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I am a student and I am going to attend an academic conference in the Netherlands in early September. I have the acceptance letter for my presentation at that conference. I will also attend a conference in early December in Spain. I haven't heard back yet from my submission to the second conference. Each conference spans about 1 week, and I will be in the States for the 3 months between them.

I have my appointment of Schengen visa application at the Netherlands consulate next week. The thing is, I don't want to make separate visa applications for each of Netherlands and Spain because it costs time and money (and patience). I know that a multi-entry Schengen visa can span 180 days.

So my first question is, if I submit the itinerary and hotel reservation for both conferences at my visa application, would the Netherlands consulate give me a 3-month or 6-month multi-entry Schengen visa although I will not be traveling and will be back home in the US between them? I want to note that I will not be able to present proof of invitation from the second conference since I haven't heard back from them yet.

My second (and probably the most important) question is, is there a possibility that the Netherlands consulate will directly reject my application because I ask for a multi-entry visa covering both destinations, so I lose the chance to attend even the first conference?

And my last question is, if they give me a 3-month visa, let's say that it expires on 3rd of December, can I enter Spain on 1st or 2nd of December, or do they require longer validity of the visa after the entrance?

  • 1
    What you talk about is a Schengen type "C" visa, but you are mistaken about how it works. A "C" visa can have a duration anywhere from a few days to several years and for one or multiple entries. While the duration lasts and you have entries left, you can spend up to 90 days out of the preceding 180 days in the Schengen area. An one-year, multiple-entry visa would allow dozens of short visits. Regarding your last question, the visa is good to the last day, but the immigration officials might ask you to present clear evidence of onwards travel arrangements. – o.m. Jul 30 '16 at 4:59
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In order:

  1. You might get lucky but that's not the way it's supposed to work for many reasons. And 3 months is ample time to apply for another visa. It's annoying but you should be able to reuse most of the documentation and probably won't need to go to another interview to enroll your biometrics (as they would be kept on file from the first application). The main issue is that you would have to pay the visa fee again and make one or two round-trips to the consulate. See also

  2. It would seem very unlikely and incredibly harsh to refuse a visa (i.e. issue a negative decision) for this. I don't see which refusal reason would apply. What might yet happen is that the Dutch consulate declines to process the application and asks you to reapply without mentioning the other conference (that's not so bad because such a rejection would happen quickly and you would get your fee and documents back). Alternatively (and more likely still), they can ignore your preference for a multiple-entry visa and issue a single-entry visa anyway.
  3. There is no requirement that the visa should be valid for a certain number of days after the entrance per se... but, unlike US visas, it does need to be valid for the whole stay (i.e. until the day of exit). So in your scenario you could in principle enter on the 1st of December but you would have to leave before or on the 3rd (to be perfectly accurate, you could also secure another visa or status in the meantime but that's not realistic in this case).
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  1. They might, depending on your status in US and whether this is your first Shenghen visa (if not, this is much more likely). Make sure you made it very clear on the visa application, and show that you have means to return to US (i.e. you've a green card or visa which is not expired yet).

  2. Yes, you can enter on 1st or 2nd, but you have to leave before Dec 3rd. This assumes you haven't used all your days on visa (it may be made valid for, for example, 10 days - and this is total for all entries, not per entry)

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Just to clarify: Schengen visas have duration of stay, validity period, and number of entries.

  • Duration is the (total) number of days you can spend in the Schengen area. First and last days count full. Regardless of duration, you cannot spend more than 90 days out of 180 in Schengen on any combination of tourist or business visas.
  • Number of entries is the number of times you can cross the external Schengen borders. There is no limit on the number of times you can cross internal borders.
  • Validity period is the first day you can enter and the last day you must leave. Validity can be more than 180 days.

So what you need is two entries, a relatively short duration, and a relatively long validity period. As Relaxed pointed out in his answer, the Netherlands is more likely to give you one entry and a short validity period unless you already have a history of frequent visits to Schengen.

If you do get such a visa, you have to watch the duration carefully. You would be allowed to spend all or most of your days on the first trip, but then you would have no days left for the second trip.

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