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overstaying in europe

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1. Posted by lucy16 (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

hi i arrived in europe almost 6 months ago to do a bit of sightseeing and visit friends who i have met on previous travels to europe. I flew into belgium and stayed there for 2 and a half months before going onto holland for a time and more recently germany where i am now staying. Before i left australia i didnt think it was necessary to obtain a visa as i wasnt going to be working during my time in europe and i didnt plan on staying in any country for more than 3 months at a time ( i think thats the maximum time you can stay there without a visa right??) what i really need to know is does the 3 months specify to one country only or does it mean you can only stay in EUROPE for 3 months without a visa?? this i coudnt find a answer to before leaving as no one seemed to really know.
i plan to go back home around december and i fly back from brussels once again. im worried i will have trouble because i have been here more than 3 months even though not in one country for more than that time but because you can cross the borders so easily these days i dont have anything stamped on my passport to prove this. so what do you think will happen?? and is it possible i will have problems coming back to europe the next time as im planning on coming back again early next year.
i hope to hear from somebody soon as i am going crazy with worry!!!!

2. Posted by shaneomac (Inactive 20 posts) 8y

Hey! nah you won't have any probs with your visa/passport etc. the 3 months period is related to indiviudal countires. So in theory you could stay in Belgium 3 months, Germany 3 months, Austria 3 months, etc, etc. I may or may not know ppl that have stayed in Italy for a fair while longer than 3 months... :P cause lets face it they don't know when you enter or leave a country...

i doubt that u'll hav any issues coming home...wats the worst they can do... deport u to where u want to go... home! if u do hav any other worries best place to talk to one of the Oz embassies... that's what they're there for... any questions talk to them, it's what they're paid to do! most of them are really nice! my dad worked as an embassy amasidor and thats what sort of thigns they dealt with....

u wont hav any trouble going back to europe... even if u are worried bout the visa thing... just fly into another country, so maybe next time when u go over arrive in london... go out of customs there, then catch a cheap flight to where ever u wanted to go...

anywho... hope that helps a little.... if ur unsure on wat i was talking bout just email back

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting lucy16

what i really need to know is does the 3 months specify to one country only or does it mean you can only stay in EUROPE for 3 months without a visa?? this i coudnt find a answer to before leaving as no one seemed to really know.

I know for sure, since I worked in immigration: The 3 months are for all countries in the Schengen area (which covers most countries in Western Europe, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany). If you have been for 2 and a half months in Belgium already your visa free stay is almost over. Luckily you are staying in Germany right now. You must do the following ASAP:

Go to the next Ausländerbehörde near you and apply for a residency permit. Do not leave the office without at least a "Fiktionsbescheinigung". This will extent your legal stay. Bring somebody who speaks German, your passport, money for the application fees and proof of the following:

- date of entry into Germany (bus or train ticket from the Netherlands)
- means supporting yourself
- proof of adress

If asked why you are here, say "learning some German", as residency permits are not given for "visiting friends". Expect some pretty nasty words about not coming earlier, since you were supposed to go to the Ausländerbehörde immideatly after entering Germany if you wanted to stay longer than 90 days in the Schengen area.

You might have to register your stay at the Bürgermeisteramt, the Bürgerbüro or Meldebehörde first before you can apply for a residency permit, but that is pretty painless as you only need to fill out a simple form.

4. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

Just a footnote to t_maia's very clear advice. The official line on overstaying a Schengen zone visa is a permanent ban from re-entering any Schengen zone countries. Anecdotally this isn't always put into practice, but it would certainly be enough of an incentive for me to want to avoid overstaying.

5. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 8y

The post above was so bad and riddled with rubbish I've had to dissect it.

Quoting shaneomac

nah you won't have any probs with your visa/passport etc. the 3 months period is related to indiviudal countires. So in theory you could stay in Belgium 3 months, Germany 3 months, Austria 3 months, etc, etc.

Complete rubbish. The three months is for a stay in the Schengen area, not each member country.

Quoting shaneomac

cause lets face it they don't know when you enter or leave a country...

Erm . . . . am I reading that correctly? Immigration departments don't know when you enter or leave a country?

Quoting shaneomac

i doubt that u'll hav any issues coming home...wats the worst they can do... deport u to where u want to go... home!

And then ban you from returning.

Quoting shaneomac

if u do hav any other worries best place to talk to one of the Oz embassies... that's what they're there for... any questions talk to them, it's what they're paid to do! most of them are really nice! my dad worked as an embassy amasidor and thats what sort of thigns they dealt with....

Amasidor? Oh, he was an ambassador! I don't know why but somehow I doubt that.

Quoting shaneomac

u wont hav any trouble going back to europe...

Rubbish.

Quoting shaneomac

even if u are worried bout the visa thing... just fly into another country, so maybe next time when u go over arrive in london... go out of customs there, then catch a cheap flight to where ever u wanted to go...

Alright, now I've no idea what you're rabbiting on about. If you go from one country to another - you go through . . . wait for it . . . IMMIGRATION! You can't fly to London and then catch a flight to, say, Germany, without going through immigration. You can't just sneak around the continent.

Quoting shaneomac

anywho... hope that helps a little.... if ur unsure on wat i was talking bout just email back

Please don't.

This is the problem with seeking advice on forums like this. Some people make stuff up as they go.

6. Posted by shaneomac (Inactive 20 posts) 8y

Complete rubbish. The three months is for a stay in the Schengen area, not each member country.

first of all only 15 countries have ratitfied that Schengen Agreement.

meaning... if you leave a country that has not ratified the Schegen argeement your 90 day period is not governend under the Schenfen Agreement.. let's take the Czech Republic for example... has same 90 day tourist visa period yet isn't a signatory to the Schengen agreement thefore you are open to travel there even if you havr exceeded your 90 day limit in the Schegen 'area'. The 90 day period for the schegen area is for a total of 6 months then is renewed. Yep i'm not gonna make a fool of myself i made an error defining that it was indivudual countries, it is the area! But as i outlined above. That is a fully legal possibility....

Erm . . . . am I reading that correctly? Immigration departments don't know when you enter or leave a country?

yes i believe you are reading correctly.... i travelled via Interrail for 3 months visited 13 countries and had my passport stamped twice. going in and going out. The only country that asked for my passport the WHOLE time was Switzerland. Italy officals would have never known i was in Italy. French officials would neer have known i was in France. Belgium, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Austrian etc. etc.

When was the last time you travelled in europe via train?

Alright, now I've no idea what you're rabbiting on about. If you go from one country to another - you go through . . . wait for it . . . IMMIGRATION! You can't fly to London and then catch a flight to, say, Germany, without going through immigration. You can't just sneak around the continent.

I flew from Copenhagen to Helsinki... didn't go through customs!!! got to Helsinki, my other flight ongoing was cancelled... i got my bag from the overhesd locker... walked out the door... and stayed a coupe of days in Helsinkni.... NO IMMIGRATION! don't know how it happened... but all i know is i didn't go through immigration going out of Copengahen and i didnt go though immigratioin in Helsinki wen i went to the hotel the airline had given me...

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 1, 2007, at 2:53 PM by shaneomac ]

7. Posted by shaneomac (Inactive 20 posts) 8y

do what t_maia says! not mikeyBoab!

8. Posted by shaneomac (Inactive 20 posts) 8y

Just a note for the 90 day Schengen Agreement. It is a 90 day period.

For instance, if you enter one of the Schengen countries on the 15.04.2007, from this date to the 14.10.2007 (6 months later), your stay must not exceed 90 days in total in the Schengen area.

for a continuous stay of 90 days, you will have to leave the Schengen area on the 14.07.2007

for a discontinuous stay of 90 days, you will have to leave the Schengen area on the 14.10.2007

So as soon as you leave a non ratifiying signatory of the Schengen area your dates are not counted under that area.

Let's say Billy flies into Berlin gets his passport stamped by German immigration. 12 Days later Billy catches the train to Switzerland (non ratifying signatory of the Schengen Agreement) his days under the Schengen Agreement are then not counted. Billy stays there for 45 days and then catches the train to France. While travellilng to France Billy didn't have his passport even looked at by French imimgraiton. He stays in Fance for 70 days. So far he has been in Europe 127 days, yet only 82 count towards the Schengen agreement. Only 12 of which have been noted. He proceeds to Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland then back to Berlin. Highly unlikely that German authorities are going to question him because the Schengen Agreement is not uniform across Europe and there is a good possiblilty that during his travels he visited many non-Schengen Agreent countries or even just ones that haven't ratified it. So if Billy is Berlin 5 months later going home, it's unlikely it would be an issue.

All in all... to be on safe side follow t_maia advice.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 1, 2007, at 4:43 PM by shaneomac ]

9. Posted by shaneomac (Inactive 20 posts) 8y

So as soon as you leave a non ratifiying signatory of the Schengen area your dates are not counted under that area.

Correction... As soon as you leave and enter IN TO a non ratifiying signatory of the Schengen area or non Schengen area, your dates are not counted towards that 90 day period.

10. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 8y

Shane - the original poster is currently in Belgium and has overstayed her Visa. Your post clearly tells her that there is not a problem - the information you have provided is factually incorrect. I'm not going to debate what happened to you on this trip or that because, frankly, I don't care. But don't tell someone that it's OK to travel around the Schengen countries staying for three months in each because that's just not the case.