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Visa concerns

Hi, I am visiting friends in Italy and was hoping to stay till late May. I arrived in January so my 90 days would end in April. Originally I had been told that I could just leave the country for a weekend after 3 months and return for another 3 months. The family I am living with thought I could stay for up to a year as a kind of a "home stay." Now I am reading more (which I admit I should have done WAY earlier without relying on other people to tell me) and it sounds like leaving and returning won't work. Some say they have stayed much longer without being questioned at border control... I just really don't want to be banned from the EU for the rest of my life by overstaying my welcome. Can anyone tell me what the actual deal is? And if you know how I can perhaps apply for an extended tourist visa when I am already here that would be great too!
Thank you!

Posted by
32269 posts

Alison,

I don't think there's any way of resolving this predicament except by leaving the Schengen zone for the prescribed time and then returning. It's my understanding that Visa extensions are very rarely (if ever) granted for "tourists", and as the others have mentioned it's especially problematic to apply for this once you're in the zone.

Kent posted some specific details of the Schengen regulations in an earlier post here, but I'd have to search to find it again. You didn't provide many details of the circumstances of your trip, or the reason you're staying for an extended time. There may be "longer stay" alternatives for students or those with work permits, but none that I know of for tourists.

NB: My post is intended to provide answers on complying with the laws, not circumventing them.

Good luck!

Posted by
4555 posts

I would contact the consular section at the U-S embassy for advice. Generally speaking, under a tourist entry, you are allowed 90 days in 180 days....so once your 90 days is up, you have to be out for 90 days before you can come back in. It is usually extraordinarily difficult to apply for a visa once in-country....but call the embassy for assistance.

Posted by
10344 posts

Original post: "Originally I had been told that I could just leave the country for a weekend after 3 months and return for another 3 months."Yes, same answer as Norm's, what you were told before was incorrect: leaving and returning does not re-set the 90 day limit, the reasons why that is the case are given here http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/24928/cant-stay-in-schengen-zone-more-than-3-mos-in-6-mos-following-first-entry.html

Posted by
10344 posts

Please Read Before Posting On This Topic: We've been through this recently and the Webmaster has already said your post will be deleted if you use these pages to give advice on how to violate European law. (Obviously, Norm's and Ken's posts are entirely appropriate because they advise on how to comply with the law.) (no, I'm not a member of the ETBD staff)