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I am currently living in Germany, using a one-year working holiday visa. When that expires, I hope to move to another European country, and continue this pattern of moving countries for as long as I'm eligible for visas.

I know that without a visa, as an Australian I can only stay in the Schengen area for 90 days out of every 180.

  • Is it going to be fine to apply for a Schengen visa (probably another 1-year working holiday) visa for another country, immediately consecutive to my current visa - i.e. starting the day my current one ends?

  • When my visa here expires, do I need to leave the country immediately, or can I stay for up to 90 days before leaving?

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So you will apply for a Schengen visa giving the authority your passport with a Schengen visa already in it. Unless the consulate worker will choose to ignore it you won't get another one. –  Karlson Apr 20 '12 at 16:21
@Karlson, if you have a Schengen visa, can you not apply for another (in another country)? That sounds like an answer to what I am asking, and worried about. –  David M Apr 21 '12 at 5:54
You can certainly apply but since visa is the same for all of those countries... –  Karlson Apr 21 '12 at 13:36
"..."? I hate to sound stupid, but I don't know what goes after that ellipsis. Is it not normal / possible / legal to have two working holiday / Schengen visas one after the other? Although it gives access to all countries in the zone, it's issued by a specific country, isn't it? –  David M Apr 21 '12 at 21:46
Let's apply a little of common sense. Since you are applying to Schengen Visa which applies to all countries doesn't it mean that a visa granted by one country would be considered the same as visa granted by another? So why exactly would France grant you a new visa in violation of treaties, if Germany granted you visa already? –  Karlson Apr 22 '12 at 0:50
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1 Answer

Staying 90 days after your current visa expired seems complicated but applying for another work-holiday visa should be no problem, at least as far as Schengen regulations are concerned. The basic principle is that long-term visas are still national matters, not subject to the Schengen-wide restrictions on short stay (“Schengen visa” is a bit of a misnomer, there are major differences between Schengen uniform short-stay visas and national long-term visas from Schengen countries).

If you are eligible under local law, a Schengen member state can certainly grant you a national visa starting immediately after another long-term national visa (from the same country or from another Schengen country). One thing you need to be mindful of is that it's sometimes impossible to apply for a long-stay visa from within the country (even if you would otherwise qualify for the visa) but some countries do allow it.

In principle, I think that you can also go to another Schengen country (for up to 90 days in total in any 180-day period and obviously without working there) under your current long-stay visa. So the best thing to do is to apply for a new visa before the end of your current visa instead of counting on a visa-free short-stay to bridge the gap. You should probably do that in advance to leave some time for your application to be processed and plan your next move if your next visa is refused.

Importantly, none of this is true for short-stay visas (Schengen type C visas). In that case, you shouldn't have more than one visa (formally, if you need to apply for a Schengen visa and you already have a valid one, you should first have the country that delivered that first visa invalidate it before applying for the next one) and even in the unlikely event you would manage to get several visas, the rules apply to a person.

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