I am a non-EU citizen and am a PhD student in the Czech Republic. When I had my visa of type D, it says valid for CZ not Schengen States.

That being stated, I can understand that I can only enter EU from the Czech Republic. However, will I be able to travel across Schengen States using my student visa? I know that there is no passport control while visiting an EU country, but if the police of that country requires an ID:

  1. Is my student ID card OK? Or should I show my passport?
  2. Can the visa in the passport cause trouble like I visited the country illegally?
  • 4
    By the way, beware that not all EU countries are Schengen. Your Czech visa will give you no particular rights for the UK or Ireland, for example. Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 10:01
  • @HenningMakholm's comment is very important, but it's also worth noting that there are some non-Schengen countries to which you can travel with a Schengen visa (although there will likely be certain conditions). One example is Romania.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 15:41
  • The premise that you "can only enter EU from the Czech Republic" is incorrect. With a Czech D visa you can enter any Schengen state.
    – phoog
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 21:55
  • Sorry I'm bringing this back after a year but were you able to travel across EU with that visa finally? I'm in the same boat, I have a type D student visa that reads Valid for Spain. I'm wondering if I should apply for a tourist visa or can I just fly between countries with this one? I checked with the Spanish and Portuguese consulates and they both said I couldn't.
    – Anisha
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 5:47
  • @Anisha they don't have passport control among the Schengen countries. So, you can easily travel. As for countries who're not in Schengen, your own country's rules apply.
    – padawan
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


A type D visa, like a residence permit, allows you to make short trips to the other Schengen countries – very much as if you held a long multiple-entry type C visa or were visa-free. You only need to comply with the 90-of-180 days rule for the days you spend in Schengen minus the Czech Republic.

The "valid for" field on D visas state the issuing country rather than "Schengen States", because it is only in that country you get the full rights implied by that visa. The less extensive rights to short visits is something one needs to just know.

It is not true that you "can only enter EU from the Czech Republic". You're perfectly allowed to enter and exit the Schengen Area through any of the external borders. You should be prepared to explain and document that you're on your way either to the Czech Republic or to an allowed short trip in one of the other Schengen countries.

You should bring your passport such that you can identify yourself to any authorities that might ask. A student ID is unlikely to be accepted by police who are already suspicious enough to ask you for papers.

  • 9
    The passport requirement is a must, not a should. Student cards do not appear to be recognized as state-issued ID's within the Schengen area. The grey area seems to be driver licenses, which are state-issued but do not prove nationality.
    – MSalters
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 11:42
  • 4
    @MSalters As I understand it, driver's licenses are not a particularly gray area. In some countries, perhaps most, licenses issued in that country are accepted as ID for certain purposes, but foreign licenses are generally accepted only as proof that the bearer is licensed to drive. They are definitely not considered "travel documents" as the term is defined and used in the Schengen codes.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 12:18
  • @phoog: As I understand it, the documents have slightly different purposes. A drivers license indeed shows your authority to drive, while a passport shows your permission to stay in the country (which is why it holds visa). Both however have a secondary purpose, to prove your identity. So if the police only needs to validate your claimed identity, the drivers license would be OK. But if they suspect you reside illegally in that country, they may request travel documents. And the two aren't mutually exclusive; seeing a drivers license may prompt a request for travel documents.
    – MSalters
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 12:50
  • 1
    @MSalters each country can make laws controlling what documents may be used for what purpose. The Netherlands, for example, has an identification law that explicitly allows European-issued driver's licenses to be used for some purposes only if the holder is resident in the Netherlands. Other driver's licenses are not acceptable for any purpose covered by that law. Similarly, the Netherlands accepts residence permits only if issued by the Netherlands. Any other country could impose other requirements, of course; maybe driver's licenses are a gray area in some jurisdictions.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 13:05
  • @MSalters Passport shows your identity and citizenship. Permission to stay is in visa.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 13:22

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