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overstayed my student visa in Sweden for seven months

Travel Forums Europe overstayed my student visa in Sweden for seven months

1. Posted by dtrocilo (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Hi all, I have a question regarding the consequences of overstaying, so I will explain what happened:

I'm of brazilian nationality, and as such I don't need an entry visa in Europe. I have been an Erasmus Mundus master student in Europe for two years. First in Portugal, then in Sweden. I had a visa for Portugal all along my stay. I entered Europe through Paris, and the only border control I faced was a police woman at the exit of the Air France plane who was very nice and just glanced at my passport. Besides that, I didnt face any passport booth, so I got no stamps on my entry. Then I went to Portugal. As soon as I finished my studies there, I came to Brazil to try and get a swedish student visa for the second part of my master. That did not work, because I had to go back to Sweden 45 days later, and the visa issue here would take roughly two months.

I went back to Europe through Portugal. They were nice and didn't ask me anything on how I was travelling to Sweden to study there without a student visa. I asked for a visa in Sweden as I got there, but was only granted six months. For some reasons, I didnt try to extend my student visa. That was a mistake. But, anyway, if I managed to get a visa extension, I would still had been illegal for roughly one month in Sweden until I was able to present my master thesis in Portugal.

One day later I presented my thesis, I came back to Brazil via Lisbon. At the airport, the authority asked me why I had overstayed my student visa. I answered, and also said that I had a full scholarship so I didn't need to work during this period. He then said, calmly, but firm, "You know you were illegal?". I said, "yes". He didnt say anything else and just returned my passport. I didnt play dumb, instead I said all that happened, and recognized that, yes, I had done a mistake. There are no marks in my passport, nor he said anything about paying a fine or coming back. I was scared to ask, also.

Now, eight months later, I will travel to Sweden invited by my boyfriend. I have an invitation letter from him saying that he will account for all my living expenses, a document proving he paid for my ticket, the minimun amount of money required and also health/travel insurance. I was also accepted in a summer course in Sweden during july-august. I had agreed on coming back instead of him coming here to visit me again because he personally asked at the swedish migration board what were the possibilities of a re-entry in Sweden through Paris after I had been living in Sweden with an expired visa for seven months. The officer said that my chances of re-entry were high, provided I had not been working or commited any crime, and also if I had stayed back in Brazil for a period longer than six months. According to her, I meet the requirements. She only said that it all depended upon the interpretation of the border officials at the Charles de Gaulle airport. I will stay a little less than 90 days. I have fixed residence in Brazil, and I also work here as a researcher in the field of my master, but in rather informal scheme, so I dont have any document that proves I'm working.

Even though I got that response, I'm very much worried, because they can ask me what I was doing between Januay 31st and September 26, when I had no visa at all. Now I'm afraid to say that I knew I was illegal. What should I answer in this case? Are my chances of re-entry really high? Besides showing I was invited and had all expenses paid, should I also add that there is another purpose to my visit, that is, studies?

Thank you.
dtrocilo

2. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 7y

dtrocilo,

It would surprise me very much if you're able to get any definite answers here on the Forum. And I should admit right up front that I definitely do not have specific knowledge about what might happen. All I can do is make educated guesses, based on the information in your post and based on my own knowledge of the Immigration rules in Sweden. I'm Swedish, and I know that Sweden has one of more liberal immigration policies in Europe, and I'm fairly certain they would not take your overstay too seriously. What your boyfriend found out would seem to confirm this assumption. What complicates the issue somewhat is of course the fact that you will be entering the 'Schengen group' thru Paris CDG. Immigration officers in most countries have a certain amount of leeway in how they treat 'questionable' cases. My guess is that if you explain that you're on your way to Sweden, show your return ticket and any other documentation you may have, then it's probably unlikely that you would have any difficulties. And they may not even question you at all. Really impossible to know.

If you are close to a Swedish consulate in Brazil, you might consider contacting them and explain your situation and ask for advice.

Aloha!

Bo-Göran

PS and EDIT - about your last question, if you should mention about the studies as well. The general rule, as far as I'm concerned, just answer the questions that you are being asked by the Immigration officer. Don't volunteer any additional information unless you are convinced the additional information will be helpful to you.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-May-2009, at 12:54 by bgl ]

3. Posted by dtrocilo (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

Thank you very much for your advices, Bo. It's helpful to know that I should refrain from volunteer information, I was in doubt about that, and I really want to have an idea of what I should or should not say. Thanks! ;)

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Post#2#bgl is most surely to be spot on with this one. Get to a consulate and sit down with them. Sometimes it takes awhile to get an appointment - but as soon as they are aware of your situation, it will more than likely speed things up.
Get to the Foreign Office too. Officials prefer those that come forward with problems, rather than running away from them.
Good luck.