Europe for extended periods (6 mo +)

Sep 24th, 2007, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
Of course, if you do get a long stay visa allowing you to be in Europe legally, then you can have the Mercedes in Europe those six months.
BTilke is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 154
I basically agree with Btilke although I personally know 2 or 3 people who have overstayed visas for a year or so recently and then come home to the USA. Of course, all of them are probably exceptions to the rule.
Alloro_beata is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
At this time your simplest program could be a ninety day stay in one country and a ninety day stay in another. Some countries allow re-admission after the ninety days and a cross-border excursion. As the USA cranks up travel restrictions, some countries are making reciprocal arrangements. Get brave, try the USA Peace Corps. Married couples are eligible for some assignments.
GSteed is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 154
Some of the "Schengen country" information given above was incorrect. Here is a "copy and paste" from the EU's own web site:

Today, 13 EU Member States, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, plus Norway and Iceland fully apply the provisions of the Schengen acquis.

The ten new EU Member States, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, are not yet fully-fledged members of the Schengen area, since the border controls between the new Member States and the current members of the Schengen area are maintained until the EU Council decides that the conditions for abolishing internal border controls have been met. However, since the date of accession they do apply parts of the Schengen acquis, in particular in the area of police and judicial cooperation and of external border control.

EU Member States still outside the Schengen area are the UK and Ireland which have chosen to maintain border controls with other EU Member States (although they have been authorised to apply some of the provisions on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters).

Also Switzerland has decided to join the Schengen area. This means that border checks on individuals will disappear in some years. Switzerland will have the same associate status as Norway and Iceland which are also not members of the EU.

Check out the EU's web site:

Also, this section is especially geared toward your questions:

Castleblanca is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 946
Here is a thread from Bootsnall about this subject from people who DID overstay and had no problem. It is inline with what has been my experience with other people that I have known.

We agonized over this issue for a long time because long stay visa's can be expensive and endlessly time consuming and there are no guarantees that you will get it. I know many that did everything right and did not get it. Much depends on your consulate and how busy they are and which visa you go for and which country.

We were extremely relieved when ours came in, but it is not a process for the feint of heart.

In 5 years schengen will grow and add to this problem for people who want to travel long term.But there still are LOTS of great places to spend that time ( Turkey,Croatia, Morocco, UK etc) , so it is easy to stay legal and in the area indefinitely if you are not working.

6months and even a year goes by very fast and Europe is big with so much to see. It is dense tho, so actually gas turns out to be cheap in an RV and you get guarantee buy backs that will give you back about half. Go a little older and you will save a lot.

It helps to have two languages, but you don't really need more than that. It seems almost everyone in Europe has some English and its easy to learn basic phrases for each country and fun.

I would work on getting really fluent in the one that you need the most.Saturate yourself in it day and night ( radio in it, TV if you can find it, talk it at home,read it, finds friends that speak it etc).

WTnow is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,049
I think overstaying your visa is like many crimes; its only a problem if you are caught.

The days when they stopped you to check your papers are, in most places, gone. But if you have some dealings with the authorities (such as an accident, or even being the victim of a cutpurse) and they check your papers and note you have no valid visa, you are in a sticky situation and they are unlikely to be charitable. That means you would probably be immediately deported, and incur the costs attendant to that, probably including a pricey last-minute plane ticket.

I think honesty is the best policy, even if it requires some additional effort on your part.

Years ago I stayed for some years, but that was arranged by the military service; not a bad deal for a young person.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 60
JNG is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 36
Considering this nation is going crazy on the subject of illegal aliens and those who over stay their visas--why would any American consider it ok to stay in another country over the limit of time allowed without a visa? This immigration question works both ways-and the excuse that you would not be working is just that, an excuse. It's not an acceptable excuse here or there.

Countries have regulations for long-term stays that address their concerns about foreigners remaining in their countries-considerations of health care, liability for debt, use of public services among them. The move here is to check the immigration status of everyone using a public service-hospitals, schools, even including the library and getting a bus pass. Using public utilities such as gas, water, electricity, telephone and banking accounts, require proof or residency. The police are encouraged to check immigrations stautus on routine stops and reporting of crimes. You can be sure the same is true in Europe.

Find the requirements for a country you'd wish to stay in-shop around for the easiest to fulfill-and get the visa. Then as a legal resident, you can tour other countries to your heart's content-legally.

Because the US is making it harder to get a visa, even for european nationals-other countries are cracking down and cutting less slack than they used to. Some posters have said go for it..but they admit they don't know what would happen if you get caught. Well I can tell you. If you are caught, you will be immediately held, then deported, your passport endorsed with NO ENTRY and you cannot enter the EU for 10 years. After that you may still be on the no-entry list, they don't have to admit you if they do not why jeopardize your ability to travel?

I have lived in Euope(legally) off and on for over 30 years. Most national governments keep central records on each citizen and resident and checking on you is very easy. The small town in Germany had our records 10 years after we left the country. They have long,

Do 90 days stays-with 180 days between.

Get a long-stay visa. Start early. Look a various contries' requirements. It's only paperwork, after all.

See if you qualify for a europen passport--Ireland, Italy and some other countries offer citizenship by descent, usually to children of parents or grand-parents born in the country.

I am sure some posters will slam me for this-but this forum is meant for those who have the knowledge or experience of a subject to pass it along to those who ask. In the academic world we have helped people get visas, had some who go into trouble with them an without them. Gotten visas ourselves for europe, lived there in several different countries and know people who got "caught" in the illegal alien catagory both here and abroad- and it's not pretty. Government is very harsh on illegals, no matter how innocent your intention were.

Keep it legal and breathe easy.

Judy and the Panda
Pandajudy is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
The advice above from Judy and the Panda is very good.

You might also look at it this way: it's pefectly great to have no health insurance if you don't get sick, or car insurance if you don't have an accident. But when you do ...

You can plan to keep a low profile and certainly you don't intend to break any laws (other than the visa thing ...) but then something happens: maybe you get into a squabble with a local who damages your car while it's parked. He's smart enough to know how long you've been around town and suggests to someone to ask for your visa. (Which would happen anyway if the authorities had to intervene.)

You need to make a quick flight to another country because your cousin is going to be there for a few days, and at the airport customs is having a semi-annual check on entries and exits ...

The president of the country you're visiting is currently having a sparring match with our own president, and it really annoys the particular customs officer you're dealing with on exit after your 180=day visit with no visa ... so she enters you as 'persona non grata' in the system and you're blocked from returning to any schengen countries for, say, 4 years.

You break your leg because of a faulty handrail at a 4-star hotel, but you can kiss the lawsuit goodbye: you're in the country illegally as of last week.

Do these sound wacky? Well similar things happen all the time in the US! Legal status is a big deal, even if not always challenged. I can't tell you how many foreign students I've met in the US who can't go home for a visit because they will terminate their student visas, or similar situations.

It's great to be lucky, it's even better to have the law on your side.
tomassocroccante is offline  

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