My dodgy Colombian friend has a Schengen visa which is valid for 5 years. It is a multiple entry visa but it also says you are permitted 90 days in the Schengen zone.

Is this 90 days total in 5 years, or is it 90 days from the date of initial entry into the zone?

  • 1
    I believe it's 90 days out of any period of 180 days. Turkey changed their rules to match this too some time in the last year. Sep 22, 2011 at 21:18
  • Which embassy issued his visa? Usually the Schengen visas are valid for a maximum duration of 2 years. Trying to renew mine and would like to get a long term one if possible.
    – user1706
    Jan 18, 2012 at 17:07
  • Was issued in London, but that's about all I know.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 18, 2012 at 23:44
  • I might be really late on replying this thread but this is a very interesting topic for me. I am wondering (so these questions would be for the thread starter), as you mentioned that your 'dodgy' colombian friend acquired 5-year schengen visa whilst he was in London, what was his immigration status in London? Was he a student or businessman or anything other than that? What sort of visa that he applied for? Tourist? Visiting relatives? As far as I know, the more we apply for schengen visa the longer the validity. I know someone whose first schengen visa was valid only for a month with 15 days
    – user4127
    Jan 28, 2013 at 22:52
  • @user4127 - I moved your 'answer' to a comment (please see the faq for reasons and how the site works). I believe he's got permanent residency (he sat that test a couple of years back). He works in London, and married a Kiwi girl that he met there. His Schengen visas would have been tourist.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 28, 2013 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


I have the following information:

The maximum length of stay in Europe for non European Union passport holders is determined by the Schengen accord and is currently limited to 90 days within any 180 day period. The important thing to note is that you may not leave the Schengen Visa area for a day and return to restart the 90 day clock. In other words, you must be absent from the Schengen area for at least 90 days in a 180 day period to be legal.

So if you friend has a multiple entry visa for 5 years, he can stay a maximum of approximately 5 * 180 days (Stay 90 days, be absent for 90 days, and that for 5 years).

It isn't allowed to stay longer but I heard that those rules are rarely enforced and penalized, but if you're friend looks really that dodgy it might be better to not risk it ;)

  • Hang on a sec, the math doesn't add up. Shouldn't he be able to stay for only 5 x 90 days in total? Sep 22, 2011 at 15:31
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    I assume that a year has 360 days. Then he stays for 90 days. After that he is absent for 90 days. So the requirement to be at least 90 days absent in 180 days is fulfilled. Then he stays another 90 days. The requirement to be absent for 90 days in 180 days is still fulfilled. Then he is absent for 90 days, and the first year is over. Now he can do the same thing in the second, third, fourth and fifth year. Sep 22, 2011 at 15:35
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    [facepalm] Man, I don't fit the 'Asians are good at math' stereotype at all. Sep 22, 2011 at 15:37
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    I never heard of this stereotype ;) Sep 22, 2011 at 16:03
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    I heard of the stereotype but thought it was only for East Asians (-: Sep 22, 2011 at 21:19

It means that for every 180 days given, 90 days to stay and 90 days are out in Schengen so if you have 5 years multiple entry then you can go back twice a year. you can have 10 times entry for 5 years. I have 1 year multiple visa and I'm allowed to enter 90 days in and 90 days out. I'm a Filipina anyway.


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