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I'm a Nigerian with a 3 month Schengen visa to Athens, Greece double entry. My flight is Air France route Lagos-France-Greece. Can I be stamped in at France at a port of entry before my connecting flight to Greece? Secondly, can I be allowed to shop in France in an hour time to meet my connecting flight whereas I have 2 hours awaiting on transit before my connecting flight to Athens? Finally, can I have a stop over in France to continue via local air to Greece the next day as I want to see a friend before leaving France?

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When flying into the Schengen zone, the first airport you visit is where you will clear immigration (have your Passport stamped). Your checked luggage continues to your final destination where you clear customs. Your luggage is differentiated from local Schengen traffic by the lack of green stripes on the bag tags (green stripes are printed on the tags only for trips originating in the EU, so customs agents know to look for them).

During your layover at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, you can certainly shop inside the airport. However, you probably cannot purchase from the duty free shops. If you only have a 2 hour connection in Paris, you don't have enough time to leave the airport to shop elsewhere.

Most airlines will allow you to add a stopover to your trip based on the ticket's fare rules; in some cases, a stopover may require an additional fee, which is rolled into the ticket price. Just talk to the airline to request a stopover!

Safe travels!

Edited 7/2/2016 to reflect updated green-strip printing information from comments.

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The green stripes are not for "intra-Schengen" trips -- they are for all bags originally checked in at an airport in the EU. Bags originating in Norway (in Schengen, but not in EU) don't get green-striped tags; ones checked in Ireland (in EU, but not in Schengen) do. And the tag type is independent of where your destination is; if you end up somewhere outside the EU, customs there will simply ignore the green stripes. – Henning Makholm Jul 2 at 19:21

With a Schengen visa, you can enter/exit any country within the Schengen area, no restrictions. It does not matter which country issued the visa.

With a longer-stay national visa (e.g. a Greek student visa), rules might be different.

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In rare cases, a Schengen visa can be restricted to certain countries; these are known as visas with "limited territorial validity." In normal cases, a long-stay national visa includes authorization to visit all other Schengen countries, complying with the 90/180 rule for countries other than the one issuing the visa. Long-stay visas can also be limited in their territorial validity, however. – phoog Apr 28 at 16:44

You should check if a Nigerian citizens need a visa to transit France on their way to Greece. Or for that matter, does a Nigerian citizen need a visa to visit France. You can check this at http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/passport-visa-health-travel-document-requirements.htm.

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Thanks for the answers you've provided, and welcome to Travel.SE. I removed the several links you provided to your site, however, and your signature in each answer, as that's not protocol on here. You can, however, put your website in your profile page if you like. Thanks! – Mark Mayo Oct 6 '12 at 0:20
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None of this is relevant. The final destination is a Schengen country, the OP needs a full Schengen visa and will enter the Schengen area in France in any case. – Relaxed Nov 13 '13 at 22:04

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