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French Embassy in San Francisco states the following in the "Help" section:

Application by mail is possible for short stay visas only, not for long stays.

If you already hold a short stay visa bearing the mention "VIS" on it issued less than 5 years ago or a short stay visa issued by the French Consulate after January 2017, you don’t have to apply in person (even if this visa is expired, or if it is in an old passport). In that case, you may apply by mail. Please mail us your completed application form along with a copy of all the supporting documents as indicated by France Visas.

However while applying for French short term visa the "previous Schengen visas" section asked "issued within previous 3 years". So it is 5 or 3?

I was issued a Spanish Schengen visa in 2013 so that's within previous 5 years but not within previous 3. I did not know this 5 year thing so I applied for visa interview anyway. But if I need another short term visa soon, will my previous Spanish visa (or French visa if I get it this month) be considered?

Also, I do not remember if I was every fingerprinted for Spanish Schengen visa, so I selected "Not fingerprinted" in the application.

marked as duplicate by JonathanReez Mar 7 at 19:16

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • If your old visa includes the remark VIS, your biometrics should be on record. If not, probably no harm done by recording them again, except for the effort. – o.m. May 14 '18 at 17:25
  • Thanks. I don't see a "VIS" on my previous visa so probably would have had to go for interview anyway. – AVJ May 14 '18 at 17:39
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    If it was present, it would appear near the centre of the visa, as in this example. – Michael Hampton May 14 '18 at 19:20
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    @Giorgio Sorry, CHJ is asking explicitly what the exact terms are because there is conflicting information if it is 3 or 5 years. The "duplicate" does not clarify this question. – Thorsten S. Aug 11 '18 at 14:49