I currently have a tourist visa (multi-entry for 1 year) for Europe, issued by Spain. I now applied for a language course visa (3 month) in France and I do not see why it should not be granted to me.
But my tourist visa will expire June 2017. My language course visa starts January till March 2017. But is it so that once my French language course visa is granted, that I loose my Spanish tourist visa (because I cannot have 2 EU visas at the same time, overlapping dates)?
Ofcourse I do not wish to loose my Spain visa as I want to use it after March (when my language course ends) since I have it valid till June 2017.

I am Mexican and I have a visa type C (multi-entry for 1 year) to Spain.

  • What is your nationality?
    – Willeke
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 13:33
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    Who told you this? How do you suppose you will lose the benefit of your Spanish visa? As far as I know, what should happen is that France should decline to issue a visa. You should be able to do a 3-month language course on your Spanish visa (but not longer than this).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 13:34
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    If France issues a type D visa then they ought not to cancel your type C visa, and also your time in France under the type D visa won't count in the 90/180 calculation. But as you've already applied, there's nothing to do at the moment but await the outcome.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 15:43
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    If he has a multi=entry visa for Spain, authorizing one year ending June 2017, doesn't that make the 90/180 rule irrelevant and give him access to all other Schengen countries for the whole twelve months?
    – WGroleau
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 20:12
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    @raulbaros How come you have a visa, by the way? I thought Mexican citizens did not need one anymore.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


To recap a number of points that have been made in the comments:

  • Your type C visa is intended to cover several purposes, it's a "short-stay" rather than a "tourist" visa (although many people are confused about that and you will frequently come across sources describing it as a "tourism visa"). A short single or two-entry visa is implicitly tied to the specific trip described in the application and using it for something else could therefore be problematic but that's not the case for your visa. Incidental trips to other places than Spain are definitely allowed, no matter their purpose.

  • Short-stay visas (otherwise called "type C", "Schengen" or "uniform" visas) can't be used to stay in the Schengen area for a long time and in particular not longer than 90 days in any 180-day period. Applying for another short-stay visa does not open any right to go over that limit and, in fact, submitting a plan that would involve breaking this rule is a reason to refuse the visa. So if you have already stayed in Spain in the 90 days prior to your French course, you will not be able to do it under short-stay rules, no matter what. Even having your Spanish visa revoked and applying for a French visa instead would not help you.

  • If you have already used up your 90 days or want to stay longer than that in France, you need something else entirely, namely a French long-stay visa (type D visa). The good news is that it is possible to get these to study in France, even for relatively short courses (i.e. not necessarily for a full year) and it would not conflict with your Spanish visa (you don't need to have it revoked and time spent in France under such a long-stay student visa would not could towards the 90 day limit for the rest of the Schengen area).

    The bad news is that I don't think France would issue one for a language course or a three-month course (as opposed to a full-time academic semester at an higher education institution) and there might also be a concern that you are trying to skirt the rules. So if you want to do that, you need to check exactly what the consulate requires and apply for the right type of visa (do not use the form for short-stay visas). The rules and fees are also going to be different than what you are used to for your Schengen visa.

Note that if you already applied for another short-stay (type C) visa from France, I think that the correct course of action for the consulate would be to decline to process the application (return the documents and fee and stop there). I don't see how they could revoke a visa they haven't issued themselves in this situation. They would not issue a type D visa either since you would not have submitted the right form and supporting documentation.

  • So I am a bit confused. I wish I could remember where I read this so I could check the exact wording, but it was a government site (national or EU or Schengen) that seemed to say that any authorization for any Schengen country is valid for all the others. My specific situation is sufficiently different from this that I will probably post it separately.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:34
  • @WGroleau Visas are in principle valid for all countries. But a single entry visa with a short validity is also tied to a specific trip, described in the application. If you do something else entirely, it might raise concerned that you were not entirely truthful in the application and/or that your circumstances and intent have changed since the visa was issued. Depending on the specifics, that can be a valid reason to revoke or annul it.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 18:26
  • In principle, this applies equally to a trip to the country that issued the visa than to a trip to another country. It's just that showing up in an unexpected country makes the change of intent more visible and might prompt border guards to inquire further and questions you a little more than usual. It's not forbidden as such and they can still decide to let you in with a visa from another country. But it's also very easy to contradict yourself or somehow end up in trouble.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 18:28
  • All this is not so relevant for multiple entry visa with a long validity like the one described by the OP (or to people allowed to visit without a visa) because such visas are valid for an unspecified number of trips.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 18:30

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