I have a quick question that I have seen a variation of before but nothing that is similar to my situation (from what I have seen). I was issued a Type D multi-entry visa from France my study abroad program this fall that is multi-entry. When I applied for the visa I told VFS global that I was going to be going to Spain before on vacation and then heading to France for my program. They never mentioned that I would need to exit Schengen before I go to France for my study abroad program, but then I came across this forum and I see some people saying that you have to exit before I go to my program and I am seeing some saying that I can just go straight to France from my program. Also I am a US citizen so I am allowed to be a tourist without a visa.I did contact the consulate in my country by email but all they responded with was a very obvious copy and paste from a website answer where they did not respond to my question at all but only said that after I travel as a tourist up to 90 days and then "I can exit and re-enter on my french student visa"(which I am only going to be in Spain for a month)
So my main two questions are:
- Do I need to exit Schengen before I fly to France for my program (I will be in Barcelona with my family and have no plans of going to france before the start of my program)
- If my program begins the 31st and my visa is issues starting August 10th, will it be an issue that I don't fly to France until the 31st?
Okay, so I called VFS because the closest consulate to me told me to call them about my question. VFS stated that as long as I am not a tourist for more than 90 days (I am one for technically 6 days because my visa starts a few days after I arrive in Spain) and there isn't a gap between the dates I am a tourist (for 90 days) and the start date of my visa in France then I DO NOT need to leave the Schengen. He explained to me that my visa automatically starts on the start date of my visa. France will see that I am within the dates of my visa (I go 3 weeks after the start date of my visa because that's when my program starts) and stamp my passport.
So it seems like all the other advice given on similar questions about going from a tourist to a vias holder is correct!