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Schengen visa issues - what am i in for?

Travel Forums Europe Schengen visa issues - what am i in for?

1. Posted by masks98 (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y

Hey everyone, If I spend 90 days in Poland, does that mean I cant go to another european country like France or Switzerland? I have to leave Europe completely? If so, How ridiculous is that!! I've overstayed my 90day limit here in Poland, and Im actually not planning on returning to the US until next summer. I thought I would just cross the border somewhere and leave return home from another country. Now I'm getting scared that this wont work, that I'll get caught - what will happen to me???

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 9, 2008, at 5:32 AM by masks98 ]

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 8y

Common market, common immigration policy, nothing much ridiculous about that. Besides, the relevant concept here is not Europe or the EU, but the Schengen area.

Even if you're not caught while overstaying, you'll have trouble upon return to the US. The longer you overstay, the bigger your problem, which may eventually result in both a stiff fine and denial of future entry.

So, you should leave the Schengen zone asap. Be aware, that you only get to stay for 90 days per six months, which effectively means you have to leave for at least half a year before returning. You don't have to go home, though: just out of the Schengen countries will do as far as they're concerned.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 9, 2008, at 8:37 AM by bentivogli ]

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

Hey everyone, If I spend 90 days in Poland, does that mean I cant go to another european country like France or Switzerland?

Yes.

I have to leave Europe completely?

You have to leave the Schengen area.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement

If so, How ridiculous is that!!

Why should that be ridiculous? I as a German cannot stay more than 90 days visa free in the USA, and the US is thrice as large as Europe.

I've overstayed my 90day limit here in Poland, and Im actually not planning on returning to the US until next summer.

If you don't plan to return to the US until next summer, you are not a tourist. You are a resident of Europe and thus need to apply for a residency permit. If you fail to do that and overstay your 90-days welcome period you are an illegal immigrant.

I strongly suggest you take the next bus to the Ukraine and apply for a residency permit at one of the Schengen embassies in Kiev.

I thought I would just cross the border somewhere

As if crossing from Texas to New Mexico would solve the fundamental problem of being an illegal immigrant for a Mexican who has overstayed. You need to get out of the Schengen Area!

4. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 8y

Switzerland isn't a part of the Schengan agreement yet, but apart from that the info you've got is spot on.

5. Posted by masks98 (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y

t_maia

You don't seem to understand that for a foreigner this IS ridiculous mostly because this comes as a surprise. We are not well-informed about the various EU agreements and their consequences, so, when someone like me, who is used to thinking of Europe as a continenent with completely different nations, comes and finds out that this basic fact is no longer true as concerns visas etc, well it comes across as a complete surprise. You should iunderstand that it is completely normal for me to be surprised that 90 days in Poland means that I must leave the entire European continent, and stay out of it for 3 months. That's a complete shock. A couple of years ago the situation was completely different.

That said, perhaps you have given me a good tip about applying for a Shengen Visa in Ukraine, though I might do it in Switzerland. I will call my embassy to see if I can do that.

Thanks for the tips.

6. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 8y

WOW you Europeans are a bit extreme in your replies.

The USA/Mexico argument is not valid as Europe is many countries, each should have its own immigration law. The Schengen is flawed in this respect..and in many ways but this is not the forum.

An American can never travel for more than 3 months anymore. Your argument would be valid if we could go to Poland THEN to France and stay there for 3 more months, but we cant. You still have separate countries in Europe when it suits you, but suddenly when Europeans want to be one large state they pull down the borders and tell us to leave after 90 days.

Im fighting immigration laws here in the UK so im a bit sensitive. I may have to move to Bulgaria or Serbia and stay there...until the Schengen slowly claws its way into those countries too.

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

Well, the first thing to do when you travel abroad is to check whether you need a visa. And the Schengen issue is not exactly a new one, almost all guide books (at least Let's Go and Lonely Planet) have a short explanation of it in their visa and entry requirements section. So if you had done your homework it would have been obvious that you needed a residency permit in order to live in Europe.

I can understand that a US citizen is not up to date on what is happening in the EU, but I cannot understand about not bothering with immigration rules when moving abroad. Or have you never heard about illegal immigrants to the USA and that they need documents? Why didn't it occur to you that you might documents (visas and residency permits) to live in Europe and to travel around?

8. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 8y

Ofcourse iv heard about illegal immigrants in USA...and ofcourse Iv heard they need documents.

BUT the difference for me is Im a legal worker for years then suddenly we need a visa to work legally again. my case is a bit different cuz Im a legal worker and applying for a permit to stay on longer. But what about my compatriots in say...Czech, who work and stay legally then suddenly the Schengen says - "OK times up leave!", you may find yourself a bit more sensitive to the issue then.

9. Posted by Gusiluz (Full Member 77 posts) 8y

Quoting coldwarspy

But what about my compatriots in say...Czech, who work and stay legally then suddenly the Schengen says - "OK times up leave!", you may find yourself a bit more sensitive to the issue then.

If they stay and work legally they'll only have to apply for a residence permit. Nobody is going to throw them out the border. Just do some paperwork.

You should understand that it is completely normal for me to be surprised that 90 days in Poland means that I must leave the entire European continent, and stay out of it for 3 months. That's a complete shock. A couple of years ago the situation was completely different.

You can only stay 90 days if you entered with a TOURIST visa (I think american citizens don't even need visa is they stay less than 90 days, just passport and a return ticket) . If you intend to stay longer (study, work,...) then don't enter as a tourist, ask for a long stay visa.

And yes, Poland joined the Schengen arena in Dec. 2007 and the situation has completely changed. For the better. Now its a pleasure to travel to warsaw as easily as a trip to the corner shop.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 22, 2008, at 11:36 AM by Gusiluz ]