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I am from India and I have recently travelled to Germany. I had a visa type C that allowed to stay there for 9 days. I entered Germany on 6th March, 2017 and I was supposed to leave Germany on 14th March, 2017. But I had to leave on 16th March, 2017.

Unfortunately, while coming back to India, my flight from Berlin to Frankfurt was cancelled due to an airport strike in Berlin. The airline was Lufthansa. My flight from Berlin to Frankfurt was supposed to leave Berlin at 07:45 and reach Frankfurt at 08:55. My connecting flight to Chennai leaves Frankfurt at 10:15. I reached Berlin airport at 06:30 only to find out that my flight had gotten cancelled. They had not even informed me about the strike until I went to their counter in Berlin airport.

Had I been informed of the strike earlier, I would have directly gone to Frankfurt to catch my flight to Chennai. They said there wasn't any flight available for 2 days (i.e free) out of Germany to India and they couln't accommodate me in Frankfurt. So, I asked them to book for the next available flight, which was after 2 days. After 2 days, on reaching Frankfurt airport from Berlin, I was stopped at Immigration, saying that I had stayed in Germany longer than what my visa permitted.

I was then escorted to the police station where the police charged me with a criminal offence legal code 95 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 AufenthG. I boarded the next flight back to India and came back. Here, I would like to know 4 things:

  1. Will my passport be blacklisted or something forever?
  2. Will this criminal record show up every time my passport is checked/swiped by any country's immigration department?
  3. How should I proceed while applying for visas to other countries. Ex: the Hong Kong pre-arrival registration form has a question that asks a person if they had ever over-stayed/have any criminal record in other countries. So, how should I answer this?
  4. I am planning to do my Master's abroad. Will the universities be aware of the incident using my passport number?
  • 1. Not forever but yes it will be blacklisted or flagged. 2. Not every country, Schengen and a few others 3. You should answer the truth which is that you have overstayed however not a criminal record. Do you mean you did not have proof to show them your earlier flight was cancelled which is why you overstayed? – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer May 4 '17 at 18:04
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    OP's story doesn't add up. I'm sure there is more to it. – greatone May 4 '17 at 18:10
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    The German authorities should have extended your visa. The Schengen Visa Code says, at Article 33 (1), The period of validity and/or the duration of stay of an issued visa shall be extended where the competent authority of a Member State considers that a visa holder has provided proof of force majeure or humanitarian reasons preventing him from leaving the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the period of validity of or the duration of stay authorised by the visa. Such an extension shall be granted free of charge. – phoog May 4 '17 at 18:26
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    Note that 95 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 AufenthG is about criminal penalties. Apparently the OP has been informed by the police that he was accused of a crime. It seems he has not been charged by a prosecutor or sentenced by a court. It might be useful to keep that difference in mind for future applications, anywhere in the world. – o.m. May 5 '17 at 19:18
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    @RaviKuntineni I guess what gayot means is that if there was a strike in Berlin, why couldn't you get to Frankfurt by train(apparently it is only 4 hours), in time to catch your connection to India? – RedBaron May 6 '17 at 13:29
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A criminal record is not an issue per se. There is no question asking to disclose it on the Schengen visa application form and no systematic exchange of criminal records between Schengen countries. Some other countries do ask you to disclose that or any previous visa refusal or removal and are stricter with this. The specifics would depend on the country in question but it seems you have at least been removed and that's often relevant.

A ban on the other hand would obviously prevent you from entering the Schengen area (that's the point). You can be banned for an immigration violation without being found guilty of a crime, this is not really linked to criminal records one way or the other. I believe there are some efforts underway to harmonise this further but member states have a lot of leeway in deciding whether to impose a ban or not. In some countries, even a longer overstay that gets your visa cancelled and/or detention and a police escort to your plane does not always results in a ban.

Based on the facts disclosed in your question, I agree with @phoog that your visa could and should have been extended but the German authorities are notorious for issuing bans very aggressively compared to other countries. If you have indeed been banned, applying for a Schengen visa is pointless, you first need to get the ban lifted to avoid an automatic refusal and only the country that issued the ban can lift it.

Whatever the case may be, you would certainly not be blacklisted forever for a mere overstay. An entry in the Schengen Information System last for three years by default but member states can renew it as they see fit. IIRC, a German ban is typically 10 years.

More generally, there is no global database of passports, criminal records or immigration history. Specific countries do have limited form of information exchange, often for intelligence purposes and not so much for regular immigration purposes. There are also databases of stolen documents and wanted persons (both at the EU level and through Interpol) but that does not seem relevant here.

The main concern is that you will often be asked to disclose this event and lying about it exposes you to many unpleasant consequences. Even without a database, there are many ways to be found out (stamps in a passport, contradicting yourself in an interview, being tipped off by an ex-boyfriend or jealous neighbour, etc.).

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    Thank you so much for your answer. I have not been banned or blacklisted. The case is still pending. Hopefully I might be let off with just a fine because I had no malicious intent on staying. The thing is, I am not at all familiar with foreign immigration policies. I don't know how to approach this situation. I have been given a receipt by the German police that consists of the case that they have booked against me and also the contact number of a lawyer who represents me. How should I contact them. How can I know the status of my case? – Ravi Kuntineni May 4 '17 at 19:33
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    @RaviKuntineni Did you contact the lawyer in question? Getting help from a professional seems necessary in this situation. – Relaxed May 4 '17 at 20:08
  • No, I haven't contacted him. I will contact him now. Thank you – Ravi Kuntineni May 5 '17 at 1:43
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Just regarding your 1st and 4th question, it isn't the passport which gets listed in the SIS, it is the person. They collected biometric data from you and getting a new passport won't help.

  • How do I answer the following questions? They are in Hong Kong pre-arrival registration. They are of the type Yes/No. – Ravi Kuntineni May 6 '17 at 0:09
  • "Have you ever committed or been arrested for any overstaying, illegal immigration or other criminal offence in the HKSAR or any country/territory?" – Ravi Kuntineni May 6 '17 at 0:09
  • "If yes, have you ever been convicted of the offence(s)?" – Ravi Kuntineni May 6 '17 at 0:09
  • @RaviKuntineni, I can't say for certain. If you had been arrested or convicted, you would have some sort of paperwork. I don't know how Hong Kong law defines committed. – o.m. May 6 '17 at 5:00
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    @RaviKuntineni, I'm not a lawyer and not qualified to give legal advice. The law on visa, residency permits etc. contains a section defining criminal offenses. Staying in Germany without valid permit is a misdemeanor and can be punished with prison up to one year or a fine. (This is not as bad as it sounds. For a first offense the sentence would be much lower than the maximum, and it would almost certainly be followed by a conditional discharge.) The consequences for getting another visa will be much more bothersome than the misdemeanor. – o.m. May 6 '17 at 15:59

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