Having a passport is the first step to feeling like the world is your oyster and you can just pack up and go anywhere, but that’s not the case for those of us who hold a weak passport. Want to go on an adventure or maybe run away for a peaceful getaway abroad? First you need to go through a ton of documents, appointments, and maybe changing your travel dates a couple of times. If you’re lucky enough and you’ve got Europe as the destination in mind, you get a multi-entry Schengen visa longer than your trip. Those who manage to get a Schengen visa for one year or longer win the lottery, but they’re not leaving it up to fate anymore.
The EU has defined the rules for getting a five-year multiple-entry visa to the Schengen area, and they’re somewhat promising! Only this month, they started implementing a new visa code with a bit of a higher price and a more flexible period in which you could apply before your trip. Other than that, they’ve rolled out a clear and easy guide on how to get a five-year visa and not go through the long process with every trip, and it all depends on your travel history. If you do it right, you get a multi-entry visa that allows you to go in and out of the Schengen area as many times as you want, as long as you don’t violate the 90/180 rule -- not staying longer than 90 days in the Schengen area within 180 days.
Here are the rules for getting a multiple-entry visa with a validity of one, two, and five years -- unless the validity of the visa would exceed that of the travel document:
- For a one-year visa, the applicant should have obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years.
- For a two-year visa, the applicant should have obtained and lawfully used a previous one -year multiple-entry visa within the previous two years.
- For a five-year visa, the applicant should have obtained and lawfully used a previous two-year multiple-entry visa within the previous three years.
So the trick is: got a visa? Use the hell out of it as long as you can, get stamps, and don’t violate it. Simple as that. Aside from your clean travel history, there are also a couple of other requirements.
- The traveler must have a reason to enter the Schengen area multiple times. (Is being a regular tourist a reason good enough? We still don’t have the answer to that.)
- The traveler must have a clean visa history, no violations of visas.
- The traveler must have a clean criminal record at home.
- The travel must present traveler’s insurance for the first trip.
Seems fair enough. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
Source: Schengen Visa Info