The Truth About Schengen Information System (SIS)

The Schengen Information System (SIS) does not track tourist entrance and exit stamps, despite popular belief. Let me break it down.

The SIS was put into place to preserve security within the Schengen Zone (and now there is a more powerful SIS II). This means authorities such as police and border guards, can enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and objects.

Data Managed by Schengen Information System (SIS)

The system was founded for the following descriptions of people:

  • Requested for extradition
  • Undesirable in the territory of a participating State
  • Minor in age, mentally ill patients, and missing persons or those in need of protection
  • Requested by a judicial authority, such as witnesses, those summoned to appear for notification of judgment and absconders
  • Suspected of taking part in serious offenses and those subject to other checks

The remainder of the database is populated with alerts relating to:

  • Lost, stolen, or misappropriated: firearms, identity documents (blank or containing personal identity information), motor vehicles, and misappropriated banknotes

What about tourists and overstaying visas?

If you are coming to Europe and not looking to commit a crime, the SIS is not something you have to worry about. You do, however, need to pay attention to when you entered Schengen and when you exit (calculate your days with my Schengen Visa Calculator). As a tourist, you are allowed 90 days in Schengen zone twice a year (not back to back…it’s 90 days in an 180 period.)

The SIS does not record traveler’s entries and exits from the Schengen Zone. In fact, there is no centralized database tracking entries/exits for all the Schengen member states. Seems weird, right? The SIS is only focusing on illegal activities such as stated above.

Does anyone track my Schengen stamps?

Yes! If you have a visa, you will probably enter through the Visa Information System (aka VIS), and border control guards that are good at their jobs will be on the lookout! While the SIS does not give off a large BEEP if you have overstayed, there are 11 of the most popular countries in Europe that might sound the alarm if you overstayed in their country. Those countries are Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Romania. They all have national databases which record traveler entries/exits…

…although the data is still not shared between all these countries.

How to Escape a Schengen Overstay

Once you enter Schengen, you only get 1 stamp and can travel freely without seeing another border guard. While it is illegal to overstay any visa, there are ways to slide by if you have made the mistake. If you have entered say Greece (who records entries/exits) and then leave from Italy; Italian border guards will not get a flag in their system because you did not register in Italy – you entered in Greece. See where I am going?

You can still get caught, of course, by the border guard who is looking for your entrance stamp and wants to do the math.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and not accountable for your actions – just a person with an opinion stating the facts about Schengen law and imaginary situations. Overstaying a visa is illegal with strict consequences, and you should consider your actions at your own risk. If you are concerned about legal issues, please contact your embassy/consulate, or an immigration lawyer.




  1. diego | 18th Feb 18

    Hi Lindsay, I´m a cruise ship crew member from South America. At the end of my last contract, I decided to stay in Europe with my girlfriend (european), refuse the flight ticket from the company to go back to my country, and spend my vacations at my girlfriend´s. As the Visa Schengen for my country is not mandatory, I used only with the entrance stamp on my passport to stay. We made voluntarily a sort of “declaration of presence” at the police station , seen that I was not staying in a hotel, to be clear of where I was going to be all the time, just in case. Before running out my 90 days or permanence, I bought a flight ticket back to my country and here I am. Now that I want to go back to see her, my agency says that there is some problem with my immigration issues, that I might not be admited into the Schengen territory. I wonder why! I informed the police, I talked with my company and I didn´t overstay. Do you have any clue? Thanks in advance.

    • Lindsey | 18th Feb 18

      Hey Diego, thank for sharing your story! You didn’t mention what country you are from that would allow you the visa waiver into Schengen? If your country of residence does allow you to stay 90 days without having to apply at a consulate or online, I’m not sure why your agency would think there was a problem, or where they would even look to discover this. You can also use my Schengen calculator to make sure you 100% did not overstay:“>

  2. Ari | 17th Feb 18

    Hi Lindsey,
    I’ve found your blog to be really helpful, but I am still unsure of what to do in my situation. I am a young American citizen and have been staying in Spain on Schengen visas since last March. I stayed my 90 days, from March to May 2017, then went back to the states for 90 days. I came back Spain at the first of September 2017 on a new Schengen visa, and have been here since. I had arranged most of my work visa papers over the summer while I was in the US, but came across so many issues and delays in the process as I was going through it relatively blindly on my own, and was unable to apply over the summer. I planned to go back to the states to apply in November, but several of my documents were lost during that time, and I would have had to go through the painstaking, time consuming and very expensive process of gathering them in the US all over again. I met someone and fell totally in love with them here in Spain, and that’s the main reason why I have chosen to stay over my travel visa here. We have discussed marriage to possibly allow me to stay in the EU legally, but he is an Icelandic citizen living in Spain, so our marriage would not grant me EU citizenship or legal residence status, to my understanding.
    I have been back in Spain since September, so I am now about 2 1/2 months over my 90 day visa. I have applied to universities in The Netherlands for this coming fall, with the hopes of being able to study and stay legally as a student with a valid residence permit, which the university will arrange. My partner has been planning to move to Berlin for some time, and we have decided to go together, and spend the summer there until I (hopefully) begin university in the Netherlands in the fall.
    I was hoping that I could get out of the Schengen zone before we go to Germany, and come back in and “reset” my travel visa status, until I get my legal residence permit from university in the fall. I am nervous that if I don’t somehow manage to get out and back in and overstay through the summer, it could interfere with getting that legal student residence permit/status in the Netherlands. Are you aware of this happening to anyone? What should I do? I am aware that it is best to fly out of a different country than the one I came in through, which was Spain; would Italy be okay? Also, I was thinking I could try to fly to the UK and back, but I have read that UK immigration is a bit strict, and this may be risky. I need to avoid getting banned at all costs in order to stay with my partner! Is there somewhere else I should try to fly to and then back into Spain? Should I fly back to the US and then try to come back into Spain? Do I need to come back in through another country like Italy or France, since Spain is the country I’ve overstayed in? Please help!
    Thank you so so much for your time and effort in advance, all the best. x

    • Lindsey | 18th Feb 18

      Hey Ari, if he is from Iceland, you just need to get a cohabitation visa and move to Iceland with him. That is the only way for you two to be together and for you to permanently legally stay, work and set up a life in Europe. Simple! This visa would not grant you the right to stay in any other European country, though. Also, there is no “resetting” of the visa unless you stay out of Schengen for a full 90 days. I am definitely aware of Americans getting caught overstaying, paying a fine, or being banned from re-entering for a couple years. I recommend biting the bullet, and flying back to the US and stay for 90 days before returning to Schengen countries. Or, fly to UK, and stay there for 90 days. I did that 10 years ago despite being in my relationship, and guess what…90 days apart from him back then and getting proper paperwork doesn’t mean anything today (as we have been together now for 10 years 😀 and legally living in Sweden) I know it sounds tough, but rules are rules, and you need to abide by and respect the rules of other countries (especially if you want to have a future visa in them!!). Also, try leaving from a Schengen country you haven’t spent much time in (like Italy). If you have more questions, you can definitely email me on my Contact page

  3. Launischer | 17th Feb 18

    Hi Lindsey! I love your blog and would like it to thank you for all of the useful information you provide! I’m an American who has been studying in France for a year and a half. The first year, I entered on a student visa. When it finished I went home and received some misinformation from the consulate about renewing it for the second year of my studies. I was told I needed to apply for renewal in France so I entered France this time on a regular tourist visa and began my semester. After many of appointments and waiting for responses from the consulate here in France, I have recently leaned that they will not renew my visa and that I need to go back to the US and restart the process. The problem is, of course, now I am 2 months past the 90 day Schengen limit. My question to you is what can I expect to happen at the airport with border officials and should I plan to receive a fine? Should I plan to arrive well in advance to avoid missing my flight due to questioning?

    The consulate here has been particularly insufficient and I’ve had a really hard time dealing with them.

    Thanks for your time!

    • Lindsey | 17th Feb 18

      Bonjour! Sorry to hear about your situation. I can imagine what a let down it feels like with the misinformation by the official consulate. Do you have it in writing (emails?) that the consulate told you about renewing in France? Or paperwork giving you proof of appointments and emails from the consulate while in France? Anything that proves this, can be shown to the border guards if stopped to plead your case on why you overstayed. You might be stopped by border guards, and honestly, they might not even think twice about it and you pass through unscathed. It is based on luck. But you do need to leave as soon as you can, unfortunately, to not wait it out any longer. Best of luck to you and your travels!

  4. Roxane Mitchell | 29th Jan 18

    My situation is a little different. My american husband is on deployement so I took my children to stay with her in France for a while making the 7 months deployement a little more bearable.. i then decided to stay longer (my mom is going through cancer treatment and i didn’t have the heart to leave). My plane ticket is booked for March (7 month after my entry in France) and my kids only have their american passeport to travel with. How much trouble will we be in when showing up in Nice? I am obviously fine since I’m traveling with à European passeport along with a green card but the kids are not..
    Thank you in advance for you insight

    • Lindsey | 29th Jan 18

      Hi Roxane, sending lots of good vibes to your mom. Unfortunately, there is not much information floating about for kids overstaying visas with their EU parents. Are your kids under the age of 18? If yes, then I think they won’t get in trouble, but you might get a stern talking to since you are the guardian. I suggest calling the American embassy anonymously in France to ask. Best of luck!

  5. Louisa | 26th Jan 18

    Hi Lindsey, thanks for your reply again.
    We are not thinking of going to the U.K. ( my country) we are thinking about going to a different country in the Schengen zone.

  6. Louisa | 26th Jan 18

    Hi Lindsey,
    But we can go together for a holiday for up to 3 months in an EU country can’t we if he travels with me?

    • Lindsey | 26th Jan 18

      Not necessarily. They might give him limited days ie: He can stay 35 days between the issue date and the expiry date. So when he applies, he will need to have concrete plans of where he is going, staying, and how long his trip will be. The UK is not in Schengen, so it is different rules even if he is accompanied by an EU citizen.

  7. Louisa | 24th Jan 18

    Hi Lindsey,
    Thanks for your reply,
    Sorry I think you may have misunderstood me but my husband is currently in Iraq and I am in the U.K. and we are going to apply for the Schengen EU visa for him from Iraq to go to a different country with me not the U.K. then I would be exercising my free movement if that makes sense?

    • Lindsey | 25th Jan 18

      Hey Louisa, I understood your situation. You as a UK citizen can move freely, but him as your spouse cannot. If you are looking to move to another EU country to live/work, you need to first register yourself, then invite him for that specific country. This won’t be an issue to get the visa due to his asylum rejection in UK. ☺️

  8. Louisa | 24th Jan 18

    Hi Lindsey.
    I am a U.K. citizen and my husband is from Iraq.
    We have a U.K. marriage certificate as he was in the U.K. until he was refused asylum and removed a few years ago.
    We are now going to apply for a Eu spouse for him so we can travel to a different country for a while.
    Do you think the application is likely to succeed? Is there any reason why it shouldn’t.
    He has never applied for a visa before.

    • Lindsey | 24th Jan 18

      Hey Louisa! I think you should be fine when applying for a UK spousal visa – it is different than the asylum. However, he will need to obtain a Schengen Visa if you decide to travel to a different country outside of UK.

  9. Roxas | 14th Jan 18

    Hello, thanks for this information!
    So, of course I’m commenting because I’ve overstayed my visa. I’m from the U.S., and I’m in Spain, but in a small town at the very end, where Africa (Morocco) lines the horizon.

    Word on the street was, many people (of any nationality) overstay here in this town just by hopping over to Tangiers, on a 1-hr ferry, every 3 months, and Spanish border control doesn’t bat an eye. Well, my problem is, I was short on funds at the end of my last 90 day period; by now I’ve overstayed by about 5 months, and I still don’t have enough money to go back to the U.S. I have barely enough money for groceries at the moment. I can’t get financial help from home. Emailing embassies here has led nowhere.

    I don’t know what to do: risk it and attempt another run to Tangiers in February when I have more money, thereby at least giving me another 3 months in my passport…or fly out of nearby Gibraltar (U.K. territory) — but I don’t know where I’d go after that. Possibly the U.S. I suppose, or maybe just somewhere nearby in Africa? I don’t know. All that assumes I even have the money for a plane ticket any time soon!

    • Lindsey | 15th Jan 18

      Hey! Spain is beautiful ☺️ However, people gave you very bad advice. Due to the Schengen Treaty, these “visa runs” do not exist. Since you can only be in all of Schengen 90 days in a rolling 180 day period, your friends should have said: “you need to hop over the border & not come back for 90 days.” If you do not have money to survive in Spain, you should also think the same thing for your next destination…since working is illegal on a tourist visa everywhere, you 100% need to go home where you can legally gather cash. The US can lend temporary financial assistance abroad. Please see info here:

  10. | 12th Jan 18

    Hello Lindsey,
    thanks for your prompt reply.
    My nationality is morocan. Do you have any idea about the fine fees pls.
    how about if i dont have the fine amount will it still be problem to exit.
    Thank you
    Have great evening

    • Lindsey | 14th Jan 18

      Hello Nayoumi! Morocco is beautiful! Can’t wait to go back. As for overstaying in Schengen, the fee can run up to 1500 euro and they can also place a ban on re-entry, or deny future visa applications. Best of luck!

  11. | 12th Jan 18

    Hello Lindsey,

    i would like too take this opportunity to wish all the best for 2018. may this season bring you health, wealth, happiness & prosperity.

    i am actually in Belgium and over stayed for 8 months, i joined my fiancee to get married but once here the municipality said that he must be working to get married, unfortunately he could find job for the 3 years.

    can you pls advice any solution please. i am thinking to leave the country but i am afraid to exit in case they arrest me at the airport.

    looking forward to hear from you.

    • Lindsey | 12th Jan 18

      Hello! Thanks for writing in, and happy 2018 to you! First of all, you won’t get arrested. I am not sure your citizenship, but they will either stop you and speak with you over the matter and give you a fine, or they won’t say anything. The problem when they don’t say anything is you could still have a problem in the future for trying to get another visa. They could deny it. My suggestion is to leave and take your chances and get married in your home country with your fiancee. Then he will be able to invite you as his spouse.

  12. Mohsin | 17th Dec 17

    Hello , I’m a poor young guy from Pakistan , I need help with Schengen Visa

    • Lindsey | 17th Dec 17

      Hey Mohsin, Schengen visas are about €60, however, you do need to have enough financial funds to be able to visit Europe for touristic purposes. I suggest contacting the embassy in Pakistan of whatever country you’d like to visit, and speak with an agent. Best of luck!

  13. Asim | 8th Dec 17

    Hi, I went to Portugal through Germany from London on December’2014. From the beginning I was in Portugal, got a job, provided taxes to Portuguese government. Finally, I had completed my finger prints on November’2015 against my job Contract. But, it was delayed to deliver the residence card. In November’2016 my father was getting very sick and therefore I’ve to leave immediately without my residence card. I paid my taxes continuously before my leave. Now I again want to go back to Portugal with Schengen Visa. Does it possible without having any trouble??

    • Lindsey | 8th Dec 17

      Yes, you definitely might have trouble obtaining permission to enter back into Schengen or Portugal. You entered Schengen through Germany…so if you enter again through a country that is not Portugal, it looks like you completely overstayed your Schengen visa by a couple years. Depending on if you need to apply for a Schengen visa or not, it could get denied. However, you can appeal with all the paperwork proving that you were in the process of receiving a residence permit (type D). I suggest calling the Portuguese embassy in your country to ask what happens if you leave Portugal when you have a pending permit, and how to re-enter. In the future, you might have to enter directly from a non-Schengen to Portugal with a residence permit already approved.

  14. Shiva | 6th Dec 17

    hello Lindsey,
    how long will the data of person remain in schengen information system? and will the sis play a role in getting a visa?

    • Lindsey | 6th Dec 17

      The information of a person stays in the SIS a bit more than 10 years. If you are on the SIS list, it is most likely you will be denied a visa depending on the circumstances for why you are listed in the SIS.

  15. | 3rd Dec 17

    hello lindsey,

    have a good day! i’m a tourist schengen visa and already xpired for almost 3 years. it is possible to go back to my home country? what will be happen. please me what to do.

    more power to you!

    • Lindsey | 5th Dec 17

      Hello! Thanks for telling your story. Wow, 3 years? Of course you can go back to your home country, the question is can you get back into Schengen! The agents will either stop you at the border and give you a fine to pay on the spot. Or, if they do not stop you, when you reapply for another Schengen visa (if you are from a non-waiver country), you will be denied a new visa.

  16. Chai | 2nd Dec 17

    Hi, what an informative blog! Curious how you know so much about the SIS.

    I have overstayed my tourist visa in Germany with our sons and have effectively killed our family sabbatical. I had been trying to apply for temporary residency, but due to many factors, bad info from the govt office workers (I was told there was a grace period) and unavailable appointments, life, the time expired before I was able to book a our temp residency permit. I have a request in to an immigration lawyer, and will try to contact the US Embassy, but my gut tells me we will have to leave.
    My husband entered later and is still valid here. Need to see if he can keep the boys here in school, or if they too need to leave. When one or all of us leave S hould we take a train or drive out of Germany to a direct flight home? Or, if flying back out of Berlin – would we raise the odds of fines and blacklisting.
    Thank you for any insight on process!

    • Lindsey | 5th Dec 17

      Hello! I have a lot of research, stories from people like you, and some first hand experience. 😅 This is a tricky situation because it seems you had tried to live there on a tourist visa before getting permission. So I believe you will have to leave. I suggest heading out from another Schengen country other than the one you entered on, however, I believe Germany might still have their border checks everywhere because of the refugee crisis. So you might get stopped either way. But honestly, depending on how long you overstayed, they might not look twice since you’re a family from the US. You can always tell your story as well and say that you were given false information from official sources. They might let you go without a fine. But they won’t ban you or anything for this.

  17. Lynx | 20th Nov 17

    I’m Swedish and he’s from Ukraine. He never overstayed the 90 days with any of the visas or new passport, but together it becomes more. Thanks again!

    • Lindsey | 20th Nov 17

      There haven’t been any new countries becoming Schengen for awhile now. So whatever country you’re speaking about, that must have been years ago. Regardless, passports are linked (so they can see old visas), but if your boyfriend never got in trouble, and was issued a new visa to visit, he shouldn’t have an issue when re-entering. However, if you applied for Sambo, he is not allowed to enter Sweden while the visa is processing!

  18. Lynx | 20th Nov 17

    Hi Lindsey, thank you for this great post. 🙂 Do you know about the rules with countries that recently got visa free to Schengen?
    My boyfriend has been travelling a lot on different tourist visa with his old passport and suddenly when the country got visa free to Schengen he got a new biometrical passport and went back here. He has now left the country but will soon be back. On the new biometrical passport it looks like he stayed 50 days, but actually he overstayed with 20+ days during 180 days. Do you think they will see this or will it be hard since totally new passport?
    We recently applied for sambo visa :)) Kind regards!

    • Lindsey | 20th Nov 17

      Hello! Thanks for leaving a comment ☺️ Which country are you speaking of? And what is your boyfriend’s citizenship? What year did he overstay?

  19. may | 27th Oct 17

    Hi Lindsay
    Is there any other option to make my visa granted,do I need support letter from a lawyer?to the approval of my documents, thanks hope for your rply soon..may

  20. may | 27th Oct 17

    Hi Lindsay
    I’m her again sorry I ask a lot of questions, how to appeal there decision, do I have to write a letter in beg them,how can you teach what to do .,because as of now I want to registered to application portal Norway to set appointment,.in I don’t know what to do.?pls help tack

    • Lindsey | 28th Oct 17

      May, before you were speaking about your overstay in Denmark. And then you started speaking about moving to Sweden. And now you are mentioned registered for an application to Norway? You are confusing me for what country you are applying to live in. All of this information is connected, so they all can see where you are applying to get visas. You should really stick to the country you want to live in because you have a purpose to be there. ie: your Swedish boyfriend in Sweden.

  21. may | 27th Oct 17

    Hi Lindsay
    I overstay in Denmark for 4 years in i go home on my own free will,i pay my fine at the immegration but i have stamp in my passport that i overstay,.i was now at my home country,then after 5 yrs my swedish bf planning to invite me for a tourist visa in sweden do you think my visa will be rejected regarding of my overstay in I need a waiver from a lawyer regarding of my overstay.thanks hoping for your rply,soon.

    • Lindsey | 27th Oct 17

      Hello! Thanks for writing in. They could definitly reject you based on your overstay in Denmark. For this, you would need to appeal their decision. I’m not sure if an immigration lawyer has an jurisiction since you did break they law and they caught you for it. However, you did pay the fine, so that would make a difference since you are applying for a Swedish sambo visa. Please know, that Swedish sambo visa processing is now 12-24 months in waiting time, and you cannot enter Sweden during this time.

  22. Shanelle | 26th Oct 17

    Hello Miss Lindsey.. I have my concern about my staying here in Schengen Country.
    I was from the philippines and i arrived Netherlands last 23rd of july. Since my visa stated that my visa is valid at 22nd of july until 4th of november i booked a flight back to my country at 2nd of november. However, its that would be fine? I dont want to stay illegal and planning to come back again after 3months..

    I hope for your positive and quick response. Thanks and Godbless always!!!

    • Lindsey | 27th Oct 17

      Hi Shanelle, validity of a visa is different than how many days you are allowed to stay within that time period. You can see an example of for Situation E on Top Questions About Overstaying Visas. Please check if your visa allowed you to stay only a certain amount of days within your visa validity. It sounds strange that you are allowed to stay over 90 days. If your are allowed the 105 days within Netherlands, then your flight on Nov. 2nd should be fine.

  23. Bay | 17th Oct 17

    Hi Lindsey,
    Your blog is amazing and am so glad I found it.
    I have a US passport and am studying in Lisbon, Portugal. My tourist-visa expires on Dec 1st and am overstaying 16 days while flying out of Barcelona.
    Would I raise any red flags if I fly from Lisbon to Barcelona, Spain because my tourist-visa is overstayed by 15 days? Or would I still be able to move freely within the Schengen zone?
    I have a flight that leaves the next day from Barcelona to USA.

    Thank you

    • Lindsey | 18th Oct 17

      Hey Bay! Thanks for the kind words 😊 First of all, you should be on a student visa, not a tourist-visa if you are studying. I suppose if it is less than 3-month course, most schools don’t require the full student visa, so that’s why? You can use my Schengen Visa Calculator to see/plan your days. However, if you are over 90 days, you cannot still roam around Schengen freely. You need to leave Schengen in order to not potentially be fined. Best of luck!

  24. lljm | 31st Aug 17

    Hi Lindsay!

    I have a friend who overstayed her 90 days in greece and is saying she may be black marked, we are applying for the D2 visa as that is what she was doing before and will continue to do when she goes back, but I was wondering, could she still potentially enter a country like belgium, do the visa application there at the embassy there and if she gets approved go to greece if not then she can take the local flight and not worry.

    Hope to hear from you soon since this is all currently happening and shes on a flight back to NY so I want to give her as much information as possible!

    • Lindsey | 1st Sep 17

      Hello! If she is already on a flight, did she tell you if she got blacklisted? If control never said anything to her or gave her a fine, she is not blacklisted, but she needs to stay out of all Schengen countries for 90 days from her exit. This will decrease the risk of them refusing her entry next time in any Schengen country. Belgium is part of Schengen – if she overstayed in Greece, due to Schengen law, she is not allowed to enter any Schengen country (90 days in, 90 days out in 180 day period). So she could probably do the D2 visa for US anywhere in the world….except a Schengen country for the next 90 days.

  25. Latifah | 30th Aug 17

    Hi Lindsey..How are you?Greeting from Malaysia.
    I just come back from Gothenburg(exit from Paris) on 25/8/17 to visit my boyfriend and probably go back to Gothenburg again in November 1st 2017.Is that allowed or I already break the rule?
    I plan to apply a visa(moving with someone in Sweden)but lots thing need to be done.What is the best solution for me without having to go through the visa process.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Lindsey | 31st Aug 17

      Hek hej Latifah! It depends on how long you stayed in Sweden to visit your boyfriend. Did you overstay your 3-month tourist visa? If you can reply with your date of entry to Schengen, then I can give better advice. As for applying for a Sambo visa, since I have gone through this process myself, I have an entire blog post dedicated for this. When you apply for the Sambo visa, just make sure you stay out of the country while it is processing. You will need to apply from Malaysia. Here is a link to Live in Sweden

      • Latifah | 31st Aug 17

        Hi Lindsey..thank you so much for your reply.I was in goteborg on 10th August 2017 and exit on 25th August 2017 only 16 days from paris CDG airport.i called the Sweden embassy in Singapore and they ask me to apply for residents visa and it tak probably 2 years to approve because this is new applications.Its impirtant for me to go there on November because we share a birthday.plsease i really need your advice on this .thank you so much in advance xx.

        • Lindsey | 1st Sep 17

          Hey Latifah, if you only stayed in Sweden (and all of Schengen) for 16 days, you still have 74 more days to spend until around February. But once you apply for the residence (Sambo) visa, you cannot enter Sweden while the visa is being proceed. That means you will not be able to visit your boyfriend in Sweden – you must either visit each other in another country, or he comes to Malaysia. So if you have not filed your application yet, it would be fine to visit your boyfriend in November. 😄

      • Latifah | 31st Aug 17

        Hi again Lindsey..i forgot to mention to you that Swedish Embassy in Malaysia not handeling for visa applications..Swedish Embassy in Singapore did.

  26. Ashley | 12th Aug 17

    Hi Lindsey,
    I have a question regarding travel to France. I was in Paris from June 2nd-July 27th for a summer program, traveling just with my passport. I decided I wanted to stay in France and landed an au pair job. I returned back to the U.S. on July 28th and I have an appointment to get my visa on August 28th. But I realized I won’t have all the paperwork back in time for my visa appointment and I will also have to wait three weeks after the appointment to return back to France, which is complicated for a number of reasons.

    I know several au pairs who have gone to France in September, came back to the U.S. in December for a few weeks over the holidays and got their visas and then returned until December of the next year. This works because they were on their 90 day Schengen Tourist Visa, and the families just paid them their pocket money under the table, no problem. But because I was just there for 60 days and will only have been back for 30 days, my 90 days will technically be up at the end of September if I go back at the beginning of September. But I have read that if a fly through Italy or Spain I probably wouldn’t have a problem in December, and that many border control officers will only see that I entered in September and am leaving 90 days later. The thing I am most worried about is submitting my passport for my visa in December and having them add all the days up and figure out that I way overstayed my tourist visa. Can you give me any advice on this?


    • Lindsey | 14th Aug 17

      Hey Ashley – Are you allowed to be in France while your visa is processing? Technically, you can be in Schengen for 35 more days until November 29th (That will make 180 day period, and since you already spent 55 days from June 2 – July 27th, this means you have 35 left to complete your 90/180)

      So no, you cannot stay in 100% in France or any other Schengen up until December. Schengen law = all countries you get only 90 days. Soo, you can only stay another 35 days until November 29th. Then you need to either stay 90 days out straight or re-enter on your au pair visa. The Schengen system works on a counter system – as in during a 180 days period, while you are IN Schengen (it counts) and when you leave Schengen (it pauses on that number, in your case, 35 days), until you come in again within that 180 day period. Make sense?

  27. Kristina | 10th Aug 17

    Hi again, Lindsey!
    Sorry ignore my previous comment — I think I figured it out with my University over there. I also just wanted to let you know that your blog is super helpful! It is a wealth of info when planning to live in Sweden for awhile.

    Thanks again! 🙂

    • Lindsey | 10th Aug 17

      Oh, great! What did they tell you just so I can be more helpful in the future? It is my notion you need to have the residence permit before you enter, is this what the university also said?

      • Kristin | 11th Aug 17

        Yes, and it’s a bit confusing because they seemed to have changed the process up a bit (including not being able to contact the embassies and consulates to ask for help/information regarding this issue). It turns out the migration agency notified the university that it was accepted, but the Swedish embassy in the U.S. could not offer any info on this or send a copy of the document stating that it had been approved–that is where the confusion came in! So basically an approved residence permit before leaving and an appointment to have biometrics taken after having arrived in Sweden are needed before entering the country, but the trouble is trying to find out whether or not the residence permit application was accepted before leaving!

        • Lindsey | 11th Aug 17

          I totally feel you! I live in Sweden, and they actually are really vague about everything – so I am not surprised in this situation. Usually, the resident permits can be granted in a couple weeks – a couple months. My suggestion is to get all your biometrics and applications done (I think the application is done online) and keep on them to make sure you get the information you need. Best of luck, lady!

  28. Kristin | 10th Aug 17

    Hi Lindsey,
    I’m so glad to have found your blog! I will be living in Sweden for a year and just have a question about the shengen visa. I did apply for a student residence permit and it was settled pretty quickly, but I never received any physical proof that it was approved. I do have an appointment for getting the actual visa once in Sweden. Being a U.S. citizen and not needing a visa to enter the country, I was wondering if I will be able to enter Sweden (since I’m staying over 90 days) without this proof that I’m allowed to get a visa once over there? Will my passport and university admission letter be sufficient at the time being?

    Thank you for your time!!

    • Lindsey | 10th Aug 17

      Hey Kristin! Välkommen till Sverige! 🇸🇪 What do you mean by your resident permit was “settled pretty quickly” but you don’t have physical proof it was approved? I do know that you need to have your residence permit before you enter Sweden. I suggest calling the closest Swedish consulate to you and ask what are the next steps in giving your biometrics and getting the permit into your passport.

  29. Muskan | 5th Aug 17

    I m so glad I found you. I have a question n i hope u can help me. I m a US citizen but i have overstayed in Denmark over 5 years now. in 2013 we came to Sweden n moved to Denmark, My husband had applied for political asylum in Denmark on 2013 n finally on June 20th of 2017 they have denied our case n asked us to leave. my son was born here in Denmark n i want to apply for his US passport, do u think it will be a problem to get his passport and do u think they will ask me why i have over stayed in Denmark? If i do get his passport do u think it will be a problem at the airport when i leave the county? Thank u.

    • Lindsey | 6th Aug 17

      Hey Muskan, thanks for writing in. This is indeed a very tricky situation and goes a bit beyond my knowledge of Schengen tourist visas. You should just go back to the U.S. and apply for your son’s passport there since you have no legal right to be in Denmark anymore, then this also means your son has no right to be there (since he technically only is allowed 3 months stay on a tourist visa in his U.S. passport). So really, you will be making your son overstay illegally as well if this situation is not fixed. Is the U.S. an option for you? If your husband is not a U.S. citizen, you can apply for a marriage visa so he will be allowed to come and live legally. I see this as a very serious matter by overstaying when the migration has denied your case. This can jeopardize if anyone gets sick and needs a doctor, you will not have access to healthcare if you are ‘underground.’ Also, if caught, you may be banned from all the European Union countries, so it is important to think about the future of the family. I really wish you the best of luck.

  30. | 24th Jul 17

    Hello, is Croatia part of Schengen or not? you mention that it is, but when i google it is not.

    • Lindsey | 25th Jul 17

      Hello! Hmm, not sure where I mention this. Croatia is part of European Union, but not Schengen just yet. It is a candidate to become part of it!

  31. Mary | 24th Jul 17

    Dear Lindsay, 

    I’ve been traveling back and forth between USA and Germany for the past year July 29, 2016- July 24, 2017. I overstayed my 90 days on two occasions, the first I overstayed by 4 days (by accident, I counted the days wrong), the officials stopped me but didn’t fine me, they said I shouldn’t worried, that 4 days overstay was fine. I came in to Germany a month later and had no problems coming in, that time I overstayed by 35 days or so, and I didn’t have any problems. Then I came back into Germany two weeks later and also didn’t have any problems. But as I was leaving this last time back to USA through Switzerland (flew from there because it was cheaper), I was stopped by officials and this time I was fined 350F and the officer said I might be denied entry next time (I paid the fee in that very moment). My question is, from your knowledge what truth do you think is into that, do you think they’ll have record of my over stay and I will be banned from coming in? I have plans to come back in two weeks. And one important detail is that all my trips were made with a Latin American passport, but my next trip will be as a USA citizen, so my passport will have zero stamps. I’m a bit nervous that I will be denied entry, and furthermore I plan to apply for a student visa later this year,  but now I fear I might also be denied my visa later on. What are your thoughts, please? 

    Thank you! 


    • Lindsey | 24th Jul 17

      Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your interesting experience. There is a lot of truth to what the officer said. The fact that you were fined and payed money means that now they have record and proof of your overstay. This will follow you around for a bit. Coming in on a different passport (especially U.S) may help to slide by for sure, but do not overstay, because if they catch you and they are able to lookup if you have other passports, it could become a worse situation and lead to banning. I do know that applying for visas in the future might be more difficult, since I had a friend recently go through this for Sweden (they were from India). But you need to just stop for a moment and think about why you are coming back and forth so much on a tourist visa – as this is not typical tourist behaviour. Border guards can start to think a lot of things if they have records of you coming and going so often – illegal work, taking from their healthcare system, etc. If I were you, I’d look into long-term visas before making your next trip (like you mentioned a student or even a resident visa) that are available for you, and work on not overstaying anymore tourist visas that could potentially jeapordize your future processing of visas. Hope I could help a bit!

  32. Alien Vision | 20th Jul 17

    Hey Lindsey,
    I have put myself in the worst situation ever. I am an Indian citizen. I have been travelling to Europe with the Swiss visas since 2011. I do not work there, as its against the law, when i have a visitors visa. I’ve had 5 different visas untill now. The last one in 2015 was a 2 years multiple entry. So, I entered Switzerland in April 2016 & made an exit on 25th Jan 2017, from Switzerland. (My girlfriend is from France, so most of the time, I was in France).
    I got controlled over the immigration counter & they asked to pay the fine of 350 CHF. However, as i had not been working in europe, I cudnt pay it at that moment of time. Thought I would pay on my return. The border police were “ok” at that time. My two years visa expired on 15th June. So now, I applied for another visa, ironically from the swiss embassy. And…. yea, they said I am in the SIS!!!!!! So of course they refused my application. My girlfriend is France & all I want is to go see her. But with the SIS alert, its not easy anymore for me. I really want to pay this fine off, but is that gonna help me get outta the SIS??? Do i need to fix this with a Swiss lawyer? And…… if i apply for another country with a bussiness visa, u think that can work???
    Any kinda help from you is totally totally appreciated.

    • Lindsey | 21st Jul 17

      Hey Sammy – Sorry to hear that, but we really appreciate you sharing your story since most people do not get to hear about the consequences. I suspect they put you in the SIS because you never paid the fine on the spot, which makes you an ‘outlaw’ in their eyes if you have an overdue fine. The SIS is for Schengen countries, so if you apply for a visitor’s visa in any of those countries, your name will be flagged and could end up in the same scenerio. You will need to consult with a Schengen lawyer about how to go about paying for this fine before you apply for any other visas, and what will happen to your future of travel within Europe once the fine is payed. From what I have heard, if you have a record of overstaying, especially in the SIS, the record will follow you around for a very long time.

  33. nasir | 14th Jul 17

    hi lindesy, this is very informative article thank’s.but i have some issues about visa to poland. i have permanent residence permit in belarus and i got first visit visa to poland in 2013. when i enter into poland then from poland i went to sweden i seek asylum there after convert to work permit and my work permit validity had finished beginning of 2017 . then i came back to belarus . now i am in belarus. by the way i had entry seal record from poland in old passport what i do not use now and i had exit seal record in my new passport from sweden. i want to know if apply now for polish visa again does this record will affect ? how long polish national immigration police keep entry/ exit record? almost four years passed i got the last visa from poland.

    • Lindsey | 14th Jul 17

      Hi Nasir – this seems like a more complex situation that extends beyond my knowledge. If you apply for a new Polish visa, they should have records in their system of when you last visited. Also, I believe they ask this question on the visa applications. I suggest calling the Polish embassy in Belarus to seek official information. I wish you luck!

  34. Kennedy | 6th Jul 17

    Hi Lindsey!

    Thanks so much for the information! I had a question for you. I’ll be staying in the Schengen area this fall on a Student Visa issued by Italy. I plan to fly into and out of the area via Spain. My Student Visa expires on the 17th of December but I have plans to travel until the 29th in the Schengen area.

    I understand that I’m allowed 90 days of travel time in the area due to the tourist waiver. Do I HAVE to leave the schengen area once my visa expires, then go back in to activate “tourist time”? It would really throw a wrench in my trip, not to mention be extremely expensive around christmastime.

    If it’s necessary that I exit and return to the schengen area, would it be ok to do this around a week before the visa expires? I would still be finishing up finals as a student in Italy, but from what I understand I’m allowed to study in the Schengen area as an US citizen(given that it’s under 90 days) using my tourist waiver.

    Thanks so much!

    • Lindsey | 8th Jul 17

      Hey Kennedy! So cool you get to study in Italy. You will absolutly love it. Also, I am happy to know you are seeking information and trying to understand your visa. This question is actually really tricky since there isn’t a lot of official info about it. However, I do believe that you are allowed additional tourist time after your visa expires. My advice is to contact your student abroad office and ask them the legal rules of your student visa.

  35. | 17th Jun 17

    Hi Lindsey
    Thank you for your quick response and yes we are residents of USA. I will look into returning from Spain but I guess that it would be better to drive there rather then fly? Or maybe a train would be the best choice? Thank you for all of your help

    • Lindsey | 18th Jun 17

      It wouldn’t matter if you flew there, because going to a schengen country from another schengen country is like going from Texas to Arizona. There are 0 border stops because it is treated as the same ‘border’. The most important thing to remember is do not pass into a non-schengen country while driving or flying (schengen > non-schengen > schengen). This is like going from Califonia > Mexico > Texas (there would be a border stop, and re-entering is where you have the issue if overstayed). You want to make sure when you leave Schengen, you are on a flight straight back to the U.S. Therefore, if they catch you leaving, you are already on your way out.

  36. Fahim | 16th Jun 17

    Hey Lyndsey hope u are doing good,
    I have write to u here before about overstaying a shengen visa by 1 month and when I was exiting from Spain I was luck on the border they don’t scun my shengen visa and no body stop me only stamp of exit date
    I have stay out of shengen almost now 7 months and I apply again for shengen visa and was lucky I get it
    My question is do you think I will have an interview or denied entry When i will be entering from paris France

    • Lindsey | 17th Jun 17

      Hi Fahim – Welcome back! I remember you, and happy to hear everything went well 😊. They have already approved your new visa, so I do not think you should have any issues returning. Usually they would deny you a new visa while it is in the processing stage. However, please be aware of the visa rules for your new visa. Do not attempt to overstay again, because you might not be as lucky the next time around. I would make sure to have your return ticket printed and ready to show the border guards if they question you. Best of luck!

  37. Lisa Skiffington | 15th Jun 17

    Hi Lindsey,
    My son has been in Italy for 3.8 years at a community for drug addiction. We did not acquire a visa as Italy frowns on outsiders taking up a spot in their health care communities, which is understandable. He has finished his program, doing fantastic, and has been accepted to a college in Firenze beginning in October. I am on my way to pick him up next week and was going to fly out of Italy and hope for the best. When he first came he flew through London, then into Bologna. Then remained in one place in Rimini for the almost 4 years. Just wondering if it would be better to fly out of Spain? Or take my chance with Italy? Also if they question us what would be the best thing to tell them? Thank you for your help.

    • Lindsey | 15th Jun 17

      Hey Lisa, thank you for stopping by and it is fantastic to hear about your son’s recovery. You didn’t mention your citizenship, but assuming you are North American, I would say they best place to fly out would be Spain in this case. I am assuming you realize that overstaying the tourist visa is very risky, and could hurt his future travel if caught. Knowing this, make sure he does not return and go to school on his tourist visa. If he tries to, they could potentially not let him back into the country because they will see he overstayed in Europe from before. If he is attending a college, they should offer student visas. If he is caught in the country on an expired visa, they could deport him. If they question him this time, there are unfortunately not many things to stay if someone has overstayed by almost 4 years. Either border control won’t say anything, or worst case – they could fine and ban him from re-entering Europe for a couple years. Although, I have heard cases where they don’t say anything on exit, but on re-entry they only give limited tourist visa stays (instead of 90 days, they give 30 days), or they could not let him re-enter.

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