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.
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!
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?
If so, then take a look at our Schengen visa community forum. It’s a community just for people who have questions or concerns related to Europe’s Schengen immigration zone.
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii
June 18, 2009, 8:16 am
Lovely blog! Thanks for the useful information.
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
- March 7, 2010, 1:26 am
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…
December 7, 2009, 5:55 pm
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!
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!
December 21, 2009, 6:14 am
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 ?
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
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?
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.
- October 13, 2010, 8:24 am
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!!-
June 18, 2010, 10:24 am
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.
August 29, 2010, 1:30 pm
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.
May 15, 2011, 3:40 am
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
July 23, 2011, 11:23 am
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!
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.
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.
October 16, 2011, 1:37 pm
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
November 6, 2011, 3:10 am
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!
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
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.
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.
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 ?
September 12, 2012, 4:49 am
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 ?
November 18, 2012, 8:30 am
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.
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
- November 19, 2012, 2:44 pm
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?
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’
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!
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?
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.
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.
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)
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.
- June 24, 2013, 1:56 pm
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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