How to Extend a Schengen Visa while being within Schengen Area?

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If you are currently within the Schengen Area and wish to extend your Schengen visa, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

One of the main things that those visiting Europe get concerned about at the end of their Schengen visa validity is whether they can extend their stay in Europe.

First, it’s important to note that not all Schengen countries allow for visa extensions. You should check with the specific country you are in to determine if it is possible.

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.

Assuming it is possible to extend your visa, you will need to apply for an extension at the immigration office of the country you are in before your current visa expires. You must provide a valid reason for staying longer, such as a medical emergency or unexpected circumstances.

It’s important to apply for an extension before your current visa expires, as overstaying your visa can result in serious consequences, including being banned from entering the Schengen Area for a set period of time.

Be sure to gather all necessary documents before applying for an extension and be prepared for the possibility of being denied. If your extension is granted, you will be given a new visa with a new expiration date.

Who can obtain a visa extension in a Schengen area?

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa allowing a person to travel to any 26 Schengen member countries. The visa allows the holder to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

A visa extension may be possible if someone wishes to stay beyond the 90-day limit. However, not everyone is eligible for a visa extension in the Schengen area.

Generally, a person can only apply for a visa extension if they can provide compelling reasons for why they need to extend their stay. Examples of compelling reasons include serious illness, unexpected events, or force majeure.

It’s important to note that obtaining a visa extension is not guaranteed, and it’s up to the discretion of the member country’s immigration authorities to approve or deny the request. Additionally, visa extensions are usually only granted for a short period, typically up to 90 days.

If you need to apply for a visa extension in the Schengen area, it’s best to contact the immigration authorities of the country where you are staying for specific information on the application process and eligibility requirements.

Schengen Visa Validity

It is important to note that the validity of the visa does not determine the length of stay in the Schengen Area. The length of stay is determined by the immigration officer at the port of entry, who can grant or deny entry into the Schengen Area.

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 visa: this 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 visa: this means you will be granted 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.

Schengen Visa Extension

In this article, I will guide you through some ultimate guidelines on extending 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.

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 a very low chance of getting one if you do not have a strong reason as the basis of your 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 your visa became valid. 

Example:  If your visa became valid on January 1, but you entered Schengen on January 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 to prevent or overcome hardship for third-country nationals. You will be granted 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, 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.

Suppose something unexpected has occurred suddenly in your home country before your visa expires, such 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. In that case, you have an excellent chance to get a Schengen short-stay visa extension. You will be granted an extension of a few weeks or until the situation in your home country changes. If the problem does not change, you will have to apply again for a short-stay visa renewal to remain in Schengen.

This one is quite risky, but you should 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 or your relative’s), etc., then you may apply for the extension. The immigration authorities will then decide whether you should be granted a visa extension or not.

Where to Apply to Extend a Schengen Visa?

It depends on the Member State you are currently residing. To apply for a Schengen visa extension, you must go to the embassy or consulate of the country where you initially applied for your visa. The main thing you have to know about the application country is that you will have to remain in that particular country until you get your visa extension if you do. You must submit an application form and any required supporting documents, such as proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your extended stay and travel insurance. That is why you are strongly advised to apply to the immigration authorities (or their equal) in the country where you need to remain and not another. 

Schengen Visa Extension Requirements

If you plan to extend your stay in any of the 26 Schengen countries beyond the time frame permitted by your Schengen visa, you must apply for a Schengen visa extension. Here are the requirements for extending your Schengen visa:

  1. Valid reason: You must have a valid reason for extending your Schengen visa. Some valid reasons include medical emergencies, unexpected personal circumstances, or force majeure.
  2. Application: You must file an application for an extension of your Schengen visa with the immigration authorities of the country you are visiting. The application must be filed before your current visa expires.
  3. Supporting documents: You must provide supporting documents demonstrating the reason for your extended stay. For example, if you are extending your stay for medical reasons, you must provide a medical certificate from a licensed doctor or hospital.
  4. Financial means: You must demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself during your extended stay in the Schengen area. This can include bank statements, proof of employment, or other financial documents.
  5. Valid travel insurance: You must have valid travel insurance covering your entire Schengen area stay.

It is important to note that the decision to grant an extension of your Schengen visa is at the discretion of the immigration authorities of the country you are visiting. If your application is denied, you must leave the Schengen area before your current visa expires.

Processing Time for Visa Extension

The processing time for a visa extension varies depending on your country and visa type. Generally, it can take a few weeks to several months to receive a decision on your extension application. It is important to apply for an extension well before your current visa expiration date to avoid any issues with your legal status in the country. You may also want to consult with an immigration lawyer or the relevant government agency to ensure you have all the necessary documentation and meet the eligibility requirements for an extension.

Common Reasons for Schengen Visa Rejection

Here are the common reasons a Schengen Visa application gets denied:

  • No clear travel purpose—a detailed cover letter is a must!
  • Lack of strong ties—reevaluate your application and prove why you must return to your home country!
  • Insufficient travel insurance coverage—make sure you get the right policy!
  • No proof of financial means—convince them that you can afford your trip! Provide bank or credit card statements, VUL, investment portfolio, etc.
  • Passport does not have 2 free pages—where will they attach the visa if your passport pages are already full? You should get a new passport before applying for a visa if there are no more available pages on your old one!
  • No proof of accommodation—you need to prove them that you have a place to stay in the Schengen Area.

Recap and Tips

So, just a recap and a reminder, please don’t forget these TIPS: 

If you ever need help, you can avail my visa application bundle, and I will be glad to help you through the process!

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