Is there such a general rule that no tourist Schengen visa application can be submitted earlier than 3 months before the first day of the planned entry?

EDIT. The similar question in Can I apply for Schengen visa 4 months before travel is almost 3 years old by now, and the only reference link there is broken. As such regulations change frequently, old answers may get quickly inaccurate.


1 Answer 1


The 3 month maximum lead time for a Schengen application is statutory. The statement occurs in the Visa Code, but it is more accessible in the summary page at EUR-Lex

A visa application may be lodged by the applicant or an accredited commercial intermediary at the earliest 3 months before the intended visit. When lodging an application, the applicant must appear in person, unless this requirement has been waived. When lodging an application, the following must be presented:

(emphasis mine)

Note: it does not matter if the 'three-month forward computed date' falls on a weekend or holiday.

  • Does it apply to all EU countries, not only Schengen? I know Ireland allows to file earlier applications than 3 months, so I am confused. Jun 5, 2017 at 11:58
  • @DmitriZaitsev The ROI is not a Schengen member. The question is scoped to Schengen regulations.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:06
  • Thanks for clarifying, the document confusingly mentions "EU country" but upon closer inspection there is indeed a reference to Schengen. Jun 5, 2017 at 12:10
  • Article 9 is not particularly inaccessible: "Applications shall be lodged no more than three months before the start of the intended visit."
    – phoog
    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:29

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