A Russian citizen, permanent resident of the US, lives in the US and travels to Russia 3-4 times a year for about a week or two. Since most convenient flights for her habe an intermediate stop in Europe (e.g. Frankfurt, Helsinki, Paris, Milan, Reykjavik) she would like to exit the transit area of the airport and spend a day or two in the country of transit.

At present, she applied and received multiple short-term Schengen visas from Finland, Sweden, Iceland, France and Germany (about 5 total). However, despite her requests the visa was always granted in the C-1 category (30 days validity) single or double-entry. The visa process is very time-consuming (collecting all the paperwork) and has to be planned many months in advance (waiting line for German consulate is 1.5 months as of today). She, to the best of my knowledge, has always complied with the visa requirements, has a reasonably well paying job (>$100K) and some property in the US. However, each and every time the visa granted is C-1 with 1 month validity and with the duration of stay for tje exact duration of transit +1 day.

Why? What is the secret to obtaining a multiple-entry Schengen visa with at least half a year validity?

It turned out that receiving a MEV does not mean it is in any way a long-term one. The next visa received is a MEV, but for the exact duration of the trip: 14 days.

The current table for Schengen states US consulates, sorted by % of MEVs given per consulate: enter image description here

PS. This question partially overlaps with this one. However, the forms were always filled requesting multiple entries, so the answer provided in the linked question is not sufficient.

  • 2
    One solution would be to apply for naturalization in the US.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 17:36
  • 1
    C1? C1 is a US visa, not a Schengen visa
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 17:40
  • @Crazydre or maybe it's just a mistaken identification of a C (short stay) visa. In some versions of the sticker, the number of entries is listed to the right of the type, so you get something like Type: C Number of entries: 01. Since the question is about how to get a multiple-entry visa, and the traveler is a US green card holder, this is a much more likely interpretation than that it is a US C-1 (transit) visa.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 20:12
  • 1
    @Crazydre, see e.g. this esteri.it/mae/en/ministero/servizi/stranieri/…
    – mzu
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 20:36
  • 1
    I once had got a multi-enter visa from German visa center in Moscow valid for three days.
    – bipll
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 5:57

2 Answers 2


First you have to realize the logic behind multi-entry, multi-year visas: they're given out to legitimate visitors who are constantly visiting the Schengen area for tourism or business. People visiting for transit are generally not the kind of travelers who need multi-entry visas, since you can usually stay in the airport transit area. Hence the solution is to start visiting the Schengen area for a purpose other than transit. Here's what your friend should do:

  1. Pick a country that's likely to give out multi-entry visas in the first place. We have a question on this topic already. Make sure to check out this multi-entry statistics table and only apply at the consulates of the countries at the top. That's very important since technically multi-entry visas are not supposed to be issued for tourists, as outlined in the Handbook for the processing of visa applications and the modification of issued visas - section Number of entries.
  2. Plan a tourist trip to the country of your choice and ask for a multi-entry visa, showing your previous transit visas as proof of your established character. Don't mention the word transit anywhere in the application - remember that tourism should be your primary purpose of visit.
  3. If you successfully get a visa at the first attempt, fly to the country as planned, spend a few days there, and then head to Russia. Try to visit the same country again a couple more times before you apply again, just to make sure you're not seen as a 'visa shopper'.
  4. If you don't get a multi-entry visa at first, still fly through that same country, however on your way back to the US you will need to avoid exiting the transit area. Apply again afterwards and it's extremely likely that you will finally get the right visa.
  • Thanks. She applied using your advice. She specifically asked for multi-entry visa valid for at least 1/2 year. At the German consulate counter she was told: "this is not possible for tourist visas in your situation. Only business visas or visas to visit close relatives would do". We'll see what the actual visa will be
    – mzu
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 20:11
  • 3
    @mzu her mistake was that she applied at the German embassy. Next time check out this chart and only apply for the countries at the top.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 20:18
  • wow, the numbers in the chart are really surprising: such a large discrepancy between DE and AT, low chances for CZ, you'd think ES (tourism-dependent) would be higher... do you have an idea, why it's the way it is?
    – LLlAMnYP
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 7:40
  • @LLIAMnYP it depends on the country. Czechs are simply way too protective of precious Schengen visas (although they've improved - see my updated link). Spain issues a lot of visas in former colonies which skews the statistics.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 7:55
  • @JonathanReez, what is the source of this table? This table: schengenvisainfo.com/visa-statistics-2016 says 82.58% of MEVs issued for Germany, putting Germany close to the top of the list.
    – mzu
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 17:56

I'm a Russian citizen and US resident as well. My advice to you: always apply for a Schengen visa in Russia! I have had 1 and 2 years multi-entrance Schengen visas, and now I got a 5 years one! This would never happen if I apply in one of the US embassies. For some reason, they're giving out short visas only (I've heard this before, that's why I never go there).

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