What are multiple-entry Schengen Visas and how do I get one?

Those visiting the Schengen Area for a single trip lasting fewer than 90 days will need a short-stay visa. This is the regular visa used for tourism purposes, visiting family and friends or short business trips.

What different types of Schengen visas exist ?

Multiple-entry Schengen Visas

Those planning to enter, leave, and then re-enter the Schengen Area will need a double-entry visa. If you obtain this visa, it is important to remember that it expires when you leave the Schengen Area for the second time, even if you have not used all the travel days it specifies.

Those who want to make multiple trips in and out of the Schengen Area will require a multiple-entry Schengen Visa. The basic version allows you to spend 90 days at a time within the area over a period of 180 days, up to as many trips in and out as you require.

Multiple-entry Schengen Visas are also available lasting one, three, and five years - covering you for any trips within that period.

The types of multiple-entry visas and how to get them

Other than the basic short-stay multiple-entry Schengen Visa, there are three main visa types covering longer periods.

- One-year multiple-entry Schengen Visa

You can apply for this Schengen Visa type provided that you have used three visas within the previous two years.

- Three-year multiple-entry Schengen Visa

The three-year multiple-entry visa is granted to applicants who have obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for one year within the past two years. The 90/180 days rule again applies.

- Five-year multiple-entry Schengen Visa

A five-year multiple-entry visa is granted to people that have used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for at least two years over the past three years.

- Multiple-entry national visas

A national D category is required by those who are studying, working or permanently residing in one of the Schengen Countries. These can be single-entry, but multiple-entry national visas are also granted to certain individuals, allowing them to travel in and out of a specific Schengen Country and travel throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements.

To gain a national multiple-entry Visa, you must meet the certain criteria:

  • You must be on an international student program requiring a visa for less than one year. If you are an international student that is about to start a full course of studies in one of the Schengen States. This visa is issued for one year with the possibility of extending it.
  • A national multiple-entry Schengen Visa may also be granted to those working at a higher institution or research center, who needs to travel in and out of the Schengen Area due to their work. They can also be granted to anyone in a profession requiring specialist expertise, including sportspeople, artists or any other specialized profession.

These types of national multiple-entry Schengen Visas have similar restrictions to the standard multiple-entry Schengen Visa - but can allow the holder to stay in a country beyond the 90 days specified by the normal visa.

How can AXA help?

Those seeking to obtain a visa to travel to the Schengen Area of European countries will require valid travel and medical insurance that provides coverage in all 26 nations within the Schengen Area up to a cost of €30,000. The right type of insurance for you will depend on the type of visa you are seeking for your stay, as well as your circumstances.

For those seeking long-term multiple-entry Schengen Visas, it may be better value and more practical to obtain year-round coverage. AXA offers the perfect product for regular travelers who need permanent coverage. From €298 per year, you can take out our Multi-Trip insurance - which again covers you for expenses up to €100,000. Details on all the options are available here.

All of our products come with a guarantee of a refund if your visa application is refused and we provide an instantly available insurance certificate to aid your application.

We also offer long-term international health insurance for those traveling to Europe to work or study that will meet the criteria of your employment or student visa, with personalized quotes available online.

What is a short stay Schengen visa ?

What is a Schengen business visa and how do I get one ?

What is a Schengen work visa and how do I get one ?

What is a Schengen student visa and how do I get one ?

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about multiple-entry Schengen Visas

What counts as leaving and entering the Schengen Area on a multiple-entry Schengen Visa?

Entering a Schengen Country from outside the Area - even for a short period of time, counts as an entry for the purposes of a multiple-entry Schengen Visa - which is important to remember when observing the 90/180 day rule.

Can I change my single-entry visa to a multiple-entry one?

No, unless you are granted permission in exceptional circumstances. You will need to return to your home and reapply for a multiple-entry Schengen Visa.

Can I apply for a multiple-entry Schengen Visa covering a longer period straight away?

No - you will need to prove you have made multiple previous trips to the Schengen Area by presenting past visa documentation.