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Travel in UK/ Ireland After Overstaying Schengen Visa

Can I travel to England, UK, Ireland after overstaying a Schengen Visa?

Can I travel to England, UK, Ireland after overstaying a Schengen Visa?

Whitney previously asked a question on Vagabond Journey Travel Help about a job offer that she has in Italy. Basically, the job will last for five months and does not provide a work visa, which will  mean that Whitney will have already overstayed her Schengen tourist visa by two months at the end of her term of employment. But she, understandably, wants to travel around Europe a little more before she goes home. I advised her that this should be OK, just so she does not travel through the UK or Ireland from a Schengen country. But Whitney really wants to travel in these countries and she is asking now if I think she will have any problems.

My response:

Well, the way I see it, you have three options:

1. Don’t worry about anything — work in Italy and then go to the UK/ Ireland as free traveler.

Basically, the worse thing that immigration in the UK and Ireland can do to you is send you back (at their expense) to mainland Europe to the country in which you violated your visa. I have heard of this happening before, the UK, and recently Ireland, have pretty strict immigration officials and they really do read your visa stamps.  But, the worse thing that they will do is send you back to where you are coming from, which is not the worse thing in the world. They cannot do much else because you will not have violated any of their laws.

If you go to this page — Overstaying Visa in Europe — it tells the story of an American that I met in Prague who was denied entry to England and sent back the Czech Republic for overstaying his visa by a year.

2. Travel outside of the Schengen region prior to flying to the UK/ Ireland — If you take a boat or cheap flight to Albania and fly out of Tirane, I do not think that the UK/ Ireland immigration could extridite you back to Italy.

3. Don’t travel to the UK/ Ireland on this trip — Europe is big, there are many countries, just travel somewhere else and go to the British Isles on another trip.

I think the chances of UK/ Ireland immigration extraditing you back to Italy are rare in any circumstance, but they do seem to love nothing more than denying Americans entry (I just received a letter about another American who was recently denied entry into Ireland for dubious ressons, and a while back I got another from an American woman who went through hours of interrogation as she tried to travel from France to Dublin). I occasionally even have problems traveling through this region.

To put it bluntly, the immigration officials of the British Isles seem to have big sticks shoved up their asses. When you travel there, have your story set and answer each question with a direct answer — never seem indecisive about anything. Know the name, address, and telephone number of a hotel (pick a nice one),  your EXACT itinerary, proof of an exit ticket, and be ready to show that you have more than enough funds to last out your trip IN CASH.

In point, I do not think that the UK/ Ireland will send you back to a Schengen country to be good and law abiding, but because they simply do not want you in their country. If you give them no reason to refuse you entry, then you will probably not have any problems. Just remember that the UK and Ireland are full of illegal workers and people who have overstayed their visas, so trying to enter the country with proof in your passport that you have recently overstayed a visa surely will not be to your advantage.

If you are in fact, denied, you would not be alone — this happens all the time — and you can just go back to the European mainland and travel elsewhere.

Let me know how everything works out for you.

Thanks for reading the Vagabond Journey Travel Magazine!

Walk Slow,

Wade

————————–  

You say not to fly through England. This is my main concern. After working, I want to travel around and would really like to spend most of my time in Ireland/the UK. I figured I would spend about a month traveling after I’m done in Italy. Spend a week or two going around the Schengen zone then spend the rest in Ireland/UK. Is this impossible? Is it mainly England that is the problem? Could I fly into Ireland and Scotland and perhaps avoid trouble? Do you have any advice?

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, Italy, Travel Help, Visas, Work

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3425 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Prague, Czech Republic

83 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Traveler June 18, 2009, 8:16 am

    Lovely blog! Thanks for the useful information.

    Link Reply
    • gaz March 7, 2010, 1:26 am

      come in to uk thay let every polish person in even if thay carnt speak english, any one can claim benifits so why not everyone if you carnt speak english thay ll even give you a house unemployment and mobile phones. then again come in have a free stay at uk tax payers cost the goverments ripping off millions on house repairs for mp,s so come get some more cash western ppl sould be welcome from usa at least thay speak english ,this country (uk is like a drain for sh// low lifes from poland and other countrys that are bleading uk dry

      Link Reply
  • muzzy August 1, 2009, 5:51 pm

    ok i need some help here a friend of mine came from USA and went to amsterdam and was given the schengen visa and stayed there for couple of days and then left to belgium ad entered UK and as US citizen was given 6 months visa..he overstayed his visa by more than 6 months.now he wants to go back to US, the question is if he manages to leave uk with out a any problem, would he be able to any schengen country for example Belgium wen he enters belgium will he be given schengen visa again for couple of days to enter the country from uk or would there be any problem and when leaving the country would there be any problems or is there any other country he can leave from to go back to uk without any problems..apart frm UK coz they already stayed their visa…..because technically they have left schengen space and entering again but from UK and also they will not be staying long…plz i would realy appriciate ur help as my friend is planing to leave soon to enter belgium or some other schengen country, should they recive any problems on entering, i want to warn them to look other alternative ways..thank you in advance for ur help…

    Link Reply
  • Melissa December 7, 2009, 5:55 pm

    Hello,

    I am a Malaysia visitor who has a six month visa for the UK and am currently in the EU. Would it be possible to travel back to the UK for a week and then re enter the EU for another month then back to London to fly back to Malaysia? Does the EU immigration usually check that travellers stay outside of the Schegan area for 90 days?

    Would appreciate any advice. Thank you!

    Melissa

    Link Reply
  • Michelle December 10, 2009, 9:10 pm

    I just read this entry, however I am confused as I thought Ireland and the UK were not part of the Schengen agreement? I am planning to stay the allotted 90 days in the Schengen countries, then go to the UK for two weeks then Ireland for another two weeks. From my understanding on your post, you are saying that Ireland and/or the UK would reject me from going in to their country? Or does this only apply to people that have violated the 90 day rule and have stayed longer than they were supposed to? Any advice is appreciated as I am planning a trip to Europe in 2010 and want to make sure I don’t step on any toes!

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com December 12, 2009, 9:55 am

      Michelle,

      You are right, England and Ireland are not part of the Schengen agreement, but if you overstay your Schengen visa and try to go there they may not let you in. Many travelers have been denied entry to Ireland/ England after overstaying the Schengen. But if you do not overstay and you go to England for 90 days, you can return to the Schengen zone.

      Good planning. It is good to hear of travelers actually planning to NOT overstay their Schengen rather than trying to come up with ways to break the rules. This is good — 90 days in, 90 days out. It is much easier this way.

      Thanks,

      Wade

      Link Reply
  • Max December 21, 2009, 6:14 am

    Dear Sir,
    I have one question my wife is working in Ireland and she is basicaly citizen of Poland, and i have Temporary Residence Permit and i m now in Poland, is it possible that i wil visit my wife and work there ?
    Thanks

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 2, 2010, 9:31 am

      It is not my impression that a residency permit for Poland will have any bearing on your immigration status in Ireland.

      Link Reply
      • Ethan Fox February 20, 2011, 2:26 am

        This is a late response, but for the benefit of others in a similar situation. If your wife is truly a full citizen of Poland then she is an EU citizen. While working in Ireland, she has the right to have her spouse visit, live and work in any EU country that she lives in, including Ireland. In the future, she can also return to Poland with you and you will have the right to a work permit there under EU rules if you have lived together in eg. Ireland.

        Link Reply
  • joe January 29, 2010, 11:49 am

    okay here is my ? i went to london in 2008 i over stayed my visa by 4 months now i wana go back for two weeks to visit my grandma i managed to get out of london okay now i would like to no if go back their will i get in trouble

    Link Reply
    • missing my boyfriend October 13, 2010, 8:24 am

      Hey joe, I have the similar problem as you, over stayed by 5 months and managed to get out of uk without any problem.
      Now I want to go back to visit my boy friend. It been over a year now that I have been out of uk.

      Did you manage to find out any information if going back to uk would be any problem?

      Hello wade,
      Hope you can help with the above.

      p.s. I will have to apply for a visa at the uk embassy before hand, will they create any problems with the over staying thing an, as I have not returned to uk for a year now, any chance there for getting a visa??

      Any help from anyone would be much appreciated.
      thanks all

      Link Reply
      • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com October 13, 2010, 8:04 pm

        The only thing that I can say is try it. This seems to be the only thing you can do, apply for the visa and see if they give it to you. It is good that they did not seem to record the overstay when you left though (or at least they did not tell you if they did). The way it seems to me is that the UK has one of the most stringent immigration systems in Europe, but they seem to be a little more lax about overstays and overstay penalties than say Germany or Switzerland.

        Wish you the best, let us know what happens.

        Thanks,

        Wade

        Link Reply
        • missing my boyfriend October 20, 2010, 7:10 am

          hello Wade,
          thanks hope they will be less strict on us and let us be together.

          One more thing to add, I had also worked while I over stayed and they keep a record of my work details, including the tax I paid and the length of time I have worked at the HM Revenue & Customs. And I have to submit my NI number (national insurance number) when I fill up the visa application form, am worried that they will check my past work details and find out that I have over stayed and worked.

          I’m bit confused whether I should try for the visit visa or the settlement visa as my boyfriend wants me to live with him and ultimately he wants us to try for the settlement visa if we manage to get back together..
          PS: he is a EU citizen and is now settled in UK for the last 13 years.

          thanks and will keep you updating.

          Link Reply
  • Raf June 1, 2010, 12:29 pm

    Regarding UK/Ireland immigration officers:

    My experience when I stayed in France as an exchange student in 2005- I am Mexican, and originally had a student visa for 5 months, extended up to 8 months in France after proving the courses were not finished in the original date. So, after studies finished at the 6th month, I decided to travel around Europe for the remaining 2 months and so started in the UK.
    Well, I spent more than 30 minutes being very harshly interrogated by an officer at London Heathrow!!!: Why, where, how, how come, dates dates dates, money, cash and cards, studies, etc.. and then I even took out an original letter my Brit friend sent me just in case the officers were asking many questions (there he says he is a registered barrister, hosting me, even willing to cover my expenses in the case of an emergency, etc)…the officer went berserk!!! She asked when did we meet, if all in the letter was accurate, what was i going to do, cellphones, etc all again, never leaving eye contact… EVEN when I already had shown my flight ticket to Norway, due 15 days later, and when I was not overstaying in the Schengen area… well, I guess being consistent with your story and confident -even though i got nervous at her aggressive style of questioning- is key. Eventually I was let in, and when going to Ireland later on, officers there saw the immigration seal allowing me for several months in the UK and then didnt ask more questions…
    Eventually, I overstayed some 15 days or 20 after the 8 months permit, and had no trouble going back home from Germany (but I guess it was because I had the student visa, the extension, and then many many stamps from Eastern Europe countries back when they were in the process of adopting Schengen, also Mexicans can travel to the Schengen zone for 90 days with no visa for tourism, so maybe they took this 20 days inside those regular no-visa 90 days?).

    Two years later, I arrived in Manchester, and had almost no questions at all!!! Just ‘what are you doing in UK, when are you leaving’, but very friendly.. SO different! I also had a student visa for Germany, but was travelling to UK and then Norway (again), *before* my student period in Germany… so, I guess then it was easier.

    I am planning a long trip to Europe soon in 2010, I dont want to overstay the 90 allowed days, but my plans may require more than 90 days too… so I’ll try to figure if it’s worth staying in the Balkans, Morocco or even the UK (too expensive also just to ‘wait’ there 3 months) before the 90 days limit, since the flight back home is quite pricey too.. (now I am no longer a student, so that student-visa argument isnt there anymore)…

    If overstaying, which countries you think aren’t as strict as Germany or UK/Ire when checking Schengen status???

    Thanks, Wade! -great site you’ve got here!!-

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com June 6, 2010, 10:47 am

      Hello Raf,

      As you have already found out, your past travel history is sometimes of pertinence when trying to cross tricky borders. There is no way to tell how strict the Schengen region may become, and an overstay may present problems in the future in more countries than just in Europe. So you may not get busted now — Italy and France and much of the region currently seem a little lax in enforcing Schengen policy — but there is no way to tell what impact an overstay may have in the future. I would not recommend overstaying anywhere in Europe if you travel there regularly.

      Walk Slow,

      Wade

      Link Reply
  • bus pictures June 18, 2010, 10:24 am

    Hello,

    I was very worried in the day that my schengen visa expired. it was valid until 9 may, but I wasnt sure wheather I have to leave the schengen zone before 9 may or before 10 may. I didn’t ever overstay any of my visas and that would have been horrible for me. Finally I learned that until 9 may means you can be in schengen zone until 9 may 23:59.

    Link Reply
  • mohamed August 29, 2010, 1:30 pm

    hello
    am morocan married with irish women. my problem my wife she is pregnant so she dont have work she cant do nothing.so me i have a problem with visa to visite her i feel so sad for me i have my job my own busness in morocco; just what i want to find solution to fly to dublin to visite my wife am not staying there my wife after baby born she ig going to live in morocco just this time i want to visite her the embessay ask about too much paperwork that my wife she cant do it now. for me i have all my paper show that i have my own buisness here…. hope to get a help as soon as possible my head is wrecked.. thank you very much.

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com August 29, 2010, 2:52 pm

      The only advice that I can give is to apply for a tourist visa and see what happens. If it is too much work to try to get one with your wife’s assistance then just apply on your own. All that can happen is that your visa application is rejected. ‘

      Hope everything works out. Why doesn’t your wife have the baby in Morocco?

      Link Reply
  • SA_Traveller May 15, 2011, 3:40 am

    Hi Wade,

    I hope you can advice me,
    I overstayed my uk 2 year holiday visa by roughly
    8 months and left for South Africa (my homeland)
    I was stopped at T3 Heathrow and was noted as an overstayer
    I used a second passport which I had a few more years remaining
    Before it expired so my passport with my uk visa wasn’t marked my spear passport was marked.

    I need to know:

    1 is it possible for me to travel to Ireland without being turned away
    As I’m aware South Africans don’t need a tourist visa for 90days entry

    2 will I be able to apple for a Shengan visa as I plan on travelling Europe before returning to South Africa

    P.S this time I won’t over stay and won’t ever make that mistake again 🙂

    Your assistance will really help me

    Cheers

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com May 15, 2011, 1:45 pm

      Technically, no, each region that you are proposing to go has completely different immigration, and you should be able to enter without difficulty. But, in actuality, you can be denied for ANY reason or lack there of when going to any country, and overstays can follow you. Though, unless you provoke suspicion of the immigration officials, an overstay in the UK should not have any impact when going to Ireland or Schengen Europe.

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  • Dayna July 23, 2011, 11:23 am

    Hello Wade,
    You have some great advice! I was wondering what you had to say about my situation. I am in Ireland, and am debating how to exit the country. I have a US passport, and I am planning to leave around August 20th, which will mean I will have overstayed my tourist visa by about a month and a half. I was told by many, many people that this wouldn’t be a problem since I am not intending to work or anything like that. Now that the time is getting closer though, I am wondering what would be the best way to leave without triggering any ‘red flags.’ I don’t think I will have any desire to come back to Ireland in the next several years, but also don’t want to be marked for overstaying if possible, as I plan to be hanging around the continent for awhile (though NEVER overstaying a visa again, awful idea, I will just go in and out of Schengen every 3 months). Do you think heading via Northern Ireland is best because of the lax border controls, or should I just fly out of Ireland since they aren’t known to give exit stamps? I am planning on flying into the Netherlands. Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard July 24, 2011, 5:14 pm

      I don’t know of any good ways to slip out of any country after overstaying a visa. Most all border checkpoints in the world check passports — whether they care or not if you overstay is a different story. It is my impression that the most convenient route of exit will be just as good as any other.

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  • Kamal August 17, 2011, 6:16 pm

    I have two years multiple entry schengen visa. I am a Bangladeshi nation. To which countries in the world I can visit by showing/using that visa outside schengen countries. Last time I visited Istanbul and when immigration officer saw my schengen visa then he issued me a short stay/tourist visa to enter Istanbul. I would like to know which r all other countries where I can stay even I need hotel reservation, enough money and port entry fee.

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  • james August 25, 2011, 9:56 pm

    can you stay 90 days in schengen then go straight to ireland for 90 days with no waiting in between.
    like i know uk isnt schengen, but its European union.
    so my question is. do you have to wait 3 months before entering another EU country?
    cause technicly if you dont have to wait you could jump from schengen to uk, uk 2 schengen every 3 months legally.

    Link Reply
  • nina October 16, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Hi

    I wonder if u can advise me with the problem i have .I’m originally from south africa but i’m based in u.k which means i overstayed the country now i want to travel to ireland but they told me to register with the college then get acceptance letter take it to the immigration in ireland .I really dont know which way its possible to go there my partner is in ireland .He is an irish more than willing to help me when i get there

    which way is the best ferry or flight
    Thanks
    Nina

    Link Reply
  • Kara November 6, 2011, 3:10 am

    Hello!

    I am an American girl, age 18. I never had a visa to come to europe. I thought I could come here as a tourist for 90 days, go to Switzerland (which I think is not Schengen), then come back to the Schengen countries for another 90 days, no problem. Later, I learned that if you are in for 90 days, you must go out for 90 days.

    I first arrived to Europe into Rome Fiumicino Airport where i DID NOT get my passport stamped. My concern is weather they scanned it or not. I dont think they did, but I cant promise that my memory is correct. About 60 days after arrival I went to Switzerland for 10 days (where my passport, once again, was not stamped). Then I went back to italy, where I am spending 2 months, until I go to Spain, where I will be for 2 weeks, then paris for 1 week, then LONDON for 1 week. From the time I was in Switzerland to the time I will go to London it will be about 85 days.

    LONDON…… my worst nightmare. Now I am finding out how strict their immigration officers are.
    My question is:

    Will the fact that I went to Switzerland help me out at the Immigration control?
    How do they know how long my stay in Europe was if I have no stamps?
    Is it all electronic now?

    Any advice is appreciated!
    Kara

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard November 11, 2011, 3:22 pm

      Switzerland is part of the Schengen zone, so the time you spent there counts towards your total. It seems as if you overstayed, you can either be caught and banned from re-entering the Schengen zone when leaving, or denied entry to the UK. These are your two biggest obstacles, and the entire region is getting tighter for overstayers. If you are going from France to UK, this is probably your best bet. Where are you going after the UK? If you get out of Schengen and into the UK fine (which is possible) just be sure to GET OUT of Schengen Europe for at least 91 days.

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  • sofia saleem February 4, 2012, 8:47 am

    hi every one
    i want to get advice from you that i am pakistani national and i was studying in london and i came in schengen state for one month holidays and unfortunatelyi am overstaying here for last three months because i am pregnent and could not travel but now i am almost alright so can i go back to uk because my uk student visa is still valid till to 2014
    thanks alot
    cheers 🙂

    Link Reply
  • baby games February 17, 2012, 8:46 am

    If your uk student visa is valid until 2014 then you can go. But I dont think that you could reapply for schengen visa again. Overstaying 3 months is so long time.. And you could face problems when you enter to the uk too. Even if its valid until 2014.

    Link Reply
  • Beth July 18, 2012, 3:18 pm

    OK, I’ve been reading through the comments here and I need advice. I moved to Spain with my husband and 6 year old in September 2011. I am a UK citizen and they are US citizens. I have US permanent residence. We came back to the US for 2 weeks in February and then started the process for my husband and daughter to get residence cards. I got mine in the spring but we have been pushed through constant hoops by the Spanish foreigners office. We were advised not to leave the country while the process was ongoing so they have now overstayed their Schengen visas. We are flying back to the US for good on September 13 from Dublin (with a separate ticket from here to there) and I am now worried that we will have problems entering Ireland. We have all the paperwork for our long, tortuous journey through Spanish bureacracy but the last thing I need is for them to be sent back to Spain and miss our flight home.

    Thanks.

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard July 18, 2012, 9:04 pm

      If you’re just changing flights and staying in the same terminal you will not go through immigration in Dublin. Go to the connecting flights area when you disembark and check in with the airline you’re flying back to the USA with. If there is a complication with this and you do need to go through immigration (I had this happen once in Dublin) I highly doubt the immigration official is going to bother deporting you if you’re just transferring flights and not properly entering the country.

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      • Beth July 19, 2012, 3:14 am

        We’re not technically getting a connecting flight; we’re getting a flight from Barcelona (Aer Lingus) to Dublin the previous day which gives us 9 hours in Dublin and then United to Newark. So we will have to go through immigration and customs and then recheck in.

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  • singh July 22, 2012, 5:17 am

    i am an indian men live in poland i get married heer with my polish wife but i dont have any visa now i apply my resident card in poalnd they will took 3 month but i want to go to ireland with my wife can i apply ireland visa now ?

    Link Reply
  • luiz September 12, 2012, 4:49 am

    hello,
    i have a student visa from ireland for 1 year. but the last 4 months i have been travel in europe schegen area. i just notice that i overstayed this time now , because i were waiting for some documents come from my home land (Brazil) to get married here in Germany. but i havent got this at time. so i decided to go to ireland to finish my studies of business. because i still have 4 months visa student for there.and leave germany.
    do i will get problems when living the schegen area thru germany?
    do i will get problems in when arrive in ireland ?
    thanks

    great forum

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard September 12, 2012, 5:18 am

      Maybe and maybe. It’s hit or miss, there is no way to tell if you’ll be busted or not. Though there is a better chance of you being busted while leaving the Schengen zone, as that’s where you overstayed your welcome. This may impact whether or not you can get a visa there again.

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      • luiz September 12, 2012, 7:30 am

        Hello.thanks for the reply.
        but what u meant with busted? They would put me in jail,deport me to Brazil or a bad notice in my passport?
        Sorry for the question. I’m a bit worried
        when I arrive in Ireland I want to apply for a visa for marry (or something like this) showing them why I overstayed here. Is possible that they won’t accept me back here to marry my fiancee? Coz of this bad notice?
        I have my papers to marry translated to German which proves that what I’m saying.

        Sorry again
        And best greetings

        Link Reply
        • luiz September 12, 2012, 7:32 am

          Ps. I’m leaving thru a small airport. That makes only small flights

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          • Wade Shepard September 12, 2012, 8:37 am

            It’s not my impression that makes a difference. You’ll still need to go through exit immigration at some point.

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          • luiz September 15, 2012, 12:15 am

            Hello wade. Only to update about my problem.
            I decided to go on the police to avoid problems in the airport.for them it was a surprise. But I find out that Brazilians and north Americans has a special thing here. We do not need to go out of schengen area to renew our visa. Only go out of germany to any country of Europe and ask for a stamp in the police office of this country. And explain why u need it.
            I didn’t btw . But I could prove that I spend 3 days in Switzerland. By statement and some specific photos where could identify the dates by the festival that I went.
            I find out that is always better say the truth .and in this case by this way I find out that I legal here. But they said if I had try to get a flight out of Germany. Without say anything. I could hqvre a huge problem with them.
            keep going with this great blog
            Hope my history fan help others.
            But only works with Brazil and USA

            Link Reply
            • Wade Shepard September 15, 2012, 2:08 am

              It is my impression that you were given poor information.

              “But I find out that Brazilians and north Americans has a special thing here. We do not need to go out of schengen area to renew our visa. Only go out of germany to any country of Europe and ask for a stamp in the police office of this country. And explain why u need it.”

              That’s just not true. If it were just about every American and Brazilian in Europe would be running to the next country to renew their visas rather than overstaying? Now, Germany has a slightly different interpretation of Schengen immigration policy but it’s not this different.

              If you look through the Schengen visa archives you’ll find many who have been burned thinking they could do this. All too often the European authorities do not know the rules and they have led many astray with impunity. Let us know how it goes when you exit.

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              • Luiz September 15, 2012, 10:33 am

                as I said, this is something apart of schengen scheme. its only in germany.
                only for Brazil and USA. and they said not many people knows that. for me was a surprise. i never heard something about it.
                i dont need to go out of the country anymore btw. i wanted to go out becouse i thought that i was ilegal. but im not so i dont have a real reason.
                but i have to go out of germany bfore complete 3 months that ive been in swizerland, only to get a stamp spend 2/3 days and come back . they were clear when said that i can do it. but not 10 times.
                exactly as the officer told me. its just work with brazilians and americans. and i have asked a lot about schengen area. he said. only out of germany.

                im not sure about ur nationality but if u r american u could ask in ur embassy.

                people run coz dont have the right information. i almost did it
                but i wanted to do the right thing in the police, pay a bill.. and then they explain it to me.. im not sure if the fact that my family lives in Switzerland changed something. but he havent said anything to me.

                c ya.. if i get news ill post here.
                best regards

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                • Wade Shepard September 15, 2012, 11:32 am

                  Ok, after you try to get the stamp or exit the Schengen zone let us know what happens. Thanks.

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                  • Luiz September 21, 2012, 4:49 am

                    Hello Wade.
                    good news. i went there to get my stamp .in the Begin they said it was wrong , nothing of this i said was right. but i told that ive been in the police and thay said it. then the officer from the imigration called the police were ive been. and the police officer told him that he told me. but saying wheres that law writen. then the officer from the imigration was suprised and found this law. but he sayed that normally he wont accept my version becouse a havent get a stamp in swiss. but coz ive showed something “new” for him , he accepted. so by the law I was protected but i repeat. it just work with Brazilians and Americans. and I hade to register myself in the imigration near from the house where im living.
                    and. to make it .. when u have to spend at list 3 days out of germany and should have a “welcome letter” from a friend. this welcome letter u get in the imigration also.

                    c ya mate

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  • Ana O November 18, 2012, 8:30 am

    Hi Wade

    Im from Croatia. I have overstayed in Schengen zone also, and they told me 3 months I cant go back, but I would like to visit my boyfriend in Canada (its dificult to wait 3 months:). Now I wonder is there a posibility that I can arrive in London from Zagreb? I have flight from Zagreb to London Heathrow, but flight for Canada (Calgary) is on Gatwick airport..what do you think about all this? Can I have any problems with this transit? Please help me if you can..Thank you.

    Ana

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    • Ana O November 19, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Ok I have a new idea..I have canceled my flight from Gatwick..Is it possible that I go from Zagreb to Paris, and there in airside transit go to flight for Minneapolis? And than I have a connection flight for Edmonton..What do you think? Thank you.Ana

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  • Renee November 19, 2012, 9:59 am

    My apologies … I just realized I posted my questions in the wrong area.

    I know this question has been asked previously but I am wondering if there are any updates.

    I have overstayed a Schengen visa by more than five months, entering through Germany. I plan to leave through Barcelona, Spain on 5 December on Aer Lingus, destination Dublin. The reason for leaving from Spain is that I have been told that Spain is very lax on exit stamps (a friend from the US visited Spain in October and did not get an exit stamp when she returned to the US). I am wondering how vigilant Irish immigration is at this point? An Irish friend thinks I will not have a problem. [Edit from previous post: I will be using my Irish friend’s address near Dublin as a destination to report to Irish immigration, should they ask.] I will have a return ticket to the US in hand, dated for 90 days from arrival, as well as bank statements and cash on hand. (Although … what is “sufficient” cash?)

    Additionally, from Ireland I plan to take a ferry to the UK. Another friend will meet me at the port in the UK, and she also believes I will not have a problem entering the UK — particularly if I have managed to get through Irish immigration.

    Thoughts? Comments? Advice?

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    • Wade Shepard November 19, 2012, 10:53 am

      Hello Renee,

      Don’t bank on the Spanish authorities not checking your passport. If it’s your exit point from Schengen they’re probably going to look at your entry date. We’ve been receiving more reports lately from overstayers who’ve been busted leaving from Spain. While some still get through, others are being caught. Don’t worry too much about entering Ireland, they don’t even need a reason to deny you entry 🙂 But, chances are, you’ll be fine.

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      • Renee November 19, 2012, 12:45 pm

        Thanks, Wade. I seem to have pretty good luck, at least so far. I look very German, or very Irish, depending on who’s looking (my lineage is both). I think I can get out of Spain without mishap, although I guess flying to Dublin and not to the US has me a little concerned.

        Can you advise on how much “sufficient” cash amounts to? Thank you again!

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        • D November 19, 2012, 1:30 pm

          Please don’t count your chickens.,….I posted in the other forum about Schengen Overstays and my 3 year ban from the Swiss authorities (which got sorted after a round of official letters, advice from EU Parliament friend and so on…) While banned, my Italian boyfriend and I decided to meet in Dublin, as Ireland does not partake in Schengen. I was able to enter, yes, but they grilled me on why my visa was denied (if you read my post, you’ll see I attempted to get an Italian study visa….which I NOW have, but found out I was banned when the Italians told me so….lol) Anyway, the passport officer said “With an Italian surname like you have, what made them deny you?” I fudged the truth a bit, but after showing my detailed itinerary (8 days in Dublin) he let me pass. Your problem might be exiting Spain….as Ireland is not Schengen as mentioned, passport control will be more strict (still depending on the day and worker, of course) although Wade is right, there’s word Spain has become tighter on these matters.

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          • D November 19, 2012, 1:32 pm

            P.S I would NOT attempt entry into the UK. They are “patrol” members of Schengen….while they do not full participate in the Schengen accord, they have agreed…and DO….scrutinize all travelers in and out. I know a few people “taken to that very special room” for various document issues.

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          • Renee November 19, 2012, 1:55 pm

            Believe me, I’m not counting my chickens, just hoping for the best. The word on another respected travel website (similar to this one) is that Spain is notoriously lax on checking passports upon exit. Of course no one can count on that. I have read more often than not, though, that Spain does not check, and a friend just exited last month without her passport being checked. Still, I know it’s a crap shoot. I’m going to try it anyway, of course, and I’m trying to just not be too worried in advance about it. I suppose the worst that can happen is Ireland will deny me entry, I will lose the money I spent on the ticket to Ireland (not a whole lot), and they will send me back to Spain or Germany. I would expect, in that case, to at least get a severe chewing out, possibly a fine, possibly worse. The smarter thing would be, of course, to just stay put in my comfortable apartment in Germany where I have fit into the community and no one seems to even notice me. I could probably ramble around continental Europe for years without notice. But … I want to go to the UK, so I’m going to give it my best shot. I have a “reason” for going, if asked: genealogy research in Ireland and Wales (and Scotland for that matter, and I know my old original family surnames if asked for them), and I am just hoping to catch an immigration officer who’s having a good day, say as little as possible, and get through.

            I do wonder why so many Europeans seem to think it’s just not a big deal? Is there that much misinformation even in Europe? Apparently there is. My Irish and British friends say, “They won’t even stop you.” Recently my German landlady told me that her brother said Americans can just stay in Germany indefinitely as long as we are not trying to sponge off the welfare system. (And all I do is spend money in Europe.) I know he’s not correct about that, but my landlady seems to think he knows what he’s talking about.

            Anyway, whatever happens I will be sure to post about it here for others to read.

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        • D November 19, 2012, 2:40 pm

          Oh, the old ‘you’re American, don’t worry” story. I heard it all around Italy. even from carabinieri. Until I was popped exiting in Switzerland. Please don’t believe anyone who is not either legally educated on the matter or had prior experience. Anyone can say “don’t worry” which is what they told me too, hence why I didn’t worry exiting as I was going home to get a visa anyway. Unfortunately Americans and many non-Americans have an outdated arrogant attitude that nothing can happen to us….we spend money, we contribute etc….but laws and laws and every country is really tightening up. Years ago Paris was THE place to exit, but I’ve heard a lot of friends say they were questioned there lately, too. Amsterdam is worse than Frankfurt or Munich at the moment. It’s all a crap shoot, as you said, who is working etc. Since they can make money off Americans, especially, they are fining a lot more lately.
          All those well meaning people are just that….well meaning, but ignorant to Schengen law nonetheless.

          I still advise against going to the UK. I say this because I have only had negative reports from friends who are legal, and a friend of mine had an EU passport via her husbans but London denied her entry and deported her (well, sent her packing on the next flight home) as she didn’t have a visa. She still needed a visa to stay despite her passport via Sweden. They are notorious fact checkers and rule sticklers.

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          • Renee November 19, 2012, 3:26 pm

            Thanks for the advice. I do appreciate it. I do have one thing going for me, at least: I am, I think, one of the least arrogant Americans on earth. I know lots of arrogant Americans (and others), for sure, and they incense me. I will be as humble as possible and we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you updated. Again, thanks.

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          • D November 19, 2012, 3:31 pm

            Good luck Renee. I didn’t mean to insinuate YOU specifically were arrogant, but there’s the notion that nothing can happen to ‘Americans’. My posts seem dour and cynical, but I’ve experienced first-hand what happens to people who don’t have their legal documents in order and who “listened to people” rather than followed the rules the first time. ugh.
            Yes, please keep us posted!

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          • Renee November 19, 2012, 3:39 pm

            Oh, I didn’t take it that way. But I just thought of something else: D, you advised against going to the UK. Ireland is not the UK … does the same advice still apply?

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          • D November 19, 2012, 3:48 pm

            They should let you in; Ireland doesn’t participate in Schengen. Make sure you have a print out of a travel itinerary for a flight back to the US etc. When I was banned I met up with my Italian boyfriend in Dublin. The passport officer questioned me as to why my visa was denied, and made me show my round trip schedule, but let me pass. That’s an idea to consider. Also, I am not sure if they still do this, but when I left Dublin for JFK they actually had officers from US Homeland Security working the stamping out. I don’t know why that was/is, but it was easier going, lol.

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          • Renee November 19, 2012, 4:39 pm

            I already have an itinerary (and ticket), dated for 90 days from my date of hopeful entry into Ireland. The plan has been for me to arrive in Dublin and then take a ferry, without vehicle (in other words, on foot) to Holyhead, UK, where my British friend will pick me up. I hear different things about that … the port authority carefully inspects … they don’t … and everything in between. Another idea was to have my British friend take her car onto the ferry to Dublin and pick me up, and then we both take the ferry back and drive into the UK in her car. Again … they might check … they might not. Thoughts on this?

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          • Renee November 19, 2012, 6:23 pm

            I did some research and it’s looking pretty good for arriving on foot by ferry from Dublin to the UK and probably not even being asked for a passport. NOW my worry (I wish I would stop worrying, but I am) is this: I have a ticket on Aer Lingus from Barcelona to Dublin. Opinions on being denied boarding even if I make it through Spanish immigration? Should I choose another airline? Iberia, perhaps?

            Eeek! 🙂

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            • Wade Shepard November 20, 2012, 1:47 am

              Don’t worry about this. Unless they think you were involved in some other illegal activity, they bust overstayers pretty quickly and efficiently, and we have yet to receive a case where a standard overstay penalty resulted in a missed flight.

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        • Wade Shepard November 20, 2012, 1:38 am

          I wouldn’t worry so much about that. The “sufficient cash” detail seems to be more of just a way to justifying booting out people they don’t want to let in. If you do a search for this on this site examples will come up. Again, I wouldn’t worry about it so much. If you pull out a bank card, a wad of cash, and a hotel reservation or two you should be alright.

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          • Renee November 20, 2012, 9:35 am

            I have better than a hotel reservation, as I have my friend’s residential address near Dublin. He and I go back more than 20 years (not that it makes a difference, but we do), and I’ve nearly memorized the address now so I can just jot it down without having to look at notes.

            Still, the Aer Lingus question lurks … ideas on that?

            Thanks so much, Wade and D … I do feel a bit less “alone” here, with this advice.

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          • D November 20, 2012, 10:27 am

            I don’t think you would be denied boarding (unless your connection was very very tight to begin with). Ireland isn’t a member of Shengen, so in theory they shouldn’t deny you entry. Like I said, the worst case scenario is Spain notices your extended dates and issues you a fine (and maybe a future ban). If you pass passport inspection, Aer Lingus has nothing to say (nor check) about your dates, just as long as you have a valid ticket.

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          • Renee November 20, 2012, 11:14 am

            It’s not a tight connection. I will be arriving in Barcleona by train the night before my flight, staying in a hotel, with plans to arrive at least two hours before departure.

            Again, thanks SO much! (If I could figure out a way to donate to this website and avoid any pass through via the PayPal system, I would have already done it. I will see about sending a personal cheque.)

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          • D November 20, 2012, 11:41 am

            The strange thing is, the only airline I’ve heard of hassling people about legal documents has been RyanAir of all things! The major airlines don’t care, and it isn’t their job either. Passports are handled with passport control. About 4 years ago when I was illegal in Italy (hmm mmmmmmmmm) I went to Sardegna with a friend, via Pisa. My friend, who had a visa and not thinking, showed hers automatically to the RyanAir guy where they barcode and tick your web-check. Then he took my passport and paged through it….slowly….looking (I wanted to kill my friend) But then she told him in Italian ‘she’s a tourist visiting me, she doesn’t need a visa!” And he just looked at us and gave it back. Last year a friend of mine and another girl went to Valencia , I think it was, with Ryan Air and the woman at the ticket check looked at her permit and said “That’s not you.” Then she asked to see her Visa and compared photos, insisting it wasn’t my friend! Long story short, it got resolved. However, the other girl was illegal and the same clerk asked about her visa and why she didn’t have one, paging through her passport, like what happened to me. I find this all very strange, as it isn’t their job as far as I knew to do any checks like that. Usually travel within Schengen is not controlled, but besides that, there are police working at the airport….I should think they control these things, not Ryan Air ticket flunkies.

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            • Wade Shepard November 21, 2012, 12:27 am

              This isn’t completely correct. It is the airlines job to check to make sure that their passengers have proper documentation for the countries they are being flown to. They receive pretty large fines for shipping passengers who don’t meet the entry requirements for the countries they are going to who are subsequently denied entry. It is very common for travelers to be denied boarding for things such as not having a proper visa, not enough validity time on their passport, not having onward/ return tickets, etc. The airlines do check passports and visas, and in some cases play a role in flagging travelers as a pre-immigration screening.

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              • D November 21, 2012, 3:37 am

                Interesting. I’ve known about the passport validity/expiry, but I’ve never had any issues at check-in before I had a visa (other than for Ryan Air). I suppose that boiled down to certain nations being more scrutinized than others and also destination.

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                • Wade Shepard November 21, 2012, 3:44 am

                  Most of it is computerized, where the airline rep doing check in is prompted to check for certain things to ensure that each traveler meets entry requirements after doing the passport swipe, and unless there is a problem they more often than not will not even mention anything. But you’re right, the budget airlines tend to be more fearful of a fine for shipping travelers who don’t meet entry requirements, and are more stringent. They also sometimes seem to use immigration entry requirements as a tool to make travelers buy additional plane tickets (such as those trying to fly one way). The system is becoming ever more sophisticated, and travel restrictions are getting tighter all the time. Must wonder what the future of travel is going to hold.

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                • Renee November 21, 2012, 10:35 am

                  So, again, here is my persistent quandary: I am more concerned than anything else about Ireland denying me entry if Spain notes me as a overstayer and stamps my passport as “Deported.” As you’ve said, Wade, Spain may not do this. If they do, though, and if I am disallowed reentry to Schengen/Europe for three years, I can live with that. I just want to get into Ireland and then attempt to travel to the UK via ferry, Dublin to Holyhead. I realize that the UK could also deny me entry, but everything I’ve read thus far indicates I will probably be able to walk off the ferry without passport scrutiny. So … since Ireland does not play by Schengen rules, is this even an issue for me? I am probably over-worrying … or am I?

                  (Wade, if you can send me a private email or point me to a place on your site that has a mailing address, I would like to make a donation. I’m just not keen on PayPal anymore. Thanks.)

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                  • D November 21, 2012, 10:52 am

                    When I was banned it didn’t happen immediately. I was caught in late Sept 2009 paid the fine somewhere in early November (it never arrived until shortly before it was due. nice) and it wasn’t until after Christmas 2009 or early Jan 2010 they entered my name into SIS. I know this much because I left via Amsterdam and they blink twice when they scanned my passport out. I found out I was in the SIS database when I applied for my Schengen visa right after Christmas and on Jan 5 was sent my big “VISA DENIED SIS LISTED” stamp inside my passport (which is hideous and I still have….although I’ve since acquired 2 visas). So, if you are worried about immediate problems I would say it’s unlikely you’ll have any on Dublin’s end seeing your name flagged. Don’t take my word as 100%, but from what I experienced and reading through other stories on this blog it seems to take a while to process.

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                    • Renee November 21, 2012, 11:04 am

                      I guess I more concerned about a physical stamp or notation on my passport, since it is so inconveniently clean of stamps (there are just two entries stamps in it, and so it’s pretty easy to see where I’ve been and for how long).

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                    • Renee November 21, 2012, 2:20 pm

                      Sorry for the typos … I really do know how to write in proper English!

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                    • Renee December 7, 2012, 2:37 pm

                      Trip update, as promised.

                      The journey was brilliant. No one checked tickets on the train from Wiesbaden to Mainz, likely due to it being a weekday morning rush hour. Typical ticket checks (no passport checks) on the continuing train to Mannheim and the connecting train to Paris. The train from Mannheim to Paris left 20 minutes late, which negated the option of catching the Metro to go from Gare de L’Est to Gare de Lyon, so I grabbed a taxi (15 € with tip) that got me to Gare de Lyon in plenty of time to catch my connecting train to Figueres Vilafant. Typical ticket check on the train to Figueres Vilafant, and no ticket check at all on the connecting train to Barcelona.

                      Spent the night in Barcelona at a hotel near the airport (which I found on booking.com and chose because of its proximity and its offer of a free shuttle ride to the airport). I arrived at the Aer Lingus check in desk two and a half hours prior to my flight in case I might encounter any problems with my expired visa. The Aer Lingus agent did not look at my entry stamp. Airport security did not look at it. When I got to the gate area, I encountered a very serious and armed immigration officer in a booth who was annoyed with two young men in front of me, likely because one of them wasn’t standing behind the “wait here for your turn” line while his friend’s passport was being checked. When my turn came, I looked the immigration officer directly in his eyes, said “Buenos dias.” He looked at the identification page of my U.S. passport, flipped to the page that contains my Schengen visa entry stamp (dated 14 March 2012), and simply put an exit stamp next to it. (I was surprised and thrilled, but never changed my calm expression.)

                      The plane from Barcelona to Dublin left 35 minutes late, which I knew was going to cause me to miss my ferry to Holyhead. Nothing to be done about it, no reason to get upset. I went through Irish Immigration without a hitch. The officer was Irish, and I looked at him directly in the eyes and said, “Good afternoon.” He was very pleasant, asked if it was my first trip to Ireland (yes), if I was there on vacation (yes), and how long I was planning to stay (three months). “Ninety days? Will you be staying in Ireland the entire time?” I said I would be there part of the time and would also be travelling to the UK, and then back. I was prepared with a return plane ticket to the U.S. and bank statements to prove I have adequate funds to support my stay, but he never asked to see any of those things. He stamped me into the county and wished me a nice vacation.

                      After retrieving my checked bag, I grabbed a taxi from the airport to the ferry port. The boat had departed, and I had a non-refundable ticket in my hand. It never hurts to ask, so I mentioned to the ferry ticket agent that my plane had arrived late and wondered if there was any chance I might be able to apply the credit from the ticket in my hand to a ticket for the next ferry. She kindly printed me a ticket for the next ferry at no charge. The next ferry didn’t leave for another six hours, so I waited in the terminal. The ticket agent was very kind, asked if I wanted to leave my bags behind the counter so I could take a walk (I probably should have done that, and taken a taxi to Dublin city centre, but I was tired and was trying to watch my funds). At one point my cell phone battery was getting low (and I was dependent upon having my cell phone to communicate with my friend in the UK), and, lacking a converter to plug into a UK electrical outlet, I asked the agent if I might plug the phone into a USB port on her computer. She was very kind about it and was happy to help me.

                      The ferry departed Dublin for Holyhead at 2055 and, if you have never ridden on a Irish Ferries boat, do that sometime. Just an absolutely beautiful vessel and a wonderful experience. Lounges, restaurants, shops, a cinema, an internet café, and more. The boat felt like it was barely moving. Just a very smooth and wonderful ride. Cost was £43.50, but there are less expensive tickets depending upon the time of departure. (I was on foot; taking a vehicle across costs more.)

                      I arrived at the Holyhead port at 0025 and boarded a free shuttle bus to the terminal building. Upon arrival, there was an immigration officer checking passports, but she only looked at the identification page on my passport and waved me through. No entry stamp.

                      My travel plan worked well and I was able to leave the Schengen area on a visa that was nearly four months past its expiration, without incident and without my passport being flagged for overstaying. I don’t intend to ever overstay a visa again, but it is still possible to overstay a Schengen visa and get into Ireland and the UK. As Wade has said before, stay calm, look the immigration officials in the eyes, be pleasant, and answer only the questions they ask.

                      I am now at my intended destination in South Wales, and legal again. (I will probably need to register with the UK at some point, though, since I was simply waved through at Holyhead and the UK does not know I’m here.)

                      It was worth all the planning and extra travel time (you have to admit that going from Wiesbaden to Mannheim to Paris to Figueres Vilafant to Barcelona to Dublin to Holyhead is an unusual way to get from Germany to the UK), and the experience is one I will always remember fondly.

                      Feel free to ask any questions … Happy travelling! (And thanks again, Wade and D, for all of your helpful advice and encouragement.)

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          • Renee November 20, 2012, 12:09 pm

            There was a big flap regarding Aer Lingus requiring language tests for holders of Greek passports, but that has been resolved. I am just hoping that, looking very typically German or Irish (as I said, it depends on who’s looking at me … I pass for a local German where I live and I’ve had lots of comments about looking Irish, as well … it apparently has something to do with my dark eyebrows?), I just won’t stand out. I know someone is going to look at my passport, which unfortunately has only two stamps in all of it (an entry stamp to Mexico and another entry stamp to Germany), but I am hoping that if I can get out of Spain without an exit stamp, that’s not that unusual. I won’t have an entry stamp to the US, either, but I know that also happens frequently.

            As y’all have been saying, Ireland isn’t doing the Schengen thing, so hopefully I will just be allowed in with my return ticket to the US and my friend’s now-memorized address (which of course I will provide only if asked to do so).

            I should have just left the Schengen area in June like I was supposed to do, but I didn’t want to return to the US and just couldn’t line up enough places to stay in the UK at that time. Now all of that is solved … time really IS everything!

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          • Renee November 20, 2012, 12:11 pm

            Sorry … TIMING really is everything!

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  • D November 21, 2012, 10:55 am

    **Adding to clarify. I was caught exiting Zurich in Sept ’09, went home as planned and got a new passport thinking that would save me. I thought it did as I re-entered via Paris and nothing….however it’s evident they didn’t process my ban until well later. I was back in Italy until Christmas when I went home to appy for a study visa.
    *** edit for spelling/grammar….’they DIDN’T blink twice’

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  • D December 9, 2012, 10:31 am

    I was hoping you’d check back in Renee. You did a long journey, but it worked out this time, congrats!

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  • Alejandro Alarcon Baquedano April 17, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Do you know who does it works the other way around? I mean, moving to a Schengen country after having been for 6 months in the UK? Is it legal?

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  • Elz May 3, 2013, 5:13 pm

    Hi everyone, from what I’ve been reading there are a few similar situations but I was wondering if anyone had some advice for me. I went to Spain to Au pair and I overstayed my Shengan visa by 6 months. At the time, I only had intentions of visiting Spain and returning to the U.S. If I had the opportunity to go back now, I would definely get a work visa, but as of now this is where my situation stands. During the first 90 days of my stay I visited England 3 times because that is where my boyfriend lives. I’ve now been back in the U.S for a month but I’d like to go to England for a month this summer to visit him. I had no problems while leaving the shengan area, nothing is marked on my passport, as far as I know. The only stamps that are in my passport are to and from Barcelona-Leeds and Barcelona- Heathrow. I’m worried this will be a red flag for IO’s. I’ve already bought my flight ticket, but I’m contemplating canceling it. If I do go, I plan on bringing documents to prove my income, savings & ect. Does anyone have any information or comments that may help me make a decision? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.

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  • uofmforever June 22, 2013, 9:46 pm

    I had decided after a extended hospital stay to take that bicycle trip around Europe that I’ve always wanted to take since I was a teen. Now 49 years old and healthy my plan to fly out of JFK to Moscow to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia… Feb 15th, ’14. start my bike travels from Istanbul to Greece then zig zagging across Europe hitting all the major events, French Open Wimbledon, Zermatt Unplugged, golf St Andrews and other places and ending up at the Ryder Cup in Scotland end of Sept ’14. And finally flying back to the US from London.

    Traveling in and out of the Schengen countries wont be a problem (I thought)…EXCEPT when I planned traveling those countries outside the zone…Events are at exact times and dates, which I’ve already purchased the tickets to. If falling behind I planned on taking the trains to the next city on my itinerary. Can you advise if my plans are even possible? Or am I at the risk of getting deported or denied going in and out of the zone? using the train and ferries? I want to do this without any legal problems. A bucketlist tour biking throughout Europe.Thank you for the help.

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    • tristanbul June 24, 2013, 1:56 pm

      The most important thing you can do in terms of planning this stuff is to become a master of the visa requirements of Schengen and non-Shengen countries on your route. This map is a good basic reference: http://tinyurl.com/n26kntp . Essentially, the major constraint is that during each period of 180 days you can only be in the Schengen zone for 90 days. But, there are many countries in this area not in the Schengen zone. (Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosova, Ireland, the UK, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia — I think that’s all). (To be continued)

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    • tristanbul June 24, 2013, 2:05 pm

      Essentially, if you organize this right you can definitely make it happen. You’ll be in Europe for about 6 months, and you just have to spend 90 days or less of that time actually in the Schengen zone. So on your trip, stretch out the portions of time you’ll have in Russia, the former Soviet states, Turkey, the Balkans, Ireland and the UK. As long as you spend half of your time there, you will be fine. Check the visa requirements for any intended destinations outside of the Schengen zone. Many places allow you to get a free or cheap tourist visa on the border, but some (particularly places like Belarus and Russia) are more restrictive and require more advanced planning. Still, it’s doable.

      Plus, the more time you spend in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the cheaper your trip will be, so that’s a plus.

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  • Megan November 19, 2013, 10:15 pm

    I have read so much about visas and European traveling and it is literally confusing me more and more. I am planning on visiting family friends in Ireland but would like to be there for six months. I am aware as an American I am only allowed 90 days in the country. I have hear of people who took a train or bus from Ireland into Belfast and then into London for the weekend and then back into Belfast and take a bus back into Ireland that way you have a new uk stamp from londone and there are no Irish border control in Belfast. I was wondering if you know if that’s true or know of any way I can successfully leave and come back so I can be in Ireland for six months. I in no way want to ruin my chances of traveling in the future so I want to be able to do it legally! Please let me know as I am due to leave in January!

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