If I have a Type C visa from the Norwegian embassy valid for February 9-28, and my Type D national visa from the German embassy valid from March 1 - August 31, 2017, do I need to leave/fly out of the Schengen area on the 28th and fly back on the 1st day of March?

  • 1
    What do you mean exactly? There are only 28 days in February.
    – David J.
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 10:54
  • Does it need to be "stamped" on February 28 whatsoever? so the D can officially and legally start on March 1st?
    – David J.
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:02
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    @pnuts D visas also authorize presence in the entire Schengen area.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 13:35
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    You have two answers that give a full and rounded view on your question. I have up voted both. You can select the answer most satisfying to you with the check=mark indicator. Thanks.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately the answer to this question is not completely clear-cut.

From my reading of the actual Schengen legislation, there is no requirement that you leave the Schengen Area while transitioning from your C-visa to the D-visa.

It is common and well known that one can stay within the Schengen area while transitioning between two back-to-back C visas. This is the standard way for things to be, for example, when someone is planning to be in the Schengen area on the day when an already issued multiple-entry visa expires and he applies for a visa to cover the rest of that visit. There seems to be nothing in the rules that imply that transitioning between back-to-back C and D visas should be handled differently.

The reason why I don't call this completely clear-cut is that we have gotten questions about a similar situation, namely a visa-free national wanting to continue a long stay under a D visa as a visa-free short stay in the same or another Schengen state. In that case the rules also do not appear to require a "visa run", but nevertheless we have anecdotal reports of people getting told in advance by border guards, police and the like that a visa run is needed.

I don't think we have any reports of people actually getting into trouble by not doing a visa run on a D-to-visa-free boundary, though.

We also haven't, as far as I remember, seen anyone try to back the need for a visa run with actual references to the text of the Schengen regulations.

The D-to-visa-free situation differs from yours in that one can argue that the traveler needs an entry stamp to show when the 90/180 day clock that governs his visa-free stay began ticking, and the way to get an entry stamp is to exit and enter the Schengen Area. This does not apply to you because the 90/180 rule does not apply to you while you're in Germany under a D-visa. (It applies if you visit Schengen countries other than Germany during the validity of the D visa). So the argument that you need to do a visa run is weaker.

Make of all that what you will. Personally, in your shoes, I would not bother to do a visa run, but it's really up to how risk-averse you are. After all, if you do get into trouble, "a random person on the internet said it would be okay" is not much help.


From my research, you must exit and enter although you have the opportunity to request a change in status without leaving. You can do that by consciously passing through immigration as you cross from wherever you are in the Schengen area into Germany (do that BEFORE the C visa expires).

Typically immigrant status do not just transition from one to the other without some formal approval from authorities to activate the new status. In your case, see the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) or immigration offices for Schengen in the member country where you are located to confirm if the legal framework exists for you to do so.

See Opportunities to change the residence title and the purpose of stay in Germany Focus-Study by the German National Contact Point for the European Migration Network (EMN)


It says in Section 6 subs. 3 of the Residence Act (national/D-type visa): Usually issued for up to three months (during the stay the holder shall apply for and be issued with the residence title which is appropriate for the purpose of stay).

In principle, migrants who want to stay for a longer period of time in Germany must enter the country with a visa, which gives the purpose of the stay. This means that, in order to switch from the current residence title into a new one, migrants usually need to leave the country, return to their country of origin and apply for a new visa with a new purpose of stay in order to re-enter Germany.

However, German law recognizes some exemptions, which enable migrants to change their residence title and/or purpose of stay without the obligation to leave Germany. For example, Section 5 subs. 2 of the Residence Act says that the procedure of leaving and re-entering Germany may be waived “if the prerequisites qualifying a foreigner for the granting of a residence title are met or if special circumstances relating to the individual case concerned render a subsequent visa application procedure unreasonable”.

Remember to make your request with ample time to be able to leave and reenter in case your request is not approved.

  • Does this mean that I need to do this in Germany? I cannot do this for example in the Netherlands, for example? I will be an exchange student and my university in Germany is very near the Netherlands border and I am most likely will be in Amsterdam on Feb 28/March 1.
    – David J.
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:08
  • @David J I have made some edits, read again. Basically since both are SCHENGEN visas, the Norwegians should have the same knowledge as the Germans. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:19
  • but how would the processing go and when will it be done? because I still need to "have" that Type C visa until Feb 28, and immediately start that March 1st Type D visa right after
    – David J.
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 11:43
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    The information that D-visas are "usually issued for up to three months" must be a mistake in the document you reference. The Schengen rules say that visas for stays shorter than three months must be uniform short-stay visas. Type D are national visas for lengths between three and six months. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 13:12
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    @DavidJ. No, I'm just correcting the assertion that you must leave before the 28th, which implies that the deadline for your departure is 24 hours earlier than it really is. Whether you need a visa run seems not to be settled because the Schengen codes indicate that you don't, while many national authorities say that you do. Henning Makholm, sorry about the lack of clarity. By "authorizes a stay through midnight on the night of the 28th/1st" I meant to indicate that the deadline for departure is 1 minute after 23:59 on February 28th, as you seem to have concluded.
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 15:23

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