I received a short term visa for the Schengen zone, and I planned my trip so that my return flight is scheduled exactly the day my visa expires.

The visa duration is 20 days, and I stay exactly 20 days, including the day of arrival and departure.

I have the confirmed return ticket, which departs from the same airport, at about 10AM. the same airliner has a few other flights later that day.

  • Are there any negative effects if I stay the maximum allowed duration of the visa? Any problems due to lack of time to arrange alternative transport?

  • I'm pretty sure the flight wouldn't be canceled, but since the airline has flights later that, "I am" convinced that I will be able to exit the zone in time. Do immigrant officers care about such cases?

(I have a travel insurance and the airliner is Qatar airways if it makes a difference).

  • Staying the full time your visa allowed will not be held against you. The issuing Embassy has stated that you can stay 20 days by issuing the visa.
    – user13044
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 4:32
  • Thanks @Tom - I was wondering if I get flagged at the immigration people generally exit the country before the max stay, so.
    – AKS
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 4:41
  • 2
    I had the same issue with my Finnish visa, just a day extra. I argued with the embassy official asking what if a volcano erupts and my flights are cancelled, what do I do then. I was told not to worry in those cases.
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 11:46

3 Answers 3


Immigration officials should not really care either way, you are simply supposed not to exceed the validity of your visa. They would not care on entry, you have a visa that's valid for the trip you planned and it make little sense to require more than that. But if you don't make it in time, they won't care much that you had no buffer either, i.e. that's not an excuse and that would not necessarily protect you from negative consequences.

If you are forced to exit a day or two late, I would expect most border guards to let it slip as described by @happysathya, i.e. not bother with formally finding you in breach and imposing a fine. But you would still have an exit stamp in your passport that shows you have technically overstayed and consulates might take that into account the next time you apply for a visa.

One final tip: If something serious and unexpected happens (health issue, multi-day transportation problems because of a volcanic ash cloud), do approach the authorities yourself to request an extension of your visa. They have the power to grant one in force majeure cases and the more forthcoming and proactive you are, the less likely you are to suffer any negative consequences.

  • Thanks. That is a really relaxing answer :) from what I can see, force majeure seems to be extremely rare. But it's great to know such options do exist.
    – AKS
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:53
  • 1
    @AyeshK I guess it's a joke but I did not intend it to be too relaxing, however :) I edited a bit to clarify.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:58

The simple answer for your question is no problem to stay all 20 days.

Small incident that happened to me: There was one time, my schengen visa was expiring on 12AM midnight and I was travelling by bus in the afternoon. By schedule, the bus supposed to leave the schengen area well before 12AM. But unfortunately due to some incident the bus broke down and I was stranded. By the time I went to get my exit stamp while leaving schengen it was well above 12AM and the security officer told me it is illegal to stay more than the time allocated in visa. But he told me, he won't give me exit visa and I might get issues if I apply for visa next time if the border control looks for your history in terms of stamps. But he did let me go, and gave me a advice though. Always leave one day before the validity so that you can manage if something happens.

Conclusion: Give yourself a day, so that you can enjoy your 19 days peacefully :)

  • Thank you for your answer. My return flight is at 10AM, so I have about 18 hours to arrange some other transport if the flight gets canceled. I was thinking to plan my trip for 19 days, but there was a great airfare about 40% cheaper, so I though to bite the bullet :)
    – AKS
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:51

Should be no problem

Some embassies give visas that are exactly valid for the duration of your submitted itinerary. Thus it is perfectly fine to stay until the last day of your visa validity. I know someone whose flight left the last day of the visas validity at 23:55 and it was no problem (he since then also received another visa, so no blacklist). Usually you will clear immigration a few hours before your scheduled flight and if your flight afterwards gets cancelled, you can stay at the airport in the international zone until your next flight.

Should your flight being cancelled be the only flight of the day, or should it be cancelled before you are at the airport, I would advise to talk to an immigration officer while your visa is still valid and accept whatever solution the officer sugests.

  • Thank you for this. If the flight was canceled, will I be able to pass the immigration, which is usually after the airline check-ins?
    – AKS
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 14:51
  • 1
    If the flight was cancelled before you clear immigration, probably not. In that case I would immediately (the day your flight is cancelled) talk to the airline to get an earlier flight/ a flight the same day. If that fails, I would immediately talk to an immigration officer. Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 9:07

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