02 03 You. Me. Everyone In Between.: Schengen Treaty and Overstaying Visas 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Schengen Treaty and Overstaying Visas

UPDATED 2014: Europe is an amazing place. Millions of people travel to Europe each year, whether it be on business, curiosity, adventure, rebellion or leisure; we all make it there at one point in our lives.

However, there are a few rules I have come across as a solo backpacker that just plain piss me off. I have found many threads on the internet showing that many people are also concerned about some of these laws as travelers.

The Shengen Treaty (Please click for more detailed info).
Now, being an American citizen, I am rather lucky because I get a free waiver visa throughout basically any country in Europe. I also have the right to stay legally as a tourist for 90 days (3 months) in any country in Europe. UNLESS, you happen to be some countries named Austria, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway,Slovenia, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malta, Potugal and Sweden.

Here is what the Schengen Treaty states:

What. The. Hell.

A majority of these countries do not stamp you. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they do not.

I am aware of the Schengan Treaty, but my father, who is a huge traveler, laughed at me and said if he was ever stopped and was questioned for the treaty, he would be very confused. Many people do not know about it...

Anyway, the truth of the matter is you could be anywhere in Europe. You could have traveled by car and no one stamped your passport. It is actually hard to track your journey through Europe.


If you do happen to overstay, here is how to escape:


If you have overstayed... 

For more information on how to get a visa and work in Europe, please visit my 'How To Work In Europe' section. You can apply for long-term visas if you know you will stay extra time. I suggest it, but if you wanna rough it, it is totally possible and hundreds have and are doing it right now!

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