Schengen visa application requirements do not reveal if you can apply for visa from another country. And since I have received this question in my previous article how to apply for a Schengen Visa from Nigeria.
I decided to provide an answer to the question. Applying for a Schengen visa is simple, provided you follow the steps on the Schengen visa form.
Schengen visas are issued from various countries, and each country has its own rules. There is absolutely no universal rule. You should apply for Schengen visa at the embassy of the country where you prefer to spend the most time, or even the one where you will enter into the Schengen zone, because the people who write the principles have not heard of backpackers and don’t recognize that you would like to purchase a cheap last-minute flight and wander around aimlessly. That being said, embassies in one location may have different rules as opposed to same country’s embassy in a different city.
I have done my research and found out the answers/rules below for your question:
“To stay within the Schengen Zone beyond 90-days there are basically three possibilities, none of them great”:
“When your 90-days are up, leave the Schengen Zone until the 180-day period has past, then return (this is what you are proposing). I’ve seen no requirement that you must return to your home country, only that you must not overstay your 90-days within the 180-day period. Also, it looks like the penalties for overstaying your Schengen permit are fairly severe including stiff penalties and possibly cause for prohibiting you from obtaining a Schengen permit in the future”.
“Apply for a 90-day extension to your existing Schengen permit. From what I’ve seen this is very difficult to do and requires proof of new circumstances sufficient to justify an extension – probably not an option”.
“Establish residency in a Schengen country. That would allow up to a year in at least one Schengen country from which you could visit the others which would be within the limits of the Schengen permit. As you might expect, this is pretty involved and has some disadvantages, but appears possible. You’re considering a “non-lucrative” residency permit of Spain (where you plan to spend the most time in the Schengen Zone)”.
“This is a visa allowing you to live in Spain, but not work or earn money in Spain. France and Italy have similar one-year residency visas, but they all have basically the same requirements; have your own medical insurance policy, proof of financial solvency – something like at least $40K USD in the bank and/or reliable income, criminal background check, and an address where you’ll stay in the country. It appears that any income could be subject to Spanish taxes (including Social Security payments, annuities, or dividend income)”.
In conclusion, I would still recommend you try to get a long-term multi-entry visa. You should do your own research about where to apply from, because each embassy may have different guidelines and you may want to a resident in the place you apply from.
Then, you will need to put down a travel schedule that can make sense to the consular processing the application. For instance, 90 days in northern Europe, three months in Ireland, three months in Spain and North Africa, then via Italy to Eastern Europe, leaving the Schengen to Bulgaria, Turkey, then back to Schengen via Greece.
The complete route is not important, however, it should justify the reasons for you to get a multi-entry 12 month visa. You still be subject to the 90-day rule, so your schedule should be the best choice from that perspective, but can go in and out. Good luck.