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I had a tourist visa to the Czech Republic for 2 weeks, my return plane ticket was the last day of my allocated visa.

2 days prior to me going back home, my Lufthansa flight got canceled and the earliest available alternative flight was 2 days later.

When connecting between the Czech Republic and Germany so that I can fly from there back home, I was taken aside and questioned since I overstayed my visa by 2 days.

Even though I clearly stated to the customs police that my flight was canceled with email proof from the airline, they marked my name on the system like I was some sort of illegal alien...

A few months pass and now I have applied for a new visa to the Czech Republic, and my visa now is rejected from the German side causing me to be technically banned from entering the Schengen area.

I have contacted the Czech embassy and they told me that they don't have a problem with me but Germany rejected me getting a visa because of what happened, and I was told to get this fixed and they will grant me a visa right away.

I have contacted Lufthansa to get an official email from them proving that they canceled my flight and no same-day alternatives were available.

I have also contacted the German consulate and they have taken my passport number mentioning that they will contact the German police about the issue.

My flight to the Czech Republic is in 7 days, the Czechs have told me they will provide me with a special visa request so that I can get it in time but for that, I need to get my name cleared in the coming days.

What can I do? Who can contact other than the parties I have mentioned? it's unacceptable that I'm being treated like an illegal alien even though im clearly innocent. Keeping in mind that I asked the German police when I was detained if this will cause issues with future visas, and they stated that it might if I want to come to Germany; but im my current case, I won't be visiting Germany, and it's not even part of the transit list on any of my flights for this trip.

Can this be fixed in a day or 2? Can I sue the airline for this? can I sue the German government for this?

I don't know what's possible and what I can do, I just want to catch my flight on time :(

Note: All flights back to Lebanon were canceled on that day, this was due to the Lebanese government putting into action a new time zone out of nowhere which forced airlines to cancel trips so that they can adapt to the new timezone. https://apnews.com/article/lebanon-daylight-savings-time-9aee80838f6dfd53fd3564981f9667a8

In my communication with the German side, I clearly stated that I haven't gone through the proper protocol where I should've applied for a visa extension as soon as my flight was canceled due exclusively to my ignorance of the topic. And that this will not repeat itself.

I also stated in my email that my work, and family are back in Lebanon, and theres nothing for me to gain from a visa overstay.

UPDATE:

I was contacted again by the czech embassy mentioning that I still have an alert on SIS, I have forwarded this to the german consulate and now waiting their answer.

How long does this process take? is there any way i can get fined/imprisoned?

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    Welcome to Travel.SE. The airline is not responsible for your visa status, and while this is obviously too late, you should have reached out to the police/immigration to arrange an emergency extension the day your flight was cancelled instead of just overstaying. Jul 30, 2023 at 0:59
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    The lesson here is a) don’t book your return flight for the day your visa expires; and b) contact immigration immediately. Since you did overstay and did not follow the correct immigration procedure, I am not sure if you can clear your name
    – Traveller
    Jul 30, 2023 at 8:34
  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Travel Meta, or in Travel Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Willeke
    Jul 31, 2023 at 16:51

1 Answer 1

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Actually, you did overstay. Your best defense is that it was negligent rather than intentional, but you are responsible for reading the regulations. For the benefit of other readers of this Q&A:

What to do when a flight is cancelled on the last day of a Schengen visa?

You need to act on the day of the planned departure, because an expired Schengen visa cannot be extended. If you are not already at the airport, contact the immigration authorities at the place where you are staying.

Schengen - Visa - Extension

A Schengen visa which has already expired cannot by extended.
(emphasis by me)

[...]

A visa extension can be considered for humanitarian or important personal reasons or in the case of force majeure.

  • Example of force majeure:
    No air traffic due to weather conditions or strike

[...]

Documents required

  • Passport with valid visa
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    Indeed, i wasn't familiar with the procedure and the protocols that should be followed when such a scenario happens. Jul 30, 2023 at 9:43
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    Do you think if the german embassy contacts them directly with written proof from the airline stating that there were no alternative flights available, theres a chance i can get cleared quickly? @o.m. Jul 30, 2023 at 9:44
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    @robingeagea no one can speculate on how quickly the authorities will clear this up. I wouldn't be surprised if it took German bureaucracy took a few weeks to move on this.
    – Ozzy
    Jul 30, 2023 at 9:52
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    Your best arguments are that this was an honest mistake, that a ban is disproportionate for such a short overstay or not justified because you left quickly and voluntarily and do not present any serious risk of long overstay. But stop focusing on the details of the flight cancellation.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 30, 2023 at 14:31
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    @Jason_c_o Indeed, I will be posting it here as an answer, even if the outcome is negative, I will post what im told and if I receive any advice for whoever goes through this experience. Jul 30, 2023 at 22:01

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