I have received a Schengen visa for 7 days from Italy. I would flying from Dubai to Rome and spending few days over there and heading to Netherlands. Can I return back to Dubai from Netherlands instead of returning back to Rome?

Also as its my 1st visit to Europe do I need to carry any documents for the immigration in Rome?

  • Will you be spending at least as much time in Italy as the Netherlands? Nov 20, 2019 at 13:39
  • 2
    2 to 3 days in Italy, then a day in France and 3 days or so in Netherlands. Nov 20, 2019 at 14:00
  • 3
    If you are spending longer in the Netherlands, why did you apply to Italy for the visa? Is there something that makes it your main destination? Nov 20, 2019 at 14:27
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    Documents you’ll need to clear Immigration on arrival in the Schengen zone include your passport and visa, proof of lodging and sufficient subsistence funds (depending on the countries you’ll visit ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/e-library/…), return ticket, travel insurance europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/… In essence, the same type of documents you used to apply for your visa.
    – Traveller
    Nov 20, 2019 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


A Schengen Visa allows you to enter and exit the Schengen area through any port of entry. It does not have to be in the country where you applied for your visa.

So if you got your Visa from Italy you can arrive eg. in Germany and leave from France. No problem.

However, there are certain rules you must observe. One of those rules is that you must apply for your Schengen visa at the country that is your main destination. This rule exists to spread the work load and avoid visa shopping. The main destination is the country where you spend most time in, or if you spend equal time in two countries, the first one of those two.

When you arrive at the border they may ask to see your travel itinerary, including confirmations of flights and hotels. If it turns out that your itinerary is very different from the one you supplied when applying that may be a ground for refusing entry. Since you applied to Italy I assume you gave them an itinerary that made Italy the main destination. I suggest you stick to that itinerary.

  • As I read the rules, if you are spending one day in Italy, then three days each in France and Germany, you would apply to Italy, "the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area." Nov 21, 2019 at 4:51
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    No, that is if you were to spend equal amounts of time in all countries, eg, 3 days in Italy, Germany and France. Nov 21, 2019 at 5:03
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    While this is true, there are some countries which impose entry conditions. I unfortunately cannot find any source, as this was years ago and appears to have changed - but Finland issued tourist visas to residents of St Petersburg, Russia with fewer requirements (and expedited) than other Russian citizens provided they entered and exited the Schengen area via Finland, and had the majority of their stay in Finland. You could break these rules, but you'd be unlikely to be issued another by Finland in the future. So, it's best to read the fine print of the visa grant letter.
    – Rob
    Nov 21, 2019 at 5:41
  • Yes, there are exceptions. It is possible to get a Schengen visa that is not valid for all Schengen states (for example, if you have a passport from a country that is not recognised by all Schengen states...). The important thing to remember is that a visa does not guarantee you entry. It only allows you to aproach the border and ask for permission to enter. If you raise any red flags you may be refused entry. Presenting yourself at the border with an itinerary that is very different from the one you presented upon application is one thing that may raise red flags... Nov 21, 2019 at 6:06
  • @Rob my friends, who lived in SPb, routinely got visas in Finland and abused them by mostly going to Spain, but apparently Finnish authorities let it slide. However, one time they pushed it a bit too far and never visited Finland during the whole visa validity period. That got them banned at last.
    – IMil
    Nov 21, 2019 at 14:15

You must enter the port of entry in the country where you applied. You can exit from anywhere. There are exceptions: If you applied for Schengen in Slovenia, you can actually fly to Zagreb in Croatia without a visa for Croatia as they will accept your Schengen visa. (True for Russian and Chinese visitors - first hand experience) but always check.

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    This is not true, you can enter a different country to the one you applied from. And the rest of your post is not completely right.
    – Willeke
    Nov 21, 2019 at 11:07

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