I'm an Indian Citizen and about to go to Europe for my Masters Education on an Erasmus Scholarship.

My first semester begins in Italy. But before that we are expected to attend a short introductory course for 10 days in Spain. Can I gain first entry through Spain with an Italian Type D visa?

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    Update: This question was asked by me. From experience, I can confirm that one can do it. In fact, I had an Italy Type D visa heading for Spain, but my first port of entry was Paris. I had no issues with it. The Italian foreign ministry replied to me saying I need to apply for my residence permit only within 8 days of 'entering Italy' and not the Schengen zone. – Sridhar Aug 28 '15 at 12:50
  • Thanks for coming back! You can also post an answer to your own question, if you want (it will help others facing the same problem). – Relaxed Aug 28 '15 at 13:15

You should be able to enter through a different port of entry but your residence application for the visa will restrict you from staying long enough.

According to a document on the Ministry of Internal Affairs Website,

Foreigners who would like to stay in Italy must apply for the residence permit. Whoever arrives in Italy for the first time must apply for the residence permit within 8 days.

One may argue that entering Italy is different from entering the Schengen Area. While this may be true, my situation while visiting France on a similar study visa prevented me from spending a long time outside France before my residence permit was issued/applied for.

As long as you can apply for the residence permit on time, while your permit is being processed, Italy allows you to travel in the Schengen Area for the first 90 days of the start of your visa. After that you can easily travel.

SINGLE ENTRY more than 90 days stay ITALIAN LONG-TERM STUDY VISA (type D): With this visa, you can travel from Italy only within the Schengen Area during the first 90 days of your visit; later, once you hold an Italian permit of stay (see below) you will be able to travel freely.

MULTIPLE ENTRY more than 90 days stay ITALIAN LONG-TERM STUDY VISA (type D): This visa permits you to travel in and out of Italy and the other Schengen countries during the first 90 days of your visit; later you will still be able to do it but only with a permit of stay (see below).

Unfortunately they do not explicitly mention whether you can enter the Schengen Area through another port of entry but since they do allow you to visit other countries for the first 90 days, I don't suspect any issues. Of course, the best way to solve this is to call VFS Global which offers Italian Visa services in India.

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