April 08, 2019

Understanding your Visa: How to Read the Visa Sticker

Applying for a visa is a nerve-racking experience especially if this would be your first time or if you are not a frequent traveler. I always feel nervous every time I applied for a visa and fortunately, all my visas were approved. I feel happy even they only give me a single-entry visa, it is better than a visa denied.


Few months ago, we applied for a Schengen Visa via VFS Global Norway and I’m the one who claimed for our passport. The staff gave me the envelope and advised me to check the information so I opened the envelope and immediately checked the Visa Sticker.

It is very important to check if all the information is correct. 

1. Check if your name is spelled correctly.
2. Check if the passport number in the visa sticker is the same as the one in your passport.
3. Check if the plane ticket or reservation corresponds with the entry and exit date indicated on the visa sticker.
4. A visa is issued for one, two or multiple entries, in accordance with the document need for entries.

* If you plan to leave and re-enter the Schengen area during your stay, you will get a visa with two entries. If you have documented a need for multiple entries during the validity period, your visa is issued multiple entries.

* If the information regarding your name, passport number or travel period is wrong, please inform the Embassy immediately, so that any errors can be corrected.

How to Read the Visa Sticker 

Duration of Stay - DAYS indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (exit stamp).

* Based on my visa sticker, I applied for 60 days and they gave me 60 days.

The period of time between ”FROM… UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field. The difference in period is meant to give you the flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY….. DAYS”. No matter how many days yo have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field.

* Based on my visa sticker, they gave me 75 days from the day of my flight.

Controls at the border 

You short-stay visa allows you to travel to the Schengen States, but the final control of the entry conditions is done when you cross the Schengen border. A visa does not automatically entitle you to cross the Schengen border. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you the copies of documents which you presented when you applied for the visa ex. Invitation letter, travel confirmations, or other documents stating the purpose of your stay. This will help to make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.

* I agree with this because, on my third visit to Norway, the Immigration Officer asked for my Invitation Letter and Return Ticket. For my two visits, IO only asked me about our purpose and how long are we going to stay and she stamped our passport but on my third visit, she asked for documents. So it really depends on the IO, it is better to be ready with your documents to avoid delays and long lines. 

Note: You must follow the period of stay allowed by your visa. If you need to stay longer, please contact the local police for further advise well in advance of the visa expiration date. Persons who wish to stay longer than 90 days during any period of 180 days should apply for a residence permit from the Philippines.

If you apply for a residence permit while in the Schengen area, this deemed a violation of the conditions of your visa approval. Even if a residence permit is granted, it may result in future visa application/s being refused.

Source: Flyer from Norway Embassy

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