Overstayed Schengen Visa and Lost Passport Hello H, Don’t worry. You are in the best situation that you can be in as far as safe guarding your exit from the Schengen zone. I have known many travelers who have been working long term in the Schengen zone who have “lost” their passports so that they [...]
Overstayed Schengen Visa and Lost Passport
Don’t worry. You are in the best situation that you can be in as far as safe guarding your exit from the Schengen zone. I have known many travelers who have been working long term in the Schengen zone who have “lost” their passports so that they could leave and return without fear of being hassled.
I am unsure of how well it really works, as it is often unclear if they got away with it or if the immigration official did not want to bother processing them with a fine or other punishment.
There is now a Schengen Information System that is now up and running, which is suppose to keep tabs on people entering and exiting the region. It is unclear if this system is marking your arrival date in the Schengen zone as you enter, or if it is just a way to “red flag” travelers who have been recorded for overstaying. Though I would not doubt that it will soon be collecting your arrival details in the near future.
I am skeptical if losing your passport will really work to slip under the Schengen radar, but, if you have already lost your passport, I suppose you are able to take the chance.
Don’t worry. Your country’s consulate has nothing to do with any visa regulations of other countries — even the one that they are based in. The most that they can do is lecture you and tell you to go home. It is not my impression that governments are in the practice of given up their own citizens voluntarily to be prosecuted by foreign countries.
If your consulate asks you when you entered the Schengen zone just tell them a more recent date. They probably will not question it. If they pry, say that you don’t have a flight receipt, boarding pass stub, or any evidence and act like they are nuts for questioning you.
Or you can tell them to go shit in their hats. Your consulate has no business muddling in the affairs of France. Your consulate has no business messing with you, as it is your tax dollars that fills their bank accounts. It is my impression that they know all of this, and they probably will not hassle you.
Just make sure that you have a tighter story for losing your passport than the one you wrote below. In various regions of the world, it is common for travelers to “lose” their passports to remove evidence of visas. I would not lie about it, but just add more details to the story. You cannot say that it was stolen, as you do not know if this is true and you may be required to get a police report, which would then bring France into the issue and not work to your advantage. I say that if there is any way that you could say that you lost your passport on a some sort of public transport it would be best. Leaving your passport in a taxi cab is a good way to lose it, or on a bus or train.
At any rate, I do not think that your country will deny you a passport even if they think that you intentionally lost yours in order to leave no evidence that you overstayed your Schengen visa. Your embassy is suppose to be your ally abroad, not your foe.
Just have confidence and do not act like a subordinate when talking to your consulate officials. They work for you, remember that.
If you have any supporting identification, bring it with you to the consulate. I am not sure what documentation you will need to get a new passport abroad, but I would suggest bringing originals or scans/ photocopies of the following:
- Photocopy of your passport- Everything will be worlds easier if you have this.
- Driver’s licenses- Original is best, but a photocopy or scan will help as well.
- Birth Certificate- You probably do not have the original with you so have your parents, or someone who is able, scan a copy of it over to you as soon as possible.
- Any IDs- Bring all identification with you and have someone from your home scan all of your photo IDs that they can find over to you, and then print them out and bring them. Get copies of university IDs, drivers licenses, Social Security cards or the equivalent, anything! The more identification you have, the better.
- Any Documents linking you to home country- Bring anything that you have that has your name on it with an address in your home country. Have someone send you scanned copies of any paid utility bills, bank statements, library overdue notices . . . anything with your name on in linking you to your country.
I usually keep a document in my email inbox that has scans of all of the documents I would need in the case that I find myself in a foreign land without hard documentation. If you have this, then you should not have any problems. If you don’t, they have someone scan you copies of as much identification as they can.
I hope this helps.
Let me know how you make out.
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Travel Help on Overstaying Schengen Visa
Overstaying Visa in Europe
Overstaying Visa in Germany
Travel to UK/ Ireland after overstaying Schengen Visa
Penalties for Overstaying Visa to Work in Italy
Original question about overstaying Schengen visa and losing passport
Im travelling with my partner thru Europe for an artistic project. Its taken longer than we anticipated, and now we overstayed. I know you have already answered a lot of overstay questions. The problem is we lost our passports. I hadn’t noticed, but we were preparing to take a side trip out of Paris and i can’t find them. I clearly have to go to the embassy and tell them, but I am worried that now we will surely get busted for the overstay. Have you had any experience with losing/ or stolen passports, and how much information the embassy will require from us, will they know we overstayed etc.? It seems like its more risky to lie to the embassy than the immigration officers upon leaving. now I don’t really have a choice.
Thanks for all your great advice, I have been looking everywhere for answers and loosing sleep.
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.
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 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. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
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June 15, 2009, 7:32 am
thank you for the advice. I’m happy to donate to your site, this was very useful information. I’ll keep you posted.
October 22, 2009, 12:38 am
Hi I am in the process of getting my visa for the Czech Republic. But I have overstayed my 90 day stay, and now I cant find my passport anywhere.. what do I do?
November 10, 2009, 1:09 am
I wonder what happened with their overstay and lost passport, for what people tell me…. when you try to exit the area the computers at the airport have the date when you entered the country even if you show the new passport.My girlfriend is in the same situation here in Switzerland and we don’t know what to do.
November 22, 2009, 1:55 pm
I am in a similar situation and am thinking of “losing” my passport so that I have no problems overstaying my schengen visa by about a month. Does this really work? At the airport, will they notice that I have no stamps in my passport and will they be able to check when I arrived? Is the information scanned in a database already?
December 10, 2009, 4:36 am
Yes, I would also like to have feedback from Bohemian. I am in the exact same situation, I’ve been in Schengen area for 4 months already, going back to the U.S for New Year’s and reporting the “lost” passport today.
Is it true that they check the entry date on computer like Paola mentioned?
Will really appreciate some advice.
Thank you very much!
December 26, 2009, 8:26 pm
I was also thinking of ‘losing’ my passport to leave Italy. I read this message on another website, Im not sure if its totally valid, but it sure did make me feel better!
“Scanning your passport will not tell Dutch suthorities how long you’ve stayed in Schengen. Schengen Information System (SIS) that is linked to scanning is a passive system – like an electronic file – that simply matches your details against anyone on its list of those banned from Schengen because of previous offences, fugitives from justice, those on security hit list as well as details of stolen/lost passports and IDs and stolen properties. It does not log your movement into or out of Schengen.”
So I guess when they scan your passport it’s not to register that you are arrivingleaving. I think that’s only in the stamps, and if you have a ton of them like me, I dont think it should be a problem. The website admin Wade also wrote on another post that he has lots of stamps into and out of Schengen and they dont usually bother to search through them for the specific stamp with a date of entry.
February 6, 2010, 11:59 am
Are you sure they won’t check the arrival/departure date of the passport? And do they every have the records?I really need to know how this works? Please let me know as soon as possible!!
March 4, 2010, 10:50 am
this site seems to be really helpful…
i got similar problem, i have overstayed in uk for 3 months( for not a solid reason), now i came back to india…they did n’t ask me anything..but now i am planning to go to us, can i use the same passport to apply for the visa… or do i have to go with the lost passport scenario and get the new one.
March 21, 2010, 5:36 pm
I know this was addressed above, but does anyone know for sure if scanning the passport tells where you have traveled? I’ve worked in the Netherlands for over two years. The problem I didn’t realize I had to renew the residence card myself. I thought my employer was taking care of it. I recently got a new passport that now only has one stamp. This could save me if scanning the passport doesn’t tell my past history. I am getting married in Italy in July. This could be bad for me if they ban me.
May 2, 2010, 10:35 pm
I am currently between a rock and a hard place. I had overstayed my visit in Switerland by 2 months past the 90 days allowed. When leaving, I got caught by Swiss customs and was pulled aside. I didn’t speak French and the guards I was passed off to didn’t speak English. They had me complete 2 separate forms basically with name and address info, also with a claim for defense against possible refusal to entry or expulsion from the country. After completing the forms the guard gave back my passport and boarding pass and let me go to board the plane to go back to America, no fine, just an okay and I left. THey did not provide me a copy of the paperwork, they did stamp my passport with a regular exit stamp, but then they hand wrote ‘4c’ in the stamp.
My concern is that I have already booked a reunion trip with friends to go to Greece at the end of May. I would still technically be illegal. I plan on getting a new passport, but have heard that Greece scans all passports, and that my info would appear in the SIS IF I have been entered into it. If I haven’t been entered in the SIS then I could manage a 2 week vacation in Greece and then go back to the US for a long time. Although what happens if I AM IN THE SIS? What would happen to me upon arrival in Greece from America? What are the possible consequences? What are your suggestions?
May 3, 2010, 8:39 am
Thanks Wade. I know, not the wisest decision if I go, I am still up in the air about it all. I will keep you posted if I do go though. Thanks for your timely response.
July 14, 2010, 12:13 pm
Great site! I have a question for you- I have been living in Spain for 79 days- I didn’t realise until recently that I could only be in Schengen for 90 days total. (I am Canadian). I have come to the UK for a week, and was planning on going to the Middle East for 2 weeks and then flying back to Spain for about 16 days (5 more than my 90 days). I am flying back to Canada from London at the end of August, so I plan on coming back to the UK a few weeks before I leave. My question is this – because I technically have 11 days left in Schengen, I am sure that I can re-enter Spain with no hassle. But because I will be a few days over my visa period, where is the possibility that I would get caught for overstaying – leaving Spain or trying to re-enter UK? I know that UK isn’t part of Schengen but I was told that I could get busted in the UK for overstaying Schengen.
January 7, 2011, 7:02 am
From my experience, avoid the UK. The passport control is strict and rude.
- January 7, 2011, 7:02 am
September 5, 2010, 7:48 am
I am a US citizen and by the time I leave the Czech Republic I will have overstayed my Schengen visa by 3 months. SHould I go to the US consulate and report my passport lost or does the Czech Republic hold records of entry and therefore I will still be ‘screwed’. Please, I need advice as I am very nervous about attempting to exit Schengen.
January 13, 2011, 7:33 am
HI, I DID OVERSTAY IN SHENGEN FOR A YEAR !!!
WHAT I DID WAS, I DID WENT TO A COUTRY, THAT IS NOT SO BUSY FOR
MY COUNTRIE CITIZENCHIP TO GET A NEW PASSPORT !!
I DID GET MY NEW PASPOR THAT DID COST ME AROUND 130 US !
AFTER I DID WENT TO BERLIN (TEGEL) AND BORDE MY PLAIN WITH NO PROBLEM
THE ONLY THING WAS THAT THE OFFICER ASK ME, HOW LONG YOU BEEN IN GERMANY FOR ?
AND I DID SAY JUST FOR 2 WEEKS AND THAT WAS IT, NO MORE QUESTION !!
AND THE END OF THE QUESTIONS IN MY HEAD WHAT THA FREAK IS GOING TO HAPPEND !!
SO YOU PEOPLE THAT ARE SCARED TO LOSE YOU PASS IS THE BEST WAY TO GET CLEAN GETING OUT OF SHENGEN !!
IM FROM SUDAMERICA BY THE WAY
June 9, 2011, 6:27 pm
i´ve been surfing the net for the past three days trying to find a solution for my problem… with no luck.
here´s my story: i´ve been married for four years, and my husband is a legal resident in Spain for the last 15 years and is going to apply for his nationality in September. We have a 2 year old son who became a resident as well.
As for me, i came to Spain on a tourist visa in May 2009 and asked at the police station if i could become a resident as well, the worker there informed me that the only way is for me to leave Spain, and demand a family reunion visa, which would mean i´d have to leave my husband and newborn son behind (my son had to stay to get his residency papers done) for God only knows how long! when i told him that i couldn´t leave my son the MAN TOLD ME TO STAY ILLEGALLY FOR THREE YEARS!!! immagine an employee of the state telling me that this is my only solution!!!
so i stayed illegally in Spain until my son got all his papers and stayed his one year of legal residency that would allow us to apply for his nationality as well. Now my questions are….
1) let´s say i leave Spain as an illegal, and my name is in the SIS, can i stay in my home country whilst my husband asks for a family reunion visa, and will i be granted this visa seeing as i was illegal? do i have the right to come back to Spain again to be reunited with my husband and child?
2) My passport will expire in jan 2012, is my embassy in Spain allowed to renew it if i am illegal?
3) Is there any way that i can get my residency while in Spain before the 3 years period? (my husband is self employed and pays all his taxes)
plz help, i can´t sleep at night trying to think of ways to come back legally into Spain if i do leave, or ways to become a resident without having to wait for 3 years.
June 20, 2011, 12:46 pm
Hi. good info here. i overstayed my visa 4 times (i spain mostly) and never had a problem. then the last time i was came back through switzerland and they caught me. they were not clear or helpful, then sent me the letter in swiss german. when i called…they said they did not speak french or italian…only german! so i said screw it. a year and a half later i tried to return through belgium, but they noticed the red mark on my passport and detained me, sent a fax to switzerland, then 3 hours later told me i was refused entry and had to go back to Canada. the police in belgium were quite nice, and the one even told me to just ‘renew’ my passport, because the overstay wasnt in the computer files, only on the actual physical part of my passport. but before i could ask him more details his partner came to escort me on my return flight. now im wondering (to get back) is it really not in the computer, and only on my actual passport? and this new refusal of entry, he said something about 6 months but wasnt clear. im also sending a fax to hte swis place they “only speaks german” in german and french stating my case, and going to offer to pay additional fines to have the ban lifted. its 3 years, so i only have a year and a half left on it…but i need to go back for this summer. should i renew my passport and go in through lisbon or spain directly? or renew it, go to serbia or macedonia(no shengen countries) then take the train west? how tights the borders there? any info would be helpful…after Marguerittas more serious problem there of course. thanks 🙂
July 28, 2011, 7:43 pm
It sounds like my situation is similar to those mentioned above (though not as dire as Marguerita’s..). I’m an American who overstayed my visa in Barcelona by two months, and when I flew through Zurich (BAD move), they caught me and told me I had to pay a fine (almost $700), which I did. They guy also said if I paid it immediately, this wouldn’t go on my record. However, I just tried to fly back into Europe– a month and a half later– (the flight was through Geneva)–and they stopped me, told me a report had come through ten days before saying I was banned from the EU for 2 years, and deported me immediately. I was going to just give up, but the thing is, I had a whole life (jobs, apt, friends, a seminar I’ve already enrolled in) set up there, and if there’s a way I could get back in– through Spain, Italy, Portugal– I would still like to. If I’m now in the SIS system, will Spain not let me enter directly? And if they do catch me (at the beginning or end of another overstayed visa), what are the consequence? Another fine? A longer ban? Encarceration? I’d like to know what’s at stake before gambling or giving up… Thanks for your help!
December 2, 2011, 1:59 pm
Can you tell us if there is a way to contact an office or center for the SIS and inquire as to if one is or is not in their system. In a similar situation and the border guards and my lawyer told me to contact the dutch immigration department regarding the consequences. Even after almost 2 months they say they have received no report for the border control and that it’s possible it was never filed. But is the Immigration department the same as the SIS, or rather do they have direct access to the SIS?
January 31, 2012, 6:38 am
Question!! I am currently living in Germany on a one year youth mobility visa ( from canada) and I am wondering if once this visa expires, do I have to leave the entire Schengen zone, or only Germany?? Seems impossible to find the info anywhere.. – ie can I just go to the Netherlands
cheers for your help
August 12, 2012, 9:02 am
I’m sanjeev kumar.i have 1 years multiple entry visa for finland, my wife is russian and have 1 daughter.i stayed in norway and now stay in riga,before 2 days i got my russian visa, i could not apply in vilnius unless i don’t have european residency, but i request to consular ,the understand that have family in russia,so i got it.now i stay here i mean in schenegen zone 1 day overtime. now i want to go back russia,if i will go throught train or bus,they will deport me from here or need to pay fine?if need to pay fine how much it will be?
October 19, 2012, 11:59 am
I have lost my Indian passport in France and I have valid Schengen visa which I got from French consulate. I have applied for new passport at Indian embassy at Paris. But the embassy is not helping to get my Visa stamp on new passport.
I do not have a photo copies of Visa as I lost them with my bag itself.
Can any one suggest me to Where to get my Visa stamp in France so that I can show my eveidence that I have a valid Visa and also safely returning to India?
Please help me
October 23, 2012, 4:17 am
Thank you fro your reply.
The problem is I do not have a copy of my visa with me as I lost the photocopies with my bag. Actually mine is a Schengen Visa taken from French consulate before my travel. My return tickets are booked as from Toulouse to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to India.
So, I called to immigration police office at Frankfurt airport and told my situation. He said with out a valid visa document they can’t allow me to go as they do not have direct access to Visa info given by France. He advised me to get it from France somehow.
Could you please share if you have any info whome(where) to get my visa details in France?
January 8, 2013, 10:03 pm
I was living in Prague as an English teacher. I was waiting on a pending VISA, but mine got denied for having a form filled out incorrectly. It was a very stupid reason and it turned my new life upside down. I was about 5 weeks over the 90 day policy when I left for the U.S. I ended up getting new passport at the embassy, because I really did lose my passport on the public transport system 2 weeks before. I had to transfer out of Amsterdam and was pulled out, questioned and searched because of my replacement passport. I do not think they were able to find when I entered the Schengen. They kept asking me and I told them for about a month. I think they were suspecting other things rather than an overstay . I want to go back next month on my new passport and try to apply again for my czech visa. Is there a way this could go against me when I go back to Prague? Maybe they knew in Amsterdam and just didn’t tell me? I am flying in through Madrid to connect to Prague. I’ve read that I’m probably fine, but I still am paranoid about it.
January 28, 2013, 12:09 am
I decided to apply for my visa in the states and wait for it here instead of risk it . I am damn sure never going to move somewhere with long term plans before I have a visa in my hands ever again. My lesson is learned. I’m walking low and straight from now on. I have the feeling they couldn’t tell because they were completely baffled . This did not happen at passport controls, but at the security line in front of the gate. They threatened to call all my contacts to verify ,quizzed me about everything I did and searched my bag. I think it would have been easier for them to have said ” Hey you overstayed,we found it, and here is your fine/bann ” rather than bother me for a good 20 minutes that felt like an eternity. Do you think my old lost passport could have given me a smokescreen due to the fact it was issued in 2004 and did not contain the chip? I think that has t be the only way I got away with it.
Again, thanks for the help you put on here! You seem to help many people with your advice, me included. I’m a huge fan of your site!
February 21, 2013, 5:14 am
So I doubt that my situation is a whole lot different, but I just wanted to make sure and also see if anything has changed.
I came to Spain several months ago with a US passport and without a visa, and have overstayed the 90 days. This is really due to youthful ignorance as it is my first time outside of the US, but I doubt that matters. Ideally, I would like to briefly return to the U.S. for family reasons, but then return to Spain, also temporarily, to conclude some business here, before finally residing again in the U.S.
I do not think that that plan is possible. From your previous comments, it seems that you do not recommend that I lose my passport, as the SIS record of my entry remains. But then you wrote:
“MANY people lose their passports and they leave without getting a new visa inserted in it. Just tell them that you have a new passport when leaving, and keep the documentation to prove it.”
Then of course for every horror story about customs problems there is someone else that says, “Oh, well nothing happened to me” or “the customs agents were lazy and just passed me though”. So I just hoped to get your opinion and see what options you think I have. It would be very much appreciated.
March 24, 2013, 9:55 am
I am indescribably relieved to have found your website, I have another oh-so-common overstay question for you…
I moved from Canada to Switzerland 1 year and 3 months ago on a 1 year Au Pair Visa. A few days before my Visa expired, I went to Germany with the hopes of getting my passport stamped and returning on a Tourist Visa. No one stamped my passport however, and in hindsight, I don`t think that would have worked anyway. My situation is that I`ve overstayed now for 3 months, and desire to stay until November, and fly home through a relaxed country like Spain. However, I`ve recently realized that I have lost my passport, and I`m now wondering if I should go the the Canadian embassy here and get a temporary one, or if the fact that I`m overstaying makes this too risky.. Should I wait until I`m ready to go before retrieving my Canadian passport? What will happen if I`m somehow detained by Swiss authorities before November, and I don`t have a passport?
Another option I`ve been entertaining, is applying for my British citizenship while overstaying in Switzerland. My father is English by birth, and I`ve recently begun the process of applying, but I`m wondering if there are any big risks involved with applying from a country I am illegally residing in, do you know of any? And lastly, if I successfully acquire my British passport while here in Switzerland, am I then allowed to stay within the EU and Schengen zone, despite my previous overstay?
Thank you so much for this godsend of a website Wade,
November 17, 2013, 4:56 pm
passport of my wife and daughter have been stolen in vienna with schengen visa’s. they have valid visa till 25th feb 2014. we have applied for new passport in embassy. do we need stamp new visa in replaced passport. if we dont apply for new visa what will happens at passport control, we are going back right on time with no overstay. what is your recommendations
November 30, 2013, 4:04 am
I have overstayed my 90 days in the Schengen zone and would like to go to Croatia (non-Schengen, but EU). If I’m leaving the EU when “discovered” that I’m overstayed, will they still let me go to Croatia, or will they immediately force me to return to my home country (U.S.)?
November 30, 2013, 4:12 am
Sorry – One more question: When a person is deported back to the U.S. from the Schengen Zone, how is the deportation flight arranged and paid for? Is the deportee responsible for the cost of the flight in addition to the over-stay fine and the ban?