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Schengen Travel Rules

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Basically I need to know whether as an American I am allowed to travel within the Schengen zone while I have a Fiktionsbescheinigung for an Aufenthaltserlaubnis fur Studium.

 

I realize there are in theory no border controls between Schengen countries, but I know that is not always the case in reality, and I had quite the scare at the airport today when trying to re-enter the country after a week in the UK (about an hour of the police discussing things seriously, not telling me what the problem was, but ultimately letting me in), but I plan on doing some travel (within the Schengen zone this time) over the next couple months, so I'm trying to figure out exactly what I am and am not allowed to do in my current situation, which is a bit complicated. Here's the longer, more specific version:

 

I was working last year as an English assistant in France, and had a residence permit for France which expired in May. When I moved back to the US in May, I flew home through Munich, so that stamp is in my passport. I visited Germany twice this summer, once for a week in early June, and again for a week at the end of July. I moved to Germany to study in mid October (I'm an MA student at the Freie Universität Berlin), registered at the Bürgeramt, etc, and applied for my Aufenthaltserlaubnis the first week of December. My proof of financial resources paperwork was deemed not official enough, so I was given a Fiktionsbescheinigung valid until March. This is in the form of a piece of paper stamped and signed by the woman at the Ausländerbehörde, with nothing in my passport. What I'm wondering is, if I take this paper with me can I avoid any possible confusion at border checks, or what happens regarding my rights to travel to/from and within the Schengen zone? Am I even allowed to travel? How do my French residence permit and German Fiktionsbescheinigung affect or figure into my 90 out of 180 days Schengen allowance? I wanted to go to Poland and the Czech Republic by train within the next few weeks, I have Ryanair tickets to Stockholm in late January and also a flight to Budapest in February...just want to make sure I'm actually allowed to do this and won't be barred from re-entering the country... Anyone have any insight into this situation?

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A Fiktionsbescheinigung is not a full/normal permit or Visa. It only states that your status as a student is in a pending status. As such it is not

considered a valid document for travel like a normal living permit is. Until you get your Aufenthaltserlaubnis, you can't go anywhere

and expect to get back in without some kind of hassle. Until you get the Aufenthaltserlaubnis you are controlled by the Exp. date of

your Fiktionsbescheinigung. If you do not provide the Amt. with the paperwork they require to verify your status by the exp. date

(March 2010) you must leave Germany/EU/Schengenland as your 90 tourist status will no longer be valid.

 

 

What I'm wondering is, if I take this paper with me can I avoid any possible confusion at border checks, or what happens

regarding my rights to travel to/from and within the Schengen zone?

Take it with you and take the chance. Either the Polish cops will stop and hassle you, the German cops, or both. Hope for the best

but plan for the worst. You may not be allowed back into Germany. Again the Fiktionsbescheinigung is not a full valid permit/visa

for travel. Its only good in Germany. Its not made to be used as a travel document.

 

 

How do my French residence permit and German Fiktionsbescheinigung affect or figure into my 90 out of 180 days Schengen

allowance?

The 90 Days is included in the Permit time. Once the permit expires you do not get another 90 days. You must leave EU/Schengenland

for 3 months before you can return.

 

 

I wanted to go to Poland and the Czech Republic by train within the next few weeks, I have Ryanair tickets to Stockholm in late

January and also a flight to Budapest in February...just want to make sure I'm actually allowed to do this and won't be barred from

re-entering the country.

Again, read the above. You should not have bought tickets or made travel plans before your status here in Germany is figured out.

Right now you are in Limbo. If you leave Germany, don't expect to be let back in.

 

If you are still unsure contact, the Burgeramt, or go talk to the BundesPolizei (Border cops) at Tegel and ask them about your

situation and if they would let you back into Germany with the documents you have. Keep in mind that if you ask 5 different

people you may get 5 different answers. Thats just the way German Govt. people operate.

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more info under search http://www.toytowngermany.com/search/?q=Fiktionsbescheinigung

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I understand that it is not a full permit, what I'm not sure about is how it affects my rights in the Schengen zone as a whole as opposed to just Germany. In France it's normal to spend half the year or more on the equivalent of a Fiktionsbescheinigung while things are being "processed", and the same sorts of questions were raised as to whether we were still allowed to travel to other Schengen countries (if we would normally have that right anyway) and whether, since we were applying for residence in that country, our time in the country counted towards the 90 days tourists get in the Schengen zone (outside of the country where you applied for residence). There too people would get a different answer every time they asked, but I ended up traveling anyway because the woman I dealt with at the prefecture said it was ok, even though others had told me it wasn't, but I never had any problems. That said, passport control in France seems to be a little less stringent than in Germany. Which is why I'm asking the question. There seem to be very concrete set rules here , but maybe it's just me but they seem to be awfully hard to inform yourself on (in an official manner, not just hearsay) until you find you've broken them. And I don't need lecturing about "you shouldn't have bought tickets blah blah blah..." I bought the tickets because they cost like 2 euros. If I can't go, it's not that big a deal, but obviously I would like to go if I can. Thanks for the thoughts though. I'd love to be able to ask someone "official"--any tips on how to actually get someone to answer the phone or talk to me without having to line up at 5am in the cold?

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what I'm not sure about is how it affects my rights in the Schengen zone as a whole as opposed to just Germany

Which is why you need to get off the internet forums, and contact the Amt that does.. (As mentioned before)

 

 

In France it's normal to spend half the year or more on the equivalent of a Fiktionsbescheinigung while things are being "processed"

Guess where you are not.. Thats right in France. Your in Germany, they do things a bit differently here.

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Plan for the worst and you'll never be disappointed or surprised. Good luck with your situation.

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Since moving to 🇩🇪 2,5 years ago we are taking our first airplane trip ever, on Friday, that is only within Schengen! Obviously we will have our US passports with us.  Do we actually need to bring along our Aufenthaltstitel cards since we are just flying from Zürich to Spain and back?  We recall not being checked on previous trips, once within Schengen.  But perhaps it was a „you weren’t, but you could have been“ situation?  🤔 

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6 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

Since moving to 🇩🇪 2,5 years ago we are taking our first airplane trip ever, on Friday, that is only within Schengen! Obviously we will have our US passports with us.  Do we actually need to bring along our Aufenthaltstitel cards since we are just flying from Zürich to Spain and back?  We recall not being checked on previous trips, once within Schengen.  But perhaps it was a „you weren’t, but you could have been“ situation?  🤔 

 

I'd take them anyway if I was you, it's not like it's a hassle.

 

Enjoy your holiday!

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23 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Better safe than sorry.

 

I was at the KVR today applying for mine. They said it will come in 6 - 8 wks.

 

I got mine even a little quicker, in 4 weeks. And yes, we need those cards now to reenter Schengen!
The former solution of carrying along your old passport with the Niederlassung sticker officially is obsolete.

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Yeah you should take them. Flights from Spain are checked more than others. I've been on two flights where they checked while exiting the airplane in Germany. Also a flight from Portugal.

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2 hours ago, BethAnnBitt said:

Since moving to 🇩🇪 2,5 years ago we are taking our first airplane trip ever, on Friday, that is only within Schengen! Obviously we will have our US passports with us.  Do we actually need to bring along our Aufenthaltstitel cards since we are just flying from Zürich to Spain and back?  We recall not being checked on previous trips, once within Schengen.  But perhaps it was a „you weren’t, but you could have been“ situation?  🤔 

Without Aufenthaltstitel you are staying in the Schengen area illegally since you have overstayed your 90 days tourist allowance.

 

If anything, you can travel within Schengen without your American passports, but with the Aufethaltstitel card, even though you are legally required to have both. My own experience (been to all Schengen countries, except Estonia and Finnland) is that you can pack your passports deep in the bag, and use the residence card as ID. 

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There is no border control for Schengen arrivals into Germany and you're Aufenthaltstitel is no use to you on the Spanish side anyway. 

It's a tiny credit card size object, would it be too much to carry it?

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2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Without Aufenthaltstitel you are staying in the Schengen area illegally since you have overstayed your 90 days tourist allowance.

👍  Therein lies the rub.  🙏   Corona Zeit and not traveling for so long messed with my brain. 😂  Hubby made your point, but worded differently.  Now I must say „you are right.“.  😂

1 hour ago, bennetn said:

There is no border control for Schengen arrivals into Germany and you're Aufenthaltstitel is no use to you on the Spanish side anyway. 

It's a tiny credit card size object, would it be too much to carry it?

I live directly on the border and fly in/out of Zürich actually, not Germany.  You’re right and so are others.  I should take it, as hubby said too.  But sometimes I overthink things.  😂  Thanks again to everyone.

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7 hours ago, yourkeau said:

If anything, you can travel within Schengen without your American passports, but with the Aufethaltstitel card, even though you are legally required to have both.

 

This sentence makes no sense.

 

7 hours ago, yourkeau said:

you can pack your passports deep in the bag, and use the residence card as ID. 

 

Why pack the passport deep in the bag in case you are asked for it? Keep it convenient.

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21 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

This sentence makes no sense.

 

 

Why pack the passport deep in the bag in case you are asked for it? Keep it convenient.

Not exactly on topic but I went to the bank today to let them know my new address in Hamburg. They wanted ID. I presented my British passport. Not good enough. They wanted an Ausweis. " I don't have one." 

So I showed them my German Aufenthaltstitel card. That worked. Not deep in my bag.. but an " insurance policy ", so to speak.

Yep, keep it convenient.😇

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11 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

Yeah you should take them. Flights from Spain are checked more than others. I've been on two flights where they checked while exiting the airplane in Germany.

 

I carry the Aufenthaltstitle but not (UK) passport when within Germany.  Oustide I carry both.

 

Re above it will be interesting to see what happens when I rteurn from PMI to HAM next Sunday.

In past years I've never been asked for ID when returning from Ibiza or Mallorca.

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10 hours ago, fraufruit said:

This sentence makes no sense.

 

Yes, it does, read carefully. I lived close to the Czech Republic and have been many times on the other side of the border. If I lose my Aufenthaltstitel I just apply for a new one and that's it. If I lose my passport, it is a nightmare to get a new one, a huge nightmare. You're a citizen of a privileged country with a good functioning bureaucracy, this is why you don't understand the problem. 

 

If I hike on the border or go to some border town (Cheb), I don't take my passport, just like I don't carry it while in Germany. It is safer at home. When I go to Prague, I do take it but hide it so deep in the bag that it never gets lost or stolen. Same in Austria and Switzerland. 

 

10 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Why pack the passport deep in the bag in case you are asked for it? Keep it convenient.

This case has never happened. The only inconvenience was in Ceuta (Spanish territory in Africa, near Morocco) when heading to mainland Spain. The border cops have never seen Aufenthaltstitel, so I explained to them what it was. Just 5 minutes inconvenience. 

 

 

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Fine, YMMV. Also worth considering is that a couple of times, they checked only ME and not the rest of my family or other people with very light skin who looked like Hans Brinker. In spite of this, I do not carry my residence permit in Frankfurt. I have my US passport card just in case I need it, and because it's cheap, but I try to show my driver's license in general anyway, like when I pick up packages. When they don't accept it, I show them the passport card.

 

But, you're right about the convenience of re-applying for a new passport. If it's super hard, and you want to take the risk of not traveling with it, your choice, but when I am far away from home, I want my passport with me. If you're caught without it and they really want to see it, your ass is grass.

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42 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

If you're caught without it and they really want to see it, your ass is grass.

Of course, I have my electronic copy with me, always. 

 

You know, people tend to forget things, and there is nothing the police can really do against "Opps, I forgot it", as soon as they have the means to verify who you are and what your legal status is. Aufenthaltskarte gives a clear answer to both questions. It even has my fingerprints (during the time I lived in Germany my passport was not biometric). 

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