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An immigration policeman checks the passport of a visitor to Germany at the Frankfurt airport/Photo: Frontex

Germany: Visitors allowed to overstay their visa because of Coronavirus – Interior Minister

Anyone who is in Germany with an expired Schengen visa does not have to fear any punishment for the time being, the German press agency dpa has reported. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer issued on Friday a corresponding administrative directive, allowing such visa overstayers to remain in the country until 30 June.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is responding to the special situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Many foreign visitors to Germany cannot leave and return to their home countries due to the restrictions in international travel. 

The Ministry of the Interior will decide, according to the prevailing situation in the world, whether to extend the provisional regulation, which took effect on 10 April, beyond the end of June.

Non-EU nationals are currently only allowed to enter the Schengen area in exceptional cases. Quoting an internal communication of the Federal Police, dpa reported that anyone who has a long-stay visa for Germany is currently not allowed to enter the country. Exceptions apply if the entry is for the purpose of family reunification or for taking up a job in a sector considered to belong to critical national infrastructure.

Sola Jolaoso

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