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Old 25-11-2012, 00:52   #1
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Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

Greetings

We are currently wintering onboard in Greece and find ourselves in a somewhat unique situation... We are Non-EU citizens.

On 3 previous Official Entries into Greece, Greek officials have stamped our Passports with an ENTRY Stamp. This is the "normal Schengen 90/180" stamp. On our latest entry, Oct 4, 2012, the Official stamped our Crew-List with the Entry Stamp. Our Passport do not have the Entry Stamp. I was somewhat concerned at the time as I had not heard of this option. Later in read through the Instruction details on the Greek Transit LOG, Section 5, it makes reference to the Crew-List and infers that this is the Correct method???? With further research, I found that the Crew-List stamp is the normal process for Commercial vessel and Crew members.

I have asked about, "How long are we allowed to stay in Country"? The answer given was that we could stay indefinitely, as long as we stay onboard each night.

At this time I have not found another non-EU yacht that has had this happen to.

We are nervous about being outside of the Normal Yacht Procedures. We are NOT a commercial Vessel.

Has anyone else had any experience with this Check-in Procedure? On the surface this seems like a great way around the Schengen 90 day limitations as long as it does not create other issue????

Thanks Tom
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Old 25-11-2012, 01:07   #2
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

My friend you may find the Greek authorities a lot more conducive to your plight with a bit of shall we say, easing of the way. There is a growing anger and antipathy to the E.U. as you well know.How does the lack of a stamp in your passport affect the rest of your voyage may be a problem obviously.
I have no recent experience of E.U. beurocrap. Cast your mind back to other ports of call to try and gauge the level of diligence.Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen.
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Old 25-11-2012, 01:11   #3
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Originally Posted by onehalfmoon
Greetings

We are currently wintering onboard in Greece and find ourselves in a somewhat unique situation... We are Non-EU citizens.

On 3 previous Official Entries into Greece, Greek officials have stamped our Passports with an ENTRY Stamp. This is the "normal Schengen 90/180" stamp. On our latest entry, Oct 4, 2012, the Official stamped our Crew-List with the Entry Stamp. Our Passport do not have the Entry Stamp. I was somewhat concerned at the time as I had not heard of this option. Later in read through the Instruction details on the Greek Transit LOG, Section 5, it makes reference to the Crew-List and infers that this is the Correct method???? With further research, I found that the Crew-List stamp is the normal process for Commercial vessel and Crew members.

I have asked about, "How long are we allowed to stay in Country"? The answer given was that we could stay indefinitely, as long as we stay onboard each night.

At this time I have not found another non-EU yacht that has had this happen to.

We are nervous about being outside of the Normal Yacht Procedures. We are NOT a commercial Vessel.

Has anyone else had any experience with this Check-in Procedure? On the surface this seems like a great way around the Schengen 90 day limitations as long as it does not create other issue????

Thanks Tom
You have identified the issue yourself. You are not a commercial ship, you dont enjoy the exclusions granted to seamen under Schengen/nor under local country laws Treat the situation as before. 90/180


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Old 25-11-2012, 01:13   #4
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Originally Posted by salticrak
My friend you may find the Greek authorities a lot more conducive to your plight with a bit of shall we say, easing of the way. There is a growing anger and antipathy to the E.U. as you well know.How does the lack of a stamp in your passport affect the rest of your voyage may be a problem obviously.
I have no recent experience of E.U. beurocrap. Cast your mind back to other ports of call to try and gauge the level of diligence.Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen.
This isn't useful or good advise. Greece will and is applying EU law. Whatever about protests etc. , these are irrelevant , just a populace letting off steam.

The worst that can happen is you could be denied entry into the EU and or fined or detained.

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Old 25-11-2012, 01:30   #5
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
This isn't useful or good advise. Greece will and is applying EU law. Whatever about protests etc. , these are irrelevant , just a populace letting off steam.

The worst that can happen is you could be denied entry into the EU and or fined or detained.

Dave
Well who was giving advice? I was merely painting a picture for goodness sake.If you want the official advice go to the bloody authorities and jump thru all the hoops,surely that is obvious? Just a populace letting off steam you say,tell that to the poor bastards that have been doing the right thing over there and are being screwed by the authorities you hold in such high esteem.I wonder how many of them are queuing for basic medical treatment that may not exist any more.
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Old 25-11-2012, 02:39   #6
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
You have identified the issue yourself. You are not a commercial ship, you dont enjoy the exclusions granted to seamen under Schengen/nor under local country laws Treat the situation as before. 90/180


Dave
I would go with GBN's above suggestion - but would also have a plan B if it throws up difficulties for a re-entry.
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Old 25-11-2012, 02:47   #7
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Originally Posted by salticrak
Well who was giving advice? I was merely painting a picture for goodness sake.If you want the official advice go to the bloody authorities and jump thru all the hoops,surely that is obvious? Just a populace letting off steam you say,tell that to the poor bastards that have been doing the right thing over there and are being screwed by the authorities you hold in such high esteem.I wonder how many of them are queuing for basic medical treatment that may not exist any more.
I've been in Greece recently and I have several good friends there. Greece will come of this , with EU , help , it will a stronger wiser place ( that will learn the wisdom of collecting taxes , ) hopefully also the disparity beyween private and public employment will also be reduced.

Other then that the society continues to function, don't beleive all you hear in the news. Way too much sensationalism in the media.

I was reacting to your views that Schengen rules might be " bent" simply because of antipathy to the EU, that advise is quite frankly nonsense. Greece knows its future lies inside the EU. Equally Greeces problem are a myriad of issues built up over time, most of them Greeces own fault. It will however get sorted. It has nothing to do with the OPs question.

Commercial boats and seamen have specific rights under Schengen and under national laws. Equally they are under specific responsibities ( sTCW95 etc) Those rights do not extend to leisure sailors who are merely conventional tourists and subject to normal tourist laws. The crew list should not have been stamped and the passports should have been. The fact that an official does something wrong does not empower you with additional rights. (Or the other way around )

The correct thing is get the appropriate Schengen visa stamped into the passports.
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Old 25-11-2012, 02:53   #8
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

Anyone had any success with using "innocent passage" to avoid checking into bureaucrapically difficult places?

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
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Old 25-11-2012, 02:57   #9
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Originally Posted by micah719
Anyone had any success with using "innocent passage" to avoid checking into bureaucrapically difficult places?

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
Does not apply. Innocent passage does not mean heading into a port. Once inside a nations territorial waters , your vessel , unless excluded by international treaty , is subject to all the local laws of that country. Your registration or flag conveys no immunity whatsoever. A cruiser doodling around a coast cannot claim he or she is on innocent passage. The US of course has not ratified UNCLOS.!!

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Old 25-11-2012, 07:35   #10
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

Hi All thanks for the interesting discussion.

As GBN has suggested, get off the Crew List and get stamps in your Passport. That IS exactly what I am trying to do!

Some of the difficulty here is language, I do not speak Greek.

I returned to the Passport Control office at the original Port of Entry. They were unable to do anything as the Yacht was no longer in their district. When I asked about the Crew List and Commercial vessel concerns they indicated no problem.. My though was that this was the Office and the same guy that started this whole issue and maybe he would see the error and correct it. It did not happen.

Then I went to the local Passport Control Office, this is the official that explained how the Crew List process worked. He indicated that we could stay as long as we liked. Plus he also explained the process of removing ourselves from the Crew List. Lots of Paperwork, Officially Sign Off from the vessel and go directly to the near Airport and depart the country.

As our plan are to do exactly that late January, it appears that we just have to wait until then. Unfortunately this is past the 90 days Schengen allowance....

Whether we are Legal are not remains to be seen. Adding to the confusion is the reference to the Crew list being stamped in the Official Yacht Transit Log Instruction section. The statement make no reference to Pleasure Craft of Commercial vessel??

Thanks for the discussion.
Cheers
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Old 25-11-2012, 07:45   #11
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

halfmoon can you tell me where you cleared in as might be able to help you
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Old 25-11-2012, 08:22   #12
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

Hi We cleared into Greece at Preveza and we are wintering at Lefkas Marina.

Tom
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Old 25-11-2012, 08:23   #13
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If you are flying out I would not overstay the Schengen allowance. Irrespective of who stamped what and where.


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Old 25-11-2012, 12:47   #14
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

what i believe has happened here is that what you call passport control is in fact custom's and Coast Guard what they should of done is sent you to local police first to have your passports stamped then once that was done you then return to have crew list and transit log done of which you also by rights should handover port tax forms each one has a value .88 euro cents to the amount they require .
I would now go to the local police and have passport stamped
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Old 25-11-2012, 14:11   #15
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Re: Greek Immigration / Visa issue.

Hi Thanks for your comments.

No that is not the case here. As we have checked in/out of Greece 3 times previously the process was much the same each same. First to Port Police, then to Customs to purchase the Transit Log, then back to Port Police and then to Immigration / Passport Control and then back to Port Police . Passport Control has in the past always stamped the Passport with the ENTRY stamp and Date. This time it was on the CREW LIST.

In reviewing our previous Greek ENTRY / DEPARTURE stamps, the stamp on our current Crew List is exactly the same.

If you have access to a recent Greek Transit Log, look at the Instructions, inside the front and back cover sheets. Section 5. It is dual language, GR and EN. It refers to the Crew List procedure..

Thanks Tom
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