Immigration. Travel. Living.

Visa: Schengen versus national



What is a National Visa?

National visa D is issued for one state in which you plan to stay for a long time. Moreover, you must have a good reason for obtaining such a visa.

The purpose of the trip may be:

  • Studying at the University;
  • labor activity, business trips;
  • sports and cultural events;
  • family reunification.

Everything must be confirmed by the relevant documents. Besides, you must have an invitation from the host.

What is the difference between a Schengen visa and a national one?

A Schengen visa is short-term and allows you to stay in one or more Schengen countries for up to 90 days within 6 months. A national visa is a long-term visa that implies work or study in a specific country. It is issued only for one state and makes it possible to stay in it for up to 180 days within 6 months.

A national visa allows you to live in the selected country permanently. To obtain a residence permit, you should contact the relevant government services.

Can I travel within Schengen with a national visa?

In March 2010, an EU decision entered into force, according to which citizens of other states holding a national D visa are allowed to travel throughout the Schengen territory for three months every six months.

But it is worth remembering that the final decision on crossing the border is made by the border service. At the same time, special attention is paid to the purpose of the trip, compliance with the rules of entry, and the availability of funds.

white red and green map

Other nuances of traveling in the Schengen area with a national visa

The first entry must be made on the territory of the state that issued the visa (only on the condition that it borders your country). For example, you have a Polish visa D. When traveling from Ukraine to Lithuania, bypassing Poland, your passport must have a stamp confirming that you have already been to Poland on a national visa. Otherwise, you may no longer be issued a Polish visa, since you used it for another purpose not specified in the application form.

The sum insured required for a stay, for example, in Poland, will not be enough to visit other Schengen countries. Therefore, when planning to visit several European countries, take care of purchasing the correct insurance policy in advance. Due to some legal aspects related to the signing of the Customs Code, we do not advise you to go, for example, to Denmark with a category D visa issued by another country.

Documents for obtaining a national visa:

  • The passport
  • Biometric photography
  • Visa Application
  • Documents confirming the purpose of your trip and the availability of funds
  • Medical insurance.

Application and other papers are submitted to the embassy of the target country. The embassy can call the applicant for an interview.


How long does it take to get a national visa?

The period for consideration of the application depends on the state to which you plan to go and the purpose of your stay in it. Usually, a national visa is issued within 30 working days. Sometimes the term can reach 90 or even 120 days, so you should worry about submitting documents in advance


Benefits of a national D visa

You have the right to stay in other Schengen countries for up to three months in half a year. You have the opportunity to obtain a residence permit. The cost of obtaining a national visa is lower than the cost of obtaining a Schengen visa.

The procedure and reasons for obtaining a national visa differ depending on the state/embassy. The list of documents, the terms of consideration of the application, and the procedure for issuing a visa also differ.

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