I have a German national visa that will take effect from March 1, 2017 up to August 31, 2017. I want to arrive there as early as possible, so I'm taking the earliest flight which is just 20 minutes after midnight, that's early on March 1, 2017. However, I'll surely pass by the Immigration Officer before midnight so then still February 28, 2017.

Will they let me board the plane or will that be a problem?

  • Do you mean your flight arrives on 1 March (that you board on 28 Feb)?
    – Giorgio
    Feb 4, 2017 at 0:23
  • No, my only concern is I'll surely pass by the immigration before midnight, and that's still February 28. My flight leaves at 00:20 on March 1. I will arrive in Amsterdam at 12:40 on March 1.
    – David J.
    Feb 4, 2017 at 0:29
  • 1
    "Next question" - please ask that as a separate question. Otherwise, different answers might provide the best answer for separate sub-questions of yours, and it will be impossible for you to mark more as one answer as "accepted" (meaning "presumeably the best answer"). Feb 4, 2017 at 0:29
  • Noted, I edited the question :)
    – David J.
    Feb 4, 2017 at 0:38
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    You go through immigration upon arrival, so is it the airline you're worried about? It should be okay, as carriers understand that your arrival will coincide with your visa's validity. At Immigration in Amsterdam, your visa says March 1, you arrive March 1: Van harte welkom om de Nederland!
    – Giorgio
    Feb 4, 2017 at 1:07

1 Answer 1


Your Schengen visa counts from when you pass through immigration into the Schengen area. The airline will allow you to board as they understand the rules. And if by chance your country's immigration checks that you have the proper documents, they also allow departure for the same reason.

Likewise at the end of your stay, the date and time you pass out through German immigration determines your compliance with your visit limits, not the time your plane takes off.

As a side note, in countries such as the US where there are no exit formalities, the flight departure time & date counts as your official exit time.

  • "Your German visa counts from when you pass through immigration in Germany" - My university in German is near the border for the Netherlands. Thus, I'm flying to the Schengen area through Amsterdam. Are you saying that they won't count until I reach germany? I'm planning to travel for a week before going to Germany.
    – David J.
    Feb 4, 2017 at 1:17
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    @DavidJ. This should be: "when you pass through immigration in the Schengen area". Feb 4, 2017 at 1:24

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