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Overstaying in the Schengen Zone - Please Advise!

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Mar 9th, 2011, 03:52 AM
  #1
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Overstaying in the Schengen Zone - Please Advise!

We have been inside the Schengen Zone for about 6 months (specifically, Italy), and plan to stay at least another 6 months before heading back to the United States. We are well-aware that we are in violation of the Schengen Agreement, and we are also aware of the possible penalties. What we are hoping for is any advice on the best way to exit the Schengen Zone with the least amount of risk. (i.e. are some countries more lax than others?). Assuming that we are able to exit without any issues, and stay out for 90 days, will we be able to re-enter the Schengen Zone without worry, or is there a chance that they will take a second look at our initial travel inside the Schengen Zone? Thank you very much in advance!
kleiserinc is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2011, 04:16 AM
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I'm sorry but I don't see why you should expect anybody on this forum to aid you in breaking the law any further than you already have done.

Why do so many Americans assume that it is OK for them to overstay the allotted time in the Schengen zone? Would you provide advice to a European who overstayed their 90 days in the US?

Why not investigate legalising your situation yourself.
Don't expect others to do your dirty work for you.

Sorry if this seems rude but I get really peed off with all these how do we get round the Schengen rules questions.

Get a visa if you want to stay longer than 90 days, and stop bugging this forum questions on ways to get around it.
hetismij is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2011, 04:29 AM
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"Why do so many Americans assume that it is OK for them to overstay the allotted time in the Schengen zone? Would you provide advice to a European who overstayed their 90 days in the US?"

hetismij, while I agree with you that we shouldn't be aiding and abetting an illegal activity, Americans are NOT alone in this. Over the years, I've seen MANY similar posts from Europeans (yes, Brits and Dutch included) who've overstayed their visa and want advice on how to remain in the U.S.

It is NOT accurate to assume Americans are the only ones doing this.
FoFoBT is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2011, 06:15 AM
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Congrats you are now an illegal immigrant

subject to permanent deportation fines of hundreds of euros

even jail time in some aggressive countries like Germany.

Some find that training cheap regional trains to Trieste

taking a bus to Croatia with locals for 10 euros

staying under the radar decreases chances of getting caught.

work your way down to Turkey fly back from IST.

Personally I would get honest and consult with an immigration

attorney and/or your Embassy for best advice.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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I have no idea why people do this - especially knowingly! It is a serious offence to break immigration laws and if caught the consequences can be significant - monetarily and through blocking your entry back into the Schengen zone. But like you said, you know this - so you must be willing to deal with the consequences.

You'll be happy to know that countries are very much clamping down on this due to the recession. I certainly will not aid you in finding your way out of this. Does the US take this lightly with people who choose to do this from their neighbours and other visiting countries?
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Mar 9th, 2011, 06:43 AM
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No lecture from me (although I agree wholeheartedly with the previous posters), but here is my experience.

I am a Canadian citizen, but a permanent resident in Italy (I have lived here for 9 years and I am LEGAL). I travel back home to visit family/friends every year. EVERY SINGLE TIME I leave the Schengen zone on a flight to North America, no matter which airport I depart from – these last 5 years it’s been mainly Frankfurt or Amsterdam – the passport control officer always flips through my passport looking for my entry stamp, looks at me with eyes that will burn a hole in your head and starts grilling me as to why I’ve been in the zone so long. As soon as I pull out my Italian ID and my immigration permit the tone changes, I get a smile and a “have a nice visit home” and I’m waved through (I have since learned to present these with my passport to save myself a panic attack). So I don’t know what would happen if I didn’t have documents to present. I certainly have no interest in finding out.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 06:48 AM
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FoFoBT - you are right. Sorry, I shouldn't make sweeping statements like that, but this sort of post just really annoys me.
hetismij is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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Get a lawyer and deal with it.
StCirq is offline  
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Mar 9th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Seriously? Maybe reconsider your ill-conceived plan and leave before your first six month period ends.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 09:11 AM
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"Seriously? Maybe reconsider your ill-conceived plan and leave before your first six month period ends."

Looks like it already has.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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"Maybe reconsider your ill-conceived plan and leave before your first six month period ends."

What six months -- they only get 90 days so they have already overstayed by more than 3 months.

You should just cut your losses now and pray to god you aren't banned from returning. You sound ridiculous asking how to overstay by more than nine months and >>will we be able to re-enter the Schengen Zone without worry<<
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Mar 9th, 2011, 09:29 AM
  #12
 
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I know one Schengen country where the OP shouldn't enter to depart for home from: Switzerland. This newish Schengen country is applying the rules to the letter and I've heard of many who have been picked up for overstay and deported, with a banning order entered on Schengen Information System database.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 10:06 AM
  #13
 
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It is one thing to be able to exit the zone without incident (maybe you could find a border that's relatively lax and maybe you have a passport from somewhere that's only given a perfunctory glance) ... but I can't imagine any border being lax enough to overlook your coming back immediately after such a long overstay. Honestly, should you choose to leave for 90 days, I would plan on not being able to re-enter.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 10:22 AM
  #14
 
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Sorry but like most of the other posters, you chose to overstay take the consequences. Be honest and ask you nearest Consulate, personally I hope it does cost you if only to make you realise that the rules apply to YOU
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Mar 9th, 2011, 10:27 AM
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What we are hoping for is any advice on the best way to exit the Schengen Zone with the least amount of risk. (i.e. are some countries more lax than others?).

I find the Danish immigration authorities to be very indifferent, and they would probably be my first choice. Amsterdam used to be a joke, but they seemed to have tightened up.

Assuming that we are able to exit without any issues, and stay out for 90 days, will we be able to re-enter the Schengen Zone without worry, or is there a chance that they will take a second look at our initial travel inside the Schengen Zone?

There is certainly a risk that they will put two and two together. You might reduce your risk by 'losing' your passport and getting a new one, but if there are electronic records of your entrance and exit, this won't do any good. All in all, though, if you make it out, I suspect that you are relatively free and clear, but there is some risk.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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I know one Schengen country where the OP shouldn't enter to depart for home from: Switzerland. This newish Schengen country is applying the rules to the letter and I've heard of many who have been picked up for overstay and deported, with a banning order entered on Schengen Information System database.

Absolutely. Switzerland should be the LAST choice for the OP. They are ridiculously strict.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 10:57 AM
  #17
 
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@ travelgourmet (& the OP) -- Based upon my (admittedly limited) experience, I would put Amsterdam as an area that can be quite thorough.

January 2011, I entered the zone thru AMS. On I had a prior stamp in May 2011 (entry - Frankfurt), but the June 2011 departure from Paris was very faint and it was difficult to read the date. I was pulled out of line and questioned very thoroughly to prove that I had not stayed longer than 90 days back in the spring. It did not matter to them that in the interim I had in/out stamps in October from a trip to Poland -- they're reasoning was that Poland may not have asked any questions, but they were certainly going to.

I say all that to say, just because you get out, does not mean they will not pay close attention when you are coming back in.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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If your guidebooks date back to the 1980s or earlier, I can see where you got the idea you could get away with this. In my 20s, I knew people on both sides of the pond who overstayed their allowed time, worked under the table in hostels or used their own funds to simply hang out. As long as you kept your nose clean, stayed under the radar, and paid your own way, you were pretty much left alone.

But that was then and this is now. Sophisticated technology, post-9/11 and 7/7 security measures, and fragile economies have all combined to signal the death knell for any free and easy approach to visa rules.

It sounds like you love Italy. Don't spoil your chances of being unable to re-visit. Get yourself outside the Schengen zone ASAP and then go home. Italy will still be around next year. Spend the time between now and your next visit figuring out ways to stay there legally - for example, get a student visa and spend a year studying Italian language and culture.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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@ travelgourmet (& the OP) -- Based upon my (admittedly limited) experience, I would put Amsterdam as an area that can be quite thorough.

Which is why I said that they seemed to have tightened up. But, at one time, they were very lax. I entered or left the Schengen area at AMS, maybe 25 times before I was ever asked a question or had any immigration official look at the passport, except to find an empty page.
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Mar 9th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #20
 
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Trust me - looking for an empty page means they are looking at your passport. It is also routinely scanned. You may not notice this but it is happening.
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