I am currently backpacking around Europe, and my 90 days within Schengen is about to run out. I understand the way the visa works, however I was thinking that I might have a way around my problem.
If I was to get a German working holiday visa (German because I am in Berlin at the moment, and because I think I can get on without much problem), which would allow me to stay 1 year in the country (I think?), and seems as there are no border checks, technically I could travel around the Schengen area, and they would not actually know when i am, and when i am not within Germany. This way if i get a passport check, I can just say that I left Germany the other day, and they have nothing to prove that I am stayin illegally.
Also, one question, I have heard that it is possible to get away with overstaying without to much problem. I am about to go into Eastern Europe (starting with the Baltic countries), does anybody know what it is like up there in terms of getting away with overstaying visas?
I have an Australian passport, if that makes any difference
So, what do you guys think?
AFAIK you cannot get a WHV for Germany once you are already in the country. What you can do however is to apply for a regular residency permit for Germany in Germany (if you are Australian, US-Citizen, Canadian, etc.).
The procedure is similar to getting a WHV, the big difference will be that you won't get a work permit and that you will be forced to give as reason for staying "taking language lessons". This essentially amounts to actually paying for those language lessons, whether you take them or not. I know the procedure quite well, let me know if you need help.
BTW, if you want to travel around Eastern Europe you can stay legal quite easily - all you have to do is avoid the Schengen area. Hit the Ukraine, Turkey, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Russia, Romania, maybe even go down to Syria, Jordan and Egypt. Once you have been away for 91 days from the Schengen area you can return for another 90 days.
So, according to this website,
it says that Australian citizens can apply after arriving in the country? I dont know though, i know before from experience these sort of technical law things are quite tricky, and i guess if you know from personal experience, you have a better idea of it then what a website can give.
Do you know of any places within Schengen where I can get a WHV on short term notice that would work? And do you think that, assuming I can get one, that this idea would work for being able to stay longer?
In this case I suggest you print it and go to the Ausländerbehörde in Berlin and try your luck.
But if it is in any way possible you should try to apply in another city - Ausländerbehörde in Berlin is horrible to deal with. Do you have a flat or a job in Berlin already? Or could you move easily?
Ok, well I was actually not planning on getting a job in Berlin, or Germany at all. The reason why I wanted it was so that I could keep traveling through Schengen without worrying about the 90 days things, because if I got checked, then I could just tell them that I had only just left Germany (because there are no checks, they will not know any better).
However, I dont know, maybe the 90 days Schengen restriction still counts even if you have a WHV in a country, as in you cannot travel out of that country after 90 days. That was actually what i was originally asking, if you think this plan would work. Hope that makes sense, it is a bit complicated!
You answered your question yourself:
technically I could travel around the Schengen area, and they would not actually know when i am, and when i am not within Germany.
It is not 100% legal to travel around the Schengen area as you plan to do (you are supposed to spent at least 50% of your time inside the Schengen area in Germany), but still a better solution than overstaying.
Overstaying is considered an outright crime in some Schengen countries and you can face jail or fines for it. You would be considered an illegal immigrant in all Schengen countries and treated accordingly.
About applying in Berlin: You have to understand that in order to apply you have to be in a certain city for more than just a few days. And where you apply is up to you. Any major city will do.
Also note that your WHV becomes invalid if you have been away from Germany for longer than 180 days.
[ Edit: Edited on 27-Jun-2010, at 19:18 by t_maia ]
Id really doubt you would go to jail! A fine yes, and a ban - most likely, but jail, no way.
While I agree that jail is unlikely it is definitely a possibility. If you are caught without the proper visa police and immigration authorities are well within their rights to place you into a holding cell until they can deport you.
holding cell, very likely. dont overstay regardless.