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My next flight is scheduled to leave Beijing at January 18th for Milan with Warsaw Chopin as a transit. However, because the transit takes 8 hours and also because it takes only 10 minutes from WAW to city centre, I would like to get out of the airport to enjoy the city.

However, if I get out of WAW at January 18th and then get out of MXP at January 19th, which is the correct date that starts the Schengen period (I mean "90 days within any 180 days" restriction)? And which airport will I get a stamp put in my passport in?

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    Not a duplicate as far as I can see. Blaszard is apparently aware that he can enter Schengen and get out of the airport in Warsaw without needing additional visas, so he already knows what the earlier question asks for. – Henning Makholm Dec 23 '16 at 17:48
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Burhan’s answer is only semi-correct.

Regardless whether you’re planning to leave the airport in Warsaw or whether you’re planning to fly on to Milan directly, Warsaw is your first port of entry into the Schengen area. Therefore, your passport stamp will be given in Warsaw and your 90 days start counting in Warsaw.

In all cases, your connecting flight would be intra-Schengen with no additional passport controls so immigration has no way of checking whether you boarded that flight on a specific day.

Depending on the length of your layover, your luggage may get through-checked to Milan or not — reading eight hours I am going to assume it is. This is great, because that means you won’t have to take care of luggage in Warsaw. Customs (which is very separate from immigration in Europe) will take place at your final destination, Milan.

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    Thanks. Then I now assume it might be better to always get out of the transit airport since it lets you save time getting through the passport control at the destination airport, if I understand it correctly. I'm not sure if it is worth the effort, though. – Blaszard Dec 23 '16 at 17:24
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    @Blaszard No, you misunderstood. You will always have passport control at the first port of entry to the Schengen area. Any subsequent flights inside Schengen are without passport control. Only if you leave the Schengen area again, you will be subject to exit immigration. No matter whether you leave the airport in Warsaw or not, there will never be immigration waiting for you at Milan in your itinerary. – Jan Dec 23 '16 at 17:28
  • So if I get out of WAW, the WAW to MXP becomes a subsequent flight now and thus I don't have to get through the passport control, right? – Blaszard Dec 23 '16 at 17:29
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    @Blaszard It’s irrelevant if you get out at Warsaw or not. There will not be a passport control on your leg Warsaw–Milan, full stop. – Jan Dec 23 '16 at 17:30
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    @Blaszard Yes. If you want, you can imagine the Schengen area as a huge ‘macro-country’ for immigration purposes. Most of the time it does not matter what you do inside; you are checked coming in and you are checked going out but never inside systematically. – Jan Dec 23 '16 at 17:33
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For border purposes, Schengen operates as a single country, so Beijing-Warsaw is an international flight, while Warsaw-Milan is a domestic flight.

When flying London-Beijing-Shanghai, you get stamped at Beijing because that's where you enter China. Equally, when flying Beijing-Warsaw-Milan, you get stamped at Warsaw because that's where you enter Schengen.

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    The Schengen codes use the term "internal," which is useful to maintain a distinction between intra-Schengen flights and truly domestic flights. "Domestic" can be confusing in some contexts. – phoog Dec 24 '16 at 3:43
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Your passport will get stamped at the airport where you exit the border control. So, if you want to spend time in Warsaw, that's where your passport will be stamped and effectively - you have started your 90 day clock.

Your next flight (Warsaw - Milan) is an intra-schengen so there are no passport stamps or visa requirements.

  • "If you want to spend time in Warsaw, that's where your passport will be stamped." Actually, the passport will be stamped there in any case, because, as you correctly note, there is no passport control for a flight between Warsaw and Milan. – phoog Dec 24 '16 at 3:44

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