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I have a 1-year multiple entry Schengen visa 90/180 issued by Italy.

Out of five trips, I used it twice to enter Italy. The other three times, I entered Germany but stayed once in Luxembourg and twice in Holland.

I arrived and departed from Germany because the flights there were cheaper.

My last return trip from Germany resulted in my fingerprints being taken, and extra attention paid to all the pages in my passport. Nothing was said or asked and I was allowed to leave.

Now I worried. Did I do something wrong? On my next trip, will my Schengen tourist visa be cancelled or will they refuse me entry? Am I on the radar with German authorities now?

In summary, I spent in a total of 25 days in Italy and as per my passport. It looks like I "spent" 33 days in Germany, although I was actually in Luxembourg (8 days) and Holland (25 days). Of course, that is not shown in my passport.


OK, then let me rephrase... did I do something wrong or is there any reason for border officers to refure me entry or cancel my visa next time I come (to Germany)?

  • 2
    What control point? – Gayot Fow Jan 18 '17 at 15:20
  • 2
    @Gayot Fow - German airport, international departure, Dusseldorf. – user46068 Jan 18 '17 at 15:22
  • 7
    @pnuts - and how is that relevant for this post? – user46068 Jan 18 '17 at 15:49
  • 7
    One point that hasn't been mentioned is that fingerprinting is in particular useful to match you to your passport and visa. So it's possible that there were some concern that you were using falsified documents or travelling with someone else's passport/visa. The careful inspection of the booklet suggests the same and none of this is necessary if there are concerns about your travel patterns. But if you used a visa that wasn't yours, it would have been annulled then and there and you would not have been able to leave so easily so it seems they were satisfied at the end. – Relaxed Jan 18 '17 at 17:24
  • 4
    Also, I don't know your nationality, but if you posted because this just happened a few days before, keep in mind that between your entry and exit, the attack on the Berlin Weihnachtsmarkt happened. That may have added to extra scrutiny without you doing anything wrong but merely being unlucky in your timing! – Layna Jan 19 '17 at 7:30
34

You've made several trips to the Schengen area using a multiple-entry visa, and when you most recently left, German officials gave you extra scrutiny. The purpose of that scrutiny was almost certainly to check whether you have violated the 90/180 rule. You have not, so there is nothing to worry about.

In particular, it's perfectly normal (and very common) to enter and exit the Schengen area in Germany when flying through Germany to another Schengen destination.

Am I under scrutiny?

It certainly looks that way.

Did I do something wrong?

I don't know.

[Did I do something wrong related to the time I've spent in the Schengen area or the destinations I've chosen?]

No.

On my next trip, will my Schengen tourist visa be cancelled or will they refuse me entry?

Unlikely.

Am I on the radar with German authorities now?

Probably.

[Should I be worried?]

No.

  • 2
    @GayotFow but not everybody gets that kind of close scrutiny. It seems likely in this case to have been triggered by the frequency of the trips, perhaps in combination with the country of citizenship (I never received such scrutiny when traveling frequently on a US passport in 1999-2000.) – phoog Jan 18 '17 at 16:17
  • 6
    @GayotFow is the fingerprint check routine? It sounds like raulbaros went through Italian controls four times and German controls five times without being fingerprinted. It looks like Germany (Schengen countries generally?) only fingerprint travelers when they start to get suspicious. – phoog Jan 18 '17 at 16:37
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    Taking 5 holidays within a year to western Europe (for someone who doesn't live in Europe, and comes from a country which needs a visa) is unusual, and therefore might trigger scrutiny. The fact that the OP leaves promptly every time probably helps on the immigration front, but the scrutiny is probably more for law enforcement reasons than immigration. – djr Jan 18 '17 at 16:48
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Did I do something wrong?

No.

On my next trip, will my Schengen tourist visa be cancelled or will they refuse me entry?

We can't predict the future. There's nothing in your question to suggest that outcome is likely.

Am I on the radar with German authorities now?

Yes (I surmise), you made more than a handful of short trips and your pattern of past travel, dress, luggage, appearance, state of mind etc did not, in some minor way, fit the usual patterns they see from the greater majority of travellers.

One year I made a number of short business trips to Rotterdam which I was asked about and was held up a little while my bags were searched before being allowed to proceed. I was not told why. On subsequent trips, nothing unusual happened.

Of course, since they didn't ask you about anything specific, there is no way to tell why they chose to handle you differently on that occasion.

  • 2
    How would they know the OP made a trip to the Netherlands? – jcaron Jan 19 '17 at 2:12
  • 1
    @jcaron Isn't Düsseldorf just some 50km from the Netherlands? And who would actually want to be in Düsseldorf? ;) – Alexander Kosubek Jan 19 '17 at 7:34
  • @AlexanderKosubek It is a Modestadt youtu.be/qBvGjz-5ijk – Vladimir F Jan 19 '17 at 7:47
  • I doubt the scrutiny has anything to do with drugs suspicions. If it were, they would have searched him and the bags, not fingerprint him. – ypercubeᵀᴹ Jan 19 '17 at 13:13
  • @jcaron, ypercube - answer updated to make speculation vaguer. – RedGrittyBrick Jan 19 '17 at 15:55
1

There are a few possible reasons why they took your fingerprints randomly

1) To verify that you're the same person as your visa

2) To check you haven't violated the 90/180 rule

3) They suspect you might be a threat to a member state

4) They might suspect you of "visa shopping" i.e after being refused a schengen visa from one member state, you apply to another.

Here's more information about the Visa Information System https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-information-system_en

  • How would fingerprints help them detect visa shopping? I would think that searching visa records using the passport data would be enough. – phoog Jan 19 '17 at 22:07

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