I'm a non-EU country citizen and going to start my study at end of this month in Italy. I'm a valid D-type national Italy visa holder, it's multiple, valid for 5 months (>150 days long-stay) from now on and it says "VALID FOR: ITALIA". I don't have anything else but that visa.

I've changed my travel plan yesterday, I want to stay for couple days in Sweden before entering to Italy. After my trip I will turn back my non-EU country and later I'll go to Italy.

Authorities I asked in my country said, It's valid for Italy and the situation belongs to the officers in the airport. They can let you go or decline.

Can I enter to Sweden with my visa? Do I need anything else? Like supporting documents or anything else? I have all my travel docs, for Italy and will have for Sweden if this thing can be.

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    You've already asked somebody whose job it is to know the answer to your question and they said, "No." Why do you think that asking random people on the internet will change the response of the Swedish immigration officers? Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 7:48
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    @DavidRicherby If you or the OP mean a consulate, it's not their job to answer questions actually, many of them flat out refuse and others give this kind of defensive non-committal answers. “It's up to the border guards” is certainly true and I can see why a consulate would not want to say more than that but it's a bit of a non-answer actually. It would be useful for the OP to know how border guards typically handle these cases, what the rules are, etc.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 8:04
  • This answer travel.stackexchange.com/q/19147/1820 states that once in the country your D-type visa has been issued from you can travel to other countries, but it doesn't say anything about entering another country directly
    – Phil
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 8:04
  • In fact, the answer you got makes very little sense. Either your visa is actually restricted to Italy (unlikely) and borders guards have very little discretion, they are supposed to deny entry. Or it is a regular long-stay visa and, as the regulation clearly shows, it's valid for a short stays in other Schengen countries. It's only in the this situation that border guards have some discretion.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 8:21
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    @emreplt: It would be a lot easier for answerers to comment meaningfully on your interaction with "authorities" if you would reveal what those "authorities" are. If they are your own country's authorities, there's no particular reason to think they would be particularly informed about how the Schengen visa and border rules work. Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


I believe the “Valid for: Italia” on the visa stamp is no big deal. It always says so because your visa is not valid, e.g. to study in Sweden the whole time. But (all?) D visas really are valid for short-term travel to other Schengen countries and also exempt the holder from any short-stay visa requirement when crossing an external border. At the same time, there are still very conflicting info about this from official places (e.g. this) and I don't know all visa types from all Schengen member states (there are hundreds…) so I can't offer any guarantees.

Beyond that, the Schengen Borders code explicitly allows long-stay visa holders to enter the Schengen area elsewhere. See Flying to a Schengen country different from the one that issued a D-type visa Travelling through Italy (crossing the external border at an Italian airport and then taking an internal Schengen flight) definitely isn't required but because using an Italian visa in Italy is unproblematic and there are no border checks between Schengen countries once you have entered, it would of course be much easier in practice.

There is also a distinction between entering another Schengen country on the way to Italy (e.g. transiting in a major airport like Frankfurt or Amsterdam) and just using the visa to go in and out for a short trip. If you are transiting (and have the tickets to show it), border guards can exempt you from some requirements and would generally be less worried about the fact that you have a visa for Italy.

On the other hand, if you come for a short-term visit, directly from your country of residence and without having ever set foot in Italy, they might be concerned that you are really trying to abuse the visa and have other plans (like working illegally in Sweden instead of studying in Italy) and therefore interview you a bit more thoroughly than usual.

Note that when you go on a visit to another Schengen country, you are supposed to fulfil all the usual requirements for short-stay visits. It would therefore be useful to gather all the documents you would need for a visa application and have them with you when crossing the border. In particular, you need to be able to articulate your purpose clearly and credibly, know where you will stay, why you are coming to Sweden, what you want to do there, etc. But if you look like you have no money, cannot establish your intent to go to Italy in the future and have no idea where you want to go or tell a story that makes little sense (say pretend you want to do tourism but only have accommodation in some random small town), border guards are likely to deny entry.

Also, you are telling us you want to go for a couple of days to Sweden, return to your country and then back to Italy. Personally, I have no reasons not to believe you but you do need to realise it might sound a bit odd. Five months is not a very long time and it seems you haven't started your study yet, so when does your course in Italy start? Why the sudden interest in a country that's very far from Italy and not necessarily on everyone's to-visit list? Have you been to Europe before? And why the trip back home instead of going directly to Italy? Be prepared to account for all that as well.

But, legally speaking, crossing the border with that visa is in any case allowed. In fact, if it were not, the rest would be moot and border guards would have practically no choice but to deny entry. It's only if the visa really is valid for other countries than Italy that the details (your intent, etc.) become relevant to their decision. And, while the law allows them to check everything I mentioned, it's also possible that Swedish border guards won't care that much and just stamp you in without asking anything.

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