Schengen Travel Ban Questions

Travel Forums Europe Schengen Travel Ban Questions

1. Posted by Lydia_marie (First Time Poster 1 posts) 44w Star this if you like it!

Someone help me; I have spent the last two years in a worm hole trying to figure out if I can visit Europe again, I have called offices, been redirected and spent hours looking on the internet to no avail.

A little back story. I was traveling the alps and like the young inexperienced backpacker I was I neglected to look into how long I could stay in the Schengen myself and relied on words of other travelers. I thought as a Canadian it was 6 of 12 months, turns out it was 3 of 6. I was leaving Geneva airport when I was informed of this and given a Legal Right to be Heard in the Ordering of Expulsion and Entry Prohibition Measures. My reason being highlighted as " The maximum length of stay in the territory of the Schengen member states of three months within a period of 6 months was exceeded. Anyway the boarder patrol in the airport was really friendly and sent me on my way saying that they would send a letter to my address letting me know the fine I would have to pay to avoid a travel ban. On I went to the uk where I am still living on travel and now marriage visa's, called my mother informing her not to worry if there was a letter from swiss immigration and she informed me that they had removed that mailbox...

Anyways been just over 2 years and I'm wondering if I am likely to still be banned or if I can just head on over to Europe and get in? I am having zero luck finding answers or anyone who speaks english on the phone. Does anyone know any answers or been in a situation like this, or have a phone number?


2. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 499 posts) 44w Star this if you like it!

You don't say how long you overstayed in Schengen.

It is a pity (and rather surprising, to be honest) that you didn't investigate the Schengen stay allowance for Canadian visitors before your trip.. I don't think either 'youth' or 'lack of experience' is perceived by the authorities as a valid excuse. It will also appear to them that you either deliberately gave a false address or simply ignored the letter stating the fine (the reason why is irrelevant), especially as it seems you did not contact them as soon as you realised the address was not viable?

You won't find set answers online because sanctions are applied on a case-by-case basis (as they are at all borders). There is no overarching one rule of e.g. '10 days overstay = 1 year ban'. Exact circumstances are relevant, as is citizenship.

I think it is worth contacting the Swiss Embassy in both Canada and in the UK (you'll certainly get English-speakers if you phone up either). If they can't give you the exact answer they should be able to point you in the right direction.

If you phone the embassy you can expect to wait a while to be connected, and may have to phone more than once. That's just how it is. Contact details here:

And/or you could write a proper letter (i.e. snail mail) detailing all the relevant circumstances and enquiring about the length of your ban (and, of course, offering to pay the fine). Send a copy to each embassy: postal addresses are on their websites.

> I'm wondering if I am likely to still be banned or if I can just head on over to Europe and get in?

You could, of course, just make a guess.......e.g. 2 years from your date of exit, 5 years from then...and try your luck. But, personally, I don't think it's worth the risk of trying to enter Schengen just to find out whether you are banned and, if so, how long for. As you are a Canadian citizen it is possible that if you were denied entry you'd be deported to Canada rather than to the UK.

I think you'll have to be persistent to get an answer, and it will cost time and money, but imo it will be worthwhile. Good luck!

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2018, at 01:57 by leics2 ]