How to Extend Your Schengen Visa.
One of the main things that those visiting Europe get concerned about at the end of their Schengen visa validity is if there is a way for them to extend their stay in Europe.
Whether you are a traveler who wishes to experience more of Europe, a business person who has some unforeseen business to do after the expiration of their visa, or a patient seeking medical treatment in one or more member states of the Schengen Zone that needs to continue their medical treatment, you will not be permitted to stay in Europe after the expiration of your Schengen visa, unless you extend it.
According to the Schengen rules, one can obtain a short-stay visa for Europe for a maximum of three months within a six-month period. However, for many foreigners 90 days are just not enough, especially for travelers who want to visit all of the 28 Schengen Member States, each of which is an interesting attraction with rich culture and traditions, making these travelers wish not to leave.
Though many believe that it is impossible to extend a short-stay Schengen visa, that is actually quite possible. It is very hard, but if you have a strong reason in which you base your application then you have quite a chance to get that visa extension. However, you can always check visa calculator for a maximum of three months within a six-month period.
Schengen Visa Validity
Before deciding to apply to extend your Schengen visa, know the validity of the visa you hold and the visa-type you hold. A short stay-stay Schengen visa can be either:
- Single entry – which means you will have a limited amount of days to remain in Schengen, and after you leave you have no right to go back
- Double-entry visa applies for the same policy as above mentioned, however you are allowed to enter the Schengen Area twice, meaning that for the certain period of time permitted by your visa you can enter the Schengen Zone, leave and enter again without any problems. Once you are out of the country for the second time the visa expires.
- Multiple entry – which means you will be granted with a visa that permits you to enter any of the Schengen member states as many times as you wish, for as long that you do not surpass the 3 months limit within a six months period.
In all cases, you can apply for a visa extension, if you have a strong reason why you wish to remain.
Below in this article, you can find the ultimate guideline on how to extend a Schengen visa, the reasons under which the extension may be granted, as well as what the required documents are and how to apply for to extend a short-stay Schengen visa.
Schengen Visa Extension
Short-stay Schengen visa extensions are permitted by the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No. 810/2009 of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Journal of Laws of the EU of 2009 L243/1). However, you will have very low chances to get one, if you do not have a strong reason as the basis of you application.
According to the Schengen visa policy, acceptable reasons to extend a Schengen short-stay visa are only the following:
You can base your visa extension application on this reason, only if you have a single-entry short-stay visa. However, this is your best case to extend your visa. You can apply for this visa extension, if you have entered Schengen after you visa became valid. I.e. if your visa became valid on August 1, but you entered Schengen on August 15, you can apply for a two-week visa extension, and you are very likely to get it.
The Schengen visa policy has made it possible to extend a short-stay Schengen visa in order to prevent or overcome hardship for third-country nationals. You will be granted with a short-stay visa extension based on humanitarian reasons if you need to stay in one of the member states to continue receiving medical treatment, to take part in the funeral after the sudden death of a family member, to give support to a person close to you who is going through some kind of hardship, etc.
If something unexpected has occurred all of the sudden in your home country prior to your visa expiration, as a conflict or war, or even violent protests across the country, extreme weather conditions, no flight connections because of consecutive earthquakes or other reasons, then you have a good chance to get a Schengen short-stay visa extension. You will be granted with an extension of a few weeks, or until the situation in your home country changes. If the situation does not change, you will have to apply once again for a short-stay visa renewal, in order to remain in Schengen.
Important Personal Reasons
Risky, but you should still give it a try if you have no other chance. If you have some unfinished business in one of the Schengen Member States, an unplanned wedding (of yours of your relative) etc., then you may apply for the extension. The immigration authorities will then decide whether you should be granted with a visa extension or not.
Schengen Visa extension Application Process
If you wish to extend your visa and stay longer in the Schengen Zone, then start getting ready for your application which differs from a regular Schengen visa application. The very first thing you have to do is decide under which reason you wish to apply for a Schengen visa renewal. After figuring that out, then you can proceed to the other steps.
When to Apply for a Short-Stay Visa extension?
It is very important to apply on time, which is before the expiration of your visa. If you apply after your visa expires, even just a day later, then you will be deported for overstaying your visa, despite of your reasons. Therefore, take care to apply at least a week before your current Schengen short-stay visa expires.
Where to Apply to Extend a Schengen Visa?
It depends on the Member State you are currently residing. The main thing you have to know when it comes to the application country is that you will have to remain in that particular country until you get your visa extension, if you do. That is why you are strongly advised to apply at the immigration authorities (or their equal) in the country where you need to remain, and not another.
Schengen Visa Extension Requirements
After you figure out the reasons which will be the basis of your application, where and when to apply, move to the other step, which is gathering the required documents. Unlike when collecting the Schengen visa required documents, for a visa extension you need to submit quite fewer documents.
The list of documents you need when applying for a Schengen visa extension are as following:
- Passport, which must have the current visa under which you entered the Schengen
- Application form, for a short-stay Schengen visa extension
- One photo, which fulfills all the criteria and visa photo requirements.
- Proof of Income, which shows you can financially maintain yourself during the period of time you have applied to get a visa extension for
- Travel Health Insurance – that covers the whole Schengen Area as well as the whole period which you have applied to extend your visa for
- Documents, which prove your situation, and the need to get a visa extension
After you collect these documents, schedule an interview appointment online at the immigration authorities (or their equal). In some of the member states, you may not have to schedule an interview, however try to check out if this applies to the country you are currently residing, or not.
If you need to schedule an interview, do it, and on the day of the interview show there on time with all of the required documents. The interview is crucial to get a visa extension, in the countries that apply it, since during it the interviewer will decide if you really need to extend your visa and the reasons you have presented are true, or you are just trying to remain a little longer in the country.
Processing Time for Visa Extension
Usually, your visa extension application can take a few days, up to a month to be processed by the relevant authorities. During this time, you are permitted to remain in the country where you submitted your application even after your visa expires, but not to travel to the other Schengen countries.
If you are granted with a visa you will be able to remain, while if you do not you will have one or two days to leave.
Schengen Short-Stay Visa Extension Fee
A Schengen visa extension fee is different from a normal Schengen visa fee, which you apply for prior to your trip towards the Schengen Area. Depending on the reasons of your application to extend your short-stay Schengen visa as well as if it is the first or second extension you are applying for, you may or may not have to pay a fee.
First Visa Extension Fee
If this is the first time you are applying for a Schengen short-stay visa extension, then you will not have to pay any fee if your application is based on the following reasons:
- humanitarian reasons
- majeure reasons
Whereas, you will have to pay a fee of 30 euros, if you have based your application in one of the following reasons:
- important personal reasons
- due to late entry
Second Visa Extension Fee
If you have already extended your visa once, but you really need to extend it once again, for whatever reasons, then you will have to pay a fee. The cost of the second Schengen visa extension fee depends on the age of the applicant as following:
- Minors need to pay a fee of 30 euros
- Adults have to pay a fee of 60 euros
Do not forget, that just as when applying for a regular Schengen visa, if your application is rejected, you will not get your money back.