Overstaying Tourist Visa by up to 8 days

Hi,
I am a young traveler who is currently staying with a friend in Croatia. I arrived in Croatia in April and stayed for five weeks, then left for five weeks, and then came back in the beginning of July. I am planning on leaving in late August and heading back to the UK, where I fly home.

My concern is that I may end up overstaying my 90-day tourist allowance by up to 8 days. That doesn't seem like much, but then again I really don't want to get fined, deported or banned from Croatia. Does anyone have experience or advice on overstaying in a country for a short time period? For an overstay of 8 days I'm inclined to risk it, but I don't know how strict the Croatian government will be regarding these things.

Thanks,
Elizabeth

Posted by Marbleskies
USA
563 posts

Our daughter, currently studying abroad in Spain, asked me the same question. I will provide my response, "if you truly do not believe the laws should equally apply to you then why should I allow you to travel to Europe?"

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

Don't do it.

Leave Croatia for 8 days between now & late August to keep within the 90 days.

Count your days very carefully.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1349 posts

To echo the other posters, don't do it! I'm not sure if Croatia is party to the Schengen Agreement; but if it is, the penalties for overstaying are far worse than you might imagine. Example: My brother, who lives half the year in Italy, got caught up in a situation this year (too complicated to explain here), which resulted in him going without the necessary visa. For professional reasons, he needed to return to the U.S., briefly. On the return trip, when he changed planes in Zurich, he was taken into custody, because, by then he had exceeded 90 days in Italy. He was then sent back to the U.S. I don't know if he also faced a stiff fine (a possibility). He, of course, had to buy another ticket, after he secured the requisite visa. Other possible consequences include being banned from all the Schengen countries for up to 10 years. My daughter, who worked in Education Abroad for many years, also has tales of students who didn't get the appropriate visa and, on departure, were jailed and fined 500 euros before being expelled. 90 means 90, not even 91. They don't round down, and 90 includes the departure day. Yes, there are careless and/or lackadaisical immigration officials; but I wouldn't want to depend on encountering one.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

Although they are part of the EU now, Croatia is not Schengen, yet. I don't know if nor when - others might.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11041 posts

Croatia has in the past several months become considerably more strict than they previously were as they try to show the EU that they can secure their borders.

There have been stories of people being fined €500 for overstaying by much less than you are proposing.

Don't do it.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11041 posts

To answer Christi's question above - Croatia has said that while they are not yet in the Schengen agreement they are treating themselves and their visitors as if they were. They are strictly enforcing Schengen deadlines.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
808 posts

Nigel - are you saying that days in Croatia count as Schengen days?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11041 posts

Croatia says so, Christi, but I don't know how that is taken by the Schengen members themselves. Croatia are looking at 90 in 180 anywhere in the Schengen Area plus Croatia.

I've seen that from a few sources over the last couple of months....

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
1551 posts

I think there are a couple of things being mixed up regarding Schengen and Croatia.

Croatia is part of an agreement to admit people with Schengen visas without requiring them to apply for a specific Schengen one. So are other countries such as Bulgaria and Cyprus.

However they are not themselves within Schengen and the 90/180 rule for those in Schengen without visas does not apply. They will be able to stay for whatever period they are granted at the border, usually 90 days.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
3056 posts

Schengen or not, if you are staying in Croatia more than their allowed 90 days, then you could find yourself in some trouble.

And the problem is not getting caught during that 8 days, but at the border as you are leaving. If the immigration agent notices that you have overstayed, they could fine you on the spot and/or force you on the next plane home. If considered a serious violation, you can be banned for returning for several years. Or they could just give you a nasty tongue lashing... But since newer passports come with chips now, it is getting easier for agents to track the numbers. So there is a fair amount of risk in overstaying.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6852 posts

Eight days in the UK would be a lovely alternative and not part of Schengen area. If you have a flight booked, does it allow changes? If it's tied to your trans-Atlantic flight ticket, you would need to change, not skip, the first leg, so you don't invalidate the rest of the ticket. Otherwise, see www.skyscanner.com for stand-alone tickets.