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Can I spend more time in country other than the one that issued my Schengen visa?

I am an Indian national, planning to apply to the Netherlands Embassy in San Francisco, US for a visa. I want to spend 16 days in the Netherlands and Italy.

I will fly to and from Amsterdam but, in between, I plan to go Italy.

Will it be okay if I stay in Italy longer than in the Netherlands and just return to Amsterdam for the last 3-4 days?

Posted by
31029 posts

I am knowledgeable on the Schengen visa waiver program for nationals of some countries, but I am not knowledgeable of the details and conditions of visas for Indian nationals. As far as I know it is considerably more restrictive and has more rules.

If nobody here is skilled in visas for Indian nationals I suggest you contact the Dutch Embassy or Consulate and ask them the questions. They are more likely to know with certainty.

Posted by
8889 posts

AFAIK you apply to the country where you are entering the Schengen Area. Once in, you can travel freely to all other Schengen countries. Since there are no checks crossing intra-Schengen borders, nobody even knows which countries you have been in.
It is not necessary to return to the Netherlands to exit from the Schengen Area, you can return home direct from Italy, or any other Schengen country.

There is no "Netherlands Embassy in San Francisco,". There is only one Embassy in each country, usually in the capital city. The "branch offices", like the one in San Francisco, are called "consulates".

If still in doubt, ask the consulate when you apply.

Posted by
6796 posts

Let the Embassy know that you are planning to visit another country as well, since it is possible for them to restrict you just to the Netherlands or to the Netherlands and bordering countries, or the Schengen as a whole.

Posted by
8889 posts

Paul "it is possible for them to restrict you just to the Netherlands or to the Netherlands and bordering countries, or the Schengen as a whole." - are you sure? A work visa, or a residence visa, only allows you to work or live in that country, but for tourist travels I have never heard of a restriction. It would be unenforceable, how could they stop you travelling to another Schengen country?

Posted by
19 posts

When you fly into the Schengen space, the most important thing is the fist entry and exit stamps you get after you have your visa issued. It is recommended to get them both from the country that issued your Visa, as it might cause you some issues if you want to apply for another visa from the same country afterward.
I also heard a lot of stories of people being deported to their country because they entered the Schengen space from a country other than the one which issued the visa. This never happened to me though.
However once you are inside the Schengen space, there is absolutely no restriction on how much time you spend in each place as long as you stay inside the Schengen space.