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I have a Schengen visa valid from November 11 to December 2 with a duration of 7 days. I'll be arriving in Europe on November 11, 11:30 am and departing on November 18, 20:20 pm.

Is this counted as 7 days or 8 days? The airline company said this should be fine as long as I don't leave on November 19.

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The airline is incorrect. Any part of a calendar day counts as one day. If you enter on the 11th, you must leave on or before the 17th.

This is unfortunately not explicit in the Schengen Visa Code, but the Schengen Borders Code describes how days of presence are counted for the 90/180 rule, and it is safe to assume that the same principle is applied to counting days for the "duration of stay" limitation of a Schengen visa:

the date of entry shall be considered as the first day of stay on the territory of the Member States and the date of exit shall be considered as the last day of stay on the territory of the Member States.

  • Then embassy also made a wrong count. Will it help if I have an email from them that these dates are acceptable? – onem Oct 10 '17 at 9:18
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    @onem Which country is it? A message explaining that the consulate made a mistake might help, but it would be far better to get the consulate to reissue the visa with 8 days of validity. – phoog Oct 10 '17 at 9:38
  • I wonder how would this would work across time zones... – Mehrdad Oct 10 '17 at 17:59
  • @Mehrdad according to local time. If you enter in Spain and leave from Portugal, or vice versa, your allowed period of stay will be one hour shorter or longer than it would be if you entered and left from the same time zone. Periods of stay are calculated based on the date shown in the passport stamp. – phoog Oct 10 '17 at 18:04
  • @phoog: So theoretically (with the appropriate flight times) you could stretch 7 days to a bit longer by going across time zones? – Mehrdad Oct 10 '17 at 18:08
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The day you enter the country is counted as the first day. If you have a visa for 7 days, you must leave on November 17th (your 7th day). Overstaying (even for a day) is considered violation and you may be asked to pay a fine along with a negative stamp on your passport. I had overstayed for a day in Taiwan and my passport was stamped "not allowed within 1 year". I didn't care since I wasn't going to travel anyway. Suggest you reapply with a longer duration visa. All the best!

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