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I am a Turkish citizen. My visa has expired but I have an Italian residence permit card. Can I travel to Germany?

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  • Thanks everyone for their answers! Luckily my trip to Germany is just for a transit flight! From Germany i'll be flying to Turkey 🙏
    – Selin
    Jul 4 at 23:34

3 Answers 3

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Yes you can travel without a visa. A residence permit (especially a card in the common format) exempts you from any visa requirement in the Schengen area and gives you the right to stay in other Schengen countries for 90 days in any 180-day period. There are some differences between countries and many edge cases but people who reside in a Schengen country typically do not get visas once they have their residence permit.

Note that German law also requires you to hold a valid passport when you are in the country (and not only at the border, where it may not even be checked).

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  • @Selin For more information to determine if you have a "Common Format Residence Permit), see this question. Jul 3 at 22:07
  • German law does not require you to hold a valid passport on your person. You just have to own one. But this as far as I know only concerns German citizens
    – SirHawrk
    Jul 4 at 10:00
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    @SirHawrk I didn't want to elaborate on that distinction because I am not 100% sure of the nuances in that case (does it mean you have to be able to present it within x hours for example) but note that in English that is exactly what "hold" means (as opposed to "bear" or "carry"). If I thought it was mandatory to have it on you at all times, I would have used another verb. You probably do not really "own" the passport either.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 4 at 10:24
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Yes, you can use your European residence permit instead of the Schengen visa. However, considering specifics of Italy, you should keep in mind that it important to have a valid permit (the plastic card), not an expired permit with a post office receipt confirming the application for renewal (which is completely equivalent to a valid residence permit on the Italian territory and at the Italian border when you want to go directly to your country of citizenship and back). So, in future you should always plan your travel and renewals of your permit so that you stay in Italy (or use only direct flight to your country) while your new permit is under preparation.

You may found in Italian laws (often displayed in the migration offices) that you are allowed to transit through the Schengen area to your homeland and back with an expired residence permit and a post office receipt. This only means that the Italian law allows such a travel. Other countries are not obliged to and in general do not accept this kind of documents, especially on your way back to Italy.

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Yes, a valid residence permit or D visa issued by a schengen state will usually allow you to travel within the Schengen area on business/tourism etc... much the same as you could have done on a Schengen visa. However it is still always worth checking that there aren't any additional restrictions in place i.e. as we have seen throughout the pandemic, in some cases travellers were only allowed to travel to specific locations if the travel could be consider to be "essential", as defined by that Schengen state, the specific reasons varied across the region. You can usually check timatic (provided by IATA) via your airline website for specific live information in the that respect. Enjoy your trip to Germany 😉

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  • Thanks everyone for their answers! Luckily my trip to Germany is just for a transit flight! From Germany i'll be flying to Turkey 🙏
    – Selin
    Jul 5 at 14:15

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