When you travel, always be mindful of the date you are allowed to stay. There are consequences when you visit the Schengen Area and go beyond your authorized period. Here is a list of what will happen if you overstay on your Schengen Visa.
Third-country nationals, like Filipinos, need to have a visa to enter most of the European countries. For tourists, we mostly apply for a Schengen Visa C or short-stay visa. It’s not the easiest process, as many documents are needed. Therefore, you need to be careful so that you’ll get approved every time you apply.
Remember, Schengen Visas are tricky. The maximum stay is 90 days for a 180 day period. You can also use this Calculator to see how long you can stay especially if you have a multiple entry visa.
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If you overstay your Schengen Visa, you might be fined. Penalties are different for each country. For Greece, the minimum penalty is EURO 500 (PHP 28,000) for a stay of less than 30 days. There is also a maximum fine of EURO 1200 (PHP 68,000), which is already a significant amount. For France, the penalty is EURO 3,750 for illegal stay.
Note that this may not include the additional expenses you may incur. Some people experienced being barred for investigation due to overstaying and got left by their flight. A ticket back to your home country or next destination is at your expense and not the immigration officers.
A member country may decide to ban you if you overstay in the Schengen Area. A ban may state which countries it applies for. This will be registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS), so it’s not going to be easy to get back.
For example, as per the Immigration and National Service of Netherlands, entry bans maybe like this:
- 1 year – overstay 3 to 90 days
- 2 years – stay of more than 90 days
- 3 years – with a prison sentence of fewer than 6 months.
- 5 years:
- A prison sentence of more than 6 months
- False or falsified documents or documents that do not apply to you.
- If you have previously been required to leave the Netherlands and you have not done this (return decision)
- During your entry ban, you enter or stay in the Netherlands while the entry ban applies.
- 10 years: issues of public order.
- 20 years: issues of public order and national security.
For France, there is a Ban of Maximum 3 years for illegal stay.
Criminal Prosecution and charges may give to you, especially those who intentionally stayed in the territory. Some countries don’t have criminal penalties, but some do. For Finland, you may be sentenced to violation of the Aliens Act. For France, illegal entry under Schengen Convention may have 1-year imprisonment, fine, or ban.
One consequence of overstaying in Europe and perhaps illegally staying and working is deportation to your home country. It will depend on your case and the country where you are caught when you will be deported. It may be immediately or after your trial. You may have trials if you not only overstayed but breached the rules of your visa (e.g., working with a tourist visa.)
Some countries may warn you to leave their country immediately. If you don’t comply, then you may be forcefully removed and returned to your home country at your expense. Don’t do this as it will be traumatic.
Future Visa Denial
One reason for getting a Schengen Visa Denial is overstaying. They can check their system and see you have failed in respecting the limitations of the Schengen Visa. No one wants a rule-breaker, and having you back may cost them money, so rejection is probable.
Tips in Avoiding to Overstay your Schengen Visa
- Understand the 90/180 rule of the Schengen Area
- Use this short-stay visa calculator by the EU to compute how many days have passed
- Keep your passport with you, plane or train tickets for proof of travel in and out of the Schengen Zone
Many bad things can happen if you overstay your Schengen Visa. It may cost you money, get you banned, or, worse, get you deported. Schengen Visas are one of the hardest to apply and the strictest, so you better take care of it and follow the rules. Doing so may eventually earn you a 5-year multiple entry visa!
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