I received a Schengen Visa from Netherlands Embassy and it is valid for one year. I am back from my holiday in Holland but want to go to Spain in the next few months. Must I apply for a new Spain Visa or will I be able to enter Spain with the Netherlands Schengen Visa that is valid for a year?

2 Answers 2


In general, you should reuse your Netherlands-issued visa until it expires. There are some factors to consider, however.

First, is the visa valid? Your Spanish trip must end on or before the 1-year expiration date of the visa. That is, you may not remain in the Schengen area on or after that date. Also, since you have already used the visa once, it must be valid for two entries or for multiple entries. This will be indicated on the visa sticker with the numeral "2" or the abbreviation "MULT" (where a single-entry visa will show "1").

Second, is the purpose of your trip to Spain permitted under the visa? The answer to this question is probably "yes," but if it is not you must get a different kind of visa that authorizes a trip for your intended purpose. This does not appear to apply to business visitors re-using a multiple-entry visa that was originally issued for a tourist journey, or vice versa, but I cannot find anything authoritative to answer that question one way or the other.

Third, has enough time passed since your trip to the Netherlands? You must not have more than 90 days' presence in the Schengen area in any 180-day period, including the day on which you arrive and the day on which you depart. That means that on any given day, if you look at that day and the preceding 179 days, and count 91 or more days on which you were in the Schengen area, you are in violation.

More specifically, if you were, for example, in the Netherlands between the 1st and 30th of April, a total of 30 days, and you re-enter the Schengen area on or before July 29th, your second trip can last no more than 60 days, because the 61st day would be 179 days or fewer after you first entered the Schengen area, and the total number of days you were in the Schengen area would be 91. If you enter on or after July 30th, however, your second trip could last 90 days.

The 90/180 rule used to be calculated differently, so you may find conflicting explanations online. There is an official length-of-stay calculator here:


To find the calculator, as of this writing, find the third paragraph of the main body text, and, in the first sentence, click the hyperlinked text "short-stay calculator." I can't find a link that opens the calculator directly.

Finally, you will always have to meet the general conditions of entry, and to convince the border officer that you meet them:

  • You must be able to explain why you want to enter the Schengen area and to prove the conditions of your stay. You must also be able to show that you have sufficient financial means for the duration of the stay and for your return;
  • You must not be considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Schengen area countries;
  • You must not have an alert issued in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry.

The above list is taken from http://ec.europa.eu/immigration/do-i-need-a-visa/do-i-need-a-short-stay-visa_en#TheSchengenarea

  • (+1) There is no authoritative information on reusing a business visa for tourism because there is no such thing as a “business visa” or “tourism visa” as a separate category in the regulation.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 1, 2015 at 13:50
  • @Relaxed thanks. I note that I never said anything about business visas or tourist visas, but rather "business visitors" and "visa that was issued for a tourist journey." I was concerned about certain things I have read on this site relating to people possibly having problems when the purpose of their trip changed, though that was probably for single entry visas. Still, it would be comforting to find something clearly stating that the holder of a multiple entry visa is allowed to use it for purposes other than those presented in the application.
    – phoog
    Jun 1, 2015 at 16:54
  • It seems to follow from the fact that there are no categories or any special role for the purpose (as opposed to all the other requirements/information provided during the information). Therefore, a single entry visa is restricted by virtue of its association with a single trip, which can't possibly be the case for a multiple-entry visa. Whether it's the purpose, the itinerary or the length of stay that changed between one trip and the next is not really material.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:21
  • Also, multiple-entry visas are explicitly intended to cover trips to other countries, which underlines their flexibility. For an official (but not legally binding) document touching upon this, see the Handbook published by the Commission, e.g. the Senegalese businessman example on p. 20.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:29
  • 1
    Yes that's true. I would still like to add just one last bit of relevant information that makes this interpretation very compelling to me: The Schengen Borders code defines the procedure to refuse entry in great details, all the way to some sample standard forms. A mismatch between the visa and the purpose of the trip is nowhere to be found as a valid reason to refuse entry in the forms (or in article 5 itself). According to the regulation, you either have a valid visa or you don't.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:47

If your Schenghen Visa will still be valid then you will not need to apply for a new Visa.


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