Schengen Visa Overstay
Published 12 years ago, updated 4 years ago
Email Received 12 December 2008
We were also worried about the Schengen Visa. We sailed the summer season in 2008, on the final leg of our circumnavigation, from Turkey to France where we crossed our path and stayed yet another month to prepare our catamaran, Pacific Bliss, for sale.
We entered Greece 6/6/08 and flew out of France via Barcelona, to Zurich, and back to Los Angeles on 26/9/08.
We were concerned about our overstay of several weeks, however, no-one ever looked at our VISA stamp and calculated the number of days we were in the Schengen Treaty countries. During our exit, the immigration and airlines were only checking for valid passports.
SV Pacific Bliss
Thank you for letting us know of your experience and we are very pleased that you encountered no problems when over-staying your visa. That could have been an uncomfortable end to your circumnavigation.
As I am sure you appreciate, we have to state the official policy on noonsite and it is a wise sailor who at least knows the rules, even if they are not always applied rigorously. We have heard of some instances in Australia where cruisers have come seriously (and expensively) unstuck by not following the correct procedures.
Comment received from Tony
Whether they stamp your passport or not, a red flag would have shown besides your name in the sis2 computer because of an overstay. It could be a serious problem for you in the future to come back to a Schengen country again.
Comment received November 3, 2010, from Frank Balmer, SV Freewind
Don’t be so sure you will not be caught on a Schengen overstay. Upon leaving our boat in Spain my wife and I flew home on separate airlines. She flew through Frankfurt and was questioned about how long she had been in Europe. The immigration officer got frustrated going through her passport and passed her through.
I went through Switzerland and was not so lucky. When the officer could not find the right stamp I was escorted to the immigration office and notified that I had illegally overstayed the allotted 90 days. Papers were filled out that will be sent to the courts for the determination of the situation. From the demeanour of the officials I don’t feel that I will be fined but who knows.
I do know that I will not be allowed to re-enter for at least 90 days. I was one of the dozens that had been stopped for questioning.
There is no Schengen-wide database of entries and exits. They ensure that you haven’t overstayed by looking at the stamps in your passport. Not ideal – so it is particularly important that your movements in and out of the Schengen Area Countries are recorded (i.e. with a passport stamp). Always make sure to get stamped when entering and exiting Schengen. You may well have to push for this as many border officers can’t be bothered.
I travel in and out of EU airports every few weeks with a US passport. Does anyone know what would trigger a day-count of the 90-day limit? Do the immigration computers in different EU countries talk to each other and keep track of my total days, or would it require an officer deciding to inspect my passport stamps?
04 December 2013
We are in Ocean Village Marina in Southampton southern UK in the Solent – great place for us – lots to see and do if we had more time – because of Schengen, we have to move somewhere by Dec 31. Today’s opinion is St Malo, France – easy to get to, sort of – stay 90 days – move to the Channel Islands for 90 days and back to UK. 6 months in one year rule in the UK – not a Schengen country.