enter image description hereI have a multiple entry short stay French visa valid for one year. I have applied for many schenghen visas before and each time the visa said “Etats Schenghen” on top. But now it says France. My question is

—I am planning to enter Paris and stay for 2 months. Can I travel to Austria and Switzerland for a few days in between?

— I have plans to return to Canada after two months (where I live) but n September travel to Switzerland for 3 days. Can I do that?

Thank you for your time and input

  • Did your visa application say that you would also go to Switzerland and Austria for a few days? Regardless, the best thing to do would be to contact the consulate last week when you received your visa. Unfortunately it appears you already traveled to France, and this will make it much more difficult (probably impossible) to resolve. May 5, 2019 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


You have been issued a "Limited Territorial Validity (LTV)" visa, which only allows you to enter France. You are NOT allowed exit France to any other Schengen state using this visa, nor are you allowed transit/enter any other Schengen state on this or a future trip.

You can confirm this by looking at the 29th character on the 2nd row of the machine readable area of the visa (the 2 rows at the bottom that you have masked) - it should show 'T' to record that this is an LTV.

Limited Territorial Validity visas would normally be issued where you do not meet the requirements for a Schengen visa, but the country issuing the visa still wants to allow you access. This could include, for example, if you are planning to be in the Schengen region (including the time in the country the visa is for) for greater than 90 days out of any 180 day period, which would normally not be allowed using an Schengen visa.

It is also possible that the visa was issued as an LTV in error, but that is something you'd need to discuss with the issuing consulate to determine.

To answer your specific questions, NO, you can NOT (legally) travel to Austria and Switzerland, even if only for a few days, and NO, you can NOT travel to Switzerland in September using this visa. It is certainly possible that you could physically travel to Austria and Switzerland (especially if travelling by rail rather than air), but doing so would be illegal and leave you liable to deportation.

  • Hello Doc. Thank you for your input. The 33rd character of the second line is a "1" and not a "T". Also I looked up TLV visa and it says that it is issued for a "peculiar" or "humanitarian reason" or if " the passport does not have "enough validity". I am not sure if I qualify for any of them, so I am very confused.
    – gmath
    May 5, 2019 at 20:38
  • Just fyi I had 6 Schenghen visas before (all applications were for similar purposes as I travel a lot), and never did I have such a remark before.
    – gmath
    May 5, 2019 at 20:42
  • @gmath Sorry, should be the 29th position. It'll be either a T or a <
    – Doc
    May 5, 2019 at 23:21
  • Thanks Doc. Yes it is a <. However I had an older visa which had "Etats Schenghen" on top, but it also has a "<". So not sure if it is unique to this type?
    – gmath
    May 6, 2019 at 6:45

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