My wife has a Schengen Visa which was issued in Feb 2016 and is valid until Feb 2017. She has already been in Germany for around 80 days but not at a stretch and has been to other countries within these 80 days. She is now in India and wants to go back to Germany again for a month. Though on her current visa she will overshoot her Total 90 day stay. Can she get her current visa (Valid till Feb 2017) cancelled and re-apply for a fresh visa so that her 90 day clock resets? Would greatly appreciate any help.

  • 6
    As I understand it, the clock is per person, not per visa. May 14, 2016 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


The way you phrase the question sounds like you're misunderstanding how the 90-day rule works.

  • Even though the visa itself declares a "length of stay" as 90 days, this does not mean that the visa carries a fixed supply of 90 Schengen days and will be useless once those 90 days have been used up. This is indeed how it would work for shorter visas, but when the visa is valid for more than 6 months, the only thing that restricts the length of visits is the general 90/180 day rule, and the "length of stay" field is filled in with 90 as a reminder of this.

  • The 90/180 day rule is that on every day you're present in the Schengen Area, you must have been in Schengen for at most 90 of the last 180 days (including today). The EU provides an online calculator to help convert this rule to actual dates.

  • The 90/180 rule applies to everyone who does not have freedom of movement in the EU due to their own or their family's citizenship, no matter whether they are visa-free or have visas. (Aliens with residence permits or national long-stay visas get to count days in the issuing states as "not in Schengen" for the purpose of the rule, but their clock keeps ticking uninterrupted as regards the other Schengen states). It applies per person, and getting a new visa does not reset your running count -- the only thing that causes days to disappear from it is waiting for them to drop off the running 180-day period.

What this means in practice is that there's no reason for your wife to apply for a fresh visa. Assuming the current visa provides for MULTiple entries, getting a new one would not give her any benefit.

If all of her 80 days were in February 2016 or later, they will only begin to drop out of her running 180-day count around August, so the earliest time she would be able to start a one-month visit would be in late July. (Or even later than that if there were gaps between those 80 days).

  • +1 from me. I cannot understand why this answer collected a downvote, would anyone care to explain? Just some good old revenge downvoting or are there issues with the content?
    – mts
    May 14, 2016 at 11:52
  • @mts: I'm assuming it's just a stalker downvote; each of my three most recent answers got one. May 14, 2016 at 12:03
  • That's a pity, you might want to consider raising a mod flag if these votes don't get cleaned up overnight.
    – mts
    May 14, 2016 at 12:17
  • 2
    @mts: IIUC, site moderators can't do anything about that, only SE empolyees. And it's not really worth escalating to that level over six imaginary internet points ... May 14, 2016 at 12:22
  • 1
    But they're real internet points! More seriously, I would strike "due to their citizenship" since non-EU family can also enjoy freedom of movement. Excellent answer otherwise.
    – phoog
    May 14, 2016 at 14:07

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