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I am a Canadian Citizen going to Sweden on the 90 day visa-free short stay. I am wondering if it is a big deal to over stay by one day. I'll be arriving on the 30th of May and I want to leave on the 28th of August (which is one day over). The cheapest flight I can book is on that day, otherwise I have to pay about 100 - 200 dollars more for an earlier flight.

(Keep in mind, I can't afford to cause problems that would prevent me from being able to come back to Sweden, as this is where my girlfriend lives, and I plan on moving there eventually)

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It's almost certainly not worth the $200 savings to risk getting in trouble with the length of your stay. –  Greg Hewgill May 6 at 7:11
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Note that Schengen countries share a database with warnings about people that should be denied entry for various reasons. It's very unlikely that you would be added to this database for a short overstay (the exact triggers depend on the country) but if you would, then this warning would not only cover Sweden but the whole Schengen area. –  Relaxed May 6 at 7:40
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Just call the Swedish consulate. The chances are slim but who knows it might be a valid extension reason and in general people are quite responsive if you are open about your intentions. –  andra May 6 at 7:48
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If you'd be only going over the 90 day limit by a day or two, why not take a short trip to somewhere outside the Shengen area (eg UK, Ireland, Turkey, Russia) for a few days during your trip? –  Gagravarr May 6 at 11:36
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Hypothetically, if Schengen checks your return ticket (or asks you your plans) you could be denied entry because they can see that you're planning to overstay. I'm a UK citizen, so I don't need a return ticket to enter Schengen, but that doesn't necessarily mean Canadians don't. –  Steve Jessop May 6 at 12:25

4 Answers 4

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Staying for more than 90 days would be breaking the law, unfortunately for you. Moreover, the 90-day rule applies to all of the Schengen area, and the Schengen Agreement is now part of EU law. Therefore, by overstaying you would be breaking law of the entire EU, and also the non-EU Schengen members.

The actual penalty for overstaying depends heavily on the circumstances, but there are generally three kinds of penalties that would apply, from most likely to least likely:

  • A fine. No long-term consequences, but would probably offset your 200$ savings.

  • Deportation from Sweden. Could be together with the fine. Chapter 8, Article 1 of the Swedish Law on Foreign Nationals (in Swedish) allows deportation in case something is wrong with paperwork or permits, including violations of the Schengen agreement. Section 4 of that Article also allows the same if you do not provide requested information about your stay or lie about it. That is, if you claim you'd be returning within 90 days but show a ticket 91 day later, that's also a violation. Such a deportation may or may not include a reentry ban of up to five years. A reentry ban would be reported to the Schengen Information System, see next point.

  • An entry ban in Schengen. In this case, you'd have that negative mark on your record in the Schengen information system - important to note that all Schengen countries share this. Article 24 of the SIS II Regulation is what allows a SIS alert banning you from entering based on the decision of an individual country (Sweden in this case). The consequences may include a requirement for you to obtain a visa prior to future visits, with you no longer being allowed visa-free 90 day travel. The previous sentence is not correct, there's no such provision in the SIS, the entry could merely require that you be denied entry. If you get a SIS alert entry, or suspect you did, it's possible to request to see your SIS entry, and you could appeal the decision if you have an entry ban. A severe option, and extremely unlikely for a one-day overstay.

Now, of course, another possibility is that you do not get caught or get let off with a verbal warning. Sometimes the border guards may not care to even check the dates when you're leaving. Or they may decide to let it slide, but you never know.

Another possibility, though unlikely, would be that border guards not only ask you about your plans on entry (likely enough in itself) but also ask to see a return ticket. Then you could run into trouble already on entry due to your ticket being on day 91.


Now for a couple of practical tips. Sweden does have long-term tourist visas, but they are not an option for you if you're traveling in less than a month - the process takes much longer. Sweden's an expensive country. 200$ isn't much compared to what you will spend over the course of 3 months. I hope it's clear from the answer that the potential consequences of being caught outweigh the savings.

However, depending on where you are staying in Sweden (which has very good train connections), it may be worth to investigate flights from other airports. If you are in Stockholm, and especially if you're south of there, it's easy to get to Copenhagen. If you're in Gothenburg, it's possible to get to Oslo in 4 hours for as little as 46$, so it may be worth it to consider flights from nearby countries in your planning.

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Wouldn't he get another 3 months if he flew to Norway and back to Sweden in the middle of his stay? –  David Brossard May 7 at 8:51
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@David No, you can't reset the 90-day period like that. Norway's actually part of Schengen, but even if you fly to a non-Schengen country like the UK, you don't get another 90 days - the actual rule is that you're limited to 90 days, not necessarily consecutive, within a rolling 180-day period. A full day visit to the UK would solve the OP's problem legally, but is unlikely to be of convenience practically speaking. –  user1264727 May 7 at 9:11
    
So it's not like the US 90 day period, interesting, thanks. –  David Brossard May 7 at 9:34
    
I don't know where you got the $46. I just checked on flights from Oslo to Gothenburg because I am going to Oslo in June and figured it would be a neat place to go. They want $250. Care to share your cheap flight trick? –  staticx May 7 at 12:04
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@staticx The cheap trick was that there is no flight, but rather a train. 4 hours from Gothenburg to Oslo like I wrote. I currently see that in at least in the next few days, that direct train can be booked for 299 SEK = 46 USD. Same in the other direction, and it can go a bit lower if you take a longer trip with a connecting train. Ref: www.sj.se. I am somewhat partial to trains myself and vastly prefer a 4-5 hour train ride to a flight. –  user1264727 May 7 at 14:01

Well it comes down to you essentially flouting/breaking their laws.

So this then depends on the border guys dealing with you. If you had a valid reason for it (heck, you were kidnapped, insanely ill, etc) and can prove it, you may be ok. Or they may be feeling kind.

On the other hand, they may decide as you've broken the law, there's punishment. When I've seen this happen in other countries to travellers I was with, they were interrogated, and then fined (and that was only by a few hours!)

Worst case - you might get a black mark in your passport or on your record, which may cause you problems when you try to visit other countries.

Long story short, it's almost never worth flouting these laws.

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The Swedish embassy website has this page about visiting friends and relatives for longer than 90 days http://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Visiting-Sweden/Visiting-relatives-and-friends/Longer-than-90-days/How-to-apply.html

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You can read about how to extend your visit on this page: http://www.migrationsverket.se/English/Private-individuals/Visiting-Sweden/Extend-a-visit.html.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    
This does not actually address the question but could be an answer to this other question. –  Relaxed May 6 at 10:01
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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  Vince May 6 at 11:55
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The 1000 SEK application fee also offsets the $200 saved by travelling a day later. –  Steinar May 6 at 19:04

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