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I am an Indian national working in the UK on a Tier 2 visa. I recently received a 2 year multi-entry French Schengen visa and have used it to travel to France.

My British company has an office in the Schengen area (not France) and as an employee I may be allowed to work there for a week or two for the experience, and to get to know the team there.

I understand that my Schengen visa would allow me to travel to any Schengen country for a business meeting, but is working as in my situation permitted? If not, what visa do I need, and would acquiring it annul my current Schengen visa?

  • The answer depends on the country in which the office is located. Which country is it? – phoog Sep 14 at 18:37
  • The office is located in Germany. – SgrA Sep 14 at 23:20
  • I guess you would need a separate work permit sponsored by your employer. I also guess that this would be again a separate visa, as D-type visas are national visas. That's only a guess though. Your employer might somehow have rights to send you there. Perhaps you ask the European Commission? Sounds like a frequent problem but it's difficult to search for answers. The number is 00800 67891011 -- should be tollfree eu-wide. Otherwise call the Ausländerbehörde where your employer's office is. – life-on-mars Sep 18 at 17:17
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Entry with a Schengen visa

Schengen visas (Visa Category C) can be issued for short-term stays of up to 90 days in countries in the Schengen area, e.g. for visits, tourism or business purposes, or medical treatment.
The consulates of the signatory countries of the Schengen Agreement are responsible for issuing Schengen visas.

...

Economic activity
As a rule, you are not permitted to work with a Schengen visa.

Otherwise, your visa states whether and to what extent you are permitted to work.

If the C-Visa explicitly states that work or Business is allowed in the Remarks area then you can, otherwise you cannot do so.

Application for Schengen Visa (Link to Application Form Pdf for Germany)

    1. Hauptzweck(e) der Reise / Main purpose(s) of the journey:
      • Geschäftsreise / Business

When checking Geschäftsreise / Business then

  • GESCHÄFTSVISUM will be added to the REMARKS field of the C-Visa (as seen in the second Image below).

Multiple purposes can be selected, each one being added to REMARKS.

Each country does this differently:

Annex 22 1 National entries in the "comments" section of the visa sticker

For the sample Business (not all countries have this category)

  • BENELUX (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg)
    • BNL 13 : visa issued for "business purposes".
  • CZECH REPUBLIC
    • C/VF/01/-/--; multiple-entry visa for up to 90 days – commercial
  • Hungry
    • Üzleti / Business**
  • Italy
    • "AFFARI" (business)
  • Latvia
    • "BUSINESS"
  • Malta
    • MT12 - Business purposes
  • Poland
    • 04 - Business purposes
  • Slovenia
    • poslovno (business)
  • Slovakia
    • obchodná cesta (business trip)
  • Spain
    • TRABAJO (work)
  • Sweden
    • "Affärsanledning": Business
  • Switzerland
    • Business

Standard C-Visa issued for the whole Schengen Area


This one says Visitor Visa - Working not permitted

  • this is the new sticker type visa

A Business C-Visa must be explicitly applied for and the application must include

  • Company covering letter with entire travel plan (itineary)
  • Invitation letter from the business partner


This one says Visiting-/Business Visa - Working not permitted


What you will need is a short term D-Visa that allows you

  • to work (training is considered work) for a specific period
  • at a specific firm in a specific country


This one says Student Visa for Uni X - Working permitted according to bla bla bla...

  • notice also that it is only valid for a specific country and a date from/to
    • valid for other Schengen Countries vists where the 90/180 days rule applies

A D-Visa is a national visa for a specific purpose and should not conflict with an existing long term C-Visa that serves a completely different purpose.

  • 1
    Please provide an authoritative source to relevant EU/Schengen legislation for your claim that business visits are forbidden on some kinds of type C visas. – Henning Makholm Sep 16 at 16:26
  • I now understand that I would require a type D visa and my current type C visa is not valid, and that acquiring a type D visa wouldn't annul my Schengen visa. If you could please provide official sources backing the claim that my type C visa may not be valid for business visits, I'm happy to award the bounty to this answer. – SgrA Sep 20 at 21:38
  • @SgrA ghave added link to pdf form and text what must be selected as main purpose of vist. – Mark Johnson Sep 20 at 22:04
  • @SgrA also added source of remarks text and the entry used by each country for business (where supported) – Mark Johnson Sep 20 at 23:02
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Other answers give you the technical details about what visa you need to work in Germany, but since your write "as an employee I may be allowed to work there for a week or two for the experience, and to get to know the team there" let me explain how this normally happens.

The definition of "work" for visa purposes may be different from the common one. Things you are allowed to do on a normal business visa include:

  • Learning how colleagues in other countries do things
  • Consulting with colleagues in other countries about how you might do things better
  • Planning for work you might be doing
  • Reviewing work you have done
  • Having meetings to discuss past or future work, including getting to know colleagues in other countries

You might think of these as "work" , but Schengen and other countries normal consider work to be only "productive work". For example, if you were a software developer then time spent discussing architecture or reviewing customer feedback doesn't count as work. And there are some grey areas - for example if you need to test whether a particular architecture is feasible, you might write some code to test it. And it's far from unknown for visitors to do occasional bits of their "normal work" in between the meetings, and nobody will object to that.

It would be normal that "going to to Germany for the experience" could easily covered by the above legal activities. If your primary purpose is consultation, discussion and training, and your visit is only for a few weeks, then you should be fine. I and my colleagues have done this many times perfectly legally over the last 20 years.

Your company should be able to give you good advice. And it is important, when talking to immigration, to describe what you are doing as "meetings learning and discussion" and not "work".

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