The amended Schengen Visa Code has made the procedures for applying for a Schengen Visa, especially the 5-year multiple-entry visa, easier and clearer. The amendment which came into effect on February 2, 2020, introduces certain rules that visa applicants must meet to be granted a Schengen Visa.
Until now, while it was clear that a multiple-entry Schengen visa permits its holder to go in and out of the Schengen Area as many times as he or she wants, so far as they do not violate the 90/180 rule – meaning they should not remain in the Schengen zone longer than 90 days, within 180 days. Details about the procedure for getting this multiple entry visa were not so clear.
The amended Schengen Visa code has, however, defined the rules regarding who will benefit from the multiple-entry visas. Among others, the code states that multiple-entry visas will be granted with a validity of one, three and five years, depending on applicants’ visa and travel history. The amended Article 24 para 2 provides (inter alia),“
…multiple-entry visas with a long validity shall be issued for the following validity periods, unless the validity of the visa would exceed that of the travel document:
(a) for a validity period of one year, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years;
(b) for a validity period of two years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for one year within the previous two years;
(c) for a validity period of five years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for two years within the previous three years,” the updated Visa Code explains.
Aside from the frequency of travel to the Schengen Area, to get a multiple entry visa, a traveller must meet a few other requirements, as follows:
- The traveller must have a reason why he/she needs to enter the Schengen Area multiple times in the following year(s).
- The traveller must have a clean visa history, which means he/she never overstayed the validity of a visa in the Schengen Area or worked illegally.
- The traveller must have a clean criminal record back at home.
- The traveller must present traveller’s insurance for their first trip to the Schengen Area under the multiple entry visa applied for.
If you meet these requirements, in addition to the other usual requirements, then you are likely to be considered for a multiple-entry Schengen visa valid for a year, 2 years or 5 years.
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