Overstaying your visa
- It’s up to you to make sure that you do not overstay your short-term Schengen visa. This can be more complicated than you would think, especially if you possess a multiple entry visa and are entering and exiting the Schengen area more than twice throughout your visa validity period.
- When it comes to making sure you are not in violation of your Schengen visa, there are two main principles to keep in mind:
- You must not stay more than 90 days.
- You must not stay past the “UNTIL” date on your visa sticker.
- These two principles can occasionally be in conflict, especially if you have a multiple-entry visa. When you are making multiple entries to the Schengen area, it can be confusing to remember how much time you have actually spent in the area.
- At some point, you may find yourself in a situation where you have more days left on your visa (i.e. your total time spent in the Schengen area is under 90 days) but are nearing your necessary date of departure. In all cases whatsoever, however, you must leave the Schengen area on or before your prescribed “UNTIL” date located on your visa sticker- even if you have spent under 90 days in the Schengen area.
- Because of this, it is critical that you know how to read your visa sticker and are aware of the date you need to exit the Schengen area.
- Please note, you are not required to enter the Schengen area on the exact “From” date on your visa sticker. However, please keep in mind that if you enter the Schengen area on a date following the “From” date, the day you truly entered the area will become your true date of entry, and your reference point for determining how many days you have stayed in the area (and how many days you have left on your visa).
- the period of time on your visa sticker between “FROM…UNTIL” often exceeds 90 days (DURATION OF STAY). This is intended to allow you to better plan your dates of arrival and departure to/from the Schengen area/territory. It does NOT mean that your visa is valid for that entire period-i.e. for more than 90 days.
Schengen visa calculator
- The Schengen visa calculator is a tool allowing you to find out how much time is left on your visa and determine if you are in compliance with the ’90 days/180-day’ rule.
- You can access our Schengen calculator online on our website at every page.
- To use the calculator:
- Enter your “Date of Entry” in the Schengen area, followed by “Date of Exit” in the second box.
- Click “Calculate”. The boxes will display the “No. of Days” on your trip, the number of days in your “Schengen Days Calculation”, and (if applicable) the number of “Overstay Days”.
- If you are considering a multiple entry visa, you can click “Add” to enter the entry and exit days for another trip.
- For example, if you input the entry date 01/01/2021 (January 1st, 2021) and the exit date 30/04/2021 (April 30th, 2021) in the calculator, the result will read: “No. of Days”: 120, Schengen Days Calculation: 120 of 90 days, Overstay Days: 30. Because you are only allowed to spend 90 days in the Schengen area, and your proposed stay is for 120 days, it would result in you overstaying your visa by 30 days.
- Armed with this information, you can then alter your trip accordingly so that your intended visit does not result in you overstaying your visa.
[Important]: Please note, do not take for granted from the resulting calculation that you will be allowed to stay in the Schengen area during the period it describes. The calculator is not an official source/authority for Schengen stays, it is merely a guide.
The 90/180 rule
- If you have a short-stay Schengen visa, you may not stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days within a 180-day period; this principle is commonly known as the 90/180 rule, and it applies to everyone who has a short stay Schengen visa-without exception.
- This rule is easily understood in connection with single entry Schengen visas. If, for example, you have a single-entry Schengen visa, and you enter the Schengen area on January 1st, 2020, you must leave the Schengen area on or before March 30th, 2020; a period of 90 days.
- You must be particularly mindful of the 90/180 rule if you have a multiple entry Schengen visa. For example, say you have a multiple entry Schengen visa that is valid FROM January 1st 2020 UNTIL June 30th, 2020. Say you stay in the Schengen area for 30 days after entering, leave, return to the area after 50 days, stay for 15, and leave again for 100 days. Technically, you will have only spent 45 days in the Schengen area, well under the 90-day limitation. However, because your visa validity end date (next to “UNTIL” on your visa) is June 30th, 2020, you will have exceeded your visa validity period, and you cannot re-enter the Schengen area with the same visa.
- The 90/180 rule also applies to people who would seek to get another Schengen visa once their first visa expires (i.e. in order to stay longer than 90 days). This rule has the practical effect of preventing people from forming a kind of long-term Schengen visa out of multiple short-term ones. Say, for example, that you have a Schengen visa valid for 90 days within a 6-month period, and you spend 90 days in the Schengen area. If you attempt to get a new Schengen visa after staying 90 days within that 180 day period, you must wait until the rest of your original 180 day period has expired (it began from your day of first entry) so that when you receive your new visa, you will begin a new period of 180 days.
- A good way of making sure you do not overstay your multiple entry visa is by referencing the entry/exit stamps in your passport, which will be stamped with the date every time you enter and exit the Schengen area.
- Please note, the penalties for overstaying your Schengen visa are significant. If you do not leave the Schengen area in time, you may be subject to one, some, or all of the following:
- Monetary fine.
- Instant deportation.
- Multi-year ban from the Schengen area.
- You will likely be denied a Schengen visa the next time you try to apply for one. In determining whether or not to grant you a Schengen visa, your consulate will look at your past history to determine if you have ever overstayed your Schengen visa. All information pertaining to your Schengen visa history is stored in the Schengen Information System (SIS). Therefore, overstaying a Schengen visa will almost certainly negatively affect any future Schengen visas you apply for.