I am an Indian and now in Hungary, the visa stamped in my passport is marked as single entry but I have a residence permit valid for 1 year. Can I go back to India and come again with the same visa?


You have a residence permit, so you do not need a visa.

(As noted by Relaxed, your single-entry visa is no longer valid because it's valid for a single entry only, and you've already used that single entry.)

From the Schengen Borders Code (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:02006R0562-20131126):

Article 5

  1. For intended stays on the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay, the entry conditions for third-country nationals shall be the following:

(a) [...]

(b) they are in possession of a valid visa, if required pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement, except where they hold a valid residence permit or a valid long-stay visa;

(Emphasis added)

The last clause, in italics above, means that you do not need a visa as long as your residence permit remains valid.

(Paragraph (a), omitted, concerns the requirements for a passport or similar travel document.)


Article 7


  1. On entry and exit, third-country nationals shall be subject to thorough checks.

(a) thorough checks on entry shall comprise verification of the conditions governing entry laid down in Article 5(1) and, where applicable, of documents authorising residence and the pursuit of a professional activity. This shall include a detailed examination covering the following aspects:

(i) verification that the third-country national is in possession of a document which is valid for crossing the border and which has not expired, and that the document is accompanied, where applicable, by the requisite visa or residence permit;

(Emphasis added)

Note the word "or" in the last clause, supporting the conclusion that a residence permit by itself authorizes a third-country national to enter the Schengen area, without the need to hold a visa.

(Section 1, omitted, concerns entry and exit checks generally; section 2 concerns the "minimum check" performed on those enjoying the right of free movement.)

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    (+1) Also relevant is article 2, defining what should be understood by "residence permit". It should cover most residence documents currently issued by Schengen countries but some exceptions are possible. – Relaxed Apr 11 '16 at 14:33
  • @Relaxed good point, thanks. I decided not to cover the definition of "residence permit" because the answer was already longer than I'd like it to be and it seemed less likely to be important in this case. – phoog Apr 11 '16 at 15:25

The literal answer to your question is “no”. You cannot come back with the same visa, that's basically what “single entry” means. If you used it to enter the Schengen area, once you leave it isn't valid anymore, period.

But you should in fact be able to enter with a regular residence permit, as long as it's still valid. You could even get a new passport (i.e. without the old visa) and that would still be true. You don't need a visa for that.

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    The point of such a visa being single entry is usually that it allows you to enter so that you can obtain the residence permit. While it remains valid, you use the residence permit instead of a visa in situations such as airline check-in, immigration control, etc. (And be sure to allow enough time to renew the residence permit when that time comes. You may not want to be with an expired one.) – Michael Hampton Apr 11 '16 at 6:30
  • @Relaxed and Michael: is this positive information you have for the concrete case of the Schengen area , or an opinion? I know for a fact that this answer is false in the case of Canada. – Martin Argerami Apr 11 '16 at 12:22
  • @MartinArgerami you mean that people with Canadian residence permits also require visas to enter Canada? I find that hard to believe. Anyway, this answer is certainly correct for Schengen. I'll post another answer with citations in a little while. – phoog Apr 11 '16 at 13:31
  • @Martin, you may enter any Schengen member state with a residence permit issued by another member state, provided you also have a passport and are staying less than 90 days. Read the very last sentence here. – predi Apr 11 '16 at 13:42
  • @MartinArgerami That's positive information for the concrete case of the Schengen area. It's true for all countries in the area but not necessarily for each and every residence document there is (hence the somewhat guarded language and the word "regular") as there can be restrictions for specific categories of residents like asylum seekers. I don't know much about Canada but I know that US visas work very differently than Schengen visas in several respects so I would not try to generalize from one country/jurisdiction to the next. – Relaxed Apr 11 '16 at 14:36

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