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Question about US citizen with German student visa/schengen

Travel Forums Europe Question about US citizen with German student visa/schengen

1. Posted by Eiram_ (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

This is sort of a complicated situation/question, but I'll try to explain it the best I can.

I am currently studying in Germany and I have a student visa/residency permit. I arrived March 30, 2010 and will officially be leaving Germany August 30, 2010. I have a visa good for my entire stay in Germany and I was told as a US citizen I also get 90 days outside of Germany within an 180 day period under the Schengen visa.

Next week (I'm leaving Germany the 24th and I arrive in Greece 00:50 the 25th) I am travelling to Greece for about 5 weeks (I will return to Germany for one day and go to the US from there before my visa expires), and I was also in Greece 8 days at the end of May. That would be 44 days outside Germany, which clearly does not exceed the 90 days. My concern is actually about the time I spent in Germany before they actually gave me the student visa. I didn't go get the visa/residency permit until about a month and a half after I was in Germany. So my current visa/residency permit says May 17-Sep 1. Does the time I spent in Germany before May 17 count as days under the Schengen visa since I technically didn't have the visa in my passport yet? If those days are counted, I am worried after I spend my time in Greece I will exceed the 90 day maximum.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Jul-2010, at 12:55 by Eiram_ ]

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

Let me get this straight:

March 30th arrival in Germany
May 17th - day you got the visa for Germany, valid until Aug 30th
8 days in Greece at the end of May (which dates exactly?)
July 24th - leaving Germany for Greece, staying there until Aug 28th?
Aug 29th going to Germany
Aug 30th leaving for the USA

To make an accurate calculation, could you please amend/confirm those dates?

Does the time I spent in Germany before May 17 count as days under the Schengen visa since I technically didn't have the visa in my passport yet?

It should count as inside Schengen, but I doubt anybody cares.

Fact is that you have a valid visa until Aug 30th. If you are flying from Greece to Germany and leave the Schengen Area from Germany I can assure you that you won't have any trouble at all.

It would be a different story if you flew directly from Greece to the USA because the Greek are analretentive about Schengen visa rules and have some of the strictest punishments for overstaying in the whole Schengen Area.

If you are worried:

Doing a quick, not very accurate calculation ├Żour time inside Germany before you got the visa and your time in Greece are roughly 92 days. With such a short time over the allowed limit the best solution IMO would be a quick trip to Turkey or Bulgaria or another non-Schengen country from Greece. Personally I can highly recommend 3-4 days in Istanbul, it is a very vibrant city and a great mix between European and Middle Eastern.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Jul-2010, at 11:36 by t_maia ]

3. Posted by Eiram_ (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

My visa is actually valid until Sep 1. I was in Greece from May 22-May 30. I am leaving Germany the 24th of July and I'll be in Greece until August 29. I leave Germany the next day, August 30th. So, the time I spent in Germany before I went to get my Aufenthaltstitel actually does count against me? Since I will be travelling within the Schengen Zone and they don't stamp passports, will there any be record of me leaving Germany and going to Greece? Do they somehow track it digitally or is it just not recorded at all?

edit: I am supposed to move to Greece permanently next summer. Assuming I leave Germany and go back to the US with no problems, is there any way I could encounter a problem when applying for permanent residency in Greece? I'm just wondering if there is any way for them know I was in Greece for 2 or 3 days longer than I was supposed to be if there are no passport stamps or anything.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Jul-2010, at 12:01 by Eiram_ ]

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

The law says that if in doubt it is your job to prove that you have not overstayed. This can mean producing flight, bus and train tickets or hotel room bills.

But this will only happen if you are under suspicion, so no reason to sweat it.

Anyway, if you find the time - try to visit Istanbul, it is a great place to be.

5. Posted by Eiram_ (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Thanks for you replies, I had no problems in Germany or Greece

I do however want to return to Greece for about 20 days in mid December. Since I left Germany August 31st, would my schengen visa still be good? I would have been outside the schengen area for about 105 days. I read the schengen visa article and I got the impression I would be fine, I just wanted to make sure. Another question I had was that when I left Germany, my passport wasn't stamped upon entering the US (my customs form was stamped instead), would this cause a problem since there's no stamp showing I left the schengen area?

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Oct-2010, at 15:23 by Eiram_ ]

6. Posted by Eiram_ (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

Nevermind, I just saw my passport has a stamp from Germany showing when I left. I'm still not sure if I can reenter by mid December though

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

If you have been away from the Schengen area for 105 days by the date you enter again you won't have any problems. You can enter visa-free as a tourist for up to 90 days again. (This of course means that you should be a tourist, so no working, studying, etc.)