Schengen Area: Limited territorial validity visas

Apr 23, 2021


(visas valid for the issuing Member State only)

According to Article 25 of the Schengen Visa Code, Member States can exceptionally decide to issue a visa with limited territorial validity. Such visas can be issued in the following cases:

  • when it is considered necessary on humanitarian grounds, for reasons of national interest or because of international obligations (despite entry condition being met or despite an objection raised by another member State or if prior consultation has not been carried out)
  • when for justified reasons a new visa is issued to an applicant who has already used a visa allowing for a stay of 90 days during the same 180 days period

A visa with limited territorial validity is generally valid for the issuing Member State only and should be a single entry visa. If consent is granted, it may exceptionally be valid for more than one Member State.

Visas with limited territorial validity shall be issued also to applicants holding a travel document which is not recognised by all Member States.

Example 1, visa is issued for reasons of national interest

The UN Secretary General has set up a meeting in Geneva (Switzerland) between a head of state subject to a visa ban and the opposition leader of the third country concerned in order to find a negotiated solution to the political situation in the third country. The Swiss consulate decides to issue a visa for reasons of national interest.

Example 2, visa to a person who has already spent 90 days in the Schengen area

a Pakistani national stayed in Estonia from 15 March to 15 June and set up a research project and has since returned to Pakistan. Immediately after his return, the Estonian project manager realises that it is necessary to have the Pakistani scientist come back otherwise the project will be lost. In this case a visa with limited territorial validity allowing for a stay of up to 90 days in Estonia may be issued.

Example 3, visa issued without the required prior consultation with other Member States

A Vietnamese civil servant needs urgently to travel to France to replace a colleague who was to participate in high level political negotiations with representatives of the French government. Since there is no time to carry out the necessary prior consultation of another Member State the French consulate issues a visa with limited territorial validity.

Giuditta Petreni

Giuditta Petreni has over 10 years of experience in assisting companies and business investors with relocation of managers and staff to Italy. Giuditta has extensive experience advising corporate and private clients on a full range of Italian immigration categories. She is fluent in Italian and English.

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