How to Get an Extension on a Schengen Visa

Short explanation of how to get an extension:

  • Speak the language of the country where you are applying (not required, but helpful).
  • Go with someone who speaks the language and has a residence where you are staying.
  • Call in advance to find the foreigners office that is closest to wherever you are.
  • Go to the office for foreigners (in a smaller town might be a good idea) and apply. Take cash and any paperwork which may be required -proof of health insurance, passports, proof of marriage (if applicable), proof of income (in the form of pay stubs or a last 90 days bank account printout)
  • Pay – in cash most likely. (In Germany, the extension cost us 50 Euros each.)

Overall, as we have learned elsewhere – if you don’t get the answer you want or need, keep asking – either ask the same person, or if they are unhelpful, go somewhere else and find someone else to ask.

Longer explanation of how to get an extension:

When Americans come to Europe, they automatically get a visa.

It’s a free visa, and it’s known as a Schengen Visa.

It is good for the countries in the Schengen area of Europe.

The Schengen Visa is good for a 90 day period inside if 180 days.

How this works: Let’s say you’ve spent 80 days inside the Schengen area, and you go to England for 3 days (England is in Europe but is not part of the Schengen area), and then you come back to continental Europe.

You still only have 10 days on your Schengen Visa, and then you must leave the Schengen area for 90 days before you can come back. It’s 90 days inside of every 180 days.

Because we came to Italy in June, but we will be in Europe for 6 months altogether (we leave from Mallorca, Spain at the end of October), we needed to extend our Schengen Visa.

We thought it would be best to extend our visa in a country where we speak the language and understand what’s being said to us (mostly).

We tried by going with Nasser in Wiesbaden to the Auslanderbehoerde/auslandsamt (the office for foreigners).

We got the proper forms, got all the proofs of everything that they said were required (insurance, passports, proof we’re married, proof of income) requested, but then when we went back to see the guy who gave us the forms (in Wiesbaden), he was downright unhelpful.

Basically he told us that we needed to go to a different office.

Because we were leaving Wiesbaden anyway, we decided to go while in Hamburg.

Our friend Anne Link, whom we were staying with outside of Hamburg, helped us make the call.

We found out that we didn’t have to go to the audlandsamt in Hamburg, that there was one closer in the small town of Bad Oldesloe.

Anne took us to the office and even had the cash on hand so that we could pay without making a trip to the ATM (and pay her back later).

In short, having a local friend made the experience much, much easier, both in Wiesbaden and in Hamburg.

So, again, our recommendations for extending your Schengen Visa:

  • If at first you don’t succeed, talk with someone else at a different office.
  • Speak the language of the country where you are applying (not required, but helpful).
  • Go with someone who speaks the language and has a residence where you are staying.
  • Call in advance to find the foreigners office that is closest to wherever you are.
  • Go to the office for foreigners (in a smaller town might be a good idea) and apply. Take cash and any paperwork which may be required -proof of health insurance, passports, proof of marriage (if applicable), proof of income (in the form of pay stubs or a last 90 days bank account printout)
  • Pay – in cash most likely. (In Germany, the extension cost us 50 Euros each.)

Thank-you Nasser and Anne for all your help in sorting this out!

“Blind persistence will often result in getting something done by the exact same person that just spent the last hour telling you it couldn’t be done.”

Erika Warmbrunn
Where the Sidewalk Ends

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