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Understanding the SES: Length of Stay and Consequences of Overstaying in Europe

This article will tell you more about the Entry-Exit System- SES, and why it's crucial to respect the duration of your stay in the Schengen area.

Many travelers and tourists visiting Europe wonder what the impact will be if they extend their stay in the Schengen area beyond the 90-day visa limit.

The Entry-Exit System (SES) is a computerized technology that automatically tracks the movements of non-Europeans visiting European countries for a short period, whether or not they require a visa. This system replaces traditional passport stamps, automating border controls for a more efficient process, it also detects people overstaying or using false identities.

If you are a non-European visitor staying for up to 90 days, the SES system applies to you.

This 90-day period is uniform for all European countries using the SES system, your personal information is recorded each time you enter or leave a European country, to facilitate border controls and prevent crime, including terrorism.

Your data will be stored for various lengths of time:

- Entry, exit and refusal registrations: 3 years from the date of registration.

- Individual files with personal data: 3 years and one day after your last exit (or refusal).

- If no exit is recorded: 5 years after the end of the authorized stay.

To find out how long you can stay and what the consequences are of exceeding this time limit:

1. Find out: Passport officers will tell you how much time you have left if you ask.

2. Use SES tools: Consult an online tool on their website or at border crossings such as

Some of the consequences of exceeding the deadline are:

- You will be considered an overstayer and your details will be put on a list.

- Depending on the country, various sanctions may apply, such as deportation, fines or even detention.

- You may also be banned from entering the EU.

Circumstances in which sanctions can be avoided is by showing good cause (serious injury, illness), you can be removed from the list by lodging a complaint. Exceptions may apply for family members with different rules if you are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.

Don't forget that if you plan to stay in France for more than 90 days, you must first obtain a long-stay visa.

writing, letter, important

If you've overstayed and want to minimize the risks at the Schengen border, we believe it's essential to send a letter to the Police aux Frontières (PAF), which operates as a specialized unit of the national police force, responsible for monitoring national borders, enforcing immigration laws, combating illegal immigration, border security, and coordinating cross-border operations.

In this letter, we will explain to the PAF your situation, the reasoning behind your entry, stay and overstay in France, and provide the documents that justify the above explanations.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, contact us now to find the best solution for you!


Book a first 30 minutes online meeting with our Managing Attorney, Yuliana Colorado ESQ.

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