Sunday Times - - Travel -

How does one go about get­ting a Schen­gen visa for a longer pe­riod of time than only for the pe­riod one is in a Schen­gen coun­try? I have an air ticket, travel in­sur­ance and all the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion for a trip at the end of Oc­to­ber — for which I plan to ap­ply for the req­ui­site visa — but can I get a visa that is valid for longer than the pe­riod I am away? Two years would be ideal. Is this pos­si­ble and should I re­quest it with my ap­pli­ca­tion? — Miri

The short an­swer is no — tourist visas to Schen­gen area coun­tries are limited to a max­i­mum of 90 days. While you could ap­ply for an ex­ten­sion, it won’t be very long and cer­tainly not two years. If you are work­ing or study­ing in the EU, you can ap­ply for a one-year “D” visa but you would be bet­ter off try­ing to get a mul­ti­pleen­try visa. Valid for five years, it al­lows you to freely en­ter and leave the Schen­gen area as many times as you like within the pe­riod of va­lid­ity, sub­ject to the 180/90 rule — stays may not be longer than 90 days and vis­its must be at least six months apart.

Be­ing is­sued with a mul­ti­ple-en­try visa is, how­ever, not as sim­ple as just ask­ing for it. Fre­quent vis­i­tors to the EU seem to have a bet­ter chance of get­ting these cov­eted visas on sub­se­quent visa ap­pli­ca­tions. See schen­gen­vi­sainfo.com.

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