Sunday, 26 October 2014

Visa Types and Validity


Visas may be individual - issued to an individual applicant and apposed to an individual passport.

Visas types are divided into three main categories:

1. Schengen Visas: valid for the territories of all the Schengen Member States; may be:

• Airport Transit Visa (Type A)
• Short-Stay Visa (Type C), valid for up to 90 days and for single or multiple entries

Exceptionally, the Schengen regulation enables important or well-known persons who frequently require a visa and who can provide the necessary guarantees, to be issued with C-type visas which permit a visit of up to 90 days in any half-year and are valid for one (1), two (2), three (3) or five years (5).

2. Limited Territorial Validity visas (LTV): these are only valid for the Schengen State whose representative issued the visa (or in particular cases for other Schengen states where specifically named) without any possibility of access to or transit through the territory of any other Schengen States. They are issued solely for humanitarian reasons, or in the national interest, or under international obligations as an exception to the common system. An alien shall not directly apply for these visas, which are issued in a few specific cases by the diplomatic or consular representative when it deems it appropriate to issue the visa for the reasons as stated even though not all the conditions are met for the issue of a Schengen Visa, or when the applicant does not hold a validly recognised travel document, in particular emergencies or in case of need.

3. Long stay or "national" visas, which are only valid for visits that are longer than 90 days (Type D), with one or more entries, in the territory of the Schengen State whose diplomatic representative issued the visa, and to transit through the territory of other Schengen States for a period of not more than five days.
Regulations on stays exceeding 90 days fall within the competence of Malta’s national authorities and third-country nationals requesting to enter Malta with a purpose of a long stay, will at first be granted a “national” visa in order to receive a residence permit.

Residence Permits

On the basis of the Schengen Convention, now integrated in the EU framework, a valid residence permit from a Schengen State, together with a travel document, can substitute for a visa.  Thus a third-country national presenting his/her passport and a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen Member State can be allowed to enter another Schengen Member State for a short-stay without needing a visa. This equivalence does not apply to residence permits issued by the United Kingdom and Ireland, since they do not apply the Schengen acquis.

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