Last Updated : Sep 4, 2023

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Types of Schengen Visas and Their Validity

A Schengen visa obtained from any of the Schengen Area member countries entitles the holder to free travel across the Schengen Zone, including among European Union Schengen members and EFTA Schengen members, subject to the validity and length constraints of the visa.

In most cases, you will be given your first Schengen visa, which will be valid for the duration of your planned stay in the Schengen-Area (e.g. from November 1 to 12).

The Embassy can grant Schengen-visas for subsequent trips that allow the bearer to stay in the Schengen-Area for a set number of days within a period (e.g. 30 days between March 1 and May 31).

The maximum stay in the Schengen-Area is always the number of days mentioned on the visa! The period begins on the first day of arrival into the Schengen-Area.

You can stay in the Schengen-Area for a maximum of 90 days every half-year if you have a Schengen-Visa with a validity of one year or more and a registered duration of stay of 90 days (in Germany or other Schengen-Countries). Please keep in mind that the counting of the duration of stay does not begin when the visa's validity begins.

Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)

The Uniform Schengen Visa is a visa issued by one of the Schengen Area Member Countries to transit or remain in the targeted region for up to 90 days every six months, beginning on the entrance date.

Single-entry visa

A single-entry visa permits the holder to enter the Schengen Area only once, for the duration specified on the visa sticker affixed to their passport. Even if the visa holder has not spent the maximum number of days allowed by the embassy that issued the visa, they are unable to return once they leave the Schengen area.

Double-entry visa

A double-entry visa works in much the same way as the single-entry visa described above. The only difference between a single-entry and a double-entry visa is that the latter allows you to return to the Schengen area after you have already left it.

You must be extremely cautious not to exceed the number of days you are permitted to stay in the Schengen Zone, as well as the time frame in which you are permitted to spend these days in the EU. Again, don't confuse the "double-entry" designation with the number of countries you're allowed to visit and stay in within the time limit.

Multiple-entry visa

A multiple-entry visa permits the holder to enter and exit the Schengen Area as many times as they like, as long as the 90/180 guideline is followed.

Visas with a limited territorial validity (LTV)

This form of visa allows you to travel just within the Schengen State that issued the visa, or in rare situations, only the Schengen States that were specifically indicated when the visa was applied for. Apart from these Schengen nations, this visa is not valid in any other Schengen country that has not been stated in advance.

This sort of visa does not allow the holder to enter or transit through any Schengen country that is not the initial and final destination. As an exemption to the ordinary USV system, this sort of visa is issued in very unusual circumstances, such as for humanitarian reasons or under international obligations. In addition, this sort of visa may be used by those who do not have a valid travel document but need to go to a Schengen area for any reason.

National Visas

Specific individuals who will be studying, working, or permanently staying in one of the Schengen nations will be issued a national visa of the "D" type. In addition, a single-entry national visa can be given to those who need to stay in a Schengen country for a specific time and for a particular reason before returning to their home country. On the other hand, a multi-entry national visa is granted to select individuals, allowing them to freely enter and exit this Schengen country as well as travel throughout the Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.

What's the Difference Between a Visa's Validity and a Stay's Duration?

The validity of your single-entry visa or double-entry visa, except a multiple-entry visa, which allows you to stay in the Schengen region for a maximum of 90 days during 180 days, is determined by the embassy. The number of days you are allowed to spend in any of the Schengen countries and the first day you are allowed to enter, and the last day you are allowed to leave are determined by the embassy.

The maximum number of days you are allowed to stay in Schengen is the duration of your stay. Thus, even if you enter just a few minutes before midnight, the first day you enter Schengen is counted as "Day 1." The "Last Day," on the other hand, is the day you leave Schengen, even if it is only a few minutes after midnight.

On the other hand, Visa validity refers to the length of time you can enter and stay in the Schengen Area using your visa.

If you hold a double-entry visa valid from January 1 to March 1 and a stay of 10 days, you can enter the Schengen Area twice during that time. During both travels, you are still not allowed to stay longer than 10 days. For example, if you stay seven days on your first trip, you can only last three days on your second trip. Even if your visa is still valid, you will not be allowed to enter the country if you make only one trip and spend 10 days in any member state.

If you have a three-year multiple-entry visa that expires on January 15, 2018, you will be able to enter and depart Schengen whenever you choose until January 15, 2021. However, it is important to remember that each 180-day term has a 90-day restriction.