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This question is a follow-up to a query by @Traveler:

I promised my girlfriend to take her to see the Northern Lights. We live in Belgium and because of the visa application she cannot leave the country for 6 months...

How can such a Belgian resident travel to other countries - both Schengen and outside the Schengen area? Is there a temporary visa that Belgian authorities could issue in this scenario? Or perhaps is it possible to apply for a separate Schengen visa from another Schengen country?

  • There is page mentioning the special visa type here: dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/NL/nieuws/Pages/Terugkeervisum.aspx. I'd leave for someone who speaks Dutch to write it up though, as it's hard to Google more details. – JonathanReez Dec 25 '17 at 16:29
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    That's a re-entry visa for Belgium allowing the external Schengen border to be crossed at a Belgian point of entry, and can only be obtained inside Belgium in case of serious emergencies. Otherwise, the person must apply for it at the Belgian embassy in their country of origin or of previous residence – Crazydre Dec 25 '17 at 20:28
  • @Coke I presume the easiest solution is to apply for a Schengen visa from e.g. Germany and then use that visa to travel. Not sure how it works in practice for people in Belgium though. – JonathanReez Dec 25 '17 at 20:34
  • @JonathanReez An applicant for a short-stay Schengen visa has to prove legal residence in the consulate's territory. A German consulate in Belgium or indeed any Schengen consulate in Belgium won't give a short-stay visa to someone legally resident in Belgium. It makes no sense. – phoog Dec 25 '17 at 20:37
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    @JonathanReez it seems pretty common actually. But resolving the plight of someone stuck in a country because of a pending residence application, or not resolving it, is the responsibility of the country considering the application. It is not up to other countries to provide a workaround. – phoog Dec 26 '17 at 3:04
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A few points here:

  1. When you submit application for a long term Schengen Visa (D-visa) or resident permit extension or renewal you will receive a stamp in your passport indicating that the application is currently in process. This stamp allows you to REMAIN in the country, but DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO LEAVE AND RE-ENTER.
  2. Because there are no borders within the Schengen Zone, it is possible to travel around the zone while application is in process, but you cannot leave.
  3. If you apply for a Schengen visa in another country, the pending application will be canceled as it will be considered no longer necessary. DO NOT DO THIS.
  4. The only exceptions could be an emergency (medical or death of immediate family member, etc.) that would allow ability to petition for a short term visa while application renewal is in progress. Do not try to do this if it is not a real emergency. You will need to show written statement from doctor/hospital or death certificate. If you cannot provide this, it would be considered false pretense, pending application will be refused, and you could be barred from Schengen Zone for up to 10 years.

TL;DR - If your renewal application is currently pending, do not travel outside Schengen Zone.

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