# Schengen visa “refresh”

On August 17th I need to visit a conference in Germany. The problem is that I already have a Schengen visa valid until 9th of August.

I might not be able to get a new one before my flight to Germany, because, as far as I know, embassies take at least a week to give visas (also, airlines require visa information several days before, so the "window" is less than a week). The one I have now was given by the consulate of Spain.

I am a citizen of Russian Federation and I live in Moscow.

Is it possible to apply for a new visa before the one I have expires?

I've tried googling, but the data I found was full of contradictions.

• What nationality are you ? Many countries do not need visas at all. – Thorsten S. Apr 11 '14 at 1:36
• @ThorstenS. ah, right, I forgot to mention. I'm from Russian Federation – Highstaker Apr 11 '14 at 6:16

Applying should be OK, if there is no overlap between the visas. Otherwise, you can go to a consulate from the country that issued the first visa and have it cancelled before applying for a new one.

What is definitely not OK (and perhaps the source of the confusion you found on the web) is having two visas with overlapping validity. Thus, if you had to enter on August 1 and stay later than August 9, the second visa could only be valid from August 10 (see this earlier question for an example).

The main source of official information about all that is the EU's pages about Schengen and in particular the Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas. (EDIT FOLLOWING COMMENTS:) This particular issue is dealt with on page 26:

A holder of a multiple-entry visa may apply for a new visa before the expiry of the validity of the visa currently held. However, the validity of the new visa must complement the current visa, i.e. a person cannot hold two uniform visas valid for the same period in time.

• Now I have another question. When may I apply for a new visa? Can I apply for it right now (April 11) or there is some limit to the amount of days before the new visa's validity period. It's just that I heard somewhere that I cannot apply for it until somewhere in late-July, but that info is also unchecked. Also, as far as I understand the "first country of visit" rule, I should apply for it in the embassy of Germany, right? – Highstaker Apr 11 '14 at 6:24
• Right now. As soon as possible. You should apply for express visa. It will take 4 working days. So you should do it today. Monday may be to late. You should aplly in embassy of Germany. If you live and work in Moscow it will be VFS in Moscow vfsglobal.com/germany/russia/moscow/application_forms.html – MikkaRin Apr 11 '14 at 7:43
• two visas with overlapping validity. From my experience, Schengen countries don't issue overlapping visas. They will at best issue one which starts a day later than the expiry of the current one. Some may refuse, but haven't seen one doing so. – DumbCoder Apr 11 '14 at 8:32
• @DumbCoder Isn't that exactly what I wrote? In fact, it's even explicitly forbidden by the relevant regulation and the Handbook. – Relaxed Apr 11 '14 at 9:42
• I guess most of my questions are answered in this handbook you provided, page 26 (paragraph 3.1). Cheers ;) – Highstaker Apr 12 '14 at 8:12