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I have an existing used Schengen visa from the 21-July-2015 to 20-July-2016 issued by Belgium. I recently applied for a Schengen visa from Germany & was issued a visa from the 19-July-2016 to 18-July-2017. As you can see, there's an overlap of 19th & 20th of June. Would this cause an issue when I'm traveling? The agents at VFS assured me that this wouldn't be an issue but can someone please confirm?

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    Well, "everbody knows" that such overlapping visas cannot even be issued. But I have been unable to find any official rule saying so, despite persistent search in the relevant EU law. Perhaps it's not as absolute as we've been telling ourselves? – Henning Makholm Jun 26 '16 at 18:26
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    Since the old visa has already expired, I can't see any possible problem. – Michael Hampton Jun 26 '16 at 19:16
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    @MichaelHampton there's a mention in the handbook for the processing of visas: ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/borders/docs/… ("the validity of the new visa must complement the current visa"). However there's no such clause in the relevant law: eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/… – JonathanReez Jun 26 '16 at 19:40
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    @HenningMakholm I presume it's a general recommendation for the consulates, not a legal rule. Hence there's no way OP could be in trouble. – JonathanReez Jun 26 '16 at 20:37
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    @chx - you can get mutiple-entry visitor visas for periods of year or more. Just each stay has to conform to 90/180 – CMaster Jun 26 '16 at 21:52
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As @HenningMakholm mentions the belief that it's illegal or impossible to have two overlapping visas is misleading. The Visa Code (EU's main law on the Schengen area) mentions nothing about overlapping visas. However the Handbook for the processing of visa applications contains the following recommendation:

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.

Note that the rule is for the consulate, not for the applicant. Hence you cannot be held responsible for the consulate's mistake in issuing the visa correctly. Seeing that the previous visa has already expired you shouldn't have any problems at the border.

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