Short and Long term Schengen visas

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Many people are unaware of the differences between short-term and long-term Schengen visas. This article throws some light on the subject, so that people are more aware of the differences and can take appropriate decisions.


Short-term Schengen visas are valid for only 90 days (3 months). If you want to stay for a longer period in the Schengen area, you must apply for a long-term visa (also known as a Residence Permit). Long-Term Schengen visas (Residence Permits) may be valid for periods ranging from 91 days to one or five years. Long-Term visa or Residence Permit holders have more rights than short-term visa holders and are allowed multiple entries/exits.


For example, if you are a tourist, you will probably only need a short-term (C) Schengen Visa, whereas if you are living in a Schengen country, you will need a long-term (D) Schengen visa.


The following are the different types of Schengen Visas:

  • A Schengen visa or Airport Transit Visa (ATV)
  • B Schengen visa (transit visa through non-Schengen states for journeys less than 5 days)
  • C Schengen visa (short stay <90 days)
  • D Schengen visa (long stay >90 days)


The following table lists some of the important differences between short-term and long-term Schengen visas:


Schengen Visa  Short stay visas (<90 days) Long term visa (>90 days)
Maximum Validity Less than 3 months More than 3 months)
Purpose of visit Tourism, Business visit or short professional training, Visit to family/friends, Cultural/Sports Events Work, Employment,Family visit, Student
Multiple entry Single / Multiple (printed in visa sticker) Yes
Renewals Visa not renewable, can only renewed at embassy in your home country going back Can be renewed at immigration office in schengen state (if renewed at embassy abroad you will be issued D long term visa to come collect your residence permit card)
Residence rights (healthcare, education, employment) No Yes
Bring Family members No Yes
Open Bank account No Yes
Right to vote No Limited
Driving license No Yes
Path to Citizenship No Yes
Visa expiry Must leave the territory Must apply for extension before 30 days of expiry at migration office.



Golden visa programs and Residency by Investment programs  are long-term visas (Residence Permits).


Contact us to know how you can apply for one of the European Golden Visa or Residence by Investment programs.

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