I have a Spanish Schengen visa, valid from October 19 2016 to October 20 2017. I'm a seaman. I disembarked recently in a Schengen country, in July, and I also disembarked earlier in Spain.

Now I plan to visit Germany but, when I applied for a tourist visa, was refused. The reason given was that my Schengen seafarers' visa has not yet expired.

Does this mean I can use my seaman's visa to visit Germany? Or, should I have it cancelled and then re-apply for the German Schengen visa?

  • You can use your Spanish visa to travel to Germany, that's one of the points of the Schengen system.
    – phoog
    Aug 5 '17 at 15:46
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    @phoog Sounds like an answer to me. Aug 5 '17 at 15:49
  • Is your existing visa a multiple-entry type C visa valid for "Estados Schengen"? If so, there is no problem -- it is valid for all kinds of short visits to anywhere in the Schengen area within its period of validity. If not, please describe how you observe that it differs from a multiple-entry type C visa. Aug 5 '17 at 18:30

In the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain it's stated:

Seamen Visa Requirements​

Only seamen who are nationals from a country which is required to have a valid visa to enter the Schengen Space need to apply for a transit visa and if they intend to:

  • join a ship that is (or will be) in a Schengen port
  • land with the aim of join another ship that is (or will arrive) in a Schengen port
  • land due to sickness, repatriation, holiday and so on.

So from the above reference it's clear that with a seamen' Schengen visa one can land in Schengen Area for holidays (tourism).

That being said, you don't need to revoke your Schengen visa, because with a Schengen visa (including the seamen Schengen visa obtained from a Spanish embassy) you can visit all the countries inside Schengen Area (including Germany). The states within Schengen Area are listed below:

Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Here is the map of all Schengen states from European Commission website:

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  • 4
    But, is OP allowed to use a seaman visa to travel for tourism? Aug 5 '17 at 16:49
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    I fully agree that it's not country-specific, and that OP would be allowed to enter Germany or any other Schengen country for seafaring purposes. But it's not clear to me that tourism would be included. There's an even "weaker" activity on the scale: transit. And it appears to me that the seaman visa could be considered a sort of extended transit visa. Aug 5 '17 at 17:42
  • @gdrt: No, that is wrong. The Schengen ruleset does not allow member states to issue "transit visas" in forms other than uniform Schengen visas. Aug 5 '17 at 18:33
  • Thanks for your inputs, mates. I've edited the answer to include the clarification about seamen visa for tourism with a reference to Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry.
    – gdrt
    Aug 5 '17 at 20:13
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    @gdrt "land due to ... holiday" - the key word here to me is land - it implies to me that this is meant to deal with them landing from a ship in their capacity as seamen, then taking a holiday before going home or rejoining a ship, not travelling to the EU independently at a later date, as a tourist, purely for tourist purposes. But it's not really clear either way from that summary...
    – Andrew
    Aug 5 '17 at 20:25

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