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Seeking info about status as traveler if overstayed Schengen in past.

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I would like to first clarify that I am not trying to discover ways around or how to bend the rules for how long you have travel as a tourist in a Schengen country. I have already made the mistake of an overstay and now I am trying to move forward, see if this mistake can be corrected, and exactly how it is going to affect my future travel goals.

To begin, I spent a year in Europe from beginning in the Fall of 2010. Upon leaving in Amsterdam, customs obviously stopped me and told me that they have to issue a report and action may or may not be taking. The advised me to contact the embassy next time I want to visit a European country as I may not be allowed back for up to five years. To me, this is fairly unspecific and at the time I didn't say, Well, who exactly do I need to get in touch with. Sifting through embassy websites trying to figure out who to contact is pretty difficult.

What I have done so far is contact the Netherlands International Police as I was advised by Visas and Legalisation office in the Netherlands. After a few letters of exchange and verifying my identity they replied with a formal letter stating that I am not a subject of alert in the Schengen Information System (SIS) or the Dutch National wanted persons database (OPS). They said the SIS is an international database used by all of the Schengen countries to issue alerts regarding undesirables in their countries. If an individual is not registered in the SIS, this indicates that there is no request for investigation, extradition, or refusal of the individual pending in the Netherlands and no such alert has been issued by another Schengen country.

So, my question is should I feel at ease in traveling to Europe, say this fall? Again, I am not seeking advise about breaking the law, ways to enter Europe illegal, etc. I just want to travel within the 3 month period.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Perhaps I have not even contacted the right people to find out the information I need?

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

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