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The consequences of having an overstaying Schengen...

The consequences of having an overstaying Schengen Visa

Last month, a reader from the Philippines asked me what will happen to him if he overstays in Europe. I am from a country where people are dreaming to go to Europe but it is not so easy for us, I tell you. I might be one of the lucky ones who were able to live in Europe (legally) and I don’t understand why do other people think of doing this instead of going through the process. It still feels weird when readers ask advice on whether they should violate a certain country’s visa rules and I will never encourage my fellow Filipinos to take this path.

If you are granted a Schengen visa, you are entitled to travel 26 countries of Europe for 90 days. I know Europe is fun — my early adult days in Milan and Barcelona were one of the best days of my life! Believe me, I didn’t want to leave back then. Europe is a fcking world-class continent and who wouldn’t want to live there? Additionally, the Schengen zone has no internal borders and is often very relaxed. Therefore, overstaying can be really tempting. However, if you are not meant to stay there for more than 90 days, please, please, please, I beg you, most especially if you are from my country, do not ever think about overstaying.

 

Why?

When I lived in Milan, I met a lot of Filipinos (very good people) who are illegally staying in the country. Days were hard as they can’t move freely. Every time we walk the streets or take public transport, they always have to hide or avoid police men coming their way. Their activities are limited: you need a valid identification to process the major transactions of your everyday life (i.e. going in clubs). We had to eat in secluded areas to avoid the attention of the police. I love these people and I always have a high regard for the OFWs I met in Europe. I know they are doing this for their family and I have nothing but respect for them.

Related Article: 10 reasons why OFWs are global rockstars (published on Rappler Philippines)

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Policemen in Venice, Italy. I didn’t even know I have this picture! | Circa 2011.

 

The Consequences

Having an overstaying Schengen visa has a lot of consequences. Below are a few:

  • The Schengen visa has a centralised system. For example, you overstayed in Italy and left the country. Even if you apply to a different country after a year or so, they can trace your records and you will have 0 chances of coming back to Europe.
  • If you overstay in a country, this can lead you to pay a lot of fines and on top of that, it can be really expensive. A 20 day overstaying fine can already cost 700 euros (almost $800 USD).
  • The most severe punishment of all is entry ban which is usually issued for 2 years. You cannot go back to the Schengen region for 2 years and if the years have passed, you will have very low chances of being granted a visa. It does not mean you are banned in Europe for life but you can still try after the 2-year ban period have passed. If you are lucky, they will give you a visa and maybe this time, you can make things right.
  • Or worse, if you are caught, they will have to deport you. I’ve never been deported in my life but I know a lot of people who have and I tell you, deportation is not really pleasant. Having violated the rules, they have all the right to not treat you in a just way. I don’t want to see you not being treated right or being dragged to get out of their country!
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My life as a student in Paris, France | Circa 2012.

Then another question came up: how will I get caught if I am overstaying? Of course, at one point, you will be! My first week starting school in Italy, police men did a lot of ‘random’ checks on me, asking for my passport and legal documents. Imagine, I had to bring my acceptance letter from my University, birth certificate and passport when going to school every single day. I didn’t find that very comfortable but I am pretty sure they are just doing their job. So everyday, I showed them my documents (all of it) just to keep their mind at peace. The following week, they were the same policemen assigned in my daily route (Centrale Metro Station in Italy) and we became friends. They already know me from checking on me everyday for a week. Maybe they even know my birthday! Additionally, police can run a background check so don’t risk being pulled over if you are illegally staying in Europe. There is never a way out.

 

What can you do if you want to extend your stay?

Apply for a 30-day extension for your tourist visa. Most European countries allow extension up to 120 days without too much paperwork. Just make sure you have a valid reason and don’t lie about it. In the event that you found a job while traveling, I am pretty sure your employer will help you process the working visa but then you will have to go back to your home country to do this. If the employer really really really likes you (I mean 100%), they will do everything for you not to go back, especially if it’s a multi-national company.

 

Call to Action

Again, I am not tolerating this act, most especially if you are from my country. The Philippines is one of the countries that has a maximum difficulty in being approved to have a tourist visa because we are also one of those countries who have bad records of illegally staying in Europe.

Want to obtain a visa faster and easier? Do it the right way. I believe if 80% (at least) of Filipinos are law-abiding citizens, we will never have any difficulties of entering any country we want, not just in the Schengen area but in the whole world. That will be wishful thinking but it can happen, right? Wouldn’t it be nicer if we can freely stay in a country without worries and just enjoy our time being there? Let’s eradicate the negative reputation of Filipinos living abroad. Share this post to your friends and family and encourage them to take the right path.

Disclaimer: This post is based on life experiences and not in any way affiliated with any government organisation. Should you have additional questions, contact the nearest Embassy/Consulate in your area.


Want to know more about living in Europe or obtaining a Schengen Tourist Visa? E-mail me at trishavelarmino[at]gmail[dot]com. I might not be up to date with the current rules in Europe (it’s been years since I last went) but I will try my best to help you!

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Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. Trisha also loves extremely spicy food, pineapples, plants and symmetry. In no particular order, her favourite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Tel Aviv. Follow her life adventures on Instagram - @psimonmyway

  1. WeiLe Ng

    8 September

    I have always wonder about the visa and immigration rules in Europe, because they vary in different country. I especially like the section “what if you want to over stay”, at least there is still an option.

    • Trisha Velarmino

      10 September

      They can give you up to 90 days if you go through the proper visa extension process. Thanks for reading, Weile!

  2. Camila

    8 September

    Hey Trisha!

    That’s actually a very interesting post. People often ask me (being half French) how they can stay in Europe, it’s sooo complicated…
    One of the ways is to change countries, because each country has a different regulation… have a look at the UK, the Balkans, Croatia and then come back to the SHengen area 🙂

    Anyway, hope to read you soon!

    Cami

  3. Lexie

    8 September

    Very informative post Trisha 🙂

    I’ve heard about not overstaying your Schengen visa recently as I am staying in such countries very soon. I’m not sure if the consequences are more dire for Filipinos than for Canadians but either way I wouldn’t want to risk having that record on my file, especially with all my future travel plans!

    Cheers!

    • Trisha Velarmino

      10 September

      Lexie! Are you on a tourist visa in Europe? How’s your trip going? Maybe you should try teaching English in Europe! I have a new post about that. Let me know if you need any help! Xx

      • Nikkah

        13 October

        Hi Trisha. This article is so informative. Quick question. Is it possible to teach English while holding a tourist visa in Paris?

  4. Doreen Pendgracs

    8 September

    Interesting post, Trisha.

    I have never had a Visa, as I’ve never been out of Canada for an extended period of time.

    But I have a blogging friend who was kicked out of an Asian country b/c his Visa had expired and it caused him a lot of aggravation to get back into the country. Always best to follow the rules or you can be banned from a country, etc.

    • Trisha Velarmino

      9 September

      Thanks, Doreen! I think it’s really important to follow a certain country’s visa regulations and it doesn’t matter where you are from. Sticking to the rules is always the best policy!

  5. Kimberly Erin

    13 September

    very interesting. As a Canadian I think I am pretty lucky to have very little visa restrictions and I am not sure I really have the balls to overstay a trip, I guess a ban would be a nightmare for me, I would hate to not even have the opportunity

  6. Elaine J. Masters

    13 September

    I’m glad you’ve taken the time to detail some of the problems that come from over staying a visa. If you love to travel it’s a long game and having visa problems in one country could cause problems in another.

  7. Ashlee

    13 September

    Luckily Australians don’t need a visa if we are staying in the Schengen area for less than 90 days! I would not want to risk future travel plans by overstaying..but I understand why some people choose to do so.

  8. Erica

    13 September

    Yikes. I’m surprised there are even people willing to take the risk.

  9. Holly

    13 September

    Geez I wouldn’t want to be banned. I would just keep it moving and not outstay my welcome lol.

  10. Bobbi Gould

    13 September

    Wow I’m glad I follow by the rules MOST of the time so I’d never have to deal with this! Scary!

  11. Dawn Kealing

    14 September

    Unfortunately, I know a lot of people that travel to countries and overstay past their visa… I don’t understand how they are surprised when they pay large fines because of it. :/ I most definitely would never want to be in that situation.

  12. Vicky and Buddy

    14 September

    This is very good advice, because being deported and being banned are no fun. Here in Miami, there are a lot of people that stay illegally and they have it very rough. I understand that even the rough life style may be better than what they have in their home country, but still. I don’t think I could deal with the constant stress of being caught.

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