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spouse of French citizen overstayed by 3 years

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clara
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« on: June 04, 2018, 10:42:33 am »

Hello,

I am the American spouse of a French citizen. I entered the EU through France on a Greek C visa as the spouse of an EU citizen to join my spouse in Greece. We separated and my spouse moved to Asia before I filed any residency paperwork. I ended up staying anyway, working remotely to support myself. My visa expired 3 years ago.

Now, I need to leave for some time to return to the US. I wish to return to Greece in the near future, but legally. My spouse and I plan to officially divorce after I exit the EU in a few weeks.

My question is - realistically, am I looking at a ban for overstaying? I realize I should have gotten my papers in order and I only have the right to stay in the EU if my spouse is with me exercising EU treaty rights. However, it seems that since we are still married, there may be some gray area here regarding the consequences.

Has anyone been in or heard of similar circumstances? Do you think it would be best to exit the Schengen zone through France or a country like Spain or Italy? Not sure if it's relevant, but we have been married for 11 years.
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« on: June 04, 2018, 10:42:33 am »

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yaris
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Posts: 94


« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 03:12:46 pm »

Your best option is to file for a residency permit while you are still married, before you return to the US. Any other alternative inherits a great risk of having substantial problems (a fee, a ban on entry). The point of exit from the Schengen area (Spain, Italy, France) is irrelevant. Imho, I suggest to defer the divorce as much as you can.

In case you really need to leave the EU before you have your French residence permit, have your marriage certificate with you and if stopped at the border (and questioned about your overstay), just show the marriage certificate without any other comments, that might be the safest way to go around it.
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