Validity of a Travel Visa
The Validity of a Travel Visa Information
Visas can also be single-entry, which means the visa is cancelled as soon as the holder leaves the country; double-entry, or multiple-entry, which permits double or multiple entries into the country with the same visa. Countries may also issue re-entry permits that allow temporarily leaving the country without invalidating the visa. Even a business visa will normally not allow the holder to work in the host country without an additional work permit.
Once issued, a visa will typically have to be used within a certain period of time.
The Validity of a Visa
With some countries, the validity of a visa is not the same as the authorized period of stay. The visa validity then indicates the time period when entry is permitted into the country. For example, if a visa has been issued to begin on January 1 and to expire on March 30, and the typical authorized period of stay in a country is 90 days, then the 90-day authorized stay starts on the day the passenger enters the country (entrance has to be between 1 January and 30 March). Thus, the latest day the traveller could conceivably stay in the issuing country is 1 July (if the traveller entered on 30 March). This interpretation of visas is common in the Americas.
Interpretation of Visa
With other countries, a person may not stay beyond the period of validity of their visa, which is usually set within the period of validity of their passport. The visa may also limit the total number of days the visitor may spend in the applicable territory within the period of validity. This interpretation of visa periods is common in Europe.
Validity Period of a Visa
Once in the country, the validity period of a visa or authorized stay can often be extended for a fee at the discretion of immigration authorities. Overstaying a period of authorized stay given by the immigration officers is considered illegal immigration even if the visa validity period isn’t over (i.e., for multiple entry visas) and a form of being «out of status» and the offender may be fined, prosecuted, deported, or even blacklisted from entering the country again.
Entering a Country Without a Valid Visa
Entering a country without a valid visa or visa exemption may result in detention and removal (deportation or exclusion) from the country. Undertaking activities that are not authorized by the status of entry (for example, working while possessing a non-worker tourist status) can result in the individual being deemed liable for deportation—commonly referred to as an illegal alien. Such violation is not a violation of a visa, despite the common misuse of the phrase, but a violation of status; hence the term «out of status».
Even having a visa does not guarantee entry to the host country. The border crossing authorities make the final determination to allow entry, and may even cancel a visa at the border if the alien cannot demonstrate to their satisfaction that they will abide by the status their visa grants them.
Some countries that do not require visas for short stays may require a long-stay visa for those who intend to apply for a residence permit. For example, the EU does not require a visa of citizens of many countries for stays under 90 days, but its member states require a long-stay visa of such citizens for longer stays.
How long is my visa valid for?
Traditional visas are either stamped or adhered to a traveler’s passport. If your visa is affixed to your passport, it is typically a small card with your name, passport number, date of birth, place of birth, and travel purpose and expiration date. Visas that have been stamped typically contain less information.
Typically, they contain only the visa’s validity date and origin, as well as official instructions specifying the visa’s duration.
Electronic visas, or eVisas, are digital visas that are stored in a database rather than being stamped or affixed to the bearer’s passport. The eVisa is linked to the passport number of the individual.
Visas typically impose restrictions on the length of the foreigner’s stay, the areas of the country they may enter, the dates they may enter, the number of permitted visits, and whether or not the individual may work in the country in question.
If your visa is affixed to your passport, it is typically a small card with your name, passport number, date of birth, place of birth, and travel purpose and expiration date. Visas that have been stamped typically contain less information.
The visa expiration date is shown on the visa along with the visa issuance date. Visa validity refers to the period of time between visa issuance and expiration. The visa validity indicates how long you are permitted to enter a country.
Most countries allow tourists to stay for between one and three months. You may be able to extend your stay if you can demonstrate sufficient financial resources. Some nations require a renewal every month, while others require it only every three months.
Visas can be single-entry, which expires when the holder leaves the country, or multiple-entry or double-entry, which permits double or multiple entries with the same visa. Countries may also issue re-entry permits that permit temporary departure without invalidating the visa.
Once issued, a visa must typically be utilized within a specified timeframe.
In some countries, the visa validity and authorized length of stay differ. The visa validity then indicates the period during which entry into the country is permitted.
A person may not remain in other countries beyond the visa’s validity period. The visa may also stipulate a maximum number of days the visitor may spend on the territory during its validity period. This is a common interpretation of visa validity periods in Europe.
The validity period of a visa can be extended after entry into the country. Overstaying a period of authorized stay granted by immigration officers constitutes illegal immigration, even if the visa validity period has not expired (i.e., for multiple entry visas) and is a form of being “out of status” for which the offender can be fined, prosecuted, deported, or even barred from entering the country again.
If you enter a country without a visa or visa exemption, you may be detained and removed (deported or excluded) from the country. By engaging in activities that are not permitted by the status of entry (for instance, working while holding a non-worker tourist status) a person may be deemed deportable and referred to as an illegal alien. Despite the common misuse of the phrase, such a violation is a status violation, not a visa violation; hence the term “out of status.”
Even with a visa, entry to the host country is not assured. The border crossing authorities make the final decision to allow entry and may cancel a visa at the border if you cannot demonstrate to their satisfaction that they will adhere to the status that the visa grants.
The distinction between a passport and a Visa.
A passport is a national identification document used for travel. Generally, a visa is affixed to a passport as an entry permit for a foreign country. A passport is issued by either the country of birth or the country of current residence. A visa is issued by the embassy or consulate of a foreign nation.
Visa upon arrival or Visa-free Visa-free refers to the ability to enter a foreign country without a visa. In this instance, only a valid passport is required for entry and exit.
Visa on arrival indicates that travelers are required to obtain a visa to enter their destination country, but can obtain one upon arrival. Visitors are not required to apply for a visa in advance.
Which nation offers the longest visitor visa?
Indonesia’s digital nomad visa offers the longest stay period available (five years). Norway and Thailand offer a four-year visa, while Germany has a three-year visa. Most other countries offer stays of one to two years.
Which country has the strictest visa requirements?
North Korea is by far the most challenging country to obtain a tourist visa for. To obtain a visa for North Korea, you must apply through a travel agency that offers state-approved tours. If you have an American or South Korean passport, you are ineligible for a North Korean visa.
How Long is the Schengen Visa Valid For? What Happens If I Overstay?
When traveling within the Schengen Area, it’s important to check your Schengen Visa’s validity to ensure you don’t have an expired visa. You will not be permitted to stay in Europe after the expiration of your Schengen Visa, unless you extend it.
How long is the short-stay Schengen Visa valid for?
Short-stay Schengen Visas are only valid for a maximum of 3 months (90 days) within a six-month period.
Although multiple-entry visas are valid for longer periods — six months to five years — you may only spend 90 days (duration of stay on your visa sticker) in the Schengen Area within a rolling 180-day period (known as its validity period).
The validity period of your visa indicates how long you can use your visa. The dates are mentioned on your visa sticker. It will have a ‘From’ date, from which you are permitted to enter the Schengen Area, and an ‘Until’ date — the date on which you must leave — the end of its validity period.
Validity period on different types of visas and the number of entries
A short-stay Schengen visa (type C) can be delivered for several types of entries. The validity period of your visa can depend on this criteria.
- A single-entry visa (« 1 » on the visa sticker) authorizes the holder to enter the Schengen area once and for a certain period of time. Once they leave the Schengen area, the validity of the visa expires, even if the authorized period to stay in the area is not yet over.
- A double-entry visa (« 2 » on the sticker) authorizes its holder to enter the Schengen area twice during the validity period of the visa. It is therefore possible to leave the Schengen area and enter it again during that time. After the second exit, the visa expires.
- A multiple-entry visa (“MULT” on the sticker): this multiple-entry visa allows its holder to enter and exit the Schengen area an unlimited number of times. This authorization remains valid for a maximum of 90 days over a 180 day period. It is possible to obtain a type C MULT Schengen visa with a validity period of 6 months to 5 years maximum. This visa is mostly granted to those who have valid reasons for travelling often to the Schengen area, who have no negative precedent in their visa history, who have a healthy financial situation in their country of origin and who truly intend on leaving the Schengen territory before the expiration date of their visa.
However the rule remains the same: no stay exceeding 90 days in the Schengen area over a 180 day period.
What happens if I overstay my Schengen Visa?
The first thing to know is that now, with computerized visa checks in place across the Schengen Area, an overstayed visa never goes unnoticed. Immigration authorities have registered in their databases every person that enters and leaves, and if you overstay, even for just one day, it will be recorded. Authorities will also punish you whether your overstay beyond your Schengen Visa’s validity was intentional or unintentional. You could receive a fine, immediate deportation or even get banned from entering the Schengen Area for a period. It is also important to remember that the 90/180 day rule also applies to countries with a visa waiver agreement with the Schengen Area.
How long can I stay in Europe after Brexit?
Since the U.K. left the EU, British passport holders traveling to the EU, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland have been subject to the same EU rules of entry and stay for third-country citizens – so you can stay for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period.
Consequences of overstaying in Schengen Zone
Each Schengen state applies different penalties for overstaying beyond your Schengen Visa’s validity, and the sanctions you will face will depend on the country you are caught in. For example, Germany is known to have the strictest immigration laws in the Schengen Area.
Will I face deportation?
If you are caught staying illegally in Europe, and are not in the process of leaving of your own accord, you will face deportation. You may be deported immediately, or if caught flouting rules by taking paid work or engaging in criminality, you may be taken into custody and face a trial that could result in prison time or a fine. You will then be deported after serving your punishment. Deportation is almost always followed by further sanctions like a travel ban except in the most minor cases of overstaying your Schengen Visa’s validity.
Future travel bans for overstaying your Schengen Visa’s validity
If you face a fine or deportation, you are likely to be banned from traveling to the Schengen Area for a period of time. Even those who escape these sanctions could face a ban — while overstaying is also likely to affect your chances of getting a Schengen Visa in the future.
What fine could I face?
The most regular penalty for overstaying a Schengen Visa’s validity is a fine that will be applied by the member state where you are caught. These vary depending on each state — but will be more expensive the longer you overstay and lack mitigating circumstances.
Could I face a ban from entering the Schengen Area?
This sanction is most commonly applied to those overstaying their Schengen Visa’s validity and working or engaging in illegality. You can be banned for three years, or in some cases, even longer.
Are there ever no consequences to overstaying a Schengen Visa?
Minors or those requiring a caretaker may not face sanctions, or if you are incapacitated by an illness or injury. But in these cases, you are advised to apply for an extension.
Applying for an extension to your Schengen Visa validity
If you wish to apply for a Schengen Visa extension, you need to decide which reason you wish to use to apply for renewal and apply before the expiration of your current visa. If you apply after your visa expires, even just a day later, then you will be deported for overstaying your visa, whatever your reasons.
To do this you will need your passport, which must have the current visa under which you entered the Schengen Area, an application form for a short-stay Schengen Visa extension, a photo that fulfills the visa photo requirements, proof of income that demonstrates you can support yourself during your extended stay, travel and medical insurance covering the whole Schengen Area for the duration of your Schengen Visa extension, as well as documents proving your need to get an extension.
Related topics on Schengen visa
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Schengen Visa validity
I’ve accidentally overstayed my Schengen Visa — can I get an extension?
No. If you’ve overstayed your visa you should leave the Schengen Area immediately to avoid deportation.
I think I am in danger of overstaying — how much does it cost to extend my Schengen Visa?
The cost is the same as your initial visa — €80 for adults and €40 for minors.
What is a short term Schengen Visa?
The Schengen short-stay visa allows you to enter and remain in a country in the Schengen Area for a maximum period of 90 days — or multiple stays totaling 90 days within a 180-day period.
How long is a Schengen visa valid?
Learn about the validity of short or long stay Schengen visas and the consequences of overstaying.
How long is a Schengen visa valid?
Short stay (type C) Schengen visas are valid for 90 days, but long stay (type D) visas range from 6 months to 5 years. Learn about the differences and risks of overstaying your Schengen visa below.
Type C (short stays) — 90 days
Short stay (type C) Schengen visas allow you to travel within the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days (3 months) for the following reasons: tourism, business, family visit, short educational programme, internship and carrying out a paid activity.
Depending on the reason for travel and your situation, the type C Schengen visa is granted for single, double or multiple entries.
— The single entry Schengen visa authorises a single trip to the Schengen Area with a limit of 90 days on site. The validity of the Schengen visa corresponds to the dates indicated in the application.
— The double or multiple entry Schengen visa (circulation visa) allows for several trips up to 90 days in length over periods of 180 days maximum.
The duration of stay within the Schengen Area is always 90 days for the type C Schengen visa, but the validity of the Schengen visa itself may change. For double or multiple entry (circulation visa) Schengen visas, the validity of the visa ranges from 6 months to 5 years. The holder may travel one or several times for up to 90 days over a 180-day period. The validity of the Schengen visa is indicated on the visa attached to the traveller’s passport. It depends on the reasons for your trip to the Schengen Area, your situation and whether or not you have respected your previous visas.
Type D (long stays) — 4 to 12 months
Long stay (type D) Schengen visas are all valid between 4 and 12 months. There is no 90-day limit. The validity of the Schengen visa is the same as the authorised trip duration. Depending on the reason for travel and length of stay, there are several kinds:
— Long-stay visa equivalent to a residency permit (VLS-TS). Valid 4 to 12 months, this long-stay visa is for students, employees with a permanent contract, spouses of French citizens, talent passports.
— The long-stay visa with obligation to “apply for a residence permit within 2 months upon arrival” authorises the holder to enter France in order to do the necessary paperwork to obtain a residency permit at the prefecture. The duration of stay in the Schengen Area is then determined by the validity of the residency permit. This visa applies to family members of French citizens, independent or liberal professions, workers or family members of workers, retirees or spouses of retirees and artists.
— The working holiday visa. Valid 1 year, the working holiday visa is for foreign citizens from countries that have signed a bilateral accord with France and would like to tour the country while working.
— The school-going minor visa in France. Valid 11 months, this type of Schengen visa concerns individuals under the age of 18 that will attend school in France for more than 3 months and whose parents live abroad.
— The temporary long-stay visa. Valid 4 to 6 months, the temporary long-stay visa can be granted to visitors who wish to enrol in a short educational programme, work as an artist or simply stay in France (with their existing resources only).
What are the consequences of overstaying a Schengen visa?
If you do not leave the Schengen Area at the end of the validity of your Schengen visa, you risk paying a fine and/or being identified upon exiting France. This identification is not without consequences for your future trips to the Schengen Area.
Do not forget that a Schengen visa is not automatically granted. The competent authorities of the Schengen country you are travelling to will assess your application and take into account the previous visas you have been granted and any overstays. If you do not adhere to the validity of a Schengen visa, you risk a refusal for your future Schengen visa applications.
Can you extend a Schengen visa?
Yes, the validity and/or length of stay (90 days maximum) granted by the Schengen visa can be extended. You must apply with the competent authorities before the end of the validity period of the visa and/or before the end of 90 days on site. In France, you must apply at the prefecture, but be careful, the competent authorities vary from one Schengen Area country to the other.
If you want your Schengen visa extended, you must prove a compelling reason that you could not have anticipated when you obtained your Schengen visa. The competent authorities will decide if your compelling reason qualifies as force majeure (an event that took place during your trip to the Schengen Area that prevents you from leaving) or affect you personally. Personal reasons include:
— professional reasons: unplanned event. Proof: employer letter.
— medical reasons: illness and/or unplanned treatment that proves that the patient cannot travel. Proof: medical certificate from a hospital specifying the number of days requested.
— family reasons: serious family events. Proof: proof of relation, death certificate of the parent or medical certificate proving that the illness is serious and the applicant is needed in France or a medical certificate or document proving the accident, its consequences and that the applicant is needed in France.