In my Schengen visa application, I put my travel start date as June 8. However, I am thinking of travelling earlier, on June 6th. Will I be able to do this? Will my visa begin on June 8, my intended date in the application? I am expecting my visa by May 30, so will my visa start from when it is issued?
Schengen visa have two relevant entries, duration and validity.
- Duration is the maximum number of days you can stay in the Schengen area (partial days count as a full day).
- Validity period is the first and last date you can stay in the Schengen area.
So you must arrive on or after the first day of validity, you must leave on or before the last day of validity, and you may stay no more than the duration. You must meet all these requirements.
It is common to issue Schengen visas with a few extra days or even weeks of validity, so you can adjust your flights without getting a new visa, but this does not always happen. This depends on the number of previous visits without overstay or the like, and on how solid your reasons to return appear to the visa officials.