retrurn to south africa at the end of june to renew my visa – and return to italy after the visa renewal can i do that? will that not give me problems when going to SA or coming back to italy?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com February 5, 2011, 10:14 am

      There is no grace period. The day your visa is up you have overstayed. Typically, Italy seems to be one of the more lax countries in the region as far as visa overstays. I would not expect trouble when returning to South Africa, but when returning to Italy there is a small chance that you may be denied entry or not given a renewed visa.

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  • Jannie March 24, 2011, 8:24 am

    Hey Wade

    I am a south african sailor wanting to return to my boat, i have all the paper work and left the schengen states before my visa expired, i did have a brief run in with customs, but i was let go and told not to worry. 3 months later when applying for a new visa , they say i overstayed. Any suggestions on who i can contact to fight this false accusation?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com March 25, 2011, 7:15 am

      That is a big problem. Once you are logged into the SIS (the Schengen immigration computer system) as an overstayer it is a bureaucratic nightmare to get out of it before the span of your ban is up (often 3 years). Very often the individual immigration officers that you speak with upon entering and exiting the region give false information or make errors, don’t know what their own immigration rules are — as in your case. It is my impression that your only recourse is to go to the consulate of the country your ship is in and battle it out with them. Try to request a short term transit visa if you can’t get anything else.

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  • Jannie March 24, 2011, 8:25 am

    OH yes, i have all the paper work, seamans book etc. only problem is my boat is in the med. and i realy need to join them in france or italy.

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  • Jannie March 26, 2011, 6:06 am

    The prolblem is not the French Consul i am applying to, he is nice and trying to help me out, he says there is still hope but we have been waiting 1 month, Think i should try diff consul like italy?? Or are they all linked?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com March 26, 2011, 10:15 am

      Officially, they are all suppose to be connected and have the same policies, but this is not the reality of it. Try the Italian consulate.

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  • Jannie March 26, 2011, 6:07 am

    Oh and by the way thanx for help.

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  • Alim April 12, 2011, 5:22 am

    i have a problem regarding my girlfriend. she is from south korea and last year she came to visit me in czech republic. she didn’t have a visa because south koreans have permission to enter european union for the period of 90 days. so she overstayed by 1 month and it’s been around 5 months since her last visit. is it a problem or it is possible that she can come here without out having any problems at the border?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 13, 2011, 6:00 am

      Yes, it is very possible, probable, in fact that she will not be given problems when returning if she was not busted for the previous overstay. Now, from you statement it seems to me as if she was not punished for the overstay? Is this correct? If it is then she should be fine to return — just make sure she doesn’t overstay again.

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  • Alim April 13, 2011, 5:34 pm

    She wasn’t punished but she had to write some paper providing her contacts and basic info but no one contacted her since then and like I wrote before it’s been already 4-5 months. I think she got into the database but it was more of a warning. I mean if she does it again then she’s busted. Thanks for your time!

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 14, 2011, 1:14 pm

      This is not good. If she was questioned at all then there is a good chance she is as busted as she can be. Signing forms or anything out of the ordinary when exiting after an overstay seems to mean that — even if the immigration officials state otherwise — the she is more than likely in the database and could be denied entry. Definitely do not try to reenter through Germany, Switzerland, or the Netherlands. Try Italy or France.

      Keep in mind that not even the officials seem to know the impact of putting travelers into the SIS. Read through all the comments in the Schengen visa topic index. Especially look at Liudmila’s comment on Penalties and Fines for OVerstaying Schengen Visa.

      But the inconsistencies in European immigration control could work to your girl friend’s advantage: some countries don’t regularly deny previous overstayers while others do.

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  • kara April 17, 2011, 3:47 am

    Dear Mr.Wade,

    I had an issue leaving Amsterdam. I was studying there for almost 2 years and my school had not reapplied for my stduent residence permit, well when leaving I was pulled back into the office and a report was made. Due to the fact that I was un aware, I am wondering if I can come back to The Netherlands and for that matter any Schengen country? I am terrified I will now loose my new job due to this. Thank you very much!

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 18, 2011, 7:37 am

      More than likely you have been banned for at least 3 years. Returning seems to be a crap shoot: sometimes they will let you back in, sometimes they won’t. It is a sad state of affairs for European immigration.

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  • kara April 19, 2011, 11:54 pm

    Thank you Wade!! I have to return back to Amsterdam because my company has already made the flight arrangements. So I will go armed with an “in transit” ticket and perhaps they will let me go into the country for Good Friday and Easter? Should I ask at immigration for the in transit visa if they deny me access? I will wait until booking that in transit ticket to Turkey, until I know more. Thank you so much, you are so educated on this matter even compared to the Netherlands Consulate/Embassy where I’m currently at!! Thank you!!

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 23, 2011, 7:31 am

      Hello Kara,

      I gave the transit visa advice to someone who needed to get back to Schengen Europe to pick up their sailboat, and it is really a last ditch maneuver. If you have problems with immigration having an onward ticket ticket should work to your benefit if you request a transit visa, but I would not rely on it.

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  • sudafricana April 21, 2011, 1:42 am

    the visa is for entry. what you need to have sorted within a week of your arrival is the permesso di soggiorno, which affords you the possibility to renew without having to go back home.

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  • Ali Reza May 13, 2011, 1:54 am

    I overstayed my greek visa for 9 months. It so occured to me while my company was about to extend my contract for another year that I have missed the application of my residence permit (total slacker at paperwork !). I was told my city council to go back , pay the fine, get a visa and come back. They handed me a recept with 1200 Euro fine at the border control (exiting Athens). I was not given an oppurtunity to pay the fine and present my list of excuses. A red stamp in the passport was also put. I went back to my home country and applied for a visa giving them the passport with red stamp. I was out of hope of getting a visa but the consular officer gave me a 6 month multiple visa in 5 days . Perhaps becuase my job is that of a researcher at a premier institute and I bring the money in the country because of my funding. Now, I am expecting to go back and pay the fine at the control and work for another year with proper permit. I am wondering if there is a possibility of a case otherwise. That is, of entry being denied at all.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 13, 2011, 10:56 am

      As I have told many others, Schengen immigration is nothing if not inconsistent. There is a reasonable chance that even with a new visa you can still be denied reentry, so I wouldn’t mention the fine or the fact that you overstayed at all unless it is noticed by immigration.

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  • sega May 17, 2011, 4:02 pm

    hey! i’m from croatia and i was on erasmus in hungary. i was in hungary for 92 days and croatians can be 90 days in 180 days in schengen. i accidentally miscalculated. i left hungary without having any problems on the border. my question is can i have any problems when i enter schengen area again when this period of 180 days finishes? i wouldn’t like to be surprised when entering next time to schengen area.. what is possible money penalty? thank you for your answer in advance!


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  • Dillen May 18, 2011, 8:51 am

    Question moved to Entry to Europe without visa.

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  • Ivan May 22, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I overstayed Schengen (Switzerland) 90 days visa. I was completely unaware of this rule! I stayed 120 days from January 5th 2011 till May 5th. Nobody from the customs in Slovenia noticed that when I exited Schengen territory on May 5th 2011. But, however, when trying to enter the Schengen in May 15th, through Slovenia again, I was denied to enter! No fine was issued to meso far, but I had to sign a paper with description of the event (Name, dates when I was in Schengen before, reason for denying entry, etc.). Will I get some fine now and/or the ban to enter? When will I be allowed to enter the Schengen again? I didn’t find my case in the questions above. Thank you so much for your answer.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 23, 2011, 10:30 am

      Hello Ivan, just do a search for “Schengen visa ban” in the search box in the side bar of this page and you will get results for dozens of pages on this site about people who are in similar immigration circumstances as you are.

      More than likely you are facing at least a 3 year ban from the entire Schengen zone. The bans generally take a few months to come into effect, and are inconsistently enforced. I would highly recommend checking with at least a couple consulates of Schengen countries to find out if you are, in fact, in the SIS (Schengen Immigration System) and, if you are, how long the ban is for.

      Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any strict order to Schengen immigration once a traveler has be caught overstaying their visa, so getting definite answers, even from the authorities themselves, may prove difficult. My recommendation is to wait three months outside the region, contact a couple consulates, and then make a decision about whether to risk returning then.

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      • Ivan May 25, 2011, 12:56 pm

        Wade, thank you very much for the answer. I didn’t expect it to be so strict. I will check if getting Swiss residence visa would “override” the possible ban. Thanks again for the answer! Ivan

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  • Helen May 30, 2011, 6:13 pm

    Hi I went to Greece last year in June and returned back home to New York in October. I went with swiss air made a stop in zurich then transfered airline after two hours and went to Greece. Well after leaving Greece in October my plane made a stop to zurich again. They stopped me there said I stayed in swtizerland over 90 days. They said I needed a visa.Had to pay about 630 Dollars. I did not have that much money on me. Paid 200 dollars only. Well i recieved a letter to pay for the rest. I bank wired the money to them. How long does it take to clear my passport? I would like to go to Greece again. I was born in usa parents in greece. Can I get a Greek passport and have dual citizenship??

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 31, 2011, 4:40 am

      This is unclear. You need to check with various consulates to find out if you were also banned. Some travelers who overstay their visas and are caught in Switzerland report being both fined and banned for 3 years.

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  • Samantha June 4, 2011, 2:18 pm


    i overstayed my visa for the Shengen. I was in Italy for 3 1/2 months and in switzerland for 1 week. I was stopped in zurich after my four months in the Shengen and think I will be fined once I return home to the U.S. I am not in London, England. Is is safe for me to travel to Budapest, Hungary which is in the Shengen? I have only been in England for 2 weeks. Is Hungary strict on this?
    Thanks so much,


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com June 6, 2011, 5:03 am

      If you go back to the Schengen zone before 91 days have elapsed since your last exit then you stand to overstay the same visa a second time. I highly recommend NOT trying to do this, especially since you were already caught and your details have been entered into the SIS (Schengen immigration computer system). The bans are often enforced inconsistently and sometimes it takes around three months before it shows up, but I highly recommend against returning to Schengen Europe any time soon. The Schengen visa is good for 90 out of any 180 day period. So if you already overstayed by a month then a reentry before 91 days since your last exit would just add more time onto this overstay — if Hungary even grants you entry.

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  • Ellen July 8, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Hi I got fined in Zurich November for overstaying 90 days.I was in Greece for 3 and half months. I had to stop in zurich to change planes to go to usa. I did not have enough money to pay the fine. So they said they will mail me a letter to pay the rest. Well I never received anything. I called swiss embassy in New york and they told me to fax a letter to zurich.I did and they emailed me with information to wire them the money. I did.My question is can I now travel to Greece now? Is my passport cleared of this fine? How can I find this information out? I would like to leave as soon as possible.

    Thank you

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    • Wade Shepard July 10, 2011, 2:21 pm

      Contact both the Swiss and Greece consulates. Tell them what happened and inquire as to if you are banned.

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  • paul August 27, 2011, 12:59 pm

    5 years ago I left france after over staying for about 5 months( about 8 months altogether) back to USA. Now I’m planing a trip to france, and just started to worry about this. As I left CDG no one said any thing about me over staying. Should i be worried? Does the computer system just automatically banned one, or does have to be done in person? What steps does one have to do to find out if you are banned?
    And since it was 5 years ago if i was banned would the 3 year banned be over, or on my arrival to france would they slap me with the banned and send me back? Just some feed back would be helpful, thank you

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    • Tony February 13, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Paul, I didn’t see where anyone answered your questions, so I just want to ask if you were able to return to the Schengen states after your overstay?
      Thanks in advance for your reply.

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  • Mara August 28, 2011, 12:59 pm

    I was in Italy about 8 days and then a day in France leaving there nearly 14 months ago. Then, 2 months later, I was in Italy for the 3 months I’m allowed with an Australian passport, so I left Italy 9 months ago. Now Im about to go to Italy again 2 days later, again as a tourist. When I was in Italy no one ever mentioned the accidental overstay, not even when I was leaving. Is there a chance I could be barred from returning to Italy when I arrive there? I need to learn the answer as soon as possible.

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  • Han September 3, 2011, 9:17 pm


    This Han from Taiwan. I am married to a Dutch citizen in Netherlands this July and holding Taiwanese passport can travel into Netherlands without visa for 90 days, but I overstay a month. I overstay the reason is to married. I do not want to be illegal, so I decide to go back to Taiwan last month for Civic Interation Exam for fell in MVV. the test I am very close by stander, but still not pass, so I am going to do it again before end of this year. just few days ago my wife told me her father get cancel and very sad, becaue no one can take care her parents and she need to do everything alone. I am worried about her so much, health etc… my question is there is anybody know how come I can go back sooner? I just want to go back for 2 weeks to check and support her and her parents after I will return to Taiwan again. have any advice can tell me and help me? by the way, when I left in Netherlands they just asked me why I overstay and I told because of marriage and I show the police my marry book and he just read and took my passport to another room and talk to somebody I believe so, but all is took a short time like just 5 mins, so is that mean I am in SIS system? sorry for disturb and wish anybody can help me and tell me how to do. thank you so much

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  • Anastasia September 26, 2011, 6:38 pm

    Hi, I traveled around Europe for 6 months overstaying my visa. I left from Germany and they noticed but let me go, and said it was fine. I am a US citizen. And I have been accepted into grad school in Germany. I am only back in the US for a month, less now. Then I go back to Germany to start grad school. I know in Germany you get a residency permit to stay longer, but I am worried I will have trouble getting back in. I’m not sure what other options I have since its too little time to get a student visa for Germany. I am flying into Amsterdam, do you think I will have trouble?

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    • blake October 22, 2012, 11:05 pm

      hi, did you ever get a response? i have a similar issue

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      • Wade Shepard October 22, 2012, 11:08 pm

        I get far too many similar Schengen visa questions to continue answering every one for free. I have now set up a private consultation service. If anyone is interested, they can ask their questions at Schengen visa questions.

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  • Jackie September 29, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Hello everyone!

    So I’m on the same boat as many of you guys. I overstayed my VISA (10 days) and I didn’t think it was going to be such a BIG deal or that I would get in trouble for it.
    I got the fine, tried to dispute it and did NOT work. I’d like to know how to pay the fine by wiring a payment. I see many of you have done it… I hope that after I pay my fine I can re enter Spain, I’ve been out of a Schengen country for over 90 days.

    Good luck to ALL of us!

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  • Gerald October 4, 2011, 7:03 am

    hi everybody, 2 monthes ago i was cought in Germany after an overstay of 2 months, got no fine, but had to leave in a 3 days time.
    The imigration officer told me that im banned from entering the shengen zone for an unlimited period of time, and after a period of time i can send a request by mail to enter the shengen again.

    In the next couple of months, i will be flying to Mexico trough a flight connection of 3-6 hours in the airport. there will be a problem?
    tnx guys and girls 🙂

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    • Wade Shepard October 4, 2011, 8:48 am

      If you are just connecting flights and do not have to change terminals you should not have to go through immigration.

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  • geoff October 31, 2011, 6:24 am

    Hey Wade,

    Your blog/ comments have been very helpful to everyone here. Thanks a lot on behalf of all of us! I’ve got a similar situation in which I overstayed my tourist visa in the Netherlands for about 7 months… thing is, I was a student here on a STUDENT visa the year prior, then went back to the states with no problem, finished school there then decided to come BACK to the Netherlands after graduation.

    As noted, I came back as a TOURIST not a student and I’ve been here for a few months over… my flight is scheduled for mid-December from Schipol to Iceland where I’ll fly back to the states and stay for at least 90 days… From what I’ve read from you and others is that the visa situation can be very subjective (up to the person in the booth) and could either go one way or the other… I want to come back to the Netherlands/ Europe but am getting a bit nervous about the whole situation. Any words of advice/ wisdom/ comfort?

    Also, I don’t know if this changes anything but I got a new passport between the time I was a student here and a tourist so my pages are completely blank except for when I came back to EU… Also, also, I flew into Madrid and got stamped but nothing when I got to Schipol… I know the ‘system’ is supposed to be connected but has a reputation of not being well strung together… Just thought I’d throw that in, donno if it changes anything. Thanks!

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  • geoff November 1, 2011, 2:35 am

    Wade, I asked a question on your blog a day ago but cannot seem to find it again to hear your words of advice. I’m an American overstaying a tourist visa in the Netherlands.. I’ve been here since January 2011 and plan to fly from Schipol to Iceland and onwards to the states in December… You can do the math that I’ve been here about 7-8 months over the alotted time.

    Thing is, I was here in the Netherlands on a student visa the year prior for an exchange, went back to the US to finish school then decided to return to the Netherlands as a tourist and just never left. So my question is, do you have any words of advice if I want to come back to the Netherlands after my trip in December?

    From what you’ve been telling everybody, the experiences seem to be very subjective (according to the guy in the booth) on what happens to you if you overstay. I do want to come back the NL tho… Any words of advice/ wisdom/ comfort you have for me? If you already answered my question before, feel free to copy paste to answer this one. Thanks again!

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  • Mohammed November 15, 2011, 8:31 am

    hello,my name is mohammed,am jordanian,i have a schengen visa that expires on 30-12,its only 37 days out of the maximum 90 days,and my return flight is on 4-january 2012,and ill pay like 200 extra euros to get an early flight,if ever,so am overstaying for 5 days or so,am an arab,and my name is mohammed,which is bad enough,will they trouble me if i wanted to leave?and my flight is from germany to france and then france to jordan,can i bypass germany and go directly from france if i stayed there for the last 5 days?what will happen next?if i leave from france as an over-stayer,will i be band from coming back to germany ever??!!!i really need some advice here and i will appreciate it of you help me…thank you already,good day:-)

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  • Matt November 15, 2011, 10:39 pm

    Hi my partner overstayed his visa by a year In ireland and returned home to brazil and I was wondering if there is anyway possible for him to re enter Ireland.. It will be 4 months since he left and he will have a new passport and he
    Also didn’t get caught.. Any words of advice???

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    • Maria December 12, 2023, 3:21 pm

      What ended up happening?

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  • ramy November 23, 2011, 8:09 pm

    hi i am ramy
    I am in Egyptian in Rome to participate in a film festival . and i may have to overstay my visa period by only one day ! as i will be a guest in a discussion in University of Rome 3. will i have fine ? or face problems ?

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  • dilip November 26, 2011, 8:02 am

    hi all,
    I got a visa(dutch embassy to travel Holland) for validity period of 20 days and i understood that visa is given for 20 days. I was there for 3 days and came back to England. Later I decided to go to Zurich for few days (visa was still valid). after staying 3 days in Zurich to London, i was stopped for overstay. As it was mentioned that duration of stay is 5 days (nothing to do with the validity period). That means i overstayed for 2 days(which i was completely unaware of). Later on from Zurich I got a letter by saying that i have to pay 190 Frank. i tried to dispute it and wrote a letter. Got a letter back by saying that ” they got my letter and given another one address to ask if I am banned, but they did not mention anything about the fine). I waited to see, what next. Today, I got a letter by saying i did not paid the fine and another 10 days more is given otherwise 1 day jail. WHAT SHALL I DO?? ANY SUGGESTION?? please help

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  • mauro December 21, 2011, 12:14 pm

    i am an angolan,studying in south africa.i came to spend some time during this festive season with my sister in france paris(i have a schengen visa)but my visa expires 30days before my already paid return flight.can someone please tell me what to do!?because chances are i will over stay because my flight is already paid for my return to south africa on the 30 days after the expiry of my visa!any ideas?plz its kinda urgent

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  • Brenda February 8, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Hello Wade, i overstayed my travel welcome by 2 years something in France, not only they didnt give me a big red stamp on my passport but, the officers were so nice to me, when they see me volunteer leaving France.
    At first they asked for the reason why i overstay in France, i told them the truth, about my first time traveling abroad, and i overstay because of my boyfriend, i was on the verge of crying when the officer told me to not cry and said to me there is no problem. He asked me into a small office, to the higher position police, it turn out that, he is even nice a man in 50s with glasses. He dont speak English, so he talked to me in French, he even asked a translator to translate to me in English. he did issue me a paper so i will have no problem crossing the border in future. he kept a copy with them, they told me that i can come back to France anytime and asked if i will get marry to my bf in france one day and would like to come back to Paris, and i asked arent i banned? can i still come back to europe? and they told me there is no problem i can go to everywhere in europe anytime. I am a Malaysian national. and They did issue me a paper so i wont have problem crossing border in europe in future, they keep repeating the word no problem. They did ask me to not show to the embassy of Malaysia, i cant explain what exactly in written in the paper online. But i didnt get the big red stamp on my passport, just the exit stamp stated the date. So, guys it is not a wake up call to say to continue violating visa, i learnt my lesson, i got lucky because i met with the kind officers to let me go peacefully, i will certainly never ever overstay my welcome nor visa ever again. Wade, i will like to hear your opinion about my case here.

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    • Wade Shepard February 9, 2012, 2:23 pm

      This is an interesting case. Generally, if you’re processed at all (meaning paperwork being filed on you) you are put into the SIS (the Schengen computer system). Once this happens a ban is generally automatic. I’ve received many reports of immigration officials telling overstayers that they are not banned or they are only banned for a particular country, but this is all too often not the case. Sometimes, or so it seems, the immigration officials themselves don’t really know that the paperwork they’re filing will lead to a ban. On this note, your case is very interesting as they gave you a document stating that you can return. I have never heard of this before. It very well may work out as the immigration officers told you it would, but we’ve received so many cases in the past of these guys giving travelers faulty information. I guess all you can do is try to return to France and see what happens.

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  • Karina February 12, 2012, 5:35 am

    Hi Wade…

    Im brasilian, and I overstay in Shengen area for 24 days more then 90 what is allowed… I flu from Zurich back home and they send me a fine 650 ch to pay in 30 days, and i already did it… but they didnt say nothing about beeing ban from Shengen Zone…. Do you think i can be back to europe?( entering from france or italy) after 3 months in brasil…. I apreciate your help…

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    • Wade Shepard February 13, 2012, 10:57 am

      Maybe. The banning system is a mess and you never really know if you’re banned or not until you try to reenter. Often, if you are processed as an overstayer your details are put into the computer system and a ban is automatic — even if the immigration officials don’t mention this or tell you differently.

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  • dean February 13, 2012, 5:59 am

    hey my names dean
    im an australian, i meet my girlfriend in australian in 2010 when she was traveling, then fell in love, then in june 2011 i come to germany to be with her and travel, i had a return ticket for 10 feb, and only a 90day visa, when i booked the ticket i was understanding it was 90 days in each coutry, so we brought a van traveled thro europe and didnt get any stamps in our passport,
    we are getting married next year in australia and all her family are coming, i changed my ticket to 10 may to fly back with her and havent got any visas,
    1 will they not let me leave with her,
    2 will i not be able to come back, will it still be a problem when we are married thanks so much dean

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    • Wade Shepard February 13, 2012, 10:43 am

      Yeah, they will let you leave with her, but there is a decent chance that you will be banned from reentering the Schengen zone for a number of years.

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  • Tony February 13, 2012, 12:41 pm

    Thank you for your kindness in answering everyone’s questions here -and-
    I desperately seek advice-

    I (american) have overstayed in Germany due to an unfortunate error at our local City Hall (they lost my work-permit for several months, so my Job was given to someone else – and leaving me here with a lapsed Visa. However, our local City Hall has not yet processed the paperwork to ask me to leave the Country yet. Instead they are trying to wait a short while longer to see if I can find another Job to extend my Visa. I have little hope in finding another Job soon enough because I am only semi-skilled and speak terrible broken German.

    I’m also engaged to be married to a German, and I was thinking of simply going to Croatia or Georgia (west Asia) for 90 days, then returning to the Schengen zone for an automatic new tourist Visa.

    My question is: IF I am NOT ‘caught’ as an overstayer when leaving the Schengen states, will I likely have any problems re-entering the Schengen zone 90+ days later to join my Fiance to finally be married then?

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  • suneel February 14, 2012, 9:05 am

    Hello Wade,
    I am suneel from India. I got a shengiun visa which was valid upto 15 the feb, 2012. Yesterday I was returning from Zurich and they caught me and said that I overstayed as my visa period is only 15 days (I stayed there for 16 days). I tried to convince the authority that tickets and visa was done though my company and I was completely unaware of this case. They said I have to pay my fine 650 franks. They said they will send me a letter. My concerned is I have applied for the PhD in Zurich and if I get it this year, will I be allowed to enter? Also how do I pay this fine? Is there any authority where I can write and explain my case?

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  • Torben March 8, 2012, 8:39 am

    Hello Wade,
    Im from sri lanka and got shcengen visa for 90 days to visit my girl friend in poland(polish citizen),and we got married there in Poland.But when I was back my country, border control officers from Frankfurt stopped me and told me that im overstaying , for 2 days( I didn’t aware about it honestly) and they fined me 150euros and got my fingers prints and done some paper works too,but they didn’t mention a temporary ban or forever ban, so I want to know that if it is possible to go back to my wife in Poland in future? Or if not can I lodge an appeal?
    Waiting for quick answer..thank you

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  • Abby Reyes May 18, 2012, 8:06 am

    Hi wade,

    If you overstayed as a tourist in Italy for 2 years and signed a document “foglio di via” , and will try to apply for student visa in the same country, lets say 8 days after your return to your home country…should it be granted or not? Thanks Hoping for your reply ASAP.

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    • Wade Shepard May 19, 2012, 8:55 am

      I no longer answer Schengen visa questions live on this site. If anyone wants private consultation I will do this for a $19 donation to the site via the form on http://www.vagabondjourney.com/travelogue/visa/schengen-visas/.

      Questions sent via email, Facebook, or through the comments on these pages will not be replied to by me personally.

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  • Harvey June 2, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I left the Schengen area on April 1, 2012 after a 5 month stay. I applied and received a 6 month residency permit in Sweden which expires on July 1. I would like to return in July, but can’t seem to get a clear answer if I am able to return just with my Canadian passport or I need to extend my residency card.

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    • Wade Shepard June 2, 2012, 8:07 pm

      We don’t do free Schengen visa consultation anymore.

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  • merve August 1, 2012, 5:28 am

    hi wade, thanx for all these explanations. I am a Turkish citizen and I had 10 days of 1 entry schengen visa from Greece. I entered Greece on 21st of July and left on 31st of July. I thought I stayed ten days but on the border, the police told me I overstayed one day and gave me 600€ fine and stamped my passport. They are all written in Greek and they didn’t explain to me the consequences of the fine. Do you have any idea if I don’t pay the fine and can I enter schengen countries other than Greece? or is it just between me and Greece? if I have to pay, do you know the procedure because on the border, police told me that I can pay the fine any Greek embassy in Turkey but when I called the embassy they told me that I can only pay that on Greek borders. also on other forums I read if I don’t pay the fine I would be on the black list for 5 years for only Greece not the other schengen countries. I am too confused what to do. I couldn’t find a proper regulation to check so if you could help me I would be grateful. Thank you so much.

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    • Wade Shepard August 1, 2012, 6:07 am

      There is a lot of confusion about this for everyone involved — even the authorities. Many have reported to the site that they’ve paid Schengen fines and still received a ban. Also, there are no such thing as a ban for only a single Schengen country — if you’re banned from one you’re banned from entering them all. MANY times I’ve consulted travelers who were told by the authorities that they were banned from entering only one Schengen country and they they found out the hard way (being denied at the border) that they have been banned from them all.

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      • D September 19, 2012, 7:22 am

        I feel like I’ve written here before a few years ago (although, apologies it may have been another site). I had a rough experience in 2009 as I foolishly exited Schengen via Zurich after overstaying a few months in Italy. They refused to let me through passport control and took me to “have a chat” with another police officer. He took my passport, did a count of the days I overstayed , was so ‘friendly’ with me (lol) the whole time as if it would be ok. He told me I had to pay 400 swiss francs either on the spot or I would receive a bill in the mail. I didn’t have that money on me so after about 1.5 months the bill came. IN GERMAN. and ONLY German. Anyway, long story short, the fine was paid on time eventually. I then decided to apply for a student visa and my application was denied by the IT consulate as I was in SIS! They said their hands were tied as it said I was banned for 3 years. I was angry as there was NO mention in any of the paperwork from Zurich that I would be banned. It was just a “nice surprise!” Anyway, to get out of the ban many many many letters were mailed back and forth (we mainly communicated in Italian as Switz recognizes the language) and they basically told me to: submit a bank statement (! lol) a resume showing I had been employed at one time in the US, A letter of apology and asking to be removed (my legal counsel advised me to be cordial but firm and not too apologetic) and proof I actually applied for a Visa but was denied (via photocopy of the denial stamp and letters from IT consulate) Fast forward a few months and by chance I found out (via my Italian boyfriend who was a law student and his uncle who is a lawyer and could officially request information ‘for clients’ from the Interior Minister in Italy) that I was FREE. But, I had NEVER received notice from Zurich. ever. Thank goodness I had people who were able to help me. If not, they don’t make it easy for you to know what is happening. I have since gotten a visa and all is ok. Just passing on my story once again.

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  • armanj August 6, 2012, 4:56 pm

    hello please i need help on getting extension i have got schengen visa from germany consulste in malaysia this coming month i am having plan to go germany but i have got only 10days visa from 20 to 30 how can i extend in order for me to go travel over whole germany ?

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  • armanj August 6, 2012, 5:08 pm

    hello every one i need to know how to extend my schengen visa i just have got it from germany embassy and i did requier 10 days then they only have given me 10 days and i had plan to go there the 20 of this month and return to malaysai in 30 of this month but now i want to go in 22 of this month cause one of my best friend will vist malaysai and he wants to meet me then i cant go on my time and my duration of staying over there is very much short and some more if i go in 22 then i will only have 7 days to stay there and i want more but i dont know how to extend my visa . and for more information iam froom iraq but iam living in makaysai and i am a student over here as well , so should i go to germany embassy again and ask them to extend my visa or once i get there got to their immgration and ask for extend visa?

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  • Bethany August 7, 2012, 4:41 pm

    I accidentally overstayed a tourist visa in Germany by three weeks, and payed a fine of 300 euros. I’m wondering if this constitutes being convicted of a crime, as I am looking to live and work in Korea and one of the questions is whether or not I’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime in my country or any foreign countries. I wasn’t arrested (I asked when I was taken back to pay the fine) but did paying the fine mean that I was convicted of a crime? How do I explain this on the application, when it just has a yes or no check box?

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  • Sam October 1, 2012, 2:37 pm


    I’m an Egyptian citizen applied for short-term visa to go stay in Denmark for 15days. The visa expires on the 29th Sep. on the way back home i had to fly to Zurich as a transit. i landed in Zurich around 21:00 on the 29th so i should’ve signed out right away but i totally forgot since the other plane took off at 9 in the morning on the 30th Sep. When i went to sign out the sign out lady told me to hold till the officer comes to talk with me. He told me that i have to pay 350 CHF and sign a declaration, hence i did. i asked him if this will cause me in problems when i apply again for denmark and he told me it wont be a problem but i should takecare next time. i wrote down in the declaration that i was in the airport but totally forgot to signout in time. when i was back home i called the Swiss embassy and explained the situation and they told me that they don’t have my name on the system. Now I’m applying again to go to denmark for 90days, do you think they will take actions upon what i’ve done??

    Best regards,

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  • blake October 22, 2012, 11:41 pm

    Hello! I see that people have had similar situations to mine, but there seem to be some particulars that haven’t been cleared up. I’m a US citizen, and I overstayed my Schengen visa for about two months while working in Belgium(a total of 5 1/2 months). I realized my mistake when I went to England for a conference, and while leaving Belgium, EU immigration authorities noticed that I had overstayed my visa. They told me they noticed the issue, though they let me through to the eurostar terminal, and they also said that I should go directly to the US embassy when I was returning to Belgium (which I planned to do a week later). Instead of returning to Belgium to face the consequences, I up and left Europe, and have been in the US for the past 3 months. I’m returning to the Netherlands for a week-long conference in November – which will be after the end of my 180 day visa period – but I’m wondering if that short conversation at the border means I’m actually in the SIS. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Will I be OK if I show my return ticket and reason for travel?

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    • Wade Shepard October 23, 2012, 4:02 am

      It’s difficult to tell. I would say that there is a very good chance that you’re in the SIS and will be denied entry when trying to go back. I would recommend checking with the Dutch consulate — but keep in mind that this can be one heck of a task. As an additional note, Dutch immigration is one of the strictest in the region for denying travelers who are banned.

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    • D October 23, 2012, 4:31 am

      Hi. Did they take your passport ‘away’? What exactly happened at the moment of passport control? My experience is posted above re: Zurich. The process took a good half hour or more and it included a fine. If they didn’t make you sign anything I’d say you may be ok to travel. Also, I find it odd they told you to see the US embassy. For what purpose? The US embassy in Zurich didn’t reply to me at all when I had the idea to ask them for advice. As Wade suggested I’d try to contact either the Dutch or Belgian consulates. They should be able to see if your name is in the system. If it is and nobody sent you any info or you didn’t have anything to sign I would add it to yet more ways they do as they please (my fine was all in the German language…) because they can.

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  • Rhonda November 18, 2012, 2:01 am

    My partner (a German citizen) and I (an Australian citizen) travelled to Europe in May this Year, spending two months in Dresden in Germany before travelling through Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Italy. We flew in and out of Zurich. It was whilst we were in Dresden that I realised we had forgotten to do anything about extending my 90 day visa before we left Australia and so we visited the alien authority in Dresden to apply to have my visa extended. I was (after many visits) finally issued with a document and was told to present this to the Customs Desk in Zurich when I left. It turns out the document was not the correct document and I have now been sent a fine of 350 Swiss francs (or two days gaol) been told that it was up to me to make sure the document I was given was the correct one! Obviously, the German authorities made a mistake. I did what I thought I needed to do to be legally in the Schengen zone and can’t see I have done anything wrong. The Swiss authorities however will not budge.

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  • Magda December 15, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I’m slightly confused as to the new visa rules for Type D visas. I received a one year student visa in Italy and the ”Permesso di soggiorno” (residency card). My permesso expired at the end of September 2012. As per the Italian sites I visited I could remain in Italy up to 60 days after it expired. Considering Italian bureaucracy, and certain matters I had to resolve as well as completing my thesis, I stayed 58 more days after expiration. I then exited the Schengen area for a few days, traveled to the UK and returned into the Schengen area via a new country. As a Canadian (and I suspect it’s the same for most third party nationals), I am aware that after the expiration of the permesso I am allowed to travel in the Schengen area for 90 days. However, do I fall under a tourist visa the moment the permesso expires, or once I re-enter the Schengen zone?
    Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Thank you

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  • Matt January 11, 2013, 8:42 pm


    I recently travelled through Europe(Schengen) for 90 days, I then decided to see the relatives in Greece and ended up staying for another 4 months. I knew of the fine for overstaying and was prepared to pay at immigration if I was pulled up.
    Well when I left Athens to go back to Melbourne, I was at the immigration check point and the officer was looking at my passport and was about to enter details/check the system. She said to me “Oh the system is running very slow today etc” and after about a minute or so she gave up and stamped my passport and let me pass. I want to know if after the 180 day period I can return to Greece and hopefully because nothing was recorded in the SIS at the time that I’d have no problems re entering after the cool down period is over.

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  • ERIC August 25, 2019, 5:52 pm

    i overstayed shengen visa for 3 weeks.i left the shengen area by myself.will it affect my next application?

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    • Wade Shepard August 27, 2019, 7:44 am

      It could.

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