I am an Indian who studies in the US, and am planning to visit France/Italy. I've applied for, received and travelled to Schengen zone 4 times in the past (as a minor) without incident.

During my last trip, 3 years ago, I went as a school trip to Germany as a 10-day exchange program where we stayed in host families' houses. I think Germany has a rule that travellers not staying in a hotel need to register with the police - we didn't do so. There was no problem exiting the country - as I remember, the immigration officer just asked some routine questions while exiting.

So now I plan to apply via the French consulate - should I expect any problem due to not registering? What can I do?

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    Aside from the fact that it looks like you did nothing wrong, even if you had, the damage would have already been done. Either way, no point worrying about something that is out of your control. – JamesRyan Aug 4 '15 at 10:03
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    If they refuse entry, it would be because circumstances have changed and they doubt that you will really leave Schengen area - not because you did/failed to do anything that went without fine and without filing back then. – Alexander Aug 4 '15 at 10:58
  • I don't see any reason to be denied entry or a visa. You seem to worry too much. A US resident has little reason to become an illegal immigrant in Europe. – Quora Feans Aug 4 '15 at 15:09

If you were a minor travelling in the zone as part of a school trip, you would have been accompanied by a teacher from your school or some other person acting in a supervisory role (it's part of the rules). It was that person's job to assure that any local requirements were observed, not yours. You couldn't register with the police even if you wanted to, you were a minor on a school trip. Police registration is for adults who are taking up residence. Overall, it's hard to pin an infraction on a minor anyway, minors do not have the legal capacity to engage in serious breach.

To answer your question, based upon what you wrote there is nothing to worry about. If you submit your application and get hit with post-submission anxiety you can take heart that the French consulate in the US has a relatively quick turn-around time.

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    While the core of your answer is correct and great, a few minor things: Registration is not with the police in Germany but the municipality and even minors need to be registered (not visitors, only residents). The most important example are minors that move out from their parents to start an apprenticeship. By the way, all state laws specifically exclude short-term visitors that don't stay in a hotel from the registration rules. – neo Aug 4 '15 at 9:02
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    @neo: 'By the way, all state laws specifically exclude short-term visitors that don't stay in a hotel from the registration rules.' Can you refer to a specific paragraph? At least in the Bavarian and Berlin laws, there are no obvious exceptions for foreign residents to the duty of registering their accomodation. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 4 '15 at 11:59
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo The answer was a bit too quick, you are right. From November 1 that's by § 27 Abs. 2 S. 3 BMG. Up until then for it's possible in state law (but some states opted not to) by § 15 Abs. 2 S. 1 Nr. 3. – neo Aug 4 '15 at 13:48

I never heard about such a rule in the Federal Republic of Germany. There was a rule like it in the German Democratic Republic, but that's gone with Reunification. You might be mixing several different issues:

  • Hotels and other commercial hostels have to register visitors.
  • Even there, in a traveling group of more than 10 persons only the supervisor has to file for the entire group.
  • Residents in Germany have to register in their primary place of residence, where they can vote, etc.

Summary/Edit: The original poster should have registered if he was in a state which

  • gives less than ten days for a visitor to register (one or two weeks are typical),
  • gives no exception for tourists (some don't),
  • if the supervisor didn't file a summary registration for the group (we can't tell),
  • and if he was old enough that he should have registered himself rather than relying on adults.

I wouldn't worry.

Future visitors should note that the state laws are due to be unified by federal law from November 1st. No worries if you stay with friends for a few nights, but if you rent a flat and live in Germany you need to register with the city/country administration (not the police).

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    You didn't hear of such a rule because there isn't. As a foreigner, one is obliged to carry an accepted photo-bearing identification document (normally: passport), so one can be easily identified when approached by police for Allgemeine Personenkontrolle. (While I don't think there is a fine, they may take you to the station for identification if you don't have your passport at hands) – Alexander Aug 4 '15 at 10:52
  • @Alexander: Both of your points are incorrect. Foreign tourists living in private accomodations in Germany are with a few exceptions subject to register their abode with the authorities, usually within one week, but details differ between the states (Bundesländer). Foreigners are in Germany not obliged to carry any form of id. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 4 '15 at 11:50
  • @o.m. Your last point 'residents in Germany have to register in their primary place of residence' is just a part of the entire story. Persons are in Germany (with exceptions, details differ between the states) also required to register a temporary residence, and this general requirement also apply to foreign tourists. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 4 '15 at 11:55
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    BMG §27 (2) says registering after three months. We're talking about 10 days on a tourist visa here, right? But I'm not a lawyer ... – o.m. Aug 4 '15 at 17:19
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    Checking three at random, HMG §25, NMG §17 exceptions for tourist, Bremen MG §25 does not apply to tourists. – o.m. Aug 4 '15 at 19:31

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