I am taking a law course next week on Schengen visas and will gladly put forward to the instructor for resolution any Schengen answers that are either dubious or unanswered or otherwise suspect.

I see it as a great opportunity to lend some weight to the Schengen corpus here.

They must have been already posted on TSE, I cannot put forward questions that have not been aired and put to the site in the time-honoured tradition. If you have not been sure about an answer, this is a chance to clear it up.

Schengen class "C" or transit only.

Put the link to the question/answer below. No guarantees the instructor or other students will know the answer. But I'll report back with what was said.

Note: the course instructor is Elspeth Guild, who provided much of the intellectual capital for the Schengen border code. So be sure to add the links below!

Update Feb 2017

I am signing up for the advanced course later this year. If there are more intractable Schengen questions that should be asked, add them below so I can get a list.

  • Awesome proposal!
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 16:38
  • travel.stackexchange.com/questions/68836/…
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 16:46
  • Made a wiki answer for you.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 16:50
  • This is of course excellent. I posted this in a comment on the Andorra/Faroe visa stamp question, but it does have an accepted answer - travel.stackexchange.com/q/69331/10264 - do you still want it on your list? I was actually going to start a new question for canonicity purposes which was what led me to finding that one
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jun 5, 2016 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


Unanswered or dubious answers on Schengen visa questions:


The above questions opened an unexpected and very surprising Pandora's Box. Messy, affects more than several regulars. It will need some mulling over and cross-checking with info currently in TSE's archives before deciding what to do.

In the meantime I can put some questions/answers put from other attendees which may be of interest. Any of these are fair game for questions on the main site for those inclined. Dialog is not intended to be exact...

Attendee: are there Schengen members where it's easier to get a visa than other Schengen members?

Instructor: Yes, but our research shows that this is invariably caused by staff rotation and staff turnover. As such any condition will be transitory and unpredictable.

Attendee: are there any Schengen members where the border guards are more relaxed about fining overstayers?

Instructor: Yes, same reason. You should avoid advising clients on that basis.

Attendee: Once a decision has been made on an application, are there any Schengen members who are more likely to issue a multiple entry visa as opposed to a single entry visa?

Instructor: Yes, our research shows that there are two members with very high rates of issuing multiple entry visas. They are Finland and Slovenia. A stunning 80% of the Schengen visas issued by these two members were multiple-entry (2015 statistics)

Attendee: are there any guidelines for when it's appropriate to advise a client to go for a 1 year visa as opposed to a 90 day one?

Instructor: You should always go for a 1 year if the client foresees multiple visits.

Attendee: even on their first application?

Instructor: Yes, our research shows that they will issue a 1 year visa any time there's a good application. As a general rule always advise your clients to go for a 1 year application.

Attendee: are they going to remove the requirement for travel insurance?

Instructor: the proposal is being considered. No ruling yet.

Attendee: will they accept alternate forms of insurance like an employee who is covered by his company's group insurance?

Instructor: yes, but the provider needs to cut and paste the paragraphs from the Schengen site into their letter of confirmation.

Attendee: if there's an EU law covering the same situation as a Schengen law, which takes precedence?

Instructor: EU law always has priority.

Attendee: Do Schengen border guards have access to the VIS database?

Instructor: no. they are a separate organisation and do not have access

Attendee: is there an exact list of which border crossings are now controlled because of the migration crisis?

Instructor: yes, it is in your handouts {can scan if need be}

(and one from me NOT listed above)

Gayot: I read in the February minutes of the Personal Migration Committee that VFS centres in Pakistan and India are removing documents from people's application bundles and the missing evidence has caused refusals. Is this happening in the Schengen world also?

Instructor: not in the VFS in London because there are consular staff on site to monitor the application processing. But it is happening abroad and it is very common.

Gayot: this comes from pure affectation? that VFS personnel starting to think they are Entry Clearance Officers?

Instructor: yes, exactly.

Gayot: what should be done when this happens?

Instructor: you should make immediate representations at the highest level.

Gayot: and you are certain this is happening in the Schengen world like it is for UK VFS centres in Pakistan and India?

Instructor: yes, it is very common. You should advise your clients not to let this happen.

Gayot: have your representations been successful?

Instructor: yes, always.

Other attendee: we had a T2 client who got his diploma and university transcripts removed and it was refused. We made representations and they issued his visa and sent us an apology.

I hope this serves as a good substitute!

  • 2
    Looking forward to a full expansion on the other questions!
    – JonathanReez Mod
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 19:56
  • 1
    The VIS answer is a bit surprising given that the regulation allows that in article 18 and the German border police explicitly talks about using it at border checks (page 44) among others. Are you sure there is not a confusion with the SIS? At least for that they need to use a seperate computer for lookup which they usually don't.
    – neo
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 23:00
  • 2
    @neo, I'm just echoing dialog that took place, it's great you found it interesting. I do have the power point slide where it cam up showing the Institutions and am happy to scan/upload on the main TSE when there's a relevant question. Alternatively in chat. I have been doubtful if people found any of this interesting.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 2:52
  • 2
    @GayotFow "I have been doubtful if people found any of this interesting." I certainly do! I just posted one question on the main site, given your invitation to do so. I was also interested in the company travel insurance question, it seems there's already a question covering that.
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 4:53
  • 1
    I've asked another one - re which borders remain closed due to the migration crisis. @GayotFow I know you mentioned you have a list from your handouts?
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 23:23
  • Yes, that's true. Let's see how your question is received and plays out. Good idea
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 23:25
  • Cool cool. I've also just added an answer to the company travel insurance question. I'm finding all of this very interesting and am learning as I go. I'm not an expert like you are :) If I'm overstepping at all please do tell me!
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 23:47
  • 1
    I do wish that people on TSE would pay more attention to the 'removal of documents' issue. It persists still and legitimate applicants are being refused.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 21:51

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