Schengen Visa Extension - A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated : 20 Nov 2023

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30-Second Summary

In most cases, extending a Schengen Visa during your trip is not allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. If you wish to prolong your stay, you must exit the Schengen Area and apply for a new visa to return and continue your visit.

Obtaining an extension for a Schengen Visa is a rare occurrence and is typically granted only in extraordinary situations.

Suppose you're planning to explore the stunning Schengen countries in Europe. In that case, you've probably obtained a Schengen visa to make your journey possible. However, what if your travel plans change, or you simply can't get enough of the beauty Europe has to offer?

The good news is that you can extend your Schengen visa, allowing you to stay longer and continue your adventure. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you step by step through extending your Schengen visa.

Is It Possible to Extend a Schengen Visa?

In most cases, extending a Schengen Visa during your trip is not allowed, except under exceptional circumstances. If you wish to prolong your stay, you must exit the Schengen Area and apply for a new visa to return and continue your visit.

In adherence to Schengen regulations, individuals can acquire a short-stay visa for Europe, allowing them a maximum stay of 90 days within a six-month timeframe. Nevertheless, for numerous foreign travelers, this 90-day duration may prove insufficient and they want to extend their visa.

Note: Obtaining an extension for a Schengen Visa is rare and is typically granted only in extraordinary situations.

Understanding Schengen Visa Validity

Before contemplating an extension of your Schengen visa, it's crucial to be well-versed in the validity of your current visa and its type. A Schengen short-stay visa can fall into one of the following categories:

    Single Entry: This type permits you to stay within the Schengen Area for several days. Once you leave, re-entry is not allowed under the same visa.

    Double Entry: Similar to a single-entry visa, you can stay for a designated period within the Schengen Zone. However, a double-entry visa allows you to enter the Schengen Area twice during the visa's validity period. Once you depart for the second time, the visa expires.

    Multiple Entry: With a multiple-entry visa, you can enter any Schengen member state multiple times during the visa's validity period. You are free to do so if you do not exceed the 3-month limit within a six-month timeframe.

Regardless of your visa type, if you have compelling reasons to extend your stay, you can apply for an extension visa for Schengen. Your eligibility for an extension will depend on the strength of your case and the authorities' discretion.

What Reasons Can Justify A Schengen Visa Extension?

Extending a Schengen Visa is a process with stringent criteria reserved for exceptional circumstances. To be eligible, you should have spent less than 90 days in the Schengen Area within the last 180-day period, and your visa should still be valid.

The reasons deemed justifiable for seeking an extension fall under the scrutiny of competent authorities and include:

Force Majeure

This pertains to situations beyond your control that prevent an immediate return to your home country. Examples encompass natural disasters like volcanic eruptions or earthquakes, extreme weather conditions, civil disturbances, or major political events such as wars or riots.

Additionally, unforeseen alterations or cancellations of your travel plans by carriers (e.g., airlines or shipping companies) due to specific weather conditions or labour strikes can qualify as force majeure.

Humanitarian Grounds

Humanitarian reasons are deeply rooted in the personal circumstances of the visa applicant. It often relates to medical emergencies, where you or a family member accompanying you faces a severe health issue, rendering travel impossible or risky.

Alternatively, it may involve significant family events affecting close relatives residing in a Schengen State, such as serious illnesses, unexpected deaths, or unanticipated weddings.

Professional Complications

If circumstances beyond your control impeded your business endeavours within the Schengen Area, you might be eligible for an extension.

This typically applies when critical business activities cannot be concluded within the stipulated visa period.

Important Personal Reasons

It's possible (but difficult) to extend your visa for personal reasons. However, this might not always be successful as immigration authorities/immigration officers have the final decision on your Schengen Visa extension.

The Application Process

Submitting your visa extension application is of utmost importance, and it should be done before the expiration of both the visa's validity period and the duration of your stay specified on your Schengen Visa.

Now that your documents are in order, it's time to submit your application. Follow these steps:


    Contact the Relevant Authority: Determine the appropriate authority responsible for processing extension visas for Schengen in the country you're in.


    Submit Your Application: Visit the designated office and submit your application and all the required documents.


    Biometrics and Interview: Be prepared to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and attend an interview if requested.

Overview Of Extending A Schengen Visa

Eligibility for Schengen Visa Extension

Before diving into the extension process, it's crucial to understand whether you're eligible for a Schengen visa extension. 

Most travellers seek extensions for valid reasons, such as medical treatment, unforeseen events, or exceptional personal circumstances. It's important to have a compelling reason for your extension request to increase your chances of approval.

Where Should I Apply For An Extension Of Schengen Visa?

Research and identify the appropriate authority responsible for processing visa extensions in the Schengen country where you are staying. This information can often be found on the official government website of that country's immigration or visa department.

Pay a visit to the designated office during their operating hours. Be sure to bring all the required documents and any additional paperwork specified by the authority.

Planning for Your Visa Extension

Timing is everything when it comes to extending your Schengen visa. Start planning well in advance of your visa's expiration date. Waiting until the last minute can result in a denied extension, so allow plenty of time for the process.

Required Documents

The key to a successful visa extension is having the right documents in order. Here's a list of essential documents you'll need:

    Extension Application Form: Fill out the appropriate extension application form for the Schengen country you're in.

    Valid Passport: Ensure your passport has at least two blank pages and is valid for a sufficient period.

    Passport Photo: One photo that adheres to the Schengen visa photo regulations.

    Travel Insurance: Provide proof of valid travel insurance that covers the duration of your extended stay.

    Reason for Extension: Prepare a well-documented letter explaining the reason for your extension request.

    Proof of Means: Demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself during the extended stay.

    Return Ticket: Proof of your flight ticket.

    Proof of Accommodation: Proof of where you will be staying.

    Previous Travel Itinerary: Present your initial travel itinerary and proof of entry into the Schengen area.

Processing Time and Fees

The processing time for a Schengen visa extension can vary depending on your location and the workload of the relevant authority. Generally, it takes several weeks, so plan accordingly. 

Additionally, be aware of the visa extension fees, which may differ from the initial visa application fees.

The visa extension fee for a Visa C extension is usually €30 for the first extension.

Waiting Period and Updates

During the waiting period, it's essential to remain patient. You can inquire about the status of your application, but keep in mind that it may take some time to process. Be sure to check for any updates regularly.

Tips for a Successful Extension

To increase your chances of a successful Schengen visa extension, consider these tips:

    Submit a Convincing Letter: Write a compelling letter explaining why you need the extension and how it benefits you and the Schengen country you visit.

    Provide Additional Proof: If possible, offer additional documents that support your case, such as medical certificates or letters of invitation.

Handling Visa Denials

In the unfortunate event that your extension request is denied, don't lose hope. You have options:

    Appeal the Decision: You can appeal the decision within a specified period. Consult with a legal expert for guidance on the appeals process.

    Reapply: Sometimes, you may reapply for an extension with stronger supporting documents or a different reason.


Extending your Schengen visa may seem daunting, but it's achievable with the right information and preparation. Always plan, gather the necessary documents, and submit a convincing application.

Whether exploring Europe's historic cities, picturesque landscapes, or vibrant cultures, a Schengen visa extension can help you make the most of your European adventure.

Government Sources

At Atlys, we thoroughly check every detail for precision. Our information is derived directly from reliable governmental sources, ensuring its genuineness. This article is designed using AI to provide clear and concise insights.


Frequently Asked Questions

Schengen tourist visas can be extended in exceptional circumstances, such as force majeure or for humanitarian reasons. It's important to apply before your visa expires and provide a valid reason for the extension. Typically, extensions do not exceed 90 days within a 180-day period. Contact the relevant embassy for specific procedures.

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