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Visa Stamp if you overstay (American with a Polish Wife)


EuroPete 1 | 9
6 Apr 2010 #1
So if my wife of 30 years and I came here to Poland (from America)to take care of her Mother and now that Mom is better and we've been here for 7 months, we'd like to stay longer.

My wife has everything (Polish Passport, Pesel, etc.) but what about me. Do I have to take a trip out of Shengen and back just to get stamped? I never got a visa because we had no idea we would be here so long, but we both like it so much we don't want to go back yet.

We are planning to just go over to the Town Hall (Sopot) and see if they either arrest me or stamp my passport.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Pete
Jay24 12 | 64
6 Apr 2010 #2
and see if they either arrest me or stamp my passport

I don't really know about such things but surely if you were arrested you would then also be deported? I would have thought that should such a thing happen, it would then be very difficult for you to return. Like I say, don't know too much about it but I've heard these things happen in other parts of the world.

However, what you've described doesn't sound all that bad so I hope the authorities are not overly petty and can see this for what it is. Good luck anyway.
convex 20 | 3,978
6 Apr 2010 #3
Town halls don't give Schengen visas. You have to leave, and can't return for 180 days unless you manage to lose your passport...
OP EuroPete 1 | 9
6 Apr 2010 #4
We already had a kind of run in - but with the RyanAir Ticket agent. We took a quick side trip to Spain and the ticket agent got all upset because while my American passport was valid, my Schengen stamp was not. She called in th Border Guards. After the guards spoke to my wife, they let us go and told us to fix the passport and get a stamp when we get back. Interestingly, the Spanish authorities could care less about all this so we came back and now here we are.
convex 20 | 3,978
6 Apr 2010 #5
Interestingly, the Spanish authorities could care less about all this so we came back and now here we are.

I'm sure everyone has better things to do than deport an American. I know a couple of Americans that have been deported from the Czech Republic (after Schengen came into effect). Used to be, you could cross the border, get a new stamp, and be good for another 90 days. Now you can only stay as a tourist for 180 days out of the year. I'm fairly certain that going to the townhall won't do you any good.
Harry
6 Apr 2010 #6
We are planning to just go over to the Town Hall (Sopot) and see if they either arrest me or stamp my passport.

You will actually need to go to the Voivoide Foreigners office (which I assume will be in Gdansk): if anybody can help you, it'll be them. I frankly do not like your chances much: you have overstayed your visa and there isn't much in the way of procedure to legitimise people who have overstayed. Your one saving grace might just be your Polish wife. The best idea is to contact a lawyer who specialises in immigration matters. I know a very good one in Warsaw, perhaps he can recommend you somebody in the tri-city, PM me.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
6 Apr 2010 #7
i don't see what you can do here Pete. you overstayed your visa......times 2.

you are illegal in not only Poland, but all of Schengen.
grubas 12 | 1,391
6 Apr 2010 #8
Damn illegals and overstayers.I am 100% for immigration but do it right way and get in line like everyone else.You are low breaker dude!Some would even say criminal(like they say in the US).

Anyway good luck (seriously) with fixing this issue,I am sure it can be done.

However, what you've described doesn't sound all that bad so I hope the authorities are not overly petty and can see this for what it is

The law is the law and I hope everyone is treated same way ,no matter where they come from.How come when Americans break immigration law overseas its no big deal but when foraigners do it in the US they are being called criminals???
convex 20 | 3,978
7 Apr 2010 #9
The law is the law and I hope everyone is treated same way ,no matter where they come from.How come when Americans break immigration law overseas its no big deal but when foraigners do it in the US they are being called criminals???

I guess because the border guards aren't doing their jobs here?
grubas 12 | 1,391
7 Apr 2010 #10
where?Look if he was a foraigner and posted it on some american forum he would be called a "crimminal" thousends times already.Hey ,even on this forum if you go thru some threads regarding out of status foraigners in the US you can see a lot of hatred(coming mainly from Americans)and lecturing ("do it right way" "get out" and so on) .Now, why these ppl are quiet now?It is called double standarts you know that,don't you?Besides, US border patrol officers do their job.(if that is what you meant).
convex 20 | 3,978
7 Apr 2010 #11
US border patrol officers do their job.(if that is what you meant).

I meant EU border guards.

Anyway, every single post in this thread says it's illegal, most with suggestions to leave. Now, would you get the same response on a Polish forum from Poles living in the US? ...probably not. You were saying something about double standards?
grubas 12 | 1,391
7 Apr 2010 #12
I meant EU border guards.

If so,then I agree 110%!

Now, would you get the same response on a Polish forum from Poles living in the US?

Well ,that depends if they were legall or illegal.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
7 Apr 2010 #13
i know a small handful of expats in poland. every single one of them are, or were before they left, living here either on a work permit or karta pubytu.

there's another difference worth mentioning.....when americans overstay their visas in poland, it's generally because they simply don't know the law (like the guy that started this thread) or they weren't sure but came anyway and didn't do their paperwork in time, whereas then this person usually ends up going back home. the same can not be said for america.....when foreigners come, they know damn well what the laws are and how long they can stay, and generally end up staying for a much longer time.

in america, nearly every native born pole i knew was living illegally or wound up in america on some fly-by-night sketchy marriage decision. along with that, while living in poland, i routinely hear, "oh, my brother was in america and lived with our aunt for a year.....," or, "yeah, I worked there for 18 months, i just overstayed my visa and then came back to poland eventually," and the like.

it's simply routine in America. those that don't believe this are those that haven't lived in America to see for themselves.

to all that like to ***** about it, quit *****ing about the visa issue between america and poland. poles overstay their visas....constantly.

everybody should be subjected to a country's laws. if you're an american living in poland and you overstayed your visa, it's time to go back home.
Ksysia 25 | 430
7 Apr 2010 #14
But his wife is Polish... claim a spouse's right to become a citizen... It's prefectly legal. Might have to do it through a solicitor, I guess.
OP EuroPete 1 | 9
15 Apr 2010 #15
So, listen to Ksysia. Although no solicitor is needed.

My wife contacted the regional wojowódzkie and spoke to the person who interviews applicants who file for the karta pobytu. He said spouses of Polish citizens cannot be detained, deported or fined or punished in any way for not having proper visa documents. He said to just come in and file.

So based that we went to our local Ursąd Miasta, got a temporary zameldowanie (using my passport without a visa stamp) then went and filed for the karta pobytu. We are awaiting the interview with the very guy who told us to do this. The woman who accepted the application said all the papers were in order and we might not even be interviewed - who knows.

The secret is to marry a Polish Woman!

If any wrinkles show up, I will update this thread.

Thanks to everyone for your help and input!
Fred Marra
15 Apr 2010 #16
I don't really know about such things but surely if you were arrested you would then also be deported? I would have thought that should such a thing happen, it would then be very difficult for you to return.

Oh Noes! Cant ever get back to see the mother-in-law! what a fkin travesty!
celticbrooder - | 17
15 Apr 2010 #17
Actually, I had a similar situation when my visa was due to expire while awaiiting the paperwork/appointments for our marriage - here in Poland (I'm American, she's Polish).

The Ursąd Wojowódzkie folks here in Wroclaw told me that there is an exception to the Schengen rules for Americans here in Poland (which, evidently kinda pissed off some others, like the Germans); as before, all an American has to do is leave Poland (i.e. not necessarily Schengen) and the 'meter' resets like before (i.e. not 90 days every 180)... but that this is only valid for Poland... I had conveniently just come back from a weekend trip to Czech Rep and had hotel, bank and gas reciepts which they accepted in lieu of an entry/exit stamp (there's commonly nobody at the border crossings to even ask for a stamp anymore)... the fact that I was already registered (at her and her mom's address) seemed to simplify things too.

On my second Karta Pobytu now; first one was for 1 year, second one for 2 years... the third one should be for either 3 or 5 years.
FWIW
mujisushi - | 7
24 Mar 2011 #18
I just wanted to update that I am in a similar situation. I am still waiting on a work permit from an employer that is dragging his feet and my 90 day tourist expires very soon. I went to office in Wroclaw yesterday to find out my options and they said that for US citizens all I need to do is leave Poland (to any other country) for 1 day, save my receipts, and come back. It seems like risky business to me, but they said its not a problem as long as I have a receipt with my name on it.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
24 Mar 2011 #19
mujisushi wrote:

I went to office in Wroclaw yesterday to find out my options and they said that for US citizens all I need to do is leave Poland (to any other country) for 1 day, save my receipts, and come back. It seems like risky business to me, but they said its not a problem as long as I have a receipt with my name on it.

which is why i tend to think the Schengen rules are totally unenforced.

it clearly states that staying within Schengen for 90 days consecutively requires you to then leave the schengen for an additional 90 days (90 days within a 180 day period) before you can come back but everyone seems to still just jump borders, hang around for a day, get a hotel receipt or something, and come back in.....and it somehow works. It most certainly shouldn't, not since 2007 was it a valid means of staying legal without a work permit/residency card but people still seem to be getting away with it.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
24 Mar 2011 #20
I went to office in Wroclaw yesterday to find out my options and they said that for US citizens all I need to do is leave Poland (to any other country) for 1 day, save my receipts, and come back. It seems like risky business to me, but they said its not a problem as long as I have a receipt with my name on it.

This isn't true.

I can assure you that regardless of what the Urzad Wojewodzkie says - if the Straz Graniczna find out that you've stayed for more than 90 days without valid residency (and incidentally - the UW *can* provide this) - you'll be banned from Schengen for 1 year.

Do *not* trust what the UW says - without some sort of official permission to stay longer than the 90 days, you simply cannot overstay. Going within Schengen does not reset the clock at all, and there is nothing in Polish law to suggest that Americans are allowed to do such a thing. In fact, it would be against Schengen law to do so - short term visas are harmonised, and Poland cannot unilaterally deviate from it.

Even if the UW grant a residency permit in the end - if you've found to have overstayed, the Straz Graniczna can and will ban you upon finding out.
mujisushi - | 7
24 Mar 2011 #21
It does not sound right to me either, but I have no realistic choice at this point. Time has run out and I am waiting on a work permit.

I went there hoping they could file an extension of some kind, but this was their only brilliant plan. I talked to consulates in DC and Warsaw and both said to contact the UW office in my city. UW gave me an application for residency and said to save my receipts.

To my understanding, the only thing I could possibly do to avoid becoming "illegal" by Polish law is to leave for three months before the 90 days runs out and then return and start over.
mafketis 24 | 8,749
24 Mar 2011 #22
If you have a pending application to legalize your stay as your visa is running out they should issue you a letter legalizing your stay until a decision is reached. That's what they did for me some years ago when I was in a similar situation I was even able to travel outside Poland (for something else) and get back in with the letter. This was pre-Schengen though and I don't know how that's been affected.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
24 Mar 2011 #23
I went there hoping they could file an extension of some kind, but this was their only brilliant plan. I talked to consulates in DC and Warsaw and both said to contact the UW office in my city. UW gave me an application for residency and said to save my receipts.

What they should do is grant (as mafketis says) an extension to the 90 day period. The problem is - without this extension being officially granted, you're open for deportation at any time by the Straz Graniczna.

To my understanding, the only thing I could possibly do to avoid becoming "illegal" by Polish law is to leave for three months before the 90 days runs out and then return and start over.

Every day outside the Schengen zone means one extra day inside Schengen. Places include the UK, Croatia and Ukraine that you can visit easily and visa-free while waiting for the work permit to be issued.

Still the same system is in place, as far as I know. I do know that there is a policy of strict liability applied to this.

Perhaps it's just the way that the particular UW works, but I wouldn't risk it.

which is why i tend to think the Schengen rules are totally unenforced.

The problem is not so much lack of enforcement as who is doing the enforcing. I used to teach one girl who worked for the Straz Graniczna investigating overstayers - and she made it clear that they have a policy of strict liability. On the other hand, the UW offices seem to interpret the law in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways.
weetzielynn - | 8
27 Sep 2011 #25
Hello all!

I realize this thread is 6 months old, but thought I would just try and see if anyone has any answers. I am in a similar situation...I am an American married to a Polish citizen.

My kids and I have US passports that were stamped in Gdansk airport 2.5 months ago. We have our Gdynia "zaswiadczenie zameldowania na pobyt czasowy" (certificate for temporary residence) and filed for the karta pobtyu. Our "certificate" expires in a few weeks. We asked the office in Gdansk what to do and they told us to leave Poland for a day and come back (like everyone else in the thread was told to do). I have read elsewhere and from this post that is not correct. We bought tickets to Norway (outside the Schengren) but now we are scared we will not be allowed back in. What is the best action to take? Is there some sort of extension I can file based on the fact that we are family (wife and children) of a Polish citizen.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
PWEI 3 | 612
27 Sep 2011 #26
Their advice is entirely wrong: leaving the Schengen zone does not give you a fresh tourist visa. If you have been inside the Schengen zone for more than 90 days in the past 180-day period, legally you should be refused entry when you try to to re-enter. And even if you do leave and come back, you are still illegal from the time when you hit the magic 90 days in any 180-day period. Frankly, leaving for a day or two is either pretty much pointless (if you’re under 90 days, as you only then get an extra day or two) or the very worst thing you can do (your passport shows you are illegally in the Schengen and you wish to show it to immigration officers twice!).

The question is when did you apply for your karta pobtyu? If you applied 45 days (might be 30 days, I’d need to double check) or more before the tourist visa (i.e. the stamp in your passport) expires, the foreigners office are legally required to issue a decision with regard to your karta pobtyu. I say ‘decision’ because they are not required to issue the card within that time (and can take up to a couple of weeks to issue it).

So it basically depends on how long ago you filled your application. If it was 45 days or more before the tourist visa expire, you're golden. If not, you really need to make sure you don't get busted for something stupid like jaywalking. Personally I certainly wouldn’t bother going to Norway either way: it’s a waste of money at best and a chance to be refused entry to the Schengen zone at worst.
weetzielynn - | 8
27 Sep 2011 #27
Thank you for the fast response. Your information was very helpful! I agree that going to Norway is not advisable at the time. We will have to wait until the karta pobtyu is sorted out.

We started the application our first week in Gdynia, but it has been held up several times. Prior to coming Poland, we had researched and spoken to the Chicago Polish Consulate to get all our documents in a row. We even had them translated, notarized, and apostilled. However, those documents were rejected because they were not translated in Poland. We spent a week having new translations done only two have the office refuse to validate two of our birth certificates...one because it listed the county of birth, not city...and the other because it did not have my parents name on it. Again we played the waiting game waiting for the updated documents from the US and having them translated here in Poland again. Once all that was accepted and our marriage was validated, my husband was finally able to receive his resident card so that we could file for our temporary resident cards. Despite all out best efforts, this process has taken much longer than expected. All you can do is laugh, right? Luckily, the majority of the people at the government offices have been very helpful and friendly. It is just hard to get a straight answer because each own says something different.

I guess we will just stay put pending the application and cross our fingers they approve it in the next 2.5 weeks. Thanks again for your help!
scottie1113 7 | 898
27 Sep 2011 #28
If you applied 45 days or more before the tourist visa (i.e. the stamp in your passport) expires, the foreigners office are legally required to issue a decision with regard to your karta pobtyu.

It's 45 days. I'm in the process of reapplying for my karta pobytu. After two visiits to the office they stamped my passport with a big red page saying I have permission to remain in Ploand until I receive my new card, and this was before a got the paper with their decision on it. In years past, it has taken up to four months before I got the actual card, so hang on to that decision paper.
Einstein 6 | 48
23 May 2017 #29
I realize this is a very old thread, but my research conflicts with the consensus here that Americans cannot 'reset' their 90 days per 180 days limit in Schengen by going to Germany or Ukraine for a day and coming back. In 1991 the US and Poland created a bilateral agreement that allows this (see below). There is a lot of conflicting information and opinions here about this topic and I would like to finally get a clear answer from someone who knows more about it.

At washington.mfa.gov.pl/en/waszyngton_us_a_en_consular_information_2/waszyngton_us_a_en_visas it says "IMPORTANT FOR THE US CITIZENS: Based on an exchange of diplomatic notes between Poland and the USA, since April 15th, 1991 the US citizens are allowed to enter Poland for any 90 days period without visa. The common rule 90 days of stay in 180-day period does not apply in this case."

The above mentioned diplomatic note is attached as a PDF.

Other posts on this forum have even mentioned that both the US embassy in Poland, and the foreigners' office(s) have told Americans in Poland that they may simply leave for a day to reset their 90 day limit, and they just have to have a hotel receipt or passport stamp to prove it. If this is in fact true, it is very helpful for Americans wishing to stay in Poland more than 180 days per year, and for Americans already here who are getting close to overstaying.

There are also posts from those who have said that they unsuccessfully attempted to get a fresh 90 day limit by going to another country for a day and coming back to Poland based on their knowledge of this US-Poland agreement, and were then banned for a year. My guess is that the bilateral agreement is still in effect, but that many border guards simply do not know about it. Does anyone here have firsthand experience with this? Perhaps anyone trying to reset their 90 day limit wit this method should print out the diplomatic note and keep it on them while crossing the border in case they face difficulty with a boarder guard.

Is it true? Can Americans in Poland really reset their 90 day limit whenever they want by going to Lviv or Berlin for a day?

Additional sources:
expatcenter.blogspot.com/2013/05/staying-in-poland-without-visa-visa.html

travel.stackexchange.com/questions/39649/us-citizen-90-180-schengen-stay-bilateral-agreements-w-poland-denmark-etc


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