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Germany Visa

Travel Visas to Germany Submit information and links about how to obtain travel visas to Germany. How did you get your Germany visa? Contribute information below to help other travelers. Reader questions about visas to Germany Overstayed visa in Germany, what to do? i arrived in frankfurt the middle of august 2010, i am a [...]

Travel Visas to Germany

Submit information and links about how to obtain travel visas to Germany. How did you get your Germany visa? Contribute information below to help other travelers.

Reader questions about visas to Germany

Overstayed visa in Germany, what to do?

i arrived in frankfurt the middle of august 2010, i am a US citizen, got a stamp in my passport on arrival, and immediately headed to france…i’ve been in the schengen zone since then, the last 6 months, obviously overstayed any visa i might have had (never did actually have a visa),…staying with relatives in germany at the moment, talked to the US consulate in munich about my situation and they told me to present myself to the nearest “auslander amt” ( foreigner office/dept) go from there..seemed like suicide to me, but from your forum i could see the logic of settling pre-departure affairs, and being straight-forward about making an effort to resolve the issue before just showing up at the airport and trying to leave, and facing the music at exit…my question to you is: what is the likely scenario if i do go to the local “foreigner/aliens dept ” and try to be pro-active about my overstay?…will i be immediately taken into custody? or will i be able to walk away from the encounter and consider my next move…have you any experience with such an approach, in germany? i would love to think that being honest and taking some responsibility (better late than never..) would help me out, or is it irrelevent at this point? …and “you are ours now buster”…thanks for a reply

I would agree with the US consulate, get this all straightened out prior to departure. Germany has their system in order and they will bust you at an exit port. Just taking care of this in advance, getting your 3 year ban, is probably the most noble way of doing this. But if you want to tray to skirt out of the region, you could try to book a flight out of another Schengen country and try to get away with it. Italy is currently a little lax about prosecuting visa overstayers — just make sure your flight path does not have a transfer in any other Schengen country.


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About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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10 comments… add one

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  • Youssef December 30, 2010, 6:34 pm

    I am Lebanese citizen having a permanent residency for the USA, I am flying to Germany on a schengen visa between the 10 of Jan. and 3rd Feb. However my visa expired the 2nd of February and my flight is schedueld for the 3rd of February at 10 am. To change the flight to the 2nd of Feb. will cost 680$. is there a grace period or I will be considered illegal> Thank you

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com December 30, 2010, 7:35 pm

      No, there is no grace period. Once you are over your visa you are considered an overstayer and can receive a full punishment. It does not seem to me that there is much difference in the penalties on an overstay of one day or an overstay of one year. I have received reports of people — even many Westerners — overstaying there Schengen visas by one or two days and receiving three year bans and fines. Germany is also probably the strictest country in the region for visa overstays, so my advice is to go and talk to a German consulate, show them your ticket, and request an additional day applied to your visa. It may work, but I am not hopeful.

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      • Youssef December 31, 2010, 11:14 pm

        Thank you very much. I appreciate your prompt response. That helps a lot. Happy new year!!!

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  • jessica January 3, 2011, 3:53 pm

    hi im in germany with my husband that is in the usaf we have not summited our command sponsorship my passport is only allowing me to stay 90 days im almost 30 days overstayed i dont want to leave him he still has over a year left in Germany but we also dont want to put the command sponsorship papers in either bc they will add a year am i okay to go home now for 90 days and come back or is their a visa i can get when i go home that will allow me to stay a lot long???? please someone fill me in with some very helpful information PLEASEEEEE thank you

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 3, 2011, 4:01 pm

      It seems as if you had technically overstayed your visa and may receive a ban from the Schengen region when you try to exit. It is my advice to go immediately to a German immigration office with your husband and perhaps an Air Force representative and find out how you can remedy this situation.

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  • Larry March 4, 2011, 3:09 pm

    just thought i would let know that i got out of “the schengen” with no problems, ….even with two beers in me he night before i hardly slept much tues night, mar 1 …..wed morning, mar 2, i was up and out early to make the schlepp from my hostel in montmartre to CDG to check in for my flight, – metro to gare du nord for the RER train and shuttle to CDG terminal #1…..at security pre-screen/check-in, there was no passport issue – which was hopeful, …but then on to the real thing – passport controlle,…now this is just one man’s experience, and add to that i am 62 years old (today!), got my haircut short, shaved the night before, i have a preppie-looking suit of travel clothes i wear because i fly stand-by/companion ticket (and there is the possibility i will get a seat in business class) , so it went like this: there were two immigration/passport inspectors in the booth i approached – both women – with a police officer standing between them,…as i handed my passport over with a “bonjour”, the police officer said something to the two women, which somewhat distracted them, “mine” especially, so that she did not even look at the entry date stamped in my passport ( FRA aug 17, 2010),…instead she just found the page with the entry stamp on it and put her exit stamp right next it….done,..au revoir !….i was listed as a stand-by passenger in business class, and that is where i went !! …only about 10 or 12 of us in there….filet mignon for lunch!,..and three glasses of champagne for me to celebrate!!….yahooo!! …i was ready to turn around and go back after i landed in DC, but think i should wait a few months, at least, before doing something like this again!….and thanks for your feedback, ..i will make a donation to you when i get back home to oregon…regards..lm

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  • Kristan March 31, 2011, 1:29 pm

    Hi Wade. First of all, just let me say that it is amazing what you do. Both with your life and with the service you provide here on this site. If life is a book to be filled with stories, then yours must be a pretty good read. So.. my question. I know you get tons of emails like this and I have spent the last few hours on your site going through comments and responses and trying to figure out what applies to me… If you could offer your opinion on my situation it would be very appreciated. Like others… I have overstayed my visa. Short background – I lived and worked in Berlin from 2001 to 2007 and then returned to Canada figuring my “Europe days” were over. But last year in 2010 I went through some very tough times (ie breakdownville).. and I decided to come back to Berlin to spend time with my old friends. I spent 4 months here and left at the beginning of December returned to Canada. I got a bit of raised eyebrows and a “you could get in trouble” but they let me through. I returned at the end of December (with no trouble at the airport), thinking that my visa resets, and thinking I could find employment to take me through the summer (I was managing walking tour companies when I lived here before). No employment found (I have been supporting myself with savings). And I now realize that I have overstayed my visa by.. what.. 4 months? I am supposed to return to Canada in about 3 weeks to take care of affairs and then honestly I was hoping to come back and spend the summer here as my last “hurrah” in Europe, and my last time to see many friends that will only be here at that time. Upon realizing that I may have been incredibly stupid, I contact my embassy. They told me to contact the Foreigners Office to get a “grenzuebertrittsbescheinigung” (great German word, that. Means border-crossing-pass basically) to avoid trouble at the border. So… here are the options I am playing with in my head. Are there any that you think are just completely ridiculous? 1. Go to the foreigners office. Get the pass (hopefully). Get on their radar, and who knows if they will fine/ban/immediate deport me? 2. Fly back to Canada from Prague or out of Poland? Possibly back in/out for the summer the same way? 3. A piece of luggage was stolen from me recently. I have not yet checked to see if my passport was in it as well. If it is now gone, how would that affect my situation? 4. Build a large catapult to launch me back to Canada, thus avoiding all border controls. 5. Just dont leave until the end of the Summer… at least have that definitely and then deal with the situation afterwards (big difference between 5 months over and 9 months over?) I can pay a fine. I would hate to have a Shengan ban, this would hugely impact my future plans in a most depressing way. I would like to come back to Berlin for the summer. Any thoughts? Thanks tons in advance. Imaginary cake coming your way.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com March 31, 2011, 1:31 pm

      Hello Kristan,

      It seems silly to me to go to the German authorities if you don’t want to be slapped with a 3 year ban from the entire Schengen region. Many travelers have had success by traveling overland to Italy or France (no immigration at borders) and then flying out on a direct flight from there.

      Don’t try the lost passport trick, it is really common, and I am sure consulates are getting wise to it.

      Just lay low and leave Germany overland, then reenter the region via Italy. This is not foolproof advice, but it seems to have worked for many other travelers.

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  • SS May 31, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Hi Wade…
    I am from India.

    I have germany work & residential work permit upto April 2013.
    I was there in Germany for 6 months on employement & came back last month to India.
    So I can travel back to Germany anytime (before April 2013). Right?
    Or if I wont travel within next 6 months, is it going to expire?

    Link Reply
  • SS June 5, 2012, 4:34 am

    Hi Wade…
    I am from India.

    I have germany work & residential work permit upto April 2013.
    I was there in Germany for 6 months on employement & came back last month to India.
    So I can travel back to Germany anytime (before April 2013). Right?
    Or if I wont travel within next 6 months, is it going to expire?

    Link Reply