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How do they know if you overstay your tourist visa?

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Feb 17th, 2007, 03:13 AM
  #1
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How do they know if you overstay your tourist visa?

How does the airport know if you overstay your tourist visa if they don't stamp it when you arrive?

I have overstayed my tourist visit by 40 days. I will be flying from Rome back to NYC (I am American). What is the penalty for this? I will be flying back into Rome for a week in March for business. Will I have trouble getting back in?
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Feb 17th, 2007, 04:09 AM
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I think these days it's the luck of the draw. They may not have stamped your passport, but I'm sure it was scanned at some point.

A friend (who was in Paris legally as a student) was asked for her ticket from her last trip.

Chances are you will have no problem, but if you do, yes, you will probably have a problem getting back in.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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Thanks for replying. With my luck, I'll be the one questioned. Do you know what the procedure is if you are caught? I imagine a hefty fine. But exactly how much per day is it?
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Feb 17th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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Don't know about Italy, but in Australia (where I live) if you've overstayed your visa, they definitely know (as they scan your passport as you leave, which they'll probably do in Rome). Then, if you are in breach of your visa, you have a 3 year exclusionary period meaning you are not allowed to come back to Australia for 3 years.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 04:28 AM
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Scene from Marlborough Street Magistrates' Court, circa. 1980. [now, sadly an hotel]

Young man is produced on a charge of being an overstayer, having being arrested on the boat train going back to Dover, with a return ticket to France in his pocket.

"Bail is opposed, your worship"

"why would that be, officer?"

"Fear he'll abscond and leave the country, Sir"

[titters can be heard at the back of court]

"Basis for that fear, officer?"

"He had a ticket to France on him and he was on the train to Dover, Sir!"

[titters in the court turn to outright laughter]

With heavy irony " granted unconditional bail - give him £5 and put him back on the train"

[mild cheering at the back of court, quickly extinguished by a look from the magistrate]

Lad legs it from the dock swiftly followed by a somewhat dejected and embarrased officer!


I hope for your sake that things have changed!
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Feb 17th, 2007, 05:02 AM
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Hi FA,

You are a bad girl. Bad.

Odds are very high that no one will care.

Odds are very low that you will be fined.

Odds are that you will be permitted back.

It is possible that you will get a talking to.

I strongly suggest that you deny knowing that you overstayed your visa or that there was a limit.

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Feb 17th, 2007, 05:20 AM
  #7
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That's what I want to hear Ira. If questioned I will just play dumb.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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How about take a train to Switzerland and fly out from there? I don't think Italy has immigration officers on the train to check your passport on the way out.

But what's your nationality? Can you visit Switzerland without a visa?
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Feb 17th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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I am American. Why do you think taking a train out of Switzerland would be a better option?
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Feb 17th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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If you're American, why would you need a "tourist visa" to visit Italy?

When Americans visit Schengen, they sometimes stamp your passport, sometimes don't. If the immigration officer in Rome did actually ask, you could say you left sometime ago, came back, but they didn't scan the passport or stamp it either time.

My point about Switzerland is that it is not a Schengen country and maintains its own border control. But I don't believe Italy has officers to check your passport on your way out of Italy. So, as long as Switzerland let you in, you're okay to go home.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:07 AM
  #11
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I see but it isn't an option in my circumstance. I cannot fly out of Switzerland, I am flying from Rome. There is not an actual piece of paper that is a tourist visa, but as an American you can stay for a maximum period of 90 days.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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rkkwan, I was glad to see you ask why an American would need a tourist visa to visit Italy. I was under the impression that Americans don't need tourist visas anywhere in Europe. But if I'm wrong about that I'd sure like to know now 'cause my daughter's already in Ireland with plans to travel to Belgium and Germany this coming week. And when I visit her in March we're planning to go to Paris. She also hopes to visit Budapest and a few other places where she's there.

Sorry to butt in on your thread, FallenAngel!
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #13
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When I said tourist visa, I didn't mean an actual visa you request and apply for. I did not need one to enter. But you only have a 90 day period as a tourist to stay in Italy.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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Thank you, FallenAngel! Now I understand. And am breathing a sigh of relief!
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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So if you had left Italy to visit Switzerland, does your 90 days re-start when you re-enter Italy? Or is there a mandatory interval between visits or a limit on the number of 90 day periods in a given period?
The stamp in your passport matters little - systems are automated and your entrance and exit data are scanned into a computer system - which, BTW, is shared throughout EU and apparently quite well constructed and operated. In my experience, when traveling via train sometimes (most times) passport check is manual if it happens at all.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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It is 90 days out of 180. So after 90 days you have to leave for another 90 days before you can return.

And like Seamus says, passports are scanned (flashed over a reader), not stamped. The info goes to Schengen computer system. So if the flashing happens in Greece, officials in Sweden know it simultaneusly.

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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Please let us know how you make out. I thought my residence permit was sufficient to leave Poland after a longer than 3 month stay. No! It cost me $10 and Delta a 30 minute delay to get an authorization to leave.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Sorry to worry you about that..
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Feb 17th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Schengen Information System (SIS) - the computer system governing movement of people in and out of the Schengen area - isn't as sophisticated or integrated as some people suggest. It doesn't store indidivual record of travellers entering and leaving, even if scanning did take place at Schengen entry point. All it does is to check your details against Schengen database of those wanted by authorities in any member country (e.g. a criminal on the run) or those specifically excluded because of previous immigration offence, criminality or security concerns. The computer simply responds positive (yes, the passenger should be stopped and questioned) or negative. Even if individual country's computer did log passenger details on entry, they aren't shared across Schengen states and there is usually no checks at internal borders. So while it's theoretically possible (though most unlikely) that the OP's overstay may come to light if entry and exit points from Schengen are in the same country (i.e. Italy), leaving Schengen from another member state would make detection almost impossible.
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Feb 17th, 2007, 07:21 PM
  #20
 
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i will be very interested in knowing if any american first hand has had a problem overstaying his time in a european country since the EU began.

the border to leave spain was more controlled during franco´s regime than it is now as far as "dates" are concerned for visa-waivered-guests. (as far as americans are concerned which is the only situation i can speak of).

i was fined once also.. and almost missed my flight, but have seen nothing similar in 25 years.

i am now a legal resident here, but there is NOTHING in my passport that SAYS SO, and no one has even questioned me about ANYTHING when i leave or travel through other countries.

i am just trying to help you relax about this, although one can never know how things work elsewhere, which is why i am really curious about if anyone has actually had a problem and under what circumstances.



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