Wednesday 22 May 2013 15:14 UTC
This forum is for anything to do with light aviation
I have just started flying. In due course, I hope to get a PPL and start flying around Europe.
Now I have a passport that requires me to apply for a visa for just about every country that there is in the world. Visa-free travel is not a luxury that I am allowed.
I have long term UK and US visas, of course. But if I wanted to get in a plane and fly to (e.g.) Germany or France, I would need Schengen visas. On the last dozen or so occasions when I have applied for one, I've always been granted a six month visa. So this means that I have to apply (and pay for) visas every six months. Also, at the time of the visa application, they need to see a valid return ticket and confirmed hotel reservations.
Obviously, this is not something that is conducive to impulsive flying or hopping along in the spare seat of someone who is headed out.
Now my question... Is it difficult (or even possible) to get longer duration visas? Would any country be sympathetic to a wannabee GA flyer and consider it sufficient grounds to issue a longer duration visa?
Advice / suggestions from those who have any inside knowledge or personal experience would be most welcome.
If you hold UK and US visas and are a regular visitor to both countries then one of the Schengen states I would like to think would treat you favourably for their maximum validity. I don't know what that is, 5 years perhaps. I guess you should apply to the country you would visit first, France I suspect. You can't apply in the country, I think the post above meant at the embassy of France. You may also find you have to apply in the country where you live. What citizenship are you?
I guess as a non-EU national you then have to enter wherever there is a manned immigration airport.
If you've held a schengen visa previously, you can apply for a longer term one by providing a supporting letter explaining why you want a longer visa and showing that you have a regular stream of income.
Long term visas for Schengen are anything between 2 and 5 years. I'd recommend applying for the 5 year one, and depending on how helpful the embassy staff are, and if you have all the correct supporting documents, you should be granted it.
The application procedure is the same as a normal visit visa, nothing extra, and it is upto the visa officer what they issue.
I touched on this visa stuff in my VFR-Europe presentation.
What if somebody is temporarily visiting the UK, from a non-EU country, and want to go to France? How would they apply for a Schengen visa? Can they do it from the UK, or do they have to go back to their home country?
Is that relevant, however, given that the first/last airport on a journey from the UK to anywhere has to be a "Customs" (meaning Customs and Immigration) airport?
I have never come across an airport which has Immigration but not Customs. In the parlance used in international airport directories, "Customs" is the key word, and you can fly there from Mongolia if you want to.
Schengen visas can be applied for in the UK. I've gone through the process for a couple of employees. In our case the local consulate was iniitally able to do it (Netherlands) but the second time we had to use the embassy. Not sure of the whys and wherefors of that.....
Straight forward to apply for so long as the employer is fully supportive - as naturally we were, they were travelling on business!
EDQT (Hassfurt-Schweinfurt) has no customs, but you can fly directly from/to non-Schengen.
EDLN Monchengladbach has customs on request, but the FISO officer is some kind of auxiliary policeman for the Bundespolizei to do border control checks.
That's the case for FISOs at several German airfields - Koblenz is another one.
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