It is quite common many people do not properly understand the short term and long term schengen visas. Infact there are lot of big difference. It is very important to know the difference when you apply for schengen visa at the consulate.

First you must know maximum validity of short stay schengen visas are for 90 days (3 months). If you want to stay longer for more than 90 days, you must apply for long term visa (also known as residence permit). These visas can have validity from 91 days to one to five years. Long term visa or residence permit holders have more rights than the short visa holders and automatically valid for multiple entry/exits

For example if you are a tourist, you only probably need a short term visa (C) to visit schengen countries within 90 day period. If you are living in Schengen country, you have probably need a long term visa (D)

The following are different types of schengen visas

  • A Schengen visa or Airport Transit Visa (ATV)
  • B Schengen visa (transit visa through non schengen states for journeys less than 5 days)
  • C Schengen visa (short stay <90 days)
  • D Schengen visa (long term >90 days)

We will list some important differences here.

Schengen Visa  Short stay visas (<90 days) Long term visa (>90 days)
Maximum Validity Less than 3 months More than 3 months)
Purpose of visit Tourism, Business visit or short professional training, Visit to family/friends, Cultural/Sports Events Work, Employment,Family visit, Student
Multiple entry Single / Multiple (printed in visa sticker) Yes
Renewals Visa not renewable, can only renewed at embassy in your home country going back Can be renewed at immigration office in schengen state (if renewed at embassy abroad you will be issued D long term visa to come collect your residence permit card)
Residence rights (healthcare, education, employment) No Yes
Bring Family members No Yes
Open Bank account No Yes
Right to vote No Limited
Driving license No Yes
Path to Citizenship No Yes
Visa expiry Must leave the territory Must apply for extension before 30 days of expiry at migration office.

Note: Golden visa programs issue long term visas, although possible to request a short term visa depending on the country you apply.