I got my Schengen visa....

Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:02 AM
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I got my Schengen visa....

Question for you Fodorites:

I received my passport with my brand new Schengen visa (French) in the mail today, with plenty of time before we leave for France in June. The last time I applied for a Schengen (Italy) was two years ago, and it was only good for 6 months. This time, my French schengen is good until 2013, multiply entry.

When I applied for the visa, my understanding was that for a multiple country visit, you had to apply for a schengen visa with the country you were either visiting first or the country where you'll have your longest stay.

My question is, for FUTURE trips: Do I have to go thru France first before venturing into the other countries in the Schengen territory, or can France be the last stop? Does France have to be one of the stops? If the answer to this last question is "No", then I feel like I just won the lottery. I won't have to drive 7 hours to go to Chicago (French) or Detroit (Italy), or wherever those consulates are, for the next 3 years. No more stressful days and weeks, waiting for the visa to come back days before the trip. My Italian visa came in just TWO weeks before we left in 2008! How close is that?

And I can actually take spur-of-the-moment trips without needing a 2-3 month buffer while waiting for the visa to arrive.

Calling all you Schengen experts...... please help.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:08 AM
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Hi, gelatolover,

I live in Italy, and I once again will get villified for posting this and it will blow up your thread, but you need to know this:

There are no "Schegen experts" on Fodor's. I read what the usual crowd jumps in to opine as if they knew what they were talking about in such threads posts here, and it is always full of misinformation and out of date ideas that will not only cost you a lot of time tracking down the accurate information, you could obviously jeopardize your situation.

The people who know current law work in consulates and for foreign governments. They don't post here. Go to the source.

Have great travels wherever you go!
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Sorry for my typo! Schengen!
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:10 AM
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No, Schengen is Schengen -- you can enter any of the Schengen countries with your visa. If they ask you why you are not entering France first, I'm sure you have an answer.

What is your nationality?
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:18 AM
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I have always understood the visa must be from the country you are visiting first, and must be for all of the Schengen area if you wish to visit more than one Schengen country.

There are also Schengen visas which are single country, but multiple entry.

You need to check back with the French Consulate as to the exact terms of your new visa.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 10:30 AM
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kerouac,

gelatolover is asking about FUTURE trips.


gelatolover,

see what I mean?
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Another voice of total ignorance here. Why do you need a Schengen visa? What is it for?
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 11:47 AM
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She wants to visit the tiny municipality of Schengen. You need a special visa to go there. Just outside Molvania. Please see:

http://www.molvania.com/photos.html
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 11:58 AM
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I have been to Schengen! Giant bridge over the Moselle there.

1. A Schengen visa is for your point of entry OR the country in which you will spend the most time.
2. A multiple entry visa cancels #1.
3. Once you are in Schengen, you can go anywhere. That's the whole point of Schengen.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 12:10 PM
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i think as long as you enter France first when using the schengen for the first time. and future trips, lets say in 5 months you plan to retun to europe, you dont have to enter France first. you can go straight to Spain!

does that make sense?
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 12:42 PM
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You don't have to enter France first as long as you say that it is where you will be spending the most time. The authorities have heard of transit flights, you know. And they have even heard of arriving in a country by air and taking a car or a train to the other country.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 01:13 PM
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gelatolover - would u mind sharing what it involved to get the Visa? And how long did it take? thanks
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 01:33 PM
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contact a country's embassy website for details. some countries are "easier" "clearer" "quicker" to get these long term stay permissions.

If you produce their list of requirements and have no police record, you will most likely be granted the visa and can then stay longer than 90 days in europe's schengen zone.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 01:46 PM
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Schengen visas must be for US citizens and others -is that correct? Australian citizens have not had to get these for years to travle to France etc.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Here are two websites that explain the visa details. The first is more geared to U.S. citizens, who don't need a visa for short stays, but only for long stays--and there are a few different kinds. This is bureaucracy not rocket science.

http://www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?rubrique102

Here you'll be able to find country-specific information:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/fra...046/index.html

Not surprisingly, Kerouac has it right in a nutshell.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Hello everyone and thanks for trying to help.

Here's what I know (culled from the internet): The name "Schengen" originates from a small town in Luxembourg. In June 1985, seven European Union countries signed a treaty to end internal border checkpoints and controls. Now there are about 25 countries in the Schengen area, among them are France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland. United Kingdom and Ireland do not belong to this group.

With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone. Internal border controls have disappeared; there are no or few stops and checks. This means that internal air, road and train travel are handled as domestic trips, similar to travel from one US state to another. Those who traveled in Europe before Schengen know the difference.

American citizens do not need to apply for a Schengen visa. Since I am a Filipino citizen with a permanent residency status in the US, I obviously still have a Philippine passport.

Among the requirements I needed to submit (via a personal appearance at the French consulate in Chicago last month):
1. Last two bank statements
2. Last two paychecks
3. proof of medical insurance
4. hotel confirmation
5. air confirmation
6. my passport
7. am $88 fee
8. pictures, etc.

I had to do this two years ago when I applied for a Schengen visa at the Italian consulate in Detroit. I received a six-month visa then. This time, what I have is a 3 year, multiple entry visa from the French consulate in Chicago. Definitely a nice change for me, because of how it will affect future trips. If we want to go to Paris again this fall, then I will not have to make that 7 hour trip to Chicago to personally submit another application. Or any time at all during the next three years.

I posted the question on this forum because I wasn't sure (regarding future trips) if I had to make France as one of my stops (for a multiple-country visit), or if France even had to be the first stop, or if I can go to another country in the Schengen territory without having to include France at all for that particular trip.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 02:42 PM
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US citizens are required to have a Schnegen Visa if they plan to stay more than 90 days in any Schnegen countries.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 03:14 PM
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northie: "Schengen visas must be for US citizens and others -is that correct? Australian citizens have not had to get these for years to travle to France etc."

Yes, those from OZ do need schengen visas -- IF they are staying more than 90 days. The same as US citizens do . . . US citizens don't need a visa for a visit of less than 90 days in a 180 day period.

Gelatolover: "American citizens do not need to apply for a Schengen visa. Since I am a Filipino citizen with a permanent residency status in the US, I obviously still have a Philippine passport." Partially right - US citizens DO need Schengen (long stay) visas for lengthy visits, whereas you need one just for entering Schengen.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 03:19 PM
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yestravel and janisj: You are both correct - American citizens do need a Schengen visa for visits over 90 days.
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Old Apr 1st, 2010, 03:23 PM
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'US citizens are required to have a Schengen Visa if they plan to stay more than 90 days in any Schengen countries.'

In that case they need a national visa issued by an individual Schengen state allowing a stay longer than 90 days in that country alone. Even though such a visa (type D) is in Schengen visa format with a sticker in your passport, it is issued by and follows the rules laid down by individual countries, whose requirements vary from state to state. It will allow specified length of stay in the country of issue (say 6 months or a year), and once you register your presence at local town hall etc and get a resident permit, you are allowed to visit other Schengen states for 90-in-180 days.

For OP, your multi-entry visa allows a visit to Schengen zone for 90 days in 180 days, and doesn't have to include France.
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