5

Similar situation to Can I visit Schengen countries on a Type-D Schengen Visa? but slightly different.

I just got my Type D visa for Spain because I'm going to be an exchange student in Barcelona next year. I understand from various resources that Type D visa is still allowed to travel within EU, similar to the Schengen tourist visa.

My question is about the first port of entry to EU. I have relatives living in Netherlands and were encouraged by them to visit them first and then leave together to Spain from there. Am I allowed to have Netherlands as my first port of entry if I can prove I will go to Spain as scheduled within a few days? Or do I have to use Spain as my first port of entry? (another use case would be if I travel outside EU when I'm studying, do I have to go to Spain first or can I go to other EU as my port of entry?)

Second question is similar, can I leave EU at the end of my study from the Netherlands instead of Spain?

I understand that answers to both question above would be yes for Schengen tourist visa, but I would underline that I have a Type D Visa

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Am I allowed to have Netherlands as my first port of entry if I can prove I will go to Spain as scheduled within a few days?

Yes.

Or do I have to use Spain as my first port of entry?

No.

(another use case would be if I travel outside EU when I'm studying, do I have to go to Spain first or can I go to other EU as my port of entry?)

You can enter and exit the Schengen area through any port.

Second question is similar, can I leave EU at the end of my study from the Netherlands instead of Spain?

Yes.

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From personal experience as a traveller: yes, you can enter the Schengen area on a D visa through a different Schengen country, it does not have to be the country that issued the visa.

IANAL, but the Regulation (EC) No 562/2006, and a later amendment in the Regulation (EU) No 265/2010 seem to indicate that they have to let you transit to your destination country even in the absence of some requirements:

(a) third-country nationals who do not fulfil all the conditions* laid down in paragraph 1 but who hold a residence permit, a long-stay visa or a re-entry visa issued by one of the Member States or, where required, a residence permit or a long-stay visa and a re-entry visa, shall be authorised to enter the territories of the other Member States for transit purposes so that they may reach the territory of the Member State which issued the residence permit, long-stay visa or re-entry visa, unless their names are on the national list of alerts of the Member State whose external borders they are seeking to cross and the alert is accompanied by instructions to refuse entry or transit

* - having a valid passport, visa and justification for crossing the border

  • Thanks for posting a better supported answer than mine. I would underscore that the paragraph you cite applies only to people who don't meet the requirements for visitors. Someone who does meet those requirements is not limited to transit, but may instead visit, whether they are in transit to or from the country issuing the visa or not. This is frequently misunderstood or overlooked, so it deserves extra emphasis. – phoog Nov 17 at 22:36
  • @phoog Thank you for the commend. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any direct confirmation of that in the EU legislation (perhaps it's considered obvious?). This quote was to illustrate that this should work even in the absence of a passport (but if you still have the visa, i.e. it's on a separate paper). If your travel documents are in order, you should have absolutely no problem crossing the Schengen border. – Norrius Nov 18 at 22:49
  • The lack of a passport is likely to be exceptional, but failing to fulfill the other conditions, such as adequate funds, justification, and so on could be fairly common. In practice, I suspect officers just don't check those conditions very closely for people with D visas. – phoog Nov 19 at 3:31

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