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According to law, what are the consequences of a US citizen overstaying a Schengen visa?

In practice, how likely is one to be penalized for overstaying by a day, 10 days, and a month?

Are there countries that are more likely to enforce the rules on departure?

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possible duplicate of Consequences of overstaying Schengen visa in Switzerland –  Karlson Feb 11 '13 at 21:12
why would you assume it's different for a US citizen? –  vartec Feb 12 '13 at 10:42
I don't think this is a duplicate. This question asks for a legal citation as well as for likelihood of enforcement. –  johndbritton Feb 13 '13 at 16:45
@vartec - I don't assume it's different for a US citizen. Whenever I ask questions about visas on Travel.SE there's always a request for the citizenship of the person. –  johndbritton Feb 13 '13 at 16:47
@vartec it can be different. For example, NZ has prior agreements with countries like Spain that supersede any 90-day limits in the EU. –  Mark Mayo Feb 13 '13 at 16:56

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Where you're from is likely irrelevant. Overstaying is overstaying, you're not going to get treated more harshly or kindly because of who your president/king/prime minister is.

There's a great piece "Overstaying Schengen visa" that is relevant to this.

Consequences of overstaying

This could result in a:

  • no consequence - if you're lucky, and this will depend greatly on who you deal with and what mood they're in.
  • fine - the smallest and easiest problem - although it can be expensive, it's solvable with money. Have heard of 700 Euro fines for being 20 days over.
  • record - they may put something on your personal record for the Schengen countries, making it hard to get a visa in future.
  • ban on entry - you may be banned for 1-3 years (usual length of time).
  • deportation - very bad to have on your record, can affect all other travel to non-Schengen countries as well.

In terms of some countries being more strict, if you are 'banned', you're more likely to get back in by applying to one of the countries only recently admitted to the area. They're allegedly more likely to approve (presumably either lack of records, or for touristic purposes).

If you're then denied further re-entry, you can at best try to appeal for a visa - say for example, on grounds of compassion. For more information, read about the Schengen visa appeal process.

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As far as I know, applying for a visa is not possible if your citizenship does not require one in the first place. The proper procedure is to appeal any warning or database entry about yourself to the relevant country (you also have a right to know if there is one). –  Relaxed Mar 11 at 12:32

There is actually no set law to answer any of these questions besides that you get 90 nonconsecutive days in Schengen as an American. If you are thinking to leave to Turkey for 4 days when your counter hits 86 days in Schengen, expecting to clear your stays (like many people assume), and you come back to Schengen, the counter starts right back up from 86 days. You have to be out of Schengen for 3 months in an 180 day period before you are cleared of your 90 days in.

As for being penalized: You can get the full 1200 euro fine for overstaying by one day. It depends on the officer, the country, what you look like, how you act...hence me saying just play dumb and oblivious in my previous comment.

However, if you want to hear of countries that could be more relaxed on this subject, this would not be a 'legal' answer, because those with the knowledge of that, have already done an 'illegal' thing by overstaying. And I guess I cannot give these answers according to experience on stack exchange!

Good luck!

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You can give answers according to experience -- everybody here does that. The wording of your other answer gives an impression that it's okay to do it and nobody would care, which is in fact wrong. That's why it has been downvoted -- but not deleted. –  mindcorrosive Apr 27 '13 at 10:15
Where does the info on 1200 € fine come from? And for which country does it apply? –  Relaxed Mar 11 at 12:34

You won't get caught. I overstayed my Schengen visa for like 6 months each year for 4 years. I am alive and kicking and now I have a permanent working visa in a Scandinavian country. It is all about confidence and knowing the rules, and then playing dumb if you get yourself in a sticky situation.

You hold the blue passport, which makes you a VIP man. Sorry if that sounds bratty. I wrote a whole post how to escape the Schengen Zone once you have overstayed it. Check it out if you want ideas! http://youmeeveryoneinbetween.blogspot.se/2009/02/schengen-treaty-and-overstaying-visas.html

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Sounds bratty indeed. Question states "According to law", your answer promotes disobeying the law. –  Bart Arondson Apr 26 '13 at 10:39
I'm not promoting it, I am giving him a real life example. He wanted to know the consequences, but he should also understand the reality. Has anyone else who has commented here experienced any of this? I'd be more interested in talking to someone who has risked it and has been through it then someone who looked up 'facts' online. –  Lindsey Apr 26 '13 at 12:45
On stackexchange it is encouraged to give answers that are based on these "facts". I understand that the Travel.SE is slightly different in this regard as travel experience is a valuable knowledge source. However one person having a certain experience does not mean that the other (e.g. the question asker) will have the same experience, hence I think this answer is not suitable for the stackexchange format. It might be valueble somewhere else (e.g. your blog). –  Bart Arondson Apr 26 '13 at 14:08

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