Consequences of Overstaying Schengen Visa? How to Save yourself from Ban?

I am from the US and I overstayed my 3 month Schengen visa by about six months because I fell in love. Sadly that all ended, and now I am planning on leaving the Schengen zone next week taking a train from Budapest to Belgrade. Is anyone familiar with this border crossing? I’m scared I’ll get deported or get an illegal immigrant stamp in my passport.
I have a lot of stamps in my passport and my entry stamp is barely legible. Does anyone have experience with Hungary? If I show my ticket back to the US from Serbia they probably won’t deport me right?

Question Geography | Location: Schengen Area
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Europe 20 Answers 3492 views 1

Answers ( 20 )

    2

    RELAX. I know quite a few people who overstayed and literally NOTHING happened. Cross the border, don’t say a word and you’ll be ok. Certain countries are much stricter than others. Don’t fly out of Germany/Switzerland/Austria area.

    France, Spain, Portugal, etc should be fine.

    • Armando Cronin
      0

      Northern and Central Europe have issues with flying on an overstayed visa. I always fly home from Portugal or Spain when I overstay. Portugal is more relaxed about it then Spain – just tell them you will miss the fish and they just stamp you through. I spent over a year and a half in Europe on no visa with no issues until Hungary / Serbia boarder.

      • Zola Wintheiser
        0

        I overstayed my visa in France by a month and literally, nothing happened. the officer at Paris CDG looked at me, smiled and said “bon voyage”…

        • Jeff Jaskolski
          0

          I’ve overstayed in Europe and had nothing happen. Depends on which country you are from. If a tourist from Africa or Asia were to overstay in Europe I’m sure the consequences would be more severe, but the OP is from America.

    1

    Hey, you might be familiar that the Hungarian-Serbian border is one of the hotspots of the Schengen zone since the refugee crisis started. I don’t quite understand the question – you are leaving the Schengen zone, I mean getting out is easy, they might fine you, because that’s the punishment, and yes, they might take action (ban you for a time to re-enter, since you didn’t respect the visa laws the first time), coming back like that would be almost impossible. The tourist visa is for all the zone itself, the laws are European union laws, maybe can depend on the soft heart of a policeman but 99% unlikely.

    • Cesar Schneider
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      Sorry, but the law for staying without a Visa inside Schengen is not the same and varies from country to country.

      • Ana Padberg
        0

        OH sorry, I thought if you overstayed your EU visa it would mean the same consequences in every EU country, since the visa itself, and later fine/ban that you get is valid for the whole European Union area?…. ???? I am not trying to argue with you, that was just my logic, and what advised to friends (besides advising to talk to their embassy of course).

        • Alexys Zboncak
          0

          Each country is allowed to cover their own deportation laws and fines. Every country has the right for the three-year ban and the black stamp but the fines are different and the deportation process is different.

          • Dawson Prosacco
            0

            I went into Schengen from Serbia last year and the border agent just looked at my passport, asked me what my plans were and when I told him I was going back to Poland after a short stop in Budapest he just stamped my passport.

            I genuinely had more problems getting into Romania than into Schengen ???? but I guess it all depends on the individual border agent that you get.

    1

    I had the same exact problem. Do not take the train. please just hitchhike it. Hungary is the only country in Europe that had an issue with me not having a visa. I was threatened a black stamp and was told I was not allowed back into the Schengen when I left to Serbia.

    They, however, did not give me a black stamp as I played the dumb American and told them I thought I had three months in every country. I was just warned not to come back. When I entered Greece no one gave a sh*t. On my way back via Romania / Hungary border no one gave a sh*t. Seriously be careful at that border. I nearly got a black stamp and was incredibly lucky that I did not. Do not f*ck with Hungarian police or border patrol they are no joke. This was before the current refugee crisis in Hungary.

    Actually, if I were you and wanted to go to Serbia. I would cross the Hungary Romanian border at Arad. It’s a super easy hitchhike to and then go into Serbia from there. The mining towns in northeast Serbia are super crazy and the people are truly amazing.

    It took me two days to go from Budapest to Belgrade – I got to Belgrade at around 11 the next day. And I started late, got stuck in the rain, and even had the border issues. In case of the worst scenario, in Arad take a bus to Nes in Serbia then the train up to Belgrade.

    • Anibal Balistreri
      0

      You think the border control will be less suspicious if I am hitchhiking?

      • Evalyn Lang
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        If you get a ban in Schengen, you get a ban in Romania as they are part of the EU. I would not risk it. Just an EU border is enough. Go for the Hungary- Serbia one.

        • Alexys Zboncak
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          My point is that you won’t have an issue getting checked from hungry into Romania because you aren’t leaving the zone. Romania is more relaxed with visas at their land border so it’s better to leave the zone from Romania then hungry.

          • Anibal Balistreri
            0

            But Romania hasn’t joined the Schengen yet although they are legally obliged to join. Or does them both being part of the EU make things more relaxed?

            • Evalyn Lang
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              Yes, you will. Even I as a Romanian citizen have to show ID or passport when passing through from Romania to Hungary. And Romania is not in Schengen, only in the EU.

              • Alexys Zboncak
                0

                I thought that I was added to the Schengen already – wasn’t it suppose to get added right after Croatia?

                • Anibal Balistreri
                  0

                  Croatia hasn’t been added yet either because of the migrant crisis.

                  • Evalyn Lang
                    0

                    It was a political thing, Constanta in Romania would steal a lot of marine traffic from Rotterdam, so the Netherlands vetoed the Schengen vote on security issues. Not sure if you will have issues going on the plane from Barcelona to Budapest as the crew checks the passports. But try to stay as low as possible until you get out. Also, the Hungarians will make your life hard at the border.

    0

    I have two friends, one of them is a US citizen who overstayed Schengen days in Serbia and left through Romanian border without any problem. I am not sure about Hungarian, might be a bit more strict but I don’t think you would have problems.

    2

    I have overstayed my welcome in Europe twice. I know of a special permit you could have gotten, I think, for extending it to visit a partner, but it’s too late for that. In case it helps, I’ll explain what I went through: the first time I with a two month overstay, I was told that I would need to only pay a 300 euro fine and go on my way (some people can get detained and get a multiple year ban!) but I ended up not even having to do that much, as the customs office took pity on me.

    The infraction did stay on my passport even though it doesn’t stay on a centralized European information system. So the next time, the for a 6-month overstay, I reported my old passport as stolen and got a new one at my embassy, which of course didn’t have the dated entry stamp. That exit went down super smooth, no questions asked. Maybe you can use that trick!

    Best answer
    0

    The Serbians are very strict at their borders with any country and now with Hungary – even more. I wouldn’t try to cheat them in any way for sure. Good luck!

    • Anibal Balistreri
      0

      I wouldn’t be illegal in Serbia just in Hungary.

      • Lura Batz
        0

        I don’t think Serbian are strict. It’s mostly about the mood of the border officer on that day 😀 It’s a matter of luck. But mostly they don’t really bother checking too much.

        • Andrzej Witkowski
          0

          Really? I’ve had completely the opposite impression…on multiple occasions. Even when hiking in mountains at the border but technically not in Serbia. And now with the situation in Hungary, I’d imagine it’d be strict.

    0

    I know a friend of mine (American) overstayed for like 3 months and left from Western Europe, he was just earned but not fined nor banned from coming back.

    I guess he was just a lucky guy, hopefully, you are one too and won’t get too much of a hassle 😉

    0

    I’ve had Hungarian border control ask me, at the car border crossing from Hungary to Serbia, how long I had been in Hungary after they examined my passport. It was because I forgot to give them my residence permit, which showed I could stay for longer than 3 months.

    1

    I don’t in any way encourage this, but I knew a few American friends who, back a few years ago, overstayed their Schengen tourist visas while in the Czech Republic. They decided to “lose” their passports, and get new ones at the US Embassy in Prague. It apparently worked, though I’m pretty sure you’d have to file an official police report of it being lost/stolen, then you’d have to wait for a new one to be issued. Wouldn’t recommend it, but it may be possible depending on your timeline.

    Also of note, naturally the US State Department keeps track of how many times you’ve lost their legal property, and if it happens more than once, you’ll be subject to some pretty strict scrutiny. (Or so I’m told, I have no experience whatsoever with this.)

    • Felix Bernhard
      0

      But if you go to your embassy to ask for a new passport, don’t they check if you have a legal status to stay in this country?

      • Florian Gheorghita
        0

        Nope, that’s not the concern of your embassy. But, of course, your passport barcode will change with the new issuance. I’m sure, as with everything, that it depends. On the country’s border checkpoint tech, how much information they track on travelers, etc.

        Like I said, I absolutely wouldn’t risk it, but then (not attempting to pass judgment in any way; I mean, you do you 🙂 ), I probably would absolutely avoid this situation if at all possible in the first place. It can be beneficial to understand immigration policies when you travel.

    1

    Don’t take the train. They literally stop it at the border and do a check with everyone. Hitchhike in areas that are less traveled, preferably cross the border at some small villages. If you play it dumb they won’t eve bother. Be polite and don’t upset them, they are quite strict if you are rude.

    1

    No problem, did that already same train route, you are leaving the area so you shouldn’t have any problem.

    • Anibal Balistreri
      0

      but did you overstay?

      • Ethan Walsh
        0

        Yep, I was 5 months over the limit. Took the night train from Budapest to Belgrade. Officer took everyone’s papers, some 15 min of fear went by but all good in the end.

        • Anibal Balistreri
          0

          This makes me hopeful because I wanted to take the night train as well.

    0

    Overstaying Schengen visa can be very expensive. One traveler is known to have been fined 700 EUR by the Greece embassy after 20 days of overstaying Schengen visa. He had two options, either to pay a 700 EUR fine to the embassy or not to pay the 700 EUR fine but then not be allowed to get back to Greece and the whole Schengen zone for 5 years.

    0

    I had a friend who walked the border from Medyka, Poland to Ukraine about four or five times and also overstayed. They weren’t too strict at that particular border about three/four years ago. Could “losing” your passport help?

    1

    Deportation might not happen. It is a huge possibility/risk, but it might not happen all the time. If you leave, to wherever, then it is a chance that you will get fine and ban, but they will not send you back to the USA.

    I think the Hungarian border is now, latley, “thanks” to all the refugees situation is way tougher, than it was before, but as you are LEAVING not entering, then I dont think (but I dont know, its just a thought, not a fact) that they will start bothering with deportation- you are leaving, not their bussiness anymore.

    Although you might get a ban still, but not deportation.

    0

    The rule for overstay in the Schengen area should not be the same rule in every Schengen country so you should check where the rule are the softest and go there for crossing the Schengen area.

    0

    Hungarian / Serbian border can be pretty crowded in summer and the border patrol is stricter than ever due to the crisis. My recommendation – don’t take the bus nor the train, hitchhike and go through a smaller crossing (important!). Do not be rude, do not explain your reasons – just play dumb, be respectful and in the worse case scenario play desperate, they’ll loosen up. The “dumb American” stereotype is pretty strong, so it might work.

    0

    I am from Serbia. I wouldn’t suggest going through our border. They are very strict because of the refugees, seriously. You should be fine with Spain and Greece, however. Also, I think it is much better to go through the border ON FOOT if possible.

    My bf and I left through that Hungarian border a few months ago on foot and it was literally the shortest check-up ever. Like less than a minute, really. They opened our passports and stamped them and that is it. But, we looked very “backpackery”, happy and innocent hahaha 🙂 Just try looking relaxed and confident and wear the right clothes – bright and sporty.

    2

    And I am from Hungary, recommend the same. If no other option, try one of the smallest border stations like Tompa but avoid Roszke which is the main one.

    • Clair Hermiston
      0

      Not if your an American, I did just show them your American passport and they won’t stop you I overstayed doing the same and never had any trouble.

    0

    I’ve done this before. I’m not proud of it but I overstayed by 5 months and left from Geneva, Switzerland. No one batted an eye.

    0

    I second losing your passport. You can then claim you’d crossed into Ukraine several times with stamps via bus or train crossing and spent several months working or traveling in Lviv or something. They can not prove you have been in or out of Schengen the entire time without the passport. You can only “lose” your US passport 2 times before you are in trouble.

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