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US citizen staying in Italy over 6 months

Travel Forums Europe US citizen staying in Italy over 6 months

1. Posted by umcanes1 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I have been to Europe 13 or so times since 2004. But never over the 90 days/3 month time period. This time I for sure will. I don't want to get in trouble at customs in the states or in Italy when I decide to leave, even for a quick trip home OR a quick trip to another EU country to see friends. I have heard the ole "get your passport stamped every 3 months" story, but not sure if it's true.
Every time I go through customs in Europe, they open my passport and stamp it and I move on, never a hassle. US customs is more thorough. I just dont want to come home to see family one day and then can't get back to Italy.

I am sure I will get plenty of feedback and advice and I would really love to hear back from other US citizens who have done what I am about to. I will be working at a hostel, getting paid under the table.

I would appreciate ANY and ALL advice!



2. Posted by JoyC (Full Member 99 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

There's really no way around the 90 day limit. You have to leave for a certain period of time - I think it's 90 days, so it's not just leave really quickly then come back. If you overstay your tourist visa (90 days) you can be banned for life from the Schengen countries, which is more or less the EU. Check with the Italian embassy in the U.S. If you qualify for a longer stay visa, they're the ones you'll need to get it from. DO NOT mess around with their visa requirements!

3. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

The rule is really simple: on a tourist visa (a waiver as for US citizens counts as a tourist visa), you can stay in the Schengen territory for maximally 90 days in a 180-day period.

Overstaying is always found out, because you are registered as you enter, and checked out as you leave. Since the register (SIS) is Europe-wide, there are no leaks in this system. When you overstay, you're registered as a visa offender, which will lead to being refused the next time you try to enter Schengen. In addition, you may be fined. When caught in a place like Italy, where illegal presence as of recently is treated as a criminal offense, you may be reported to the US authorities. Life's much more difficult with a rep sheet.

There is a much easier way: get yourself a non-tourism visa, one that entitles you to a stay longer than 90 days. I don't know your situation, but for US citizens, it is generally not too hard to be admitted into Europe for reasons of studying, au pair, retirement... especially if you are of italian descent, there should be some options. The italian consulate can surely inform you.

4. Posted by renatolaza (Budding Member 23 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

When I entered Schengen in Paris they barely looked at my passport, and from there I caught a flight to Malpensa Italy and they didnt check passports when boarding, and didnt check passports getting out of the airport either
but on my way from Malpensa to Amsterdam they were checking every passport and carta didentita at the boarding gates
and of course in Amsterdam when leaving Schengen
even from little Italian old ladies everyone so
you take your chances even when travelling within Schengen
sometimes they check sometimes they dont I guess

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I will be working at a hostel, getting paid under the table.

I would appreciate ANY and ALL advice!

What you plan to do is illegal and can get you into serious trouble. Jail and deportation and a permanent ban on entering the EU and Italy are the possible consequences.

If you want to work or stay for longer I recommend that you

1) get a non-tourist visa from the Italian consulate nearest to you, see for options.

2) work as a volunteer with - this is one way of working legally in Italy.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Sep-2009, at 15:00 by t_maia ]