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Overstaying Visa in Europe

Note: Some of the advice on this page is outdated. An update is published at Penalties and fines for overstaying Schengen Visa Howdy Brandon, Thank you for the good words! It is my impression that it is far less of a hassle to overstay your visa in Europe and violate the treatises of the Schengen [...]

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Note: Some of the advice on this page is outdated. An update is published at Penalties and fines for overstaying Schengen Visa

Howdy Brandon,

Thank you for the good words! It is my impression that it is far less of a hassle to overstay your visa in Europe and violate the treatises of the Schengen agreement than it is to get a residency permit. Lots of travelers in Europe do not abide by that stupid 90 day in 90 day out restriction, and most countries that are supposedly a part of the Schengen region do not seem to acknowledge it.

I have a passport that has two sets of extra pages and is full of EU entry and exit stamps, and I have yet to notice an immigration inspector doing the math to figure out how long I was actually in the Schengen region or if I had been out long enough.

I have only heard of one person having any difficulty. I met him in Prague one year and he overstayed the Schengen entrance allowance by an entire year. He then figured that it was time to go home to the USA and took a flight out of Prague that was routed through the UK. The Czech authorities gave him no problems as he was stamped out of their country, but when he arrived in London (which is not a part of the Schengen agreement) the immigration inspector noticed that he had overstayed in the Czech Republic.

He was then put on a plane with an armed escort- at the UK’s expense – to go back to Prague to be punished. When he arrived in the Czech Republic the immigration inspector just stamped his passport like there was nothing out of the ordinary about the circumstances.

My friend then asked the inspector what he should do. The inspector looked at him like he was nuts and said, “Go find a hotel.”

So he stayed in the Czech Republic for another year.

As for getting a residency permit, I hear that this can be difficult and a lot of work in many parts of the EU. Try it if you want to. If you get a job or go to a university that is willing to sponsor you, I do not think it is too difficult. But doing it on your own without any other support can be a big hassle that just leads to dead ends on top of dead ends.

I say ask around when you get to Stockholm, you have three months to figure it out.



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Original question about overstaying the Schengen visa restrictions

I’ve been reading your articles for about 6 months now and I think they’re great. I have one question I hope you can answer with your experience in traveling. I have noticed most countries only allow you to stay for a period of 3 months or less, particularly in western Europe.  I am leaving for Stockholm April 28th 2009 and I know that the majority of Europe is part of the Schengen agreement, meaning that you can only visit the entire area for 90 days out of 180 before having to leave for another 90 days before you are allowed to re-enter.

So my question is this; how have you found it best to deal with residence permits and legal overstays? Do you not worry about it

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: Border Crossing, Europe, 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 3703 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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222 comments… add one

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  • Karlos May 1, 2009, 12:54 pm

    Hi there,

    I have been overstaying the 90 agreement by one year now too and have never registered in any country i have stayed so cannot be traced. I have work and it will take me until november this year to save to get out of here. My problem is i flew into munich and im worried that if i fly out of there there will be problems as that will be my entry and exit point with BIG date differences….

    Do you think it would be wise to maybe fly out of another country like Italy, Milan where i wont need to go via UK to get home and should look more like I was moving around than overstaying in German?


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  • admin May 5, 2009, 7:13 am


    I answered your question here:


    Thank you,


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  • Ox June 9, 2009, 8:54 pm

    Hi guys,

    I’m flying from Australia into London, where I am staying for 3 weeks with a friend (except for a 6 day trip to Paris and back on the train).

    I was then planning on travelling around Europe, all through countries in the Schengen area for about 110 days. The countries I will be in after the 90 day mark are Italy, Austria, Leichtenstien then Switzerland (have already bought a ticket to fly out of Zurich).

    We were flying out of Zurich to Ireland for a week or so, then over to England for a couple of more weeks, from where we already have a ticket home to Oz.

    Just wondering if anyone could help advise regarding the 90 day tourist thing? Everything I read seems to indicate that no one cares, but I heard that the swiss have been patrolling the Leichtenstein/ Austria border, and I’m not sure if that presents an issue for us.

    We will have all tickets to get us out of there booked in advance and will have the details with us.

    I have also heard that there is no passport checking when you head into Paris via the train from London. Is that correct?

    Any thoughts?



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  • Manish Chaubey June 29, 2009, 10:45 am

    I am presently in switzerland for some research work related to my study in EPFL,lausanne.I visited here on 12th of may and my visa is going to end on 20th of july and this whole trip is sponsored by EPFL.But my Prof. is willing to allow my stay till the end of this month as my insurance and accommodation are till 31st of july.Now,I have got the visa for 70 days and I want to stay for 81 days which is well within the 90 days rule.Will this be a problem at the time of departure at the cheking point?What should I tell them what I was doing this 15 days?Working in the lab or roaming around swiss?
    Will I be fined or any thing that may affect my visit to swiss in near future?
    I should also confirm that I have all the papers regarding insurance,accommodation and also the confirmation email print out from my secretary for my extension till 31s of july.

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    • admin July 3, 2009, 3:29 pm

      I would not worry too much about it.


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  • manish chaubey July 6, 2009, 2:00 pm

    So,what should I tell them?
    Whether I was travelling for these 10 days because of accommodation till the end of the month or tell them the truth that I was doing research in the lab but coudn’t extend my visa since I coudn’t get the permit(for this I also has the email confirmation print out from my secretary).
    WHich one will be better to tell them?

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  • admin July 6, 2009, 2:15 pm

    I do not think they will do the math and question you when you leave the country. If they do, just say that you were finishing your work. Don’t say anything more than what you have to, as excessive explanations will just complicate the situation. Don’t expect immigration officials to operate on any sort of decent human sense. They are like robots.

    I would recommend offering as little of an explanation as possible. If they fine you for overstaying your visa, then so be it. But I would not worry too much about it, as I highly doubt that you will be hassled too much. If they question you about the 10 days that you stayed over, I would just tell them that you had to finish your work with the program you are working for. I would not lie about it.

    Please leave another comment here after everything settles to let other travelers know what happened.



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  • manish chaubey July 7, 2009, 12:08 am

    So,in your opinion,what is the amount of fine I can be handed for 10 days?
    Is it comparable to the cost to get the work permit?
    Of couse,I will comment here after all the things will be settled out.

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    • admin July 7, 2009, 8:24 am

      Honestly, I have no idea how much of a fine they will give you. I would just hand them the passport and act as if everything is alright. Hopefully, the immigration official will not be too anal about it.

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  • Manish Chaubey July 7, 2009, 3:52 am

    Can I also tell them that I have been invited by my Prof. till the end of july(I also have the copy of invitation letter which mentions the exact date) and the date that I got from swiss embassy new delhi was wrong as it appears to be 10 days short of what I required?

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    • admin July 7, 2009, 8:20 am

      Yeah, you could. But I don’t think they would care. The only date that matters is the one printed on the visa.

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  • Kay July 15, 2009, 12:58 pm

    Hi, I am a classical musician from the USA. I’ve been traveling throughout Germany auditioning for work. I’ve decided I would like to stay in Berlin – indefinitely – as I continue auditioning for work. My 90 days runs out on August 5th (in 3 weeks). I need to stay in Germany for another 6-8 months bcuz peak audition season happens in the fall (Sept-Dec) I’d have a better chance of finding work in the fall. I am on very limited funds and cannot travel back to the USA at this time. I’m considering applying for a Resident Visa. However, I have a couple of dilemmas:

    #1 I’m staying in a friend’s apartment (free) in Berlin. So, I don’t have an apartment contract for proof of residency. My friend is off travelling in China for the next 2 months.

    #2 I have no proof of steady income. I am seriously living on prayer as I audition for work.

    I have to figure out what to do very shortly, bcuz I am scheduled to attend a Summer Music Institute in Hungary in 2 weeks. When I fly to Hungary from Berlin, I will have 1 week left on my 90day. However, by the time the program is over, I will have overstayed my 90days by 2 weeks. Can anyone offer advise? I really want to stay indefinitely as there are more work opportunities for classical artists here in Europe. I need to get the visa in 2 week. How can I provode proof of housing and income…when I do not have this?

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    • admin July 15, 2009, 2:12 pm

      I would try for a visa extension before you leave to go to Hungary, and see where that gets you. It may buy you some time. Then try to a letter mailed to you at your friend’s apartment as proof of having a residence and then try to get a promise of employment if you can before applying for residence.

      Or, if this does not work, find countries that you can perform in outside of the Schengen zone and travel back and forth every three months.

      I think your chances are pretty slim as far as getting an extension or a residence permit, but try it. Please also let us know how everything works out.

      Walk Slow,


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  • manish chaubey August 5, 2009, 4:39 am

    When I reached the airport,they said that you have overstayed by 10 days.Then,I said that I applied for work permit but didn’t get it.
    Then,they said to wait and filled up the form by me indicating general details name,address etc.They also needed a report but since I didnt had time so,they just took the confirmation email print out about my extension from my secretary and allowed me to leave.

    what do you say,what does this whole thing signify?
    Will this filling of form will affect any of my future visits in addition that the also didn’t stammped the passport going out of zurich?

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  • ricccardo August 6, 2009, 10:37 pm

    U.S.A. Citizen really deserve more hard times in EU.
    I’m an Italian researcher, I was sent, by my emploing University in Sicily to the University of California, Los Angeles to discuss and define possible joint research projects for a total stay of 3 months.
    For that I had to apply for a j1 visa, my all 10 fingerprints were taken, I had to answer stupid questions and provide proofs of strong ties to Italy. Apon my arrival in the USA, I had to answer a rude immigration official about my travelplans and my fingerprints were again scanned.
    I know that if I had overstaied my visa even a single day I would have got in to troubles. Reading your stories simply think EU should reciprocate the same treatment to U.S. citizen. If I happen to meet one of you American overstaing your visas I will report you to the police.

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    • Dennis October 5, 2009, 4:31 pm

      I actually went to the Italian embassay and asked them about it and they really dont care. That involves a low paid employee at customs in the police office to do work, and might conflict with their siesta. As long as us Americans are spending our money (they arent worried about us making it either as long as we spend it). As long as we do not break any laws (except for traffic laws because they don’t count). U could always sneak into america through mexico, but y would you want to?

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  • admin August 12, 2009, 6:33 am

    Hello Manish,

    It does not sound like they officially prosecuted you, as they let you go to get on your flight without giving you a fine. I do not think that it should affect your future visits.

    Though it is very odd that they did not stamp your passport as you left, though I would not worry about this too much.

    Thank you for keeping us updated.

    Walk Slow,


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  • Jack August 13, 2009, 3:08 am

    I have a dought can anyone clear please!

    I am in an schegen visa to swiss.. my 90 days to stay in schegen country is getting over by 10 th sep. my wife EU citizen got a job in swiss.. as i am an indian citizen. my wife applied for an dependent permit. but the permit will take time to process. we have just applied it. Please advise can i stay more than 90 days in swiss in order to get the dependent permit and stay here with my wife. or i need to leave the country as my 90 days stay is getting over before i get the permit. I have the receipt of permit applied. can this receipt help me to overstay my 90 days period in swiss. Please advise.

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    • admin August 13, 2009, 10:49 am

      Hello Jack,

      I would recommend going back to the immigration office that you applied for the permit at and trying to get a visa extension. If you cannot get it on paper that you can stay, they I would leave the region until your dependent permit clears. Keep in mind that bureaucracy often works in a clunky manner, and just because one official tells you something often does not make it so.

      If you cannot get expressed written permission that you can overstay your visa, and/ or an extension stamp in your passport, then I would recommend traveling to Morocco, Croatia, Albania, or Egypt until you can get the formal paperwork.

      If this is difficult for you to do because of visas, then you may want to consider returning to India until the dependent paperwork is complete. Keep in mind that there is a possibility that the immigration authorities are going to be much stricter with you because of your country of origin, and I would highly recommend playing everything by the rules.

      How long did the immigration office say it would be before the dependent visa paperwork is completed?

      Please keep us updated on your progress and let me know what happens.



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  • Jack August 13, 2009, 3:10 am

    Dependent permit applied is for me.

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  • Jack August 14, 2009, 4:14 am

    Hi Wade,

    Thanks for ur imediate response. Immigration officer said my dependent permit will be processed in 6 weeks time. ie: i applied on 10 august. My visa is till last of october but my 90 days limit is getting over by first week of september.


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  • Johan Stemment August 14, 2009, 2:47 pm


    I am a South African citizen and overstayed my Shengen Visa by 3 months,,, I am currently in Barcelona Spain,,,

    On my visa it says that it expires on 21 August,,, but is only valid for 85 days in a 6 month period,,

    I am quite paranoid about what I should do and where I should leave from..

    I guess it would be a good idea to leave before 21 August as it will look slightly better on paper and might help.

    I know on this website it is repeatedly stated that you’ll probably not get in trouble,,, but in 98% of the cases it seems to concern USA citizens,,, They seem to get overlooked more easily.

    In my passport there is fat visa, waiting to be examined.. And my passport is green.

    What chance do I have to leave unpunished,, and where is the best place to leave from?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 18, 2009, 11:48 am

      Hello Johann,

      I do not think it would matter very much if you leave the region before or after the 6 month mark on your visa, as if you stay for 91 days, you have already overstayed. Though it is probably a good idea to leave the Schengen zone as soon as possible.

      I am not sure what your chances are of leaving unpunished. You are right, the overstay restrictions are enacted differently depending on your nationality. I have heard of Venezuelans being processed and fined for overstaying their visas by 1 day and I have heard of Americans overstaying their visas by years without punishment. So it is difficult to say in your case.

      I would say that the worse that may happen is that you are banned from entering the Schengen zone for a few years, though I doubt this will happen.

      Please keep us posted on what happens to leave some tracks for other travelers. Thanks!


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  • Andy August 14, 2009, 11:10 pm

    Hi Wade,

    It IS true that time spent in the UK does NOT count toward time spent in the Schengen area, right? I know that the UK doesn’t implement the Schengen border controls, but it implements part of the Schengen agreement in terms of intelligence, doesn’t it? I’m planning to go to Spain without a visa (I’m a US citizen) and stay there for pretty much the 90-day maximum (but not overstay) and then go spend a couple weeks in England and Scotland (again without a visa), flying back from the UK to my home in the US. As far as you know, is that totally legitimate? It seems like it should be, but I haven’t yet found a straight answer on whether or not one can officially leave the Schengen area by entering the UK.

    Thanks much — sorry if this is dumb question. I’ve really enjoyed reading the travel articles and stories here!


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 15, 2009, 2:42 pm

      Hello Andy,

      This is very true, you could go to the UK to escape from the Schengen zone. No problem. You will get stamped out of the Schengen territory and get a new visa in the UK.

      But you are also very correct that English immigration acts as sort of an auxiliary authority for the Schengen countries. If you overstay your visa in Europe, there is often a better chance that you will be given a difficult time going through UK immigration than leaving the region you overstayed in!

      Many travelers are refused entry to UK/ Ireland after overstaying their Schengen visas. Though it is my impression that they are trying to prevent people from entering their borders who may overstay their visas again, rather than trying to get brownie points with the Schengen authorities. A reputation as a visa overstayer can stick. Just because a person is able to exit the Schengen zone without punishment does not necessarily mean that it is a done deal . . . because other, non related countries may not allow you entry if they can determine that you have overstayed your visa elsewhere.

      So I say that it is good that you have no intention of overstaying your Schengen visa and traveling to the UK after finishing up your 90 days on the mainland is a good option. You should not be given any difficulties.

      Thanks for reading and for asking this question. It is a good one.

      Walk Slow,


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  • Johan Stemment August 16, 2009, 5:51 pm

    I’m also sorry for asking a dumb question.. I also enjoy reading the travel articles and stories..

    : )

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  • manish chaubey August 17, 2009, 12:18 pm

    I want to go to USA next summer.
    Will this over extension in switzerland will affect my visit to US as there is no exit stamp in it?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 18, 2009, 11:40 am

      Probably not. Though it could give them reason to question you, and anything that raises the suspicion of a US immigration official is not to your favor.

      Let us know what happens!


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  • elizabeth August 22, 2009, 10:31 pm

    hi! i’m a US national and am going to italy for an internship from october to may next year. i leave in two weeks and when i went to the italian consulate they said that the internship visa quota was full. i don’t think i’ll be able to get a visa before leaving and am really worried about it.
    i will be flying into paris and touring france and italy with a friend before going to my final destination in italy. do you think that i would face problems overstaying the 90 day limit in italy and flying out of rome or milan? would this/could overstaying affect my ability to get a schengen visa in the future? do you think it would be worth trying to get a residency permit? i’m just soo confused and any help would be appreciated. thank you soo much 🙂


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 25, 2009, 2:31 pm


      It is my understanding that your internship is already arranged and sponsored by an Italian organization, correct?

      What do they suggest that you do? It seems as if they want you for the internship that they should be able to help out.

      I would recommend going to another Italian consulate to apply. The “internship quota is full” line sounds a little bullshit to me if you are already accepted and sponsored by an approved organization. I would challenge the consulate on it, and get the proper visa.

      I would not recommend overstaying your visa by this long. If you are serious about your internship, I would work out the kinks in it rather than touring in France with friends.



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  • Val Kang August 23, 2009, 8:07 pm


    First, thank you for this website.

    How could exiting the Schengen zone before 3 months (90 days), going to a third country (e.g. Croatia) and then coming back to the Schengen zone, help “reset” the visa? From
    it appears that you are only allowed 90 days in the Schengen zone out of 180 days. So the rest of the 180 days, you have to be entirely away from the Schengen zone!

    As a US citizen, I had gone to Ireland June 8th, gone to Prague June 11th, went back to Ireland July 23rd, and came back to Prague July 27th. Did the interim trip to Ireland “reset” my tourist visa for another 90 days or are they still counting from June 11th?

    As the Prague.tv article outlined, I could visit other countries of the Schengen zone during this first 90 days, and then come back to Prague right before and then stay in the Czech Republic for another 90 days. I’m thinking of doing that because I would like to do research in physics in Prague.

    However, I have to visit Italy again in December, before Christmas, and I do not want to chance it. Should I simply just obey the rule, that the official websites seem to imply, that after 90 days, you have to remain totally out for 180 days, until you could come back?

    One commenter who was Italian and had gone to UCLA for research, went through a strenuous and horrendous process entering the US. I completely commiserate with how he feels and how he feels about Americans overstaying their visas in the Schengen zone. I’d like to do the right thing too, but this entire 90 day/180 day rule is too confusing.


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 25, 2009, 2:13 pm


      This just means that in any 180 day period you can only be in the region for 90 days. So if you stay 90 days in a row, then you need to be out for 90 days in a row. If you stay in for 45 days and then leave for 90 you can return for 45 more days. The Schengen visa, in most cases, is valid for 180 days, but you can only be in the region for half this time.



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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 25, 2009, 2:24 pm

      Thank you for sharing this article with me. I did not previously know that the Czech Republic has special visa arrangements that extend beyond the Schengen restrictions.

      To answer your question about returning to the Czech Republic from Ireland, it seems as if from the article that you referred, you would be given a new 90 visa that would just be good for the Czech Republic when you return. But the TOTAL time that you spend in the Czech Republic will count towards your Schengen total. So if you stayed for the full 90 days of the second visa, you would not be able to go to any of the other Schengen countries because you would be over the 90 days in 180 allotment which would begin being counted from June 11th (minus the time you spend in Ireland).

      Though this seems to be a special arrangement for the Czech Republic, as I have not heard of any other countries in the region having special visas that transcend the Schengen.

      Confusing stuff.





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  • Val Kang August 23, 2009, 8:21 pm

    FYI, Wade, as an example, there was an American who did have trouble; I’m trying to follow up on him because he might have had been forced to go back to the US (Portland) this past month. This was what he posted on the couchsurfing boards (name of victim American excluded, it’s not me, unless requested privately):

    >Hi All
    Looking for any help or advise from folks on this group. Long story short, flying out of Schipol the Dutch Immigration offers told me they had to file a report in the Shengen Information System about me since I overstayed my visa … sadly I did not realize that going to Rome and Berlin did not reset my 90 days for Hungary since the Zone includes those places now!

    Has anyone had a similar experience and/or been able to find out information about how the Shengen Information System works? I did some checking on-line but the SIS web site is not that informative! The Dutch told me to contact the Hungarian authorities as it will be the Hungarians who would have the authority to ban me from Schengen for up to 5 years!!

    I called the HU Embassy in Los Angeles, but they were unable to provide me any info except the phone number of Immigration in Budapest.

    I’d rather not “cold call” the Immigration office given language issues and not knowing how things work could quickly take me down a rabbit hole, not unlike Alice when she followed the White Rabbit!

    Any advise, support or help is greatly appreciated!
    Also, good for other “long term” ExPats to be aware that you have to stamp out from the Schengen zone, not just leave your host country.

    Thanks, D

    Wow, Dutch authorities are tough.

    And this example, again, goes to what I’m wondering: can you really immediately “reset” your visa within 90 days, by traveling to another country, whether its in the Schengen zone or a third country? Is the rule ironclad for that 180 days once you first enter the Schengen zone?

    For me, I just want to be able to make it into and between the Czech Republic and Italy, by plane (is there a train route between the two? And would traveling by train help to elude stricter passport control?)

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 25, 2009, 2:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing this story. The Schengen authorities seem to be cracking down a lot more now.

      A lot of people have gotten away with overstaying this visa in the past . . . but I can no longer recommend doing this now.



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  • Manuj dutta August 30, 2009, 11:53 am

    I am Manuj, an indian Citizen,I have been working in spain with govt. work contract since april 2008.I could not arrange long term visa for my wife from india so she had to come with short stay visa in 1st april.But she has overstayed in spain with me.what will be the situation while she leave spain via finland?As she will go alone I am worry about her…please give me suggestions so that there will be no problem for us….

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 1, 2009, 8:50 am

      There is a very good chance that your wife will be fined (upwards of 200 Euro a day) or banned from the Schengen region.


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      • Manuj Dutta September 2, 2009, 10:45 am

        Hello Sir!!I am really very serious in my question as I have another contract which likly to be started from march 2010,as she was facing serious health problem so I cancelled her journey,actually I did not aware this kind of situation in earlier.please suggest me how can I avoid from this kind of worst situation?should I approach local police or I should contact the embessy person of my origin??Please advice me,pleace advice me…

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        • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 3, 2009, 6:53 pm

          I don’t know how to keep your wife out of trouble. She overstayed her visa. It is my impression that there is nothing you can do.

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          • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 3, 2009, 7:33 pm

            Actually, I would go to an immigration office and explain the situation to them. As you are a contracted employee they may be able to help her out with a spousal visa.

            Is your employer able to help sponsor your wife? This may be another option.


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            • Manuj Dutta September 4, 2009, 11:17 am

              Hello Sir,thank you for your kind reply,but I could not understand what kind of Sponsorship you are telling,actually I am working in a public university of Spain and I have been sponsored by spanish govt. and my contract period will be ended in oct. 2009.Should I approach the university authority?but what kind of sponsorship I will ask from them,pls tell me in details.I am waiting for your reply.

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              • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 6, 2009, 6:16 am

                As you assume that there could be a possibility of getting another contract in 2010, you should probably check to see if the university could help your wife get a spousal visa. It would not hurt to ask. I do not know if Spain offers such visas, but many spouses accompany their husbands and wives on such visas.

                Try it and let us know what happens.



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  • catherine September 7, 2009, 4:30 pm

    hi, im a french canadian, in italy since 10 months and my visa was schengen working holiday visa that allowed me of 6 months… I guess i might have the same problem everyone had, my boyfriend and i been following each other to australia, canada and italy sonce 2 years and a half, financially its getting more and more difficult… I finish school, waited for my report card at the end of school, went around italy and now its time for me to go home… but im scared to death of plane and i overstayed, well the whole thing makes me freak out totally… my boyfriend has to stay here… what if im banned? what if im fined, i dont have a cent… the worst is that i didnt even work, i did nothing wrong,… please tell me somehing positive…

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 9, 2009, 5:41 am

      Hello Cathrine,

      I don’t understand why you think you did nothing wrong:

      You overstayed your visa by four months.

      I am sorry but I have nothing positive to tell you. It is not my impression that you can accidentally overstay a visa by four months, so I must conclude that you chose to overstay and are ready to face the consequences.

      The consequences could be nothing, a scolding, a document being filed to record your overstay, a fine of 200 Euro for each day that you overstayed, a ban, or a permanent (or semi-permanent) electronic flag on your passport that may impact your ability to re-enter Europe or other countries (I have not yet confirmed that this is actually being done yet, but it is very possible).

      The punishments for Schengen visa overstays are incredibly inconsistent. Some people overstay by years and nothing happens, some overstay only a couple of weeks and they are jailed and then formally deported. You cannot gauge what will happen until you leave.

      Though Italy seems to be one of the more lenient countries in the region, and I have not yet received word from anyone who has gotten into much trouble overstaying there — though it is VERY possible.

      Also, the fact that you overstayed a working visa means that your violation will be all the more obvious and your penalties could be more severe.

      Only time will tell.

      Please let us know what happens.

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  • Matt September 13, 2009, 4:27 am

    I am an American citizen currently living in Italy. I had a student visa for three months, but it has been three months since it expired. Technically, I am still here without problems because after my student visa expired, I was allowed the 90 days as a tourist as well.

    Anyway, I want to go home for holidays in December… I am not worried about leaving Italy….. I am worried about RE-Entering Italy after my holiday in America. Will they send me back to the USA? Will they do the math and check when my visa was stamped? What is the deal here?

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 14, 2009, 9:33 pm

      I would recommend staying away from Italy and Schengen Europe for 90 days. The fog is starting to break, and more travelers seem to be getting a hard time — and not just when going through Ireland and England. The world is big, man, go to Albania and the Balkans for a couple months before returning to Italy.

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  • Christine Gilbert September 13, 2009, 3:31 pm


    Don’t you think that you should put a note on the beginning of this page indicating that your position has changed? I read this whole thread and in the beginning you’re advising people not to worry about it. By the end, you’re telling people, “I don’t understand why you think you did nothing wrong, you overstayed your visa by four months”. (Um you said it was a stupid rule that should be disobeyed!) Especially since it sounds like at least some people took your advice and got busted. 200 euro or being banned from Europe is a big deal!

    Concerned for others! –Christine

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 14, 2009, 9:13 pm


      This is what I said:

      “It is my impression that it is far less of a hassle to overstay your visa in Europe and violate the treatises of the Schengen agreement than it is to get a residency permit . . If you get a job or go to a university that is willing to sponsor you, I do not think it is too difficult. But doing it on your own without any other support can be a big hassle that just leads to dead ends on top of dead ends. . . .I say ask around when you get to Stockholm, you have three months to figure it out.”

      This question was about residence permits for Europe which can be difficult to obtain.

      You are correct though, I no longer stand by this line: “In point, I have never heard of any of the Schengen countries taking the restriction seriously. It seems to just be a crowbar to eject unwanted foreigners. I would not worry about it too much.” I have since removed it. Thanks for pointing this out.

      I state my impressions and opinions from 10 years of travel, and I try to present the information on this site in a way that shows this approach. This is just what I, a traveler, hav to say — I am not an official. This is a site for travel advice — some of it could really help some people, some of it could be misleading — but this the nature of advice. Where this advice comes from is meant to be transparent, I am sorry if I confused you.



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      • Yago October 21, 2009, 3:28 pm


        I have a question, like many others. My gf is American, and she has been in Portugal w/ me for 2 months (1 month left…). Can she renew (reset maybe?) the Visa by traveling to, for example, Morocco, or loosing her passport? What other options are there… All the legal ones are SUCH a hassle hehe but if worst comes to worst, we’ll do it the legit way.


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  • Suleyman September 24, 2009, 1:07 pm

    I am a Turkish citizen and I had a short term work permit in Switzerland, for 3 months. Then my company applied for another couple of months for an L permit this time before my work permit ends. Now it is almost 2,5 months after the application and i got no confirmation yet. But now I want to leave the country and go back home, since already took very long time. Does the work permit application help when I am leaving the country? Is there a chance to get an official paper from the government (AWA) that my work permit process is ongoing? My first permit expired like almost 2 months ago, and I dont know what exactly I would face in the airport. Also I wonder does the airport I depart make any difference? I have a feeling that Zurich could be more strict on that, while Geneva looks a better option to leave the country. I do not want my passport to be stamped since I might return back to Switzerland again in the near future.

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  • Michael October 17, 2009, 4:06 am

    Hello Wade – this is a great resource, thanks!

    My partner and I are slow-travelling Australians making our way across Europe in a motorhome, currently in Sicily, Italy. We have a 2 year U.K. working (‘youth mobility’) visa as a backup plan, but are otherwise doing the Schengen thing. We have every intention to abide by the visa rules, and found you as we were just curious about how seriously the 90/180 day thing is treated (clearly, quite seriously!). It would be lovely to stay in warm Italy for winter, and if it turned out the 90/180 thing was all-bark-and-no-bite then we might have done so, but it looks like that isn’t the case any more.

    I had a question about passport stamps: We took the ferry to France from Dover about 1.5 months ago (our first entry into the Schengen area), but unexpectedly, no one stamped or even looked at our passports. We were waved straight through the passport control booth. Not knowing what the implications were at the time and, then, not having the means to research it, we just proceeded with our plans.

    The matter has come up again recently as we are starting to prepare for our 90-day exodus to Croatia, and some belated research has turned up the advice that we should have sought out passport stamps upon entry.

    The only stamps on our passport now are the ones we got arriving from Australia to the UK in June, so there would appear to be no record of when we entered France.

    Our current plan is to just head to Croatia when we’re approaching 3 months, and stay there for 3 months – and get our passports stamped upon entry and exit. Do you think this is sufficient? Or do we need to get in touch with an embassy and get ourselves stamped as soon as possible? Or, does our stamp-less-ness mean we have free reign of Europe! Okay, that last one is a bit of a pipe dream.

    Anyway, many thanks in advance,

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  • joanna October 18, 2009, 3:10 am

    my friend entered the UK, got the 6-month stamp. then travelled by bus to france. No exit stamp from the UK or entry stamp into Schengen. The UK embassy said they do not issue exit stamps when travelling by land. Does it mean he is in Schengen illegally? (he does not need a visa, only 90-day permit to stay). If he reports to schengen immigration of a country where he’s staying, will they ask for a proof of crossing a border?

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  • joe October 21, 2009, 12:39 am


    I was hoping someone could help me with my Visa problem. I came to the Czech Republic in December of 2008 and have lived here ever since. I obviously went over my 90 days in the Schengen area. I just got a job at a pre-school and they have helped me in obtaining a work permit. I now need to leave the Schengen zone to get stamped out of the country but am afriad they will not let me back into the Czech Republic. I am considering losing my passport, so they will not see the date on when I came to the Czech Republic, waiting for my new passport to be issued and then leaving the country to get my visa in process. Can someone out there tell me if this is a good idea? or is there a safer alternative? Any advice would be much appreciated.


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    • joe October 21, 2009, 12:45 am

      I forgot to mention, I am an American Citizen, so I wanted to just tell the US embassy here that I lost my passport to get a new one issued here, and then leave with the new one. Thanks again

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      • Eli December 26, 2009, 7:56 pm

        Hi Joe, I was thinking about doing the same thing, losing my passport, because I’ve stayed 7 months in Italy (instead of the permitted 3). I was wondering if it worked for you? Or do they have records of when you came in on the computer when you leave? Thank you!

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        • danella July 23, 2012, 6:35 pm

          hey eli! wondering what happened to you and seeing what the rest of your story is 🙂 did you “lose” our passport, and if so, did it work?

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      • danella July 23, 2012, 6:33 pm

        hi joe! did this work out?

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        • carlee October 1, 2013, 4:26 pm

          I am curious about this too!

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  • omar October 26, 2009, 8:53 pm


    i am a filipino and applying for a tourist visa again. Will they give me
    another tourist visa if i overstayed 5 years ago? (overstayed for 8months). in the application letter sasabihin ko po ba na pumunta na ako sa italy noon?( italy – milan)

    in addition —we have a friend from italy who invited us together with my bf. We have all the requirements and invitation letter ready for pickup this coming oct 30.

    QUESTION: Previous stays in this or other Schengen states ?????? —- YES or NO ?

    Will the italian embassy know that i overstayed even that was 5 years ago??? will they approved our tourist visa with my bf?
    need some advice thank you. :(:(:(

    help help please… :(:mecry:

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  • Kelsie October 27, 2009, 7:12 am

    Hello Wade,

    Thank you so much for your website. I’ve only begun reading and learning about the topic, but after reading this thread in its’ entirety, I feel significantly more informed about information that gets increasingly fuzzy the more you know.

    So my questions is this; I came to France September 25 to visit a friend of a Professor’s during the Cognac grape harvesting season. I stayed there for 2 weeks and then took a bus to Barcelona. This means my 90-day visa will be up on exactly December 23. Blindly ignorant to the law, I purchased plane tickets to visit a friend in Sweden for the holidays, Dec. 23-Jan 4th…. you can probably see where I’m going with this.

    Step one: I leave Spain on the day my visa expires, (I obviously can’t return, right?).

    Step two: Sweden won’t let me in? I mean, it’s the ‘day of’ my last day.

    Step three: I’m hoping that it wouldn’t get this far but..I guess I would get returned to the country I came from…would this be the US (a citizen), France (the first country I flew into), or Spain (where I will have spent the bulk of my time)?

    Because I have time to make a decision, the options I am considering are to perhaps try to change the flight to earlier in the year (mid-December maybe), that way I can atleast return to Barcelona unscathed. My original intention was to stay in Barcelona to the end of January but this was before I knew that France was included in the 90-day deal. I won’t have much guilt if I overstay by a couple weeks, and I would hope that since I’m on the way out, deportation wouldn’t be necessary.

    Another option would be to attempt to change my flight so that I arrive a day or so earlier, and then make my return flight to the States instead of Barcelona.

    What are your suggestions? Going home early January from Sweden I think would be most preferred but I don’t know if people at the Swedish border will look kindly that I have only a couple days left on my Visa.

    Thanks in advance,

    Link Reply
  • GR November 3, 2009, 8:59 am

    another “overstayed” question…but a bit special case, i hope

    I am an american who was working officially in Germany, with an Aufenthaltstitel/Aufenthaltserlaubnis (work-for-this-company-only and residence permit) in my passport saying it is “gultig bis 31.12.09”. We terminated our contract in april, then in may I left Europe (no stamp) and came back in june (stamp). Since that time i was trying to find an employer who would make me a new permit in Germany, in France (my girlfriend is french) and in Hungary – all in vain. Recently I tried to find out how much time in Europe left for me to do that – and learned something bad…i asked my ex-employer and they said that the permit I have is actually not valid since the contract is terminated. (but nobody warned me. all I got is those numbers in the pasport saying it’s good till the end of the year! a pathetic excuse, i guess, but we’re not in the court so far )

    so now i happen to be 2 months overstayed. but with that permit in my passport. and since I left the city i was working long time ago and never seen any officials since then – i don’t feel like going there…

    do you think I have chances of leaving Europe safely (and coming back later)? and – is there a way that some employer in Europe can help me with a work (and residence permit) now, with what i’ve got?

    thank you for any answers…

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  • Frances November 5, 2009, 8:04 am

    I am a Canadian in Switzerland and have been here for 4 months now (obviosly overstay my visa). When I first decided to come here i was going to get a big visa and such but it was a crazy hassel and eveyone i talked from embassys were telling me different things so i didn’t go about it. i have a friend base to stay at in Switzerland and plan on traveling all over europe from here, so far Germany next rome and so on… But My problem was that i was stamped in Geneva and I plan to leave from Geneva, what do u suggest i do? or is there anything i can do to stay clear of any problems?

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  • Angel November 25, 2009, 9:43 am

    Hi, I’ve read all of your question, and it seems like all of you have a fist-world passport, My situation is this, I have a mexican passport and was traveling around Europe for almost 3 months, then I went back home but I got the chance to come back within 3 weeks, I called the German embassy in Mexico to ask if I need to be a minimum time outside the EU. She said no!
    So I came at the beginning of September and enter trough France, they didn’t asked me anything! They just stamped, but I’m a little worried because this time I’ll be staying almost 110 day plus the almost 90 days of summer.
    As I’ve read they don’t do the Math or check really carefully, but sometimes that changes depending on the passport someone’s’ have, my question is: What are the normal punishments? Or how can I fix it now?
    I’m worry because I have a interchange next year in Austria (and the reason I’m here is to learn German for my exchange). I get caught would it be a possibility that I don’t get the student visa for next year?
    Thank you so much.

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  • Oliver December 2, 2009, 1:52 pm

    My personal experince when i was entering into italy from german airport they have fined me for my previous 15 days(160 euro) of overstay also they deported me back to my country of origin.I had a buissness visa valid 90 days in 180 days(Multiple) also nother visa stamped as soon as previous visa finished it was 90 days again but durration was 1 year.In frankfurt airport they have refused me to give transit visa for 15 days as i have already completed my 90 days in 180 days period..so please be carefull with german airports.I prefer france airport because they r very liberal and till now i didnt had any problem.So guys i think france is better place for exit.this is my personal view.

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  • Angelina January 7, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Eh…I was fined in Zurich for overstaying my tourist visa by 4 months. I paid the fine, went back home to the USA, and recently I applied for a student visa to Italy, so I can do it all the legal way. well, my visa was rejected, because Switzerland put my name in SIS. I am appealing it, for various reasons that will make this short story a long one…

    But my advice is–unless you have an old, old passport without a chip, do not tempt things. Switzerland and I have heard Germany are quite diligent; I have also heard Greece is cracking down due to their proximity to non schengen countries. My situation is all my own fault, but even in Italy, carabinieri told me “oh, you’re american, don’t worry.” wrong. each country decides how they want to proceed.

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  • Angelina January 7, 2010, 1:26 pm

    I wanted to add to the above…I wasn’t in Switzerland at the time, just passing through the airport passport control when they noticed my passport scan and decided to ask me to step out of line and explain the schengen rules to me. the visa i requested was for italy.

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  • john January 13, 2010, 10:52 am

    hi sir,
    I had overstayed 10 days on my C+D Italian shenzhen visa. I was neither fined nor detained from Italy(also i had receipt of sojourn permejo- but never got the same, with which i can stay another 6 months.) i was neither inquired nor asked anything while returning. but do they still put my automatic information in SIS ? and can i apply for visa to any other country ?

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 17, 2010, 11:15 am


      If the immigration official did not even say anything to you about the overstay, I would not worry about it.

      Link Reply
  • tamar January 18, 2010, 9:14 am

    hey there,

    so after reading all this very valuable info, i’m left with only 1 question: overstaying visa with an american passport – which country do you recommend will be the best bet to try to leave from back to the US?

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 28, 2010, 9:11 am

      It is difficult to say. I can say with assurance that the worst countries are Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. I have had many reports confirmed that Italy is pretty lax.

      Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 4, 2010, 7:29 pm

      Italy seems to be the best bet, as far as I can tell. Just make sure to find a flight that does not route through Germany or Switzerland.

      Link Reply
  • tamar January 18, 2010, 9:22 am

    sorry, one more thing:
    how about leaving from france just before the 90 days are over to the uk for a week, and then coming back to france for anew stamp of 90 days? you think that could work?
    thank you so much!!

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 28, 2010, 9:10 am

      No, this would not help. You must be out of the Schengen region for 90 out of 180 days. A new Schengen stamp is not a new visa.

      Link Reply
  • Berg January 22, 2010, 5:59 am

    Currently i am in ireland with a student visa and it is expiring in August and no chance it will be renewed again. Thus i will continue to work till january next year illegally. will i be jailed wen i decide to return back to my country? please reply me

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    • lisa January 26, 2010, 3:55 pm

      hey i am having some difficulties also. my student visa expired at the end of december 2009. i am an american studying in spain. i went back to america after it expired and came back, so i got a new stamp. now i have 90 days to be here legally right? but what if i go somewhere like morocco or switzerland, out of the european union, and come back. then i will get another stamp right? or will they say i have to wait 90 days before i come back into the european union? thanks!

      Link Reply
      • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 28, 2010, 9:07 am

        The Schengen tourist visa is only good for 90 out of any 180 day period. It does not matter how many times you enter and leave the Schengen zone or how many EU stamps you have: 90 days out of any 180 is the limit.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 28, 2010, 9:09 am

      You probably will not be jailed. But there is a good chance that you will be fined and banned from reentry.

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      • lisa February 2, 2010, 7:54 pm

        okay, but what if i was already here for three months, went back to the united states for a week, and came back to spain and am still here one month later. they let me back in. was that a coincidence? sorry, i’m not trying to argue, just confused!

        Link Reply
        • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com February 6, 2010, 7:19 am

          Hello Lisa,

          There is a very wide gap between what are the rules and what is enforced when dealing with Schengen overstays. Most Westerners are not hassled, banned, or fined, but SOME are. It is a game of chance. The odds are in your favor, but you never know when you are going to be plucked out of the crowd of overstayers — there are many — and penalized. It is a very random selection process as to what overstayers are penalized and which ones are not. It is my impression that it just depends on what immigration desk you walk up to at what time.

          So I say that it was not a coincidence that Spain let you back in early — this happens more often than not — but whether anything will come of it is a lottery draw.

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          • lisa February 8, 2010, 1:28 am

            thank you wade! you’ve really helped me, even if it doesn’t seem like it haha

            Link Reply
  • Nacho February 1, 2010, 8:27 am

    Hi Wade,

    I´m mexican and I overstayed in the European Union and was banned for entering in 3 months. I was there for 96 days and I´m now in Zagreb figuring out what to do. I was working in a sailing yacht in Italy but the captain forgot to update the crew list and now that I been banned there´s not much to do, although the Slovenian customs just gave me a fine (I paid 400 euros, ouch..) but they stamped my exit without making any kind of annotation about my overstaying situation in my passport….. I don´t know if I could take the risk of trying to get in again, although my passport is new and I only have the entrance stamp trough Paris (by plane), the exit stamp from Slovenia (by train) and the entrance to Croatia….. and I don´t know if I been registered in the system while I was being rejected in the train station…… What can I do? Can I get out of Europe trough France? The only way to go back to Mexico is flying to Paris, Barcelona or Madrid and be in transit waiting for my connecting flight to Mexico City, will there be any problem with this?

    Any advice would be great!!!


    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com February 6, 2010, 11:33 am

      Hello Nacho,

      It is my impression that you should be fine to transfer flights in Europe. Just make sure that you have a ticket that books you all the way back to Mexico. If you just stay in the airport transfer areas, then you probably will not go through any immigration and your passport should only be looked at for identification purposes.

      You could also fly through London, which would allow you to bypass the Schengen region altogether. You already paid your fine in the Schengen, so you should have no trouble transferring through England.


      Link Reply
  • Frank February 2, 2010, 11:54 am

    Hi Wade,

    I overstayed my tourist visa in the Czech Republic by 20 days and left for the UK. I then returned to the Czech Republic just 30 days later and chanced that no one would add up the days of me being gone – I am a US citizen. My question is if I were to get a job and register at the Alien Police – would I be deported? Can someone turn me in – I have a few enemies here in Prague. Trying to figure out what to do. Also, a Czech National said he will marry me to help me stay.
    Thanks – Peace to you.

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  • Khan February 3, 2010, 2:50 pm

    I came to sweden in aug 2007 as a student. After a year my visa got expired. I have a swedish girl friend working in denmark. If I marry her do I need to go back to my country (Pakistan) to apply for visa. Some people says in this case the schengen law applies and you don’t need to go back to your country. If I can’t, is there any other sollution to get my visa back?

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  • Flanco February 7, 2010, 4:42 am

    I just want to know, do they keep the records of the arrival and departure of yours in the airport? I mean not only for americans but also for other nationalities too? I am planning to just lose my passport because of overstaying by 8 months in the France, please let me know… It will be a great help if you do…

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  • Morgan February 13, 2010, 8:22 am

    Hey, Im an Australian staying in England for 8 months but only allowed for 6 months, my question is if I go to France will my passport be stamped as leaving the country England then stay the week there, will they let me stay for the remaining say 2 or 3 months in England? Or wil i need to sneak out at the end of the time im needed here and fly home from france or EU somewhere?

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  • Woody February 27, 2010, 10:08 am

    Hey there,
    I’m yet another person with a question about overstaying a 90-day Schengen visa. I am an American and have been living with my girlfriend of four years, who has a position at a university in France, since September. I traveled to the UK a couple weeks ago (via Eurostar) and when the subject of my overstay came up, both the UK and the French immigration officers told me I should apply for a residence permit when I returned to France. My question is, if I want to stay with my girlfriend in France until her contract ends in August, is it better to just continue overstaying my original tourist visa and avoid traveling to countries with stricter border controls, or should I try to get a residence permit? My main concern is that if I try to obtain a residence permit, I might end up being denied it and only succeed in calling attention to the fact that I’ve overstayed. Thanks in advance for any advice or relevant info.

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  • Joseph March 7, 2010, 5:22 am

    first off, thanks for the site, you seem to be helping a lot of people. I have a situation that is similair, but I still have a question.
    I arrived in Barcelona Feb 3 and am on a 90 day tourist visa, but I am in spain to do a stage at a restaurant (an under the table culinary internship). I will already be overstaying by a week, but I want to stay another month and travel to prague etc, then fly out of barcelona in June.
    will i have problems if I fly to prague out of Spain?
    will I have an issue at the airport with my final flight back to the US?
    where can I go through to basically re-up my visa? England? Africa?
    i can take a fine if thats all it comes down to, but I want to know if my post internship travels are going to be affected.

    thanks in advance for any info


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  • Concrete Dovetail March 11, 2010, 1:52 pm

    I live and work in Europe. Does anyone know when this rule begins to apply. At the end of the contract? I wonder if there are special rules for people who are finishing their contract. Do we get extra time before we move on? Any advice appreciated.

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  • Robert Onglao March 16, 2010, 6:14 am


    I just replied to your answer to my previous post, but am unsure where the answer went!
    (It didn’t show up when I refreshed the page)


    Thank you for your elaborate answer. Following your advice,
    I am applying for a Belgian VISA, though the earliest I can get it
    would be Next Fall. However, I do have all the preparatory papers
    to prove that I am working on obtaining one.

    I went to Stockholm last week, instead of London as planned,
    and that was completely no problem.

    My question is: I want to push through with the NYC trip and I
    (technically) am not breaking any laws yet, by the time I should complete it.

    What this means is that my American tourist VISA expires on April 19
    and my NYC trip takes place between April 4 – 18.

    So I should not have any problems ENTERING the US with my US passport,
    only possible re-entering Europe (from the European end)

    As for the US flights not letting me fly into Europe due to a one way ticket,
    technically the ticket isn’t one way because they will see that I am returning to Europe
    (rather than flying out one way). If anything I could just tell them that I live there.

    In case of being denied entry into Europe, I would like to know your perspective
    on certain failsafes I can fall back on, or perhaps any stories you can share…

    When I first entered Europe this semester, I passed through Zurich, and he noticed
    that I planned to overstay. The immigration officer asked me how long I planned to stay,
    and I said 4 months, but I have an acceptance letter from my university (true), and I showed it to him. It was in dutch, and he said “I can’t read this”. I said “neither can I”.
    And then he became all jolly and was like “Oh.. Haha… Pass!”

    This tells me that certain things can (seem to) VETO overstaying a VISA, my acceptance letter being one of them in Zurich.

    To top this off, I do have proof that I am indeed applying for a VISA, as I have all its requirements in a folder of mine, and that I will have one next fall. If I am stopped, I plan to show them, first, the acceptance letter, then the VISA requirements if that doesn’t do. I will tell them that it was impossible to me to apply or a Belgian VISA with the time allotted (during xmas), as I live in the Philippines and thus could not apply for one in Madrid. Have you heard of anything like this working before?

    Basically, have you heard of anyone pleading a decent case and being admitted into the country because of this?

    I have all the papers to back my story up (acceptance letter and VISA requirements).

    That, and I also realized I am leaving through Zurich! Woopz

    Could you give me an appraisal of my plan along with any potential failsafes?

    Lastly, I don’t plan on bringing my overstaying Euro ticket to NYC (Jan 19 – Jul 1)
    so that they have no idea of how long I intend to (over)stay. And I don’t need that there.
    I can just tell them that I live in Europe – I don’t need any more than the tickets I have.
    Let me know if this would constitute a good move.

    Thanks again so much Wade,



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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 17, 2010, 8:45 pm

      Hello Kenj,

      It is not my impression that the USA cares how long you stay in Europe — you have a US passport, so this means that you are coming home — they won’t do anything to punish you.

      Entry rules to the Schengen region state that you need an onward ticket out of the region, so I would recommend that you definitely bring evidence for your flight out of Europe in July.

      But if you don’t have this ticket with you and cannot print it out before leaving the USA, stand strong if the airlines give you a hard time about boarding the flight. Reassert that you do have a ticket out of Europe on July 1. If that does not work then demand to be shown in writing where it says that you are not permitted to board the flight without an onward ticket — for many airlines this rule is unwritten and other travelers have gotten past this requirement by demanding this.

      As far as returning to Europe when it is obvious that you are going to overstay your visa is a crap shoot, as you have experienced when entering Europe the first time. The immigration officials may give you a hard time, they may not — it is impossible to tell. But show them all the paperwork you have if they give you problems and plead a hard case.

      Also make sure that you don’t enter through Zurich. Reroute your ticket if necessary. If you enter through Spain, France, or a non-Germanic country there is a far better chance that you will not meet any problems.



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  • student March 21, 2010, 5:47 am


    I am Canadian and a professor is willing to let me to research with him for 2-3months. Complications are that I would have graduated from an engineering program at that point. Will I need a visa to work with the professor or will this Schengen visa work out? Is there a rule stating engineers has to be paid a certain amount?

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    • student March 21, 2010, 8:13 am

      It is in Switzerland – forgot to mentioned that….

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  • Jessica March 25, 2010, 7:11 pm

    Thought it might be helpful information to let everyone know that a few days ago I left the Schengan zone via Zurich. I had flown into Zurich 100 days prior. Basically, I had overstayed my allowed 90 days. Granted, it was only 10 days over, but apparentley the Swiss do not mess around. The second the customs official saw my passport and entrance stamp, he had the police come and detain me. I was then questioned for over an hour and eventually fined a by-day-fine. I was told there is a chance I will be banned from the Schengan for 1-2 years, but since I paid my fine right away, being banned was probably not going to occur. I am supposed to find out via mail what my final punishment is.
    I am a 25-year-old American female who was simply traveling, mostly in Austria.
    I was shocked at how strict the Swiss were with me. I am petrified of being banned since I want to return to Austria to see me boyfriend in July 2010, about 3 months from now.
    Does anyone have any knowledge about the chance of me being banned???

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    • Kirthi October 4, 2010, 10:25 am


      I got the same issue. I paid the fine immediately and they told me the exact same thing they told you.

      Did you get a notice from the Swiss yet regarding your ban from reentering Europe? They told me 1-2 months before they would send me anything and I havent recieved anything yet.

      Can you please let me know what your experience has been?

      Thank you and I will talk to you soon.


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      • Duncan January 3, 2011, 2:38 pm

        We have overstayed by several months. We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany but they didn’t stamp our passports on entry. Score! Is it safe to assume they won’t know when we arrived, or will they have it on computer?

        We’re flying from Switzerland (Basel) to the UK for a few days to visit friends, then flying back again. All going well.

        Worth noting that we haven’t really overstayed – I have a UK passport, my wife an AUS passport, so we have been travelling through Europe on the proviso that we stayed less than 90 days in each country, as she’s my wife they can’t take her away can they? 🙂 So, not the simplest situation and I thought it might all be a lot easier if they don’t know about the entry date.

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        • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 4, 2011, 2:23 pm


          It seems as if you are in the clear as you have a UK passport. As far as your wife is concerned, if she did not get a stamp in her Australian passport, there is a good chance that she will have problems when trying to leave. She may have to prove that she did not enter illegally, and it could be a minor mess.

          It is not my impression that your marriage status will have much of an impact on your wife receiving a penalty (potential ban) for the overstay. She is still on an Australian passport, and it seems to me as if she needs to comply with the Schengen rules of such.

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          • Duncan February 26, 2011, 9:27 am

            Hi Wade,

            Thanks for the comment and here is a followup!

            Switzerland has no idea when we landed in Germany. I thought they would have it on computer but did not. They looked through our passports and asked about the missing stamps. They were surprised that Germany did not put a stamp in.

            Before leaving, I did something very unusual and call the authorities about our situation. I spoke to some nice and not so nice people. One guy at the Bern Canton Migration Office gave me his personal phone number and said to call him from the gate if my wife was banned from Schengen – he had the access to overturn that. Nice! We didn’t need it in the end.

            As we were looking for work here, it was suggested that we actually register to do so (even if not required), and when you register you get a receipt saying that it is in process. So armed with this receipt for each of us, a copy of our marriage certificate, my job offer/contract which came through just before we left, and our passports, we left and re-entered with only a few questions about why there wasn’t a stamp. We answered all the questions truthfully and had no problems.


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  • don April 1, 2010, 12:10 am


    How about some real information? Tired of the rumors and guesses on europe overstay? Get ready for the truth.

    Typical case is, for example US citizen overstaying his/her 90 day schengen “tourist” visa.

    What will NOT work:

    * Leave and reset. “If I sneak out, act nice, they won’t notice I overstayed and I can just re-set my 90 day visa. Then no one will be the wiser.

    Does NOT work anymore. Each case, they verify the dates. If you have overstayed, 100% they will notice, and have a small fit on the spot. You will be required to sign a bunch of stuff, they usually won’t give you copies, and they can barely speak english.

    * I can leave by a country that does not care, like Switzerland. They are just about the tourist money.

    DOES NOT WORK. 100% Swiss now use the schenzen system and they WILL enforce it and take it serious. They will let you leave, but you will have to pay a fine and you will be banned 1-3 years for the 1st offense. The fine is first offense about 600 Franks.

    * I can route a crazy zig zag trip through the Switzerland and the UK and here and there, and by the time I leave the schenzen zone, no one will be able to figgure out what happened.

    WILL NOT WORK 100% – not only will you not make it out of the 1st airport, if you pass through the UK, you will really be in a mess you can’t fix.


    * If you want to avoid paying a fine on the spot, route through the UK, with your ticket ending in a destination of the UK. (you can buy a separate ticket out of the UK) Make sure you DO NOT exit the airport. Stay INSIDE the airport, and avoid the set-up. The Swiss LOVE to set you up, let you out, and then let the UK give you the smack down, so they are not the bad guys. Instead, sleep in the UK airport if you have to, they will have an overnight area that you can sleep in. Then you will get around the immigration officials. Note: You WILL still get the fine, once the Swiss figure out that you played a trick on them. But you can simply pay it, via wire and it saves you spending the money on the spot. You have 30 days to pay, after that it gets ugly. Do NOT give a fake address. Its better to let them reach you, so you can deal with the problem head on. A fake address will not make the police fine go away.



    DO NOT leave the schengen area !!! Once you leave you will NOT be able to come back for 1-3 years FIRM. Instead, once you have handled your affairs as much as possible, head over to immigration in one of the countries in EU. Each of them have specific ways for you to get a permit to stay. Some, such as Germany simply let you take some language classes. Yes you WILL need proof of savings in a bank, usually around 6,000 Euros and then you can get a six month stay legally. In any case, they wont eject you so rudely, … no matter what, they WILL find out you overstayed, its best to try to fix it with immigration before your exit. Its the only chance you will have to come back to EU any time soon.

    This applies to Swiss, UK and EU.

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    • Miss JC June 10, 2010, 8:01 pm

      This question is for both Wade and Don.

      I’m an American citizen who has overstayed a French tourists visa by about 5 months now. I was told in the US that since I’m married to a French citizen, I wouldn’t need a long stay visa. Since then Ive reviews lots of conflcting info, but I’ve decided that it’s best not to leave until I sort it all out.

      Anyone have any experience dealing with French officials? And will they be likely to grant some sort of waiver because I’m a spouse? If I visit the embassy or French authorities, will I be deported on spot?

      I want to fix my mistake, but I’m afraid I’ll be punished instead, any advice?

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  • Norbert April 1, 2010, 6:30 am

    Hi all,

    I need a urgent clarification. I am residing at US. My wife and my 1 year old son went to Paris 6 months back. She is an Indian citizen and she overstayed her Schegen visa by 6 months. My son is a US citizen. They are coming back to US now. She is having a valid US visa. They will be exiting through Dusseldorf Germany. What all the effect will be, since she has overstayed her visa for 6 months? She went there to visit her parents, and her father is a EU citizen. Please advice.

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  • Angela May 19, 2010, 1:32 pm


    I just got finished reading the many many entries and I must say that there seems to be some great information here in regards to overstaying. I must admit that I will soon be added to the long list of overstayers as I am a Canadian who has come to Malta 1 week shy of three months ago. With my Canadian passport I am allowed to stay here in Malta for up to 3 months. My fiance has citizenship here and he is legal to stay. We are getting married the end of July so there is a 2 month gap between my 3 month allowed time to stay in Malta and when we are married and I can fill out paperwork to stay.
    I’m wondering like everyone else here, what my options might be to “reset”. As a Canadian, I did not need a visa to stay in Malta for 3 months. I’m wondering if I leave and go to visit friends for a week in Scotland and then re-enter Malta if that will be “enough” to reset my 3 months? Or if I’m basically screwed here?

    Thanks in advance,

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 20, 2010, 7:37 am

      Hello Angela,

      There is no way to reset your tourist visa to the Schengen Zone save for leaving it for 90 days.

      Also keep in mind that there is often a lengthy paperwork process that comes with gaining residency — it is my impression that you don’t automatically become an European resident with marriage, it takes time.

      If you do want to gain residency status in Europe then I highly recommend not overstaying your visa now or ever.

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  • laura May 26, 2010, 10:35 am

    Hi I am planing to go back to my country on July I will overstay for 3 months…
    My fly goes from Zurich then to Paris to fly back to my country …in wich country I can have the problem …wich country is the one who is cheking the date of my first entrance??
    Because if it is Switzerland I am thinking on changing the ticket …How many times or when they check when is a international fly but with one stop in Paris…??


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  • Annoyed American August 7, 2010, 4:22 pm

    Hi I overstayed my visa in Italy in 2007 and they asked me to leave and I did. No one informed me that I was not able to return to the country and for how long. The paper work I received has nothing indicating any of this information. I tried to return in 2008 through Germany but they denied me entrance because of the overstay in Italy, but they did inform me that I would be able to reenter in 2010.

    It’s been 3 years and I want to take a trip back to Italy for a wedding, How do I find out that I may reenter? I asked the Italian consulate here in Chicago but they are useless. I don’t want to purchase this ticket and get deported again, CAN ANYONE HELP? HOW CAN I OBTAIN THE INFORMATION ABOUT MY SIS STATUS???
    annoyed american

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 16, 2010, 9:01 am

      Buy the ticket, take the ride.

      Seriously, trying to find out information about your SIS status is like trying to eat a block of wood — it just doesn’t go anywhere. It is my impression that just going and seeing what happens is your only way of knowing for sure if you can or can’t enter Europe. Consulate advice is often useless and/ or incorrect, they can’t be depended on to know the immigration policies of their own country.

      I say, just go there and see what happens. Though you should NOT try to enter Europe through Germany or Switzerland! Try to get a flight whose port of entry into the Schengen region is Italy or France.

      It is my impression that this is the best thing that you can do if you want to reenter Europe, it is horribly difficult to find out your true SIS status or how this “status” will play out once you actually try to go through immigration into Schengen Europe.

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  • GlobetrottingCanadian August 22, 2010, 12:53 am

    hey its good to knw der r alot like me…lol. anyways am currently on a 90day visa and well i have a feeling honestly i knw am going to over stay my visa only thing i wanna know is do they stamp exit stamp europe or is it like the Uk and back home and theres no exit? oh and what if your passiport expires and you get a new one they cant know i over stayed since the passiport number is different right luv some feed back?

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  • student August 27, 2010, 10:49 am

    Hi Wade,

    Thank you for the great advice on this site, unfortunately I wish I knew this before I overstayed my visa in Europe.

    I am an American citizen and I overstayed my Schengen visa by 4 days. I got my passport stamped in Belgium and was leaving Belgium to London and then onward to the United States (My family lives in Belgium, I go to school in the states). I was stopped at immigration and was told that I overstayed and she would be making a report on me. When further pressed, she told me that I would not be allowed back for 10 years in Europe.

    What I want to know is how can I check to see if this is true? Do I get a letter of some sort or is this all electronic now? The official did not stamp anything in my passport other than the normal exit stamp and when I asked if I would be fined, she just kept repeating I would be kept out of the country for 10 years. The only thing I gave her was my family’s address in Belgium and I did not sign anything. It has been two weeks now, and they haven’t received anything. I also had no problems at all getting through Heathrow.

    If anything, I learned that overstaying your visa is a bad idea, even if it is for a couple of days ..

    Thank you!

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 28, 2010, 11:14 am

      The only advice that I can give is to try to return to Europe and see what happens or stay out for 10 years. Getting your true SIS status seems to be an incredibly complicated endeavor, and it is my impression that whatever information you can get is not completely reliable.

      It is interesting that the immigration official said 10 years, as the usual ban for an overstay is 3 years.

      The computer systems of the Schengen states are getting tighter all the time, overstays are no longer possible — unless you want to face a ban. Your overstay was only for a few days, it is really amazing to me that you can face any length of a ban for such a slight visa violation. It is my impression that a 10 Euro a day fine would be more in keeping with the precedent of visa overstay punishments around the world, but the Schengen countries seem to like the ideal of building up the palisades around their region.

      It is a sad time for travel, as many other countries in the world are limiting the amount of time that foreigners can stay and are getting much more vigilant in offering punishments.

      Please let us know what happens when you return to Europe.



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  • Brian August 31, 2010, 12:38 am

    Hi Wade! Thanks for all the information…

    Im an American with a Schengen visa for only 90 days. Is it allowed to leave the country/Schengen countries for just a few days, then return and start another 90 days? I will only be extending my trip for 5 weeks, but I cant seem to find anywhere to extend the original Schengen visa.


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 31, 2010, 8:41 pm

      Can’t extend the Schengen tourist visa. Leaving for five days will only get you a stay of five days longer. The rule is 90 days out of 180 you can be in the Schengen zone, so the visa will not be renewed if you leave the region and then return.

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  • Val September 1, 2010, 9:22 am

    I’m an American and overstayed my Schengen visa by 3 months. I called the Immigration (IND) office in Holland and they checked my status in their system. they informed me that I am on a list of unwanted illegal aliens and have been banned from all Schengen countries (includes most of Europe) for 3 years. They told me that i could write a letter to the IND to ask them to lift the ban for me but i’m not sure exactly what to say to them except to apologize and explain that my boyfriend lives in Amsterdam and i simply just want to be able to visit him. Is there anyone who has written a letter to IND like this and is it really going to work ? they must receive thousands of requests like this and who is to say yours will even be read. Maybe my boyfriend should write a letter as well to support me. I have a ticket to go back in November and also wondering if this could even be resolved by then. any help or suggestions are appreciated!

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  • Margaret September 9, 2010, 11:14 am

    I hope someone might be able to offer some insights on a unique scenario:

    You have lived in a Schengen country for 2 years on a residence permit and leave the Schengen zone a few days before the visa expires. Your plan is to stay out of the EU for 3 weeks before reentering for a period of definitely less than 90 days before returning to your home country. Will you have a problem leaving the EU because there was not a 90 day gap between your last exit and entrance.

    The question is simply whether a residence permit confers a different status upon expiring than a tourist visa. It seems to me that by leaving the EU before the expiration of a residence permit, you would be entitled to reenter almost immediately on a tourist visa (thereafter of course the regular rules of 90 days ın 6 months would apply).

    Any help appreciated…and fast please :).

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    • JohnnyT September 24, 2010, 3:10 am

      Margaret – my friend just spoke to the immigration office in Hungary (i have a one year residency permit ending in a month, and i wanted to stay an extra two weeks). they said that all i have to do is leave the country on or before the date of expiry, and apparently when you return (after your residency permit expires) you’re immediately onto the 90 day tourist visa – you don’t have to wait 90 days before. and yes, afterwards the regular rules apply.

      hope this helps.

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  • Mary September 21, 2010, 11:54 am


    Thanks for all this advice! I’m an American and I have a different situation. I’m a trainee in Belgium and was planning to stay for the 90 days. But on my day of arrival in Brussels, someone (horribly) stole my purse in the train station and I had to get a new passport. On my new passport, there is no entry stamp. I’m leaving for a conference in the US for 3 weeks and then am returning to Belgium before my 90 days are up. Is there any chance I could stay longer than the allotted 90 days since there is now no entry stamp on my passport?


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 21, 2010, 9:20 pm

      They still have your name and birthday and nationality logged into their system — the passport numbers does not seem to be the only thing they keep track of. I have heard of people changing passports, but the SIS still has nailed them. But you never know, I would not try it though if you want to return to Europe within the next three years.

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      • Mary October 4, 2010, 5:39 am

        Thanks for the advice Wade. I won’t risk it then. Cheers!

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  • JohnnyT September 23, 2010, 5:37 pm


    I’m a Canadian and I have a 1 year residency permit for Hungary that expires this Oct. 22. My plane to east Asia leaves Frankfurt on November 2, 12 or so days after the expiry of the visa. Since I’m Canadian, does my 90 day visa kick in once my residency permit expires? Or do I need to leave Schengen first then return?

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  • Kirthi October 4, 2010, 10:42 am

    Dear Post Readers,

    I recently recieved the fine and ban from Schengen although I have yet to recieve the letter stating that I am banned.

    I was leaving from Zurich and had overstayed my visa by 6 months. I had to pay the 600F, but have yet to recieve the letter regarding my ban, which they said would be 1-3 years.

    Has anyone else recieved the letter and also have they tried to reenter before the1-3 year ban period? What has been your success or failure? Did you have to take the next flight back to the US?

    Before I got this citation, my plan was to try to go to grad school or look into getting hired by a European company or an American company based in the Europe, but at this point I think I will have to wait 3 years before this is even a possiblility. Unless someone can give me some advice on this front.

    Thank you and I look forward to hearing from yall.

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  • Charles October 13, 2010, 5:23 am

    I have a “screwed both ways” kind of question. We’re two Americans who’ve been in the Schengen for 89 days as of today.

    We were trying to do the right thing and get out to the Ukraine for 90 days, but because of the indefinite general strike that’s just hit France, we missed our train connection to our flight out of the zone.

    The way I see it now, if we pay to change the tickets (virtually buying them all over again) to get out when the strike is supposed to be over after Saturday, we’ll already have overstayed by at least 5 days, and could then be fined, miss our flight, etc. Given that we’ve already lost about 500 Euros on the plane and train tickets, we wouldn’t have enough money to buy new tickets AND pay a fine and still have anything left when we got to the Ukraine.

    Can anyone give specific information on what the per-day fine actually amounts to? Are there any countries we could go out of that are more relaxed? Is crossing by land still an easier option in anyone’s opinion, e.g. from Romania to Ukraine or from Italy to Croatia?

    Our thinking is that now that we’re going to be overstaying for five days, we might as well just save the 500 Euros for new tickets and overstay for a couple months until we can afford to move on safely. Is that crazy?

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  • Charles October 13, 2010, 5:30 am

    I should also add that we wanted to come back to the EU and spend more time. If that’s impossible either way now, then should we just hang out and enjoy it while we can, and assume that once we leave either way we’ll be banned? Or does anyone here think that if we made a good-faith all out effort to get out as soon as possible, they would take the strike conditions into account and not fine or ban us because of it?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 13, 2010, 7:59 am

      Honestly, I would not recommend overstaying your visa for any more time than you have to — perhaps if you fly out of France now there will be some sort of understanding (they don’t tend to me the most vigilant immigration officers that Europe can brag of).

      On the other hand, I have received reports of people getting just about the same penalty for overstaying for 2 days as they would for 2 years.

      Europe seriously should make their overstaying penalties and policies in the clear and in the open — as not even their officials seem to know what the deal is. You are in a confusing situation, and the only thing that I can offer is a consolidation of the reports that I receive daily from travelers who are in similar situations.

      But, I must ask, if you don’t have enough money to buy another flight how are you going to afford two months more of traveling in some of the most expensive countries on earth?

      Also, I am unsure if you contacted the airlines, but they often make amends for people who miss their flights due to public disorder.

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  • Charles October 13, 2010, 2:56 pm

    We have a steady income from back home. It’s enough to live nicely if we plan things out, rent for the mid-to-long term, and stay in cheaper places away from the big cities. Europe’s the most expensive place we’ve traveled — we’ve been through four continents — but we manage to keep a cushion to cover a month in advance plus a month’s emergency funds, and then tuck a bit away for our next move, which is usually every few months (although this is our first time to Europe).

    In the case of this travel/live/travel cycle, our move got ruined and we basically lost what we’d saved for it. So now we’d have to break into our next-month fund to get out, and then possibly hit the emergency fund to pay the fines. That would leave us broke; so it seems the responsible thing to do would be to stay put and go back to saving our income until we can afford to get out properly. Especially if the alternative is throwing ourselves on the mercy of immigration, and if there may be nothing to be saved by leaving now as opposed to three months later.

    It would definitely give us some incentive to continue a good-faith effort to leave if we knew there were some solid rules as to how they’d handle our situation, or how the penalties would differ if we overstayed longer. Without that, though, there’s not much reason to stick our heads into the guillotine.

    Thanks for the response though. It does seem like the variations on this theme are never-ending but all boil down to the same lack of transparency in the system.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 13, 2010, 8:05 pm

      Good set up, Charles,

      I understand now, that makes sense. I would say that if you leave France, taking a direct flight from Italy to non-Schengen Eastern Europe may be your best strategy.

      What sort of business are you in?

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  • Charles October 14, 2010, 6:51 am

    We’re both IT freelancers. In 2006 we quit our office jobs, sold our cars, gave up our apartment and fit everything into two suitcases. Haven’t looked back. This is the first time we’ve had any kind of immigration problem. We’ve done the Bangkok-Cambodia bus, the Buenos Aires-Colonia turnaround, chest x-rays at immigration in Sydney, travel agency renewals in Vietnam, extra passport pages, you name it. We’ve always played by the rules. A friend of mine who just got back from 2 years illegally in Italy told me I was being paranoid about this Schengen business…but she’s a good looking girl who speaks fluent Italian, and can flirt her way out of anything.

    Anyway, thanks for the tip. We were toying with the thought of trying to get out over the water on some less-used routes – maybe a ferry from Italy to Croatia, or from Sicily to Tunisia. For some reason I just imagine port immigration to be a bit more relaxed than that at the airport; but then again, a bored immigration officer is a dangerous thing. What do you think?

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  • miel December 12, 2010, 4:36 pm

    Hi there,

    Im mexican, I was leaving from Zurich,they stop me, because i had overstayed my visa for 85 days, i had pay 500 chf. My boyfriend is swiss and im 2 months pregnant but im very worry about to be in a entry- ban list. I dont want to be 3years alone with a baby.
    I was told there is a chance I COULD be banned from the Schengan for 1-2 years,but they let my boyfriend get in when they stopped me and he could talk and explain our situation and that we will get married.Till now i haven’t recieve any letter regarding my ban.
    Can my pregnaNCY could help me to not be banned from Switzerland?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com December 13, 2010, 7:21 am

      In France, you can get a tourist visa extended if you are pregnant with a French guy’s baby. So there are immigration amends that are made around pregnancy. In your case, I have absolutely no idea. All of these Swiss visa overstay bans are often pretty clandestine — many people don’t seem to know if they are banned, how long the ban is for etc . . . — it is best to check with the authorities on this one. Consult the nearest Swiss consulate.

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  • Devon December 19, 2010, 9:58 am


    I’m in Austria on a 6 month student visa (i’m from Canada) which expires the 10th of March. I will have just finished school two weeks before that and was planning on travelling until the 27th of March when I have a flight out of Amsterdam home. There is nothing that clearly says that the student visa is for the Schengen area or just Austria so I was wondering if the 90 days that people from Canada and the USA receive could be added onto the back end of my trip. Does anyone have any experience with this? If not does this seem like a situation where I could get into much trouble.

    Thanks a lot


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com December 19, 2010, 10:28 am

      No, my interpretation is that you have 90 days to visit other Schengen countries within the timespan of your student visa. When the visa expires you legally have to leave the region, you cannot add a 90 day tourist visa on to the end of it.

      But, this is also my interpretation, as you entered on a student visa it seems as if you could exit the region and then return almost immediately and be given a tourist visa without needing to be out for 90 days.

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  • Naveed January 26, 2011, 4:51 am


    I am an Asian student in Vienna, Austria residing here for last 3 years. My studies have not finished yet as I am writing thesis. I forgot to apply for extension of my residence permit and now I am over by 2 months.

    What will happen, if I apply now? Will I have to leave the country? Kindly advise me.


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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com January 27, 2011, 6:44 am

      I would recommend talking to the people who granted you the visa about this — your school. Then try to secure an extension. There does not seem to be much else you can do.

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  • shane February 24, 2011, 10:07 am

    I am on a US passport and currently have a german 1 year residence/work visa through my German wife we live in Stuttgart. I have until end of october to renew it. I am wanting to do an apprenticeship course for building in the republic of ireland for 4 1/2 months starting in may. when entering Ireland will I get a stamp for a schengen 90 day visa or since i have a resident permit in schengen country will things be different. I dont want to overstay officially but wondering how i can make this work. I know if i flew into belfast I get a 6 month uk visa and I could drive to republic of ireland. I also dont know if i get stamped flying from germany into the republic, so things could be simpler than i think. I dont want to mess up my schengen status since i will be renewing my residence permit end of october. how can i do this, i dont have time to do a work visa for ireland. thanks

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  • Jannie March 24, 2011, 7:43 am

    Any advice or numbers would be great.

    Please anyone

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  • Jannie March 24, 2011, 7:49 am

    I was wrongfully accused of overstaying

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  • Vales April 26, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I am Canadian citizen. I overstayed 3 months in Italy. When crossed Lythwanian border I was charged 200E and was banned from EU for 3 months. Then official suggested that if I need to come back to Italy We may try driving through a different border. I did return to Italy since official was disinterested. But……did I brake another law by comming back? If I desperately need to have access to Italy next 3 years shall I just stay? What happens if you return despite of 3 months penalty.? Where do I check my status? I have flight to Turkey in 2 days….please reply soon
    Many thanks

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com April 27, 2011, 9:31 am

      Hello Vales,

      As is specified in the sidebar, due to an over saturation of readers looking for consultation with their Schengen visa questions, a donation is necessary for a case specific response.

      Thank you.

      Walk Slow,


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  • Saranya May 4, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I am an Indian citizen.I am married to British citizen.I came to UK via tourist visa which is valid for six months and also i had schengen visa which is valid till May 14 2011.My husband is currently working in germany and am staying with him right now. How much penalty should i pay if i overstay in germany for six months? whether there are any chances to extend my visa?or whether i will be banned for some years for these kind of situation ? please advice.

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  • Saranya May 5, 2011, 5:45 am

    Hi Wade,

    pls reply for the above which is urgent scenario.

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  • Matthew May 6, 2011, 7:00 am

    I’m a U.S. citizen and I’ve been studying in Germany for almost a year. On July 31st my student visa expires. From everything I’ve read so far, I need to be out of the country by then. I foolishly booked my flight for August 7th because I wanted to visit a friend in the south of France for a few weeks. Do you think I could enter a non-Schengen country (like Monaco or Andorra) on the 31st, then return to France on August 1st to activate my 90 days in the Schengen region (which I had never used because I had a student visa), then be able to finish the remaining week before I fly out from Stuttgart? Have you heard of anyone ever trying this? Would it matter that I am flying through the UK (connecting flight in Heathrow)? Do you anticipate any problems? Thanks.

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  • Rebounding Master May 11, 2011, 12:48 pm

    It is good you have this website to help those who are in need of your expertise. So many valid questions and you do well at answering them. Your knowledge is useful to many people, please keep sharing.

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  • Fan Le May 19, 2011, 11:39 am

    It is so nice to see people sharing their concerns and getting valuable feedback. I have a question n I really need someone to guide me on this.

    I have Schengen visit visa valid for 1 month starting from 26 of May, 2011. I am allowed to stay in Schengen states for 17 days. So here is my concern!
    —— I am arriving in denmark on 28th of May, 2011@ 4:30 PM, and leaving denmark on 15th of June,2011 @7:00PM……. How many days are these?

    19 if we include travelling days (28of May, and 15 of June)…. and 17 if we dont (as my travel agent said that ” u can argue that u did’t have flights in that period” 🙁 )…. I am confused and this has become a serious problem now… As I have read someone getting a ban of 10 years for 4 days overstay… In my case, I have really tight schedule and really hard luck with flights in that time…

    Please suggest, what should I do?



    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 20, 2011, 9:10 am

      Yes, it is 19 days. There are no excuses, your travel agent is steering you wrong. It is possible that you can be banned from reentry. What country are you exiting from?

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  • worried! July 13, 2011, 2:37 am


    I am seeking information about overstaying my 1 year shengen visa in france.
    I overstayed in france by about 15 days then travelled another 2 weeks in other european (shengen) countries, thinking that if i left france to another country the 90 starts again….. so stupid!
    Anyway, when i arrived in london i was stuck at border control for about 2 hours with them threatening to send me back to bratislava where i flew from originally and they said if they did this then it would be very hard to re-enter the uk or europe in the near future. in the end they let me through without a fine or anything but wrote something in my passport that i dont understand and said they highly recommend instead of flying onto italy like i planned, to go straight home to australia.
    What I would like to know is whether i have a record now and will have difficulties when i return and if I can fly to a non european / shengen country and then return straight away for another 30 days….?????
    Thanks for your time 🙂

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    • Wade Shepard July 13, 2011, 3:44 am

      You need to stay out of the Schengen zone for at least 91 days before you even think about returning. England is not a part of the Schengen zone but they do sometimes assist with enforcement of its policies. It is not my impression that they have the power to put you into the SIS as an overstayer.

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  • lucy July 22, 2011, 6:18 am

    Please let me know I have over stayed in Malta for around 3 months. I now want to go back home in Uganda. What will happen.

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    • Wade Shepard July 24, 2011, 5:15 pm

      They will probably ban you from re-entering the Schengen region. File some paperwork on you, maybe apply a fine. Don’t worry about going to jail though, this is not typical.

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  • YH August 3, 2011, 10:38 pm

    I have overstayed In Copenhagen for one day, misunderstanding the visa requirements. they gave me a fine and stamped overstay on my schengen visa
    what will happen if apply again? what is the way to avoid any future troubles?
    Thanks in advance

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    • Wade Shepard August 5, 2011, 11:55 am

      There is no way of telling other than contacting the consulate of a Schengen country or just trying to show up again, but there is a good chance that you are banned from re-entering the region for a few years. Keep in mind that the bans can take up to three months before going into the system.

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  • Lere August 10, 2011, 3:49 pm

    I´ve read through all these questions, but unfortunately none quite cover my problem. I came to Spain in April 2005 on a three month tourist visa. Spain has a legal requirement that you register with the municipality where you are staying. I registered this in October 2005 (after my visa expired) and I can go get a copy of this from them showing my registration and living here till now. I have been in Spain for 6 and a half years now. I would now like to leave in Novemeber 2011 and go back home to South Africa.

    What I really want to know is this: Will I EVER be let back in? What will happen at the airport? I have to borrow the money for the airticket from my brother, so I definitely do not have the money to buy a second ticket if they interrogate me till I miss my flight. What can I do? If I go to the police will they deport me immediately or will they give me a few months/weeks to get out? PLEASE help me. Thanks.

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    • Wade Shepard August 15, 2011, 7:00 pm

      There is a reasonable chance that you will be asked to fill out a form and banned from Europe. The process at the airport is usually pretty quick, and most overstayers don’t miss their flights.

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      • Lorne Phi October 5, 2011, 4:47 pm

        This just happened to my brother. He left Spain on Sunday 2 October. He left from Barcelona airport. He was told that he had overstayed by 5 months and would not be allowed back to Europe. He went to the airport early to avoid missing the flight if problems arose. He got away without too much drama but was blacklisted from Europe – even though our mother lives here on a British passport. These Europeans make me sick. They do not even grant us the privilege of visiting family here for more than one month so we have to overstay.

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  • Joan August 13, 2011, 11:33 pm

    If I stay at holland witohut getting/being able to get a residence permit, for longer than 3 months with a valid US passport but I got marriaged to my dutch gf in the first month there, is there a chance I get deported or banned? Please let me know

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    • Wade Shepard August 15, 2011, 6:59 pm

      There is a lot of red tape to go through to get residency permits for marriage. Many foreigners find that they need to return to their home country to apply. It would be better to ask the immigration authorities in the Netherlands rather than me, as the requirements for marriage visas/ residency permits tend to be different for each European country.

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  • Lere August 25, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Thank you Wade! Much appreciated.

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  • Marie August 26, 2011, 7:34 am

    Question I need help. My son, his wife and their 2 year old daughter are missionaries in Spain and have been living there for 8 months. They tried to get a visa but they couldn’t qualify or didn’t have the money in an account to prove they could take care of themselves and they thought that things were going to get worked out with the organization that is sponsoring them in Spain, but that hasn’t happened. Anyway they they are going on a mission trip to Israel via Rome in Sept. and then they are leaving Spain to return to the States Oct. 31st. They will be in the US for 6 months because my daughter in law is pregnant, but they need to return to Spain and they will be there until Dec. 2012.
    What I need to know is do you think they will be detained in Israel (which scares me to death) or would it be in Rome? Also it’s very obvious that my grandaughter hasn’t left the EU since that is the only stamp in her passport.
    Help! from a scared Grandma

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  • Marie August 26, 2011, 7:37 am

    Sorry I need to clarify. They are going to Israel for only 10 days then they will return to Spain via Rome and stay in Spain until Oct. 31 when they fly to the US. Hope that helps. Grandma

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  • Jose de Jesus August 26, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Dear Schengen Countries,
    I will going to europe today, but my schengen visa duration is from 27th / 08 / 2011 – 5th / 09 2011 ( to Schengen in country) but my ticket is different (From 27th-/8/11 – 6th/9/11) it means one day overstay – is this a big problem?

    I was invited by HE. Jorge Sampaio (Ex. President of Republic Portugal) this is very special urgent invitation.

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  • Dayna August 28, 2011, 9:41 am

    Can’t remember which thread I commented on before about visa overstays, but here is my story, since it always helps to have the latest!

    We overstayed our Irish tourist visa by one month. We were VERY worried about the implications of this, and because of the stress it incurred about the possbile consequences (i.e. not being allowed into the Schengen Zone if caught overstaying in Ireland), it was NOT worth it, and I will never overstay a visa again.

    That being said – we flew Dublin to Amsterdam and had absolutely no problems whatsoever. We dressed nicely, interacted politely, and were prepared to be completely honest if asked any questions about the overstay. My advice for anyone considering it… don’t! I think Ireland may be one of the last places you could get away with it, but from what I’ve heard from other travelers they are cracking down as well.

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    • Wade Shepard August 29, 2011, 3:00 pm

      Thanks Dayna for this update!

      Will pass the word along.

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  • Tana Mielke September 2, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I overstayed my visa in Greece by 8 months. I flew from Athens to Zurich, then back to the states. I wasn’t checked until Zurich where they told me there would be a fine, but just pay it and it won’t be a problem. Now, 6 months later, I am going back to Greece for holidays. Just received an email saying that I am banned from all Schengen states for 2 years. Is there a way around this? I appealing it, but it is not looking promising. Don’t overstay… And definitely do not exit through Switzerland.

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  • sara* September 6, 2011, 9:33 am

    Hi Wade, thanks for the help…

    I am a U.S. Citizen going on a week trip to Ireland ..I have a roundtrip flight back to NYC .. But not taking it back, instead once the week is up my friend’s fly back home, but I have a one way ticket to Paris.. I want to visit friend’s and hopefully find a job out there, now my question is…. Will Ireland give me trouble for not having a round trip flight back from Paris ? And when do my schengen 90 days start to count…? When I enter Ireland or when I enter France ?

    Thanks for your time!

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    • Wade Shepard September 7, 2011, 6:42 am

      Your Schengen zone time starts when you enter the Schengen zone. In your case, this will be France. Ireland will not give you problems for not having an onward or return ticket, but the airline may and not let you board.

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  • sara* September 7, 2011, 7:56 am

    Thanks For replying,

    So, is there anything I can do or say to try and pursue the airline let me board the plane? I mean, in case they give me problems. I am just worried because I have about a week left till my trip, everything is ready.. This question is what has me a bit uneasy.

    Thanks again.

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    • Wade Shepard September 11, 2011, 3:03 pm

      You can say that you have an onward ticket or make a fake one. Usually just saying that you have one works.

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  • Mandy September 25, 2011, 3:41 am


    hello, my question is will i be able to fly to England even tho i flew there in 2008 and didnt leave untill 10/2009 on my US passport, it was never stamped no reentry nor did i ever get a letter from anyone saying i have a ban on my passport. Also i do have duel citizenship it just doesnt show on my us passport. please help 🙂 thank you so much

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  • escallanio September 27, 2011, 12:44 pm


    i overstayed my uk student visa by 3 months. served a ban of 10 years for not entering uk. will i be able to go to other european countries for study or visit.

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  • USSailor October 15, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Hi, I am currently in the United States Military and am stationed in Greece, My wife came to vist me and entered the country on June 13th, 2011, due to a emergency she did not leave in time and she as been overstayed for about one month, we are leaving on the 20th of October and flying from athens, greece to amsterdam and then to houston, is there going to be a problem in amsterdam? I am allowed to be in greece for one year due to my military duty, is she going to have a problem leaving? We wont be able to pay a fine because financies have been tight, will they allow her to leave amsterdam without paying or paying it later? Again because of my military orders and duty I am fine its just my wife what do you think or say? Thank you!

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    • Wade Shepard October 18, 2011, 6:40 am

      If you are flying from Greece to the Netherlands first, then it is in the Netherlands that you should go through exit immigration. Generally, they just file a report on visa overstayers which result in three year bans, and don’t give out fines. But if your flight from Greece goes outside of the Schengen zone first — meaning you have a connection in a non-Schengen country — you will go through immigration in Greece, and they like to give BIG fines.

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      • Tana November 10, 2011, 2:28 pm

        I was fined and banned for two years when leaving from Greece through Switzerland after overstaying by 8 months. Going through appeal process now. I hear Switzerland is the most strict and exit through France or Italy is best.

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  • Campbell October 18, 2011, 4:51 pm

    I am an Australian living in the Netherlands for the last 2 and a half years for work. Unfortunately, I changed jobs and did not get my most recent contract extended. I flew to the UK and back so I gave myself 3 months to look for another role. Unfortunately, it has been 4 months now and I have not been able to find anything. I did not really want to overstay like this but the last job interview process just took so long and I got to the last round for nothing. And besides its hard to leave because all my friends are here, this country feels like home now!!

    Anyway, I don’t want to get in trouble travelling to live with my parents for a while in the UK. The thing is I was at a concert a couple of months ago and my passport was stolen so I actually have a new one without stamps. I have a police report and everything. It’s about a month old so I figured I could pass it off that it was stolen travelling. I already have a ticket to take the train from Amsterdam to Brussels to London, I’m a little bit nervous, I don’t want to be banned from the country where all my friends live and ultimately where I want to come back and keep trying the job search again 🙁

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard October 21, 2011, 8:25 am

      Hello Campbell,

      Keep in mind that visa runs to the UK will not resent a Schengen visa and give you 90 more days unless you are outside the region for at least 91 days.

      The only advice that I can give is that because you have a new passport, you may have a little leeway. I would recommend at first that you make up a good entry date that has you within 90 days, don’t tell the exit immigration official about your previous time in the region, leave and visit your parents, and hope they let you back in. Entrances and exits are not yet automatically registered into the Schengen immigration computer system — you generally only go in there if you are caught overstaying — so you may be in the clear to return with the new passport.

      Though, as always, you never know here. As you have a police report, there is record of you being in the country — and they can match you to your old records even with a new passport. But the only recourse I see here is to just try to return, see what happens. Wish you the best.

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  • European88 October 27, 2011, 2:23 am

    Hello There!
    We need help!
    My husband is an American Citizen. He came to Austria in August to live here with me. We applied for his residency and everything is in process. The problem is, that we were unfortunately not smart enough to get him here with a VISA so that he can stay here until he get his permanent residency- he only came here as a tourist (Meaning 3 months to stay).
    His time is almost up and the paper work is not here. We do not have enough money to send him back to the States, he is currently working as an American Native speaker and it would confuse our lives with lots of trouble if he would have to leave.
    We talked to one lawyer and he told us he could stay here until his residency is here and then just pick it up. That sounds dangerous though. I do not want to get anyone of us into trouble.
    Do you know about the laws and if there is any way that he can stay here until his paper work will be done? We talked with our immigration person and if the paper work comes late, then only about 10 days.. Please help us!

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    • Wade Shepard October 30, 2011, 6:19 pm

      Although it may not be technically within the rules, it is my impression that the advice you received from your immigration lawyer is sound. Very often, if you are awaiting an immigration decision, a visa overstay is overlooked.

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  • Confused November 3, 2011, 2:29 pm

    Hi there! Your page is very helpful. I was hoping you could help with my dilemma.
    If I received a Schengen study visa (stay over 90 days;Italy) but want to stay over that period for about 3 months to travel, is there any way you know of to renew the student visa or request some other type of visa without returning to the U.S. first (say, from student to tourist visa)? I don’t want to overstay my visa if possible. To avoid the hassle. 😉

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  • Lisa November 6, 2011, 9:27 am

    Hi I have been reading these questions and I am so confused and hoping someone can help me make a decision as I do no know what to do. I have been living in Spain for a a little over a year searching for work and it is a process to find a job willing to sponsor you for a work visa, but I am finally getting closer. I moved here to be with my partner. I have not been back to the US in a year and half, my question is I am planning to go back to the united states for 15 days for the holiday, I am flying from palma mallorca to Barcelona to new york and then coming home I am flying from chicago to amsterdam then to barcelona, am I going to have a problem leaving ot coming back into spain? I aks because I need to return back into spain after the 15 days. I need honest answers here, Help, please!

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    • Wade Shepard November 11, 2011, 4:56 pm

      When you exit the Schengen zone there is a reasonable chance that you could receive a ban that would prevent you from re-entering for three to five years. The immigration officials — even in Spain — are getting stricter and stricter, and even in countries that once did not care to ban American, Canadian, Australian overstayers are now doing so. I just received two reports of overstayers being caught in Spain recently (one was banned for five years from reenter Schengen Europe). Overstayers are still getting out without punishment, but the incident rate of those being caught is rising drastically. I fear that within the next couple of years unpunished overstays will be a thing of the past.

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  • Shin November 21, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Hi, I have one question.
    It is about the UK and Schengen Agreement.

    I am Japanese, and have been travelling around the Schengen Area for the last 2 and a half months. However, Japanese travellers are allowed to stay in Schengen Area for just 3 months, so I would have to leave soon.

    My question is that, if I go to the UK after this, will it be okay to stay as a normal traveller? Japanese are allowed to stay in the UK for 6months without a visa.
    Or is the length of stay in the UK also counted as the stay among the Schengen Area? I know that UK is not a member of the Agreement, but I was not sure…


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    • Wade Shepard November 25, 2011, 11:21 am

      Hello Shin,

      The UK and Schengen are separate immigration zones. You can go to the UK and get a 180 day tourist visa and your time in the Schengen zone will not count towards this.

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  • Marie December 1, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I just went to Germany for an 8 week course. I plan to take the Part 2 of the course which is another 8 weeks, so it exceeds the 90 day in 6 months policy of the Schengen Agreement. I don’t have enough time to wait for the processing of a residence Visa before I leave. Could I take a flight into the UK and then a train into Munich and vice versa on the way back in order to avoid getting a Visa?

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  • John December 18, 2011, 2:25 pm

    Hey, my question is this. If you overstay your visa in one of the EU countries, and then travel by train to another country in the EU, do they: scan your passport? Reject you from entering if you have overstayed visa (it sounds like most don’t)? Would they send you somewhere, or just tell you to leave (and you get the next train back!). Also, once your passport if scanned, exactly what information and background do they get about you? Lastly, do officials in the US know each time your passport is scanned in the EU? Thanks!


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    • Wade Shepard January 14, 2012, 4:19 pm

      The EU is not an immigration zone. There is the Schengen zone, which includes 25 countries, and then others (like the UK) who maintain a separate immigration system. There is no immigration between Schengen countries, but there is between Schengen and Non-Schengen European countries.

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  • Patricia December 26, 2011, 6:04 pm

    I am Canadian and was just caught overstaying in Switzerland. I stayed for almost 5 months. I know it is not excuse but I was totatly ignorant on how it works. When I arrived in Switzerland a friend told me the permission to stay “in Switzerland” was 3 months so I though going to France and getting my passport stamped on the way back,(which actually didnt happen) was going to be enough. I was then told it actually wouldnt matter as I was going to be leaving soon and Swiss authorities dont care of overstayers once you are leaving the country.
    Long story short, I was caught at the airport in Zurich, embarrased and fined 560 fr which the police officer told me I could pay from Canada
    ( I didnt have enough money on me), once I receive the fine by mail and probably a restricition to re enter the Shengen area for a year or more.
    I just want to make people aware that they are very strict about it and that being ignorant like it was my case doesnt help. I just dont understand why they do not stamp your passport with the date you are supposed to leave the country, the same way US authorities do and I guess canadians too with visitors from other countries. I am sure there are a few more ignorants out there. This wasnt my best time in Europe. I had been there many times before but of course never stayed longer than a month or 2.
    I now wonder what would happen if I do not receive the fine in time as I am moving from the address I gave them…What would happen if it get lost and I do not pay it

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    • Wade Shepard January 14, 2012, 4:18 pm

      To be honest, it seems as if travelers are still being banned for three (or sometimes more) whether they pay Switzerland’s fine or not. As many have found out, paying the fine does not remove the potential for a ban. As Switzerland and Greece are the only Schengen countries fining overstayers, I would think twice before paying.

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  • Troy January 22, 2012, 7:45 am

    Hi there,so stoked to find this forum..
    I have a problem,been in France since June 2011,was only supposed to be a 3 month holiday with my girlfriend whos from here,it ended up being complicated as her dad was diagnosed with a terminal illness,they absolutely didnt want to help me out for an extension,told me i need to return to my country for 3 months and then could come back,I have no intention of leaving my girlfriend for a day,never mind 3 months while she looks after her dad, my question is,what penalty or fine is the most realistic when leaving here by plane in Oct 2012? it would mean a 16 month overstay.. any suggestions,eg. best country to leave from,should I get a temporary passport instead of showing my current one when leaving?
    any help would be appreciated..

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    • Wade Shepard January 23, 2012, 9:23 am

      The rules are the rules. They can ban you for years, though France doesn’t generally do this too often. Don’t know if that risk is worth it.

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  • Bharath January 26, 2012, 7:45 am

    Hi am an Indian National got my multiple visa for six months from Czech Embassy at Delhi. So far in a year i traveled to Czech five times and every time i hardly stayed 15 Days. On the 24th of this month i want to travel to prague again and i was stopped at the airport and deported back to my Origin in the same flight which i came.

    Now my problem is when i calculated my 5 visits to prague i hardly spent 62 days and my allowed period was 60 days…. Now my i have decided to start business In prague and want to buy a Home which will cost me upto 1 to 1.5 Million USD. Can any one share their experience who went throuh the same problems ? Also they didnt charge me any fines They just Mark C on the immigration page which i feel cancelled…..


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    • Wade Shepard January 30, 2012, 8:53 am

      Usually overstay punishment is combined with a ban. Check with the Czech consulate.

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  • sofia saleem February 4, 2012, 6:27 am

    i want to ask an honest advice from you that basically i am the student of UK college and i got the schengen visa of one month for holidays but unfortunately i could not go back to uk because of illness and i am overstay in belgium almost 3 months so can i go back to UK because my UK visa is still valid to 2014.thanks

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  • Anika February 14, 2012, 10:30 am

    Hi, I’m studying in Spain and I didn’t get a student visa because I was accepted into my college a week after the deadline to turn my paperwork at the Spanish embassy passed. I will be here 18 days passed my 90 day visa. Should I be ok or should I go through the work to try and get a student visa here in Spain.

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  • Alexa March 11, 2012, 4:21 pm

    I’m an American Citizen staying in Rome in need of some advice on traveling to London, Budapest and Prague. I arrived in Italy September 2011 and stayed just under three months then returned to America for three weeks over December and January for winter vacation. I went through Frankfurt roundtrip without problems but received stamps. Now that my Italian boyfriend is moving to London for a few months I plan to visit him at the end of March (still within my three month tourist visa). I’m wondering what kind of problems/questions to expect in London. Then (possibly unwisely), I’m going to Budapest and Prague mid-April, where our return from Prague to Rome will be three days after my 3 month tourist visa. What experiences or problems have people had in Prague? Advice is much appreciated! Thank you!

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  • F jalali March 14, 2012, 12:34 am

    I am an Iranian tourist in London. I have a visitor visa from 22/9/2011 untill 22/3/2012 Duration of stay 180 days. I entered on 20/2/2012 . Because of Easter holiday in UK and also Noruz holiday in Iran there is no ticket till 16/4/2012 .
    Please help me? Is it overstaing or not? If it is, what shoud I do?

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  • Ryan March 19, 2012, 6:30 am

    Hi – Anyone who could offer some advice on this matter is greatly appreciated. I am worried. in 2009 I moved to Germany with my band, our manager was having their immigration lawyer work on my status to get me residency.

    During that time I had a severe car accident that put me in a coma for a long time and left me unable to walk and unable to fly. In that time I have built a life here. Thing is, that means I have overstayed my tourist visa by 6 years.

    Almost recovered, I am flying to the US and am leaving Europe through Istanbul, Turkey. Going home. What am I to expect from immigration? Fines, bans, deportation? I am not a criminal, never been in the system (besides my accident) and have not worked or gone to school during my overstay.

    Oh, and also I lost my passport some years back and got it reissued via the embassy, so my current passport has no stamps.

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  • Shanti March 20, 2012, 10:58 am

    Hi, I am a US citizen. I arrived in France 12/30/11 and have been trying diligently with my fiancé to wed here. Do you know if there is a fine if I over stayed by 3 weeks? If so, do you know how much? I dont want to be banned, but we have finally gotten most of the required paperwork to get married, and dont want to be apart for 3 months.


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  • Amistad March 25, 2012, 2:36 pm

    I have been in Europe for 3 years, on and off. Never had a problem, came and went as I pleased with American passport. Flew, took trains, within and out of Europe. Stay over the limit for 5 months over, then 7, then 9 before just deciding to stay here. At the airport they ask when you will go back. Thats it. Don’t let everyone freak you out. Americans are from a free country, we are the last of concerns, take a deep breathe.

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  • Munir Ahmed April 1, 2012, 11:05 am

    hi there,

    I have received Schengen Visa from Spain Embassy for the period of 26 Days and with Duration of Stay is 10 Days. Now my training has been shifted to Munich, Germany where I need 12 days of stay. I cannot extend my visa here in Pakistan because of four to five weeks process time. I am thinking of comming Munich and asking the authority to extend my duration of stay for at least 2 to 3 days. Would it be possible if yes then what do I need and to whom I should contact. I have already visited Munich several times. My visa detail is below:

    Visa Class: Spain Schengen C-Class
    Start Date: 15-April
    End Date: 10-May
    Duration of Stay: 10

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  • Nick July 6, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Hey Wade, a friend of mine has just come back from Paris where he spent 5 months. On his way back he flew through Iceland where the customs people told him he overstayed the 90 days and could not come back. He is back in the States for the summer but hopes to go back to be with his girlfriend in September in Paris. He doesn’t have the money to prove he can sustain himself as a requirement of a Visa so what should he do? Will he not be allowed to enter France if he flies there directly?

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    • Wade Shepard July 7, 2012, 1:10 am

      There is a decent chance that he will not be permitted to reenter Schengen Europe for around the next 3 years. There isn’t much he can do about it. Now, many people who are banned still slip in, but many also get caught and denied entry. It’s a luck of the draw sort of scenario, but even if he is able to get back in he will always be liable to be caught as having illegally entered and could face deportation at any time.

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  • vijay July 17, 2012, 9:58 am


    I was flying to Ukraine from London (Indian citizen with work visa in UK) and my flight was basically London->Copenhagen->Warsaw->Ukraine. Being the novice traveller, I didn’t realize that I needed a Schengen visa even to just fly through the 2 Schengen cities (Copenhagen and Warsaw). Although while the immigration officer at Copenhagen did not catch me for not having a Schengen visa & he stamped an entry stamp on my passport. However, when I was exiting Warsaw to catch my flight to Ukraine, the Polish immigration officer caught me. I was fined about 100 euros and they stamped the exit stamp on my passport. Now my question is what are my chances of getting a Schengen tourist visa from the Italian Embassy in UK?

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    • Wade Shepard July 17, 2012, 10:29 am

      I have no idea.

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  • Sharaf August 7, 2012, 7:01 pm

    I got schengen tourist visa from Germany it is valid only for four days, i.e from 20 to 23 August 2012
    My plan is to start my EU trip from 20th and finish the EU trip by 25th for UK from where I have to come back to UAE
    Can I stay these two extra days in Schengen states ?
    Kindly help me with the issue

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  • Patricia September 27, 2012, 3:05 pm

    I am the same Canadian who a few months ago left a comment about being caught over staying in Switzerland.
    After a couple of months I did recieve a letter with a ban restricting me to enter Switzerland for a year but I didnt get to pay any fine so I guess it was wise not to pay at the airport otherwise it would have been the fine (560 fr) and the ban together.

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    • Wade Shepard September 27, 2012, 7:53 pm

      EXACTLY. Paying the find doesn’t work to your advantage, as you get banned if you pay and banned if you don’t. It’s a truly moronic system. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Mark October 2, 2012, 5:41 am


    Hi Wade 

    I am a Canadian citizen and i am in a very delicate situation and i need your best advice i can get. I have a couple of questions In hope that you can answer them for me

    I am in Sweden and i have overstayed my Schengen visa for 2 years and a couple of months now and I haven’t traveled to any other country in europe while i’ve been here .When I first arrived everything was ok ! I was given my 90 day visa to stay but just around the time when it was for me to leave I lost all my identifications including my passport. I decided to put my passport at a friend apartment. So i wouldn’t have to lose while travel around sweden..leaving it in the possession of a careless friend was a bug mistake and I didn’t file in a police report because I wasn’t convinced that the police would  be able to help me retrieve my passport in time for me to board my flight. After trying serval attempts to find my ID’s  i lost all hope and eventually gave up.  So i stayed here in Sweden for 0ver 2 years and I slipped into a deep depression and was very confused about how to handle this problem because I have never been in this type of position before and neither have I ever lost my passport.But now after 2 years of hardship I have found my Canadian citizenship card and now i have been to the Canadian Embassy and applied for a new passport and im awaiting for a new passport and I will purchase a new ticket to go back home. But I need to know a few things first.

    1) What are my options for getting out of the Schengen zone and going back home without out any problems ? (no fine and not getting banned to re-entry Europe again) 

    2) How should I avoid getting caught by the sort authorities at the airport or which Country would be best for me to leave from other than Sweden ?

    When I’m leaving Will I be integrated,investigated or fingerprinted when I am at the airport ? Or will i even have a problem passing through the UK as transit ? 

    much appreciated, thanks!

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    • Efram January 20, 2022, 5:54 am

      How was your experience exiting the Eu. Asking for a friend.

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  • Melinda November 30, 2012, 6:53 pm


    Dont mean to add to the tons of comments. But I am overstaying by 5 days in France and I have going through so many comments to see what the reaction is in France and I have heard nothing. Will the French be nicer to me if I was suppose to leave and there was an emergency and could not leave again? They also did not scan my passport into anything when I arrived, just stamped it… on top of another stamp so you cannot exactly see when I arrived. I understand if I have to pay a fine, but do you think I will miss my flight?


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    • Wade Shepard November 30, 2012, 9:26 pm

      They may file your details and then you will be banned from reentering Schengen Europe, but you won’t miss your flight. France is pretty lax as well, so don’t worry too much.

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  • jakerummel March 27, 2013, 4:15 pm

    I’m a US student studying abroad in Italy. My program is only 89 days but I was planning on traveling for another week following the end of my program putting my total at 96 days. I will be exiting through Switzerland, which from my reading seems like a very strict place when it comes to overstays. Is it likely I will be fined/banned?

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    • Vagabond Journey March 27, 2013, 8:15 pm

      jakerummel Yes, you are very likely to be banned.

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  • tinkerinaaa April 28, 2013, 8:50 am

    Hey, I got a problem, I think. I have anxiety issues anyway and this is just not helping me at all… So, I’m in the Czech Republic and my Long Term Residence (Type D Visa – if I’m remembering correctly) expires in 5 days (May 3rd). However, I gotta stay here until June 15th because I gotta graduate, I go to Uni here. So I was being a lazy fuck and eventually completely forgot about extending the damn thing until today (I know, I’m an idiot). So I was all prepared to go to the police tomorrow morning and then, luckily, I found online that you have to apply for extension at least 14 days before. So I’m thinking, if I go this week, they’ll probably be like “Too late, GTFO of the country!” And I really can’t risk that because there is no way in hell I went to school for 4 years to get deported a month and ten-ish days before I graduate. So, I know it’s pretty bad, but I’m just planning on laying low until I have to leave so that I’m not randomly checked on the street… I am exiting through Hungary though since I’m traveling by car, not plane. What are the odds of things going terribly wrong in Hungary??? When they scan my passport can they see when my visa expired? They usually ask for the visa, so I’m thinking of saying my bag (with my visa card in it) got stolen in a club the night before my trip so I didn’t have time to get that sorted out before I left. Would that be a good idea or should I just say that I don’t have a valid visa? I’m not planning on coming back anyways… HELP please and than you! 🙁

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    • tinkerinaaa April 28, 2013, 8:53 am

      By the way, I’m from Bosnia, sooo I’ve got the whole “third country national” thing going on. 😛

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      • Vagabond Journey April 28, 2013, 9:21 am

        They’re not going to let you leave without a passport. Other than that it is incredibly rare for “things “don’t go wrong at the border.” Generally, they just say, “Oh, you overstayed,” and log you into their computer.

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        • tinkerinaaa April 28, 2013, 9:32 am

          No, I will have my passport with me, the visa isn’t in the passport, it’s like an ID card. But thanks for the reply!

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  • Gabrielle Maes July 23, 2013, 6:21 am

    hi, my husband is an american waiting a nulla ostathat was promised to him and is long overdue. he has to return to italy to continue working and is considering sneaking in via russia, italy.. while waiting for his work permit. he has not overstayed his 90 days in italy, but his ninety day outside of the country is not up. doeshe have a hood chance of getting in and what are the repurcuusions if he gets cuaght?

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  • Agrund59 April 16, 2014, 8:20 am

    I am currently an American student studying in France on a student visa. My visa expires June 15th and I would like to go to the UK June 13th then head to Spain to travel for a bit on June 15th. Is this possible or do I need to wait to enter Spain until June 16th? #travel #visa #help

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  • Vaughan May 28, 2014, 8:14 am

    Hey there anyone who can help (Wade? You there??)

    I just became aware of the Schengen agreement a week or so ago, well after I was over the limit. I thought it was curious I wasn’t getting stamped anywhere during my travels but it wasn’t until overhearing another traveler that I realized my grave mistake. I thought it was still 90 days in each country and my Dad had done a few trips through Europe this year and each year prior for a few years and he always was over 3 months but never was talked to. He even left out of Germany last time! But he’s also in his late 60’s so perhaps they don’t check as hard for certain profiles? I mean being in a wheelchair has to help his cause I guess. I’ve been in Europe (Schengen) for about 130 days and my flight from Dublin doesn’t leave until I’ll have been in the Schengen for about 160 days.

    I truly had no idea and now I’m stressing a bit. I love travelling through Europe (Mom in Italy) and am loathing the idea of a ban. I’ll be exiting the Schengen via Rome and was wondering if anyone had any idea what that’s like? I’ve heard cheaper airlines (Ryanair) scrutinize more so is it a better option to go with a bigger name? Upon leaving Rome I’ll be landing in Dublin a day or two shy of my return flight to JFK (USA). I was starting to come to terms with getting caught in Italy but now I’ve come to realize that Dublin could send me back if they see fit? If I’ve got the money to cover my two days there and a return flight to the USA only a couple days a way would it sway their opinion in any way? Or is there a solid chance that they’ll send me packing back to Italy to be dealt with?

    Any tips or helps or similar stories would be much appreciate. Is Dublin known for sending Schengen violators back to the country they came from? Is Rome a good place to leave from? Does having my flight home being a day or two away once I arrive in Dublin matter at all? Thanks so much. I’ll be sure to write my experience after it happens.

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  • Maxine Louise Lawson October 18, 2022, 4:46 pm

    I do hope that somebody out there will be able to give me an explanation.
    I spent 12 days in the EU in August 22, came back to the uk where I have now been for longer than 3 months. Plan on spending the winter months in Italy with friends. Am I now allowed 90 days or 90 days minus the 12 spent there in August.
    Have asked any number of so-called authorities but received various replies. People don’t seem to know.
    !!! Many thanks, Maxine Lawson

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    • VBJ October 18, 2022, 4:48 pm

      You can have 90 days within any 180 day period. So yes, you can stay for 90 more.

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  • joe February 20, 2023, 10:42 am

    Hi, every one. i have a big issue on my hands at the moment, that has been going on for some time. and has come back to bite me in the rear end. I’m in American that overstayed my tourist visa by 8 years…. i know! crazy!!! i arrived when i was 18 years old and 5 days later turned 19 and had my first born son with no family back home i had no money no home just me my girlfriend and my new born, i overstayed as the years went by it slipped my mind her family was supporting me and as of today i got a knock on my door from a immigration personnel. i did not open the door for him due to the hard scary door bell rings but they left a card now at this time in my life i’m married so my wife called and they wanted to know about my legal status my wife said i went back to the states and they said they would like proof in by a week. (can any one help on how i can have proof of that to buy me some time with out a plain ticket of departure) also i’m looking for advice on leaving the zone to go to a none schengen zone with out getting heat i know this is a lot of things going on but i have a wife and a 8 year old son and i would like to stay with them in Austria i’m seeking advice from a non profit ngo that helps with immigrants soon. but thought id like to no if any one has any ideas i have heard to take a train to italy then go by plane to the u.k and say in the u.k that my passport was damaged to get a new one, and a new stamp…. any thoughts?

    any help would do me great

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    • VBJ February 20, 2023, 12:12 pm

      Man, you did just about everything wrong that you could have 🤣 But I’m sure you already know this. This is just my advice. Take it if you want, but I’m not sure it will even work. If you leave the Schengen area there is a very good chance that you’re not going to be allowed back in. So only leave if you’re alright with being gone for good. If you want to stay you need to hire a lawyer and fight for residency status. Sneaking around or lying to immigration is probably only going to make things worse for you. Now is the time to come clean and try somehow to get legal status. But it’s probably a long shot.

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