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Overstaying Visa in Germany

Hello, If you have overstayed your visa in Germany for over one year, I would probably recommend leaving the region by way of a third country. There are plenty of options for getting to another country in Western Europe, but I would highly recommend traveling from Germany to another country outside of the Schengen zone. [...]

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If you have overstayed your visa in Germany for over one year, I would probably recommend leaving the region by way of a third country.

There are plenty of options for getting to another country in Western Europe, but I would highly recommend traveling from Germany to another country outside of the Schengen zone.

Do not try to take a flight out of Germany, this is one of the most strict countries in the Schengen zone for punishing visa overstays. Also try to avoid Switzerland.

It is my impression that the penalties for violating the Schengen restrictions are a fine and a possible travel ban. If you overstayed in Hungary or the Czech Republic I would say that your chances of being caught greatly diminishes, but the German authorities have a reputation for being a little more diligent.

Let me know how you make out.

Walk Slow,


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Additional information on overstaying Schengen Visa
Overstaying Schengen visa

Overstaying a Schengen visa
Implications of overstaying Schengen Visa
Schengen Visa Wiki


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?


Do you have a Schengen visa question?

If so, then take a look at our Schengen visa community forum. It is specifically for people who have questions or concerns related to Europe’s Schengen immigration zone.


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Filed under: Border Crossing, Germany, 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 3715 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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16 comments… add one

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  • Whitney June 1, 2009, 2:02 pm

    I am working in Italy for 5 months but don’t have any sort of visa. I am a U.S. citizen and would like to travel after I’m done working. I know that this is illegal, but how serious is the offense and do they really check your stamp? I only have one stamp from entering Italy. Are there ways to get around this or should I cut my losses and leave when the 90 day period is up? I would love the chance to save up during this job so I can see the continent, but would hate to get banned/fined or any other punishment that goes along with this. I hear that Greece and the UK are the most strict. I would love some advice as I was given the chance for this job a week before I had to be here, so I am just now looking up all of the information on what I’m allowed to do. Thank you!

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  • marie October 21, 2009, 4:53 am


    I am US citizen working in Germany for a few months as a visiting researching (I am a student in the US). My flight back to the US is on the 117th day since my arrival and I have not traveled outside of the Schengen counties. I entered and will leave from the same airport. I have been to the Immigration Office several times to get a residency permit to make my stay legal for those last 27 days however every time I go they find something wrong with my application (The last time it was that I had a slight smile in my passport photo). I am getting tired of the waiting in line and the 100 Euro it is going to cost does not seem worth it to stay the extra 27 days. What is the worse that can happen if I do not get a residence permit stay 117 days?

    thanks for your input

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  • bus pictures June 20, 2010, 4:19 am

    I think it would be very difficult to take new schengen visa if you overstay your visa duration. But I think it is not a very big problem for citizens of USA or similar countries. Already they dont need a visa.

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  • Samuel February 10, 2011, 5:44 am

    Hey, I know you have answered questions like this one already but I thought i would never hurt to ask. I am currently in the EU overstaying my 90 day Visa, and I was wondering If I got accepted into a German university for learning german, and applied for a student visa, would I get deported or in trouble? How likely is it that I will get screwed?

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com February 11, 2011, 11:55 am

      Getting screwed?

      Man, you are breaking the law.

      Student visas generally need to be applied for outside of the Schengen zone, most often from your home country.

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  • Nadine July 10, 2012, 5:16 pm

    I’m Canadian and stayed a year in Spain with a visitor’s visa because I was in the process of immigrating with my already Spanish husband of 3 years. We now separated and I want to go to Peru.
    Would they deport me to Canada instead?
    If they put a ban on the passport, it’s only for the Schengen zone, right?
    Does it affect other countries from accepting you in?… Leaving Spain, I want to go to Peru and then the US.
    Help much appreciated, thanks!

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  • Abdul September 7, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Hi Wade,
    I just got in Germany. I am offered a 3-month postdoc at a research center, but my visa is for 2 months. I am from Niger where I teach. I would like to extend my stay without violating the visa rule because I know the consequences could be harsh next time I apply for a Schengen visa. What are my options? Are they any ways I could legally extend my stay? Who should I talk to?



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  • Tony_26 February 22, 2013, 6:59 am

    Hi Wade,
    I have overstayed in the UK for 4 years. Will it be possible for me to gain a student visa for a schengen country, particularly Germany? I have a good professional work record as an IT programmer during my stay here, will that be of any help to obtain a work permit? I just don’t want to ruin my career. I overstayed because I couldn’t afford to spend again the same amount to apply again as a student. I can well prove my technical skills and experience. Now I need to get legal in a country where I can continue my work. Originally I am from Sri Lanka.

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    • Vagabond Journey February 22, 2013, 7:54 am

      @Tony_26 Technically, the two immigration zones are separate, so there shouldn’t be an impact. But no country wants to admit people who have a reputation for overstaying their visas. Be sure there is no sign of the overstay in your passport (get a new one if you have to) and hope.

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      • Tony_26 February 25, 2013, 5:39 am

        @Vagabond Journey Thank you very much for your advice. I will make a new pp when I go back to SL. Hopefully, that will put things in the right way. Thanks again.

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  • Daryl January 27, 2014, 4:21 pm

    I got a new us passport because mine expired and i got it in Europe in a Schenegan country at the us consulate. The date of issue is in early spring 2012. Interestingly, at least from all the passports i have had over the years, all having a place off issue, my passport does not show any issue location, which has been commented upon from time to time, cant recall why i think when i picked up a Western Union, but the fact is there is no issue location. Also there is not a single stamp or visa, totally clean. I returned after my residency had expired from another country and some border cops came by to check passports, and this one guy who seemed normal a young white guy perhpas in his mid 20th well groomed and apparently they did not like his papers and i didnt hear clearly what was said but appeared to be that he was out of date so far as his visa or residency and they took him away. At the same time, I was very tired and sat there and showed MY passport the this border guy and he went through the entire passport flipping back and forth through the pages and me being such a total space cadet thank god, well i was not nervous i just sat there and he kept flipping through my passport and NOTHING THERE to SEE. And all he did was say thank you or whatever, handed me back my passport and really it wasnt till a minute or two later that i all of a sudden realized that this was really wrong. lolo…that I demonstarted no show of any evidence that I was legal, but, on the other hand, having NO stamps, no visa, and the date of issue being at least 4 months past the date i should have got my residency renewed, and NEVER thought that they ever stopped and checked within the zone. But they did, and i am just wondering since i have been reading this forum which god bless i shall donate to i just discovered it and i read that oftentimes when one returns to the US as i have done more times than i can remember that due to the mass amount of people it is quite possible to re enter the US WITHOUT getting any stamp of re entry. And i have travelled when my residency permit was still valid to several other countries by plane and never got a stamp not coming or going and this is why my passport is clean as whistle.

    Is this ‘good news’ for me. The fact that there is NO location as to where this passport was issued? And the fact that there just are no stamps whatsoever no visas no permits no nothing just all blank pages with as i said a issuance date of early 2012.

    I mean unless i were to look suspicious or doing something illegal or causing trouble which i never would do and i do blend in quite well with the northern European look just fine. So what is there to prove that is, unless for some reason i looked suspicious but so long as i just act normal and dress normally and speak normally WHO is going to come looking or bugging me. Even if i fly out of the most strict of countries with an outward bound tick and even a return i mean, with so many people to work on and this nutty security who has the time to go check out some normal looking person who is polite and not drawing any attention to themselves and just smiles and with normal confidence without any sign of nervousness are they really going to EVER bug me? Sure passports at least US ones are only good for ten years so i got till 2022 to renew and i would think by then i would figure something out.

    Wade and others do you have any feedback for me. Thanks for your wonderful forum i dont know how i missed it. Btw, the reasons for not renewing i do not wish to say for this could so easily reveal who i am. Not that u cant just check your statcounter as i check the one i have on my website and know where i am and what operating system i am using and even my ip address so i know it is possible to easily be found. I just really dont think anyone unless they have a real hardon for me are going to waste their precious time for i am no one special and not wishing to break the law and would not be in this stressful position if not for huge misinformation given to me by those in charge of giving residency people who did their job WRONG twice two years in a row but i have spoken the my legal eagles and they tell me no way does this matter..even though i am the victim not the criminal as i trusted the residency ppl know their job but alas they did not, and wish to maked it clear this has nothing to do wiht me being the criminal type or trying to scam or save money or that i am some terrorist or wanted in some other country ,etc nothing could be further from the truth, still sad to say at this point i am in no position to leave and dont wish to and will find a way in the meantime i just am curious if a blank passport with no place showing where i got it. All others have shown such info.

    Thanks for your attention and good luck to all of us!

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    • Wade Shepard January 27, 2014, 7:20 pm

      Don’t worry. Immigration officials see blank passports everyday. Almost whatever we can throw at them they see on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon, especially in Europe, for people to lose their passport. Also don’t worry about not having a place of issue on it. They all say Dept. of State now. More specific information is probably stored in the chip.

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  • Dwie August 3, 2019, 11:15 am

    Hallo… My name is dwie. I am from indonesia, i have overstayed in australia about 7years ago. And this month i want to apply work permit visa to czech republic. So you think its possible for me to get a granted work permit to enter czech republic as i have overstay history in australia long time ago. And if i passed the visa here, is there any possibilities that security system in czech republic will detect my travel history as i lost my old passport and send me back to my home country?

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    • Wade Shepard August 3, 2019, 6:09 pm

      It’s probably alright.

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  • Harry October 2, 2021, 12:48 pm

    I am non- EU citizen. I was student of University in Germany, however I did not complete the course. My residence card expired last year. Now I want to go back to my country. I have been paying my insurance and was staying in student dorm. During the period I did not work here. Kindly suggest possible means to resolve the situation.

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