I'm a stateless refugee from Estonia with a traveler refugee document issued by USA, and Schengen visa by Spain consulate in USA. My visa was issued from 1st june 2015 until 24th jun 2015, 9 days stay, 1 entry, all Schengen countries.

My quesion is can I stay longer than 9 days, and also what it mean "XXAUS5EST" that shows in my visa? Is this an excemption, information or exclusion? is this meaning that I cannot go to estonia (not that I plan) or that I can go?


2 Answers 2


Territorial limitations are listed in the visible region of the Schengen visa (as opposed to the machine readable region).

For your specific question: "is this meaning that i cannot go to estonia (not that i plan) or that i can go?!", the answer is NO. A restriction against Estonia (issued by a Spanish consulate) would look like...


Meaning all states except Estonia. The minus sign means 'except' and EE is the abbreviation for Estonia. The text would appear at the top of the harmonized region and would be plainly visible.

For your other question(s): While the text you gave cannot be positively decoded without seeing the visa itself, it is likely you are referring to the 'remarks' section of the Machine Readable Zone. This section is available (as an option) for each member state to use for their own purposes. The best guess is that you are stateless (XXA) you applied in the USA (US) to a Spanish consulate (ES) in a location or code signified by 'T' (possibly turístico). In all events, if you are travelling as stateless you would not expect to see your former nationality identified. But only a scan along with the consulate operations manual can tell for sure.

For the remaining question, if you were issued 9 days then you would want to regulate your itinerary such that you used only 9 days. It may be possible to go underground, but it's emphatically not recommended.

  • 1
    Here's a diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/article/… link explaining a (French) Schengen visa field-by-field. Estonia is marked EST and not EE. However, in this iom.int/seguridad-fronteriza/lit/ibm/schengen-visa-annex_20.pdf document, which from the URL seems like Spanish does use EE as the country code. Very odd, one would think the codes are uniform.
    – user4188
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 7:43
  • @chx, helpful links. Checking them now...
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 11:51
  • 1
    @chx, After looking at it for a while, I think the French site is mistaken
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 22:33
  • That's the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I'd be quite scared if they'd be wrong.
    – user4188
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 23:56
  • 1
    @chx The regulation definitely has ‘EE’ as the proper code for Estonia in the restriction field (annex VII). But the machine readable part uses other codes and it's also possible that the French website accurately describes non-compliant practices by the French and other governments so that some visas would in fact have other codes printed on the sticker. Confusing indeed.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 13, 2015 at 15:02

The visa validity is what determines the length of your stay. If your visa is valid till 24 Jun then you can stay inside Schengen till that date, period. Edit: I am wrong, some visas do have a specified length of stay, see my comment on @GayotFow's answer.

While it is impossible to answer the other half with surety without seeing the visa, I have some plausible explanation.

The XXA part could indicate "Stateless person" as per the Machine readable passport Wikipedia article.

The letters US could simply stand for the US providing you with your refugee document.

Finally, here's a presentation on the "new" visas. You will see that there's a check digit followed by the nationality of the holder represented by a three letter code. 5 and EST is at least suspicious to be that.

  • The mentioning of 9 days gives the max length of the stay. The stay also have to end on or before the date given for the end of the visa, so if you arrive late you get fewer than the 9 days, but you are never allowed more than the stated number of days.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 9:14

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