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Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

New York City, New...
posts: 16
Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

I am a US passport holder. I spent the last four years in the UK going to university on a student visa. It lasted until October 2012. After graduation in June of last year, I traveled around the Schengen area for four months (July-October), as I mistakenly thought that my UK visa entitled me to be able to travel in the EU until its expiry. I didn't realise at the time that the UK was not in the Schengen area. When I left through Amsterdam to return to the UK for my flight home, the Dutch border authorities detained me and informed me of this fact. Because I was leaving they didn't make much of it. I don't recall whether they said I could or couldn't return to the Schengen for six months.

Fast forward to the current issue: I am going with a high school buddy on a backpacking trip for the next year or so. We're planning on going to Germany, Poland, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, India, and eventually southeast Asia.

I have a flight booked for the middle of March to Frankfurt, and another flight booked for early April to Istanbul. From there I have further flights booked to Asia.

Will the German border authorities turn me away and force me to buy a ticket back to the US? Or will I be allowed to continue on my planned travel if I show them my reservations?

Anybody had experience with overstaying and then re-entering the Schengen area?

Leicester, United...
posts: 1,275
reviews: 1
1. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

No one here can answer your question.

You need to contact the German authorities, They are the only ones who can tell you if you will be admitted.

On the surface based on what you say you will have received a 6 month ban from entering Schengen. If that ban has expired you shouldn't have a problem, but from what you say it will still be in force in March. Only the appropriate authorities can tell you one way or the other.

Edited: 9:21 am, February 23, 2013
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 24,134
reviews: 72
2. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

I agree. I am fairly sure that overstayers, just like if I overstayed in the US, might not be able to use the visa waiver programme. Contact the German consulate in NYC for clarification and don't rely on some random answers on the internet.

http://www.germany.info/newyork

New York City, New...
posts: 16
3. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

I think at this point what I'll do is purchase a ticket from Frankfurt to Istanbul for the day I arrive, so I can claim honestly that I intend to use Frankfurt only as a transit point. I've been to Germany several times, and the only reason for attempting to visit on this trip was to be a short stop on the way to Asia. It just so happened that a one-way flight from JFK to Frankfurt was the cheapest way to go across the Atlantic. I intend on going on to Turkey anyway; it might have to be sooner rather than later.

Failing that idea, what do you think is the likelihood that I'll simply be told that I must buy the next ticket back to the US, no exceptions?

Fredericia, Denmark
Destination Expert
for Bentota, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
posts: 36,390
reviews: 7
4. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

If you are transiting Frankfurt from a non-Schengen country to a non-Schengen country you will not pass immigration at Frankfurt.

Leicester, United...
posts: 1,275
reviews: 1
5. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

That won't work assuming you have checked luggage because you would need to enter Schengen in order to pick up your luggage and check it in for the next flight. The only way to avoid this is to be connecting on the same ticket. If the airlines have an interline agreement they might check through on separate tickets but there is no guarantee.

Personally, if I was banned from Schengen I wouldn't go anywhere near a Schengen airport. It could lead to all kinds of complications including further bans if you try to be "cute".

New York City, New...
posts: 16
6. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

So I'll be in deep s*** even if I make perfectly clear that I intend only to catch my next flight OUT of their country?

Is that right? Can anybody confirm this?

Leicester, United...
posts: 1,275
reviews: 1
7. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

Banned means banned. You are not likely to be admitted under any circumstances. Once you are in you are in and could abscond.

But as noted before, the only real answer will come from the German authorities.

Edited: 12:18 pm, February 23, 2013
Toronto, Canada
posts: 6,855
8. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

As a US citizen, you visit the Schengen zone as a guest. You did not comply with the rules and were apparently asked not to return for six months. It would be rather disrespectful to show up and expect them to let you through anyway, and your past overstay makes you less trustworthy in the eyes of officials than the average traveller. It's up to them to decide, but I doubt it would go smoothly!

New York City, New...
posts: 16
9. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

I understand the fact that I'm likely banned and don't oppose that as a restriction on entering the Schengen countries. It's an annoyance but I did (unknowingly) break the law, and I should be held responsible.

But surely there is some kind of dispensation for those simply using an aiport and its facilities to travel onward to another destination? I am aware that one usually goes through immigration immediately after disembarking from the plane.

Is there absolutely no way I could try to get on a connecting flight to Turkey?

London, United...
posts: 16,400
reviews: 23
10. Re: Schengen area issue. Will I be turned away at entry?

Contact the German embassy and ask the question. No one can tell you for sure.

However, as they did not make a big deal of it, and I would assume they are looking at it as an error, then I think you may be able to speak to the embassy and they will probably show leniency and give you a visa to stay and enter.

If however you don't do this and just front up, there is a high chance you will not gain entry.

So do it properly and you will probably be fine.