What are the first port of entry rules for Schengen Visa?
What happens when I enter Europe on a Schengen Visa?
If you are traveling to Europe on a Schengen Visa, when you enter a country in the Schengen Area covered by your visa, your documents will be checked to see if they are in order. This is your first port of entry.
Should my first trip be to the country issued by Schengen visa? Can I enter a different Schengen country?
Your first port of entry does not need to be the country which issued you with a Schengen Visa - as you must apply to the country where you are planning to spend the majority of your stay in the Schengen Area. When deciding which country to apply for a visa, this is determined by which country you're planning to spend the most time, according to your filed itinerary. Once the visa is issued, it does not matter what country is your point of entry.
Although you have to apply at the consulate or embassy of the country where you are traveling to, if you are planning to spend an equal amount of time in Schengen States, for example, on cruises or bus tours, you should apply at the embassy of the country which is your first port of entry.
Single and multiple-entry Schengen Visas and first ports of entry
Schengen Visas can be single or multiple entry.
For single-entry visas, your first port of entry is easy to determine, as it is simply your first port of entry for your trip. However, you can also obtain multiple-entry visas that allow you to enter the Schengen Area on multiple occasions. These can last for a short period of 90 or 180 days, or one, three or five years. Your first port of entry when making your application will be the place where you enter the Schengen Area for the first time. On each return trip, your first port of entry will be where you return to the Schengen Area.
What information do I need to provide about my first port of entry when applying for my Schengen Visa?
When applying for a Schengen Visa, you will need to provide a full itinerary of your trip - including where you plan to enter the Schengen Area (your first port of entry), and flight bookings proving this.
Officials will often ask you if you can provide a booked flight itinerary and/or flight reservation to prove your travel plans and that you will not overstay your visa. Sometimes, they might even ask you to submit the actual ticket for your visit.
However, if you are worried about losing the cost of your ticket if your application is refused, some airlines provide dummy tickets or short-term reservations for a portion of the cost of a ticket that will allow you to provide a flight booking proving your itinerary and first port of entry.
How can AXA help?
When applying for your Schengen Visa, you will also need to prove you have travel and medical insurance. AXA offers several Schengen Visa compliant insurance policies for travel in Europe, which will cover you for your trip, from a low-cost option, priced at as little as €0.99 per day of your trip. Your certificate will be available instantly online - ready for you to complete your application and begin your travels.
Everything you need to know about Schengen visa
Frequently asked questions about your Schengen Visa first port of entry
Yes. You can enter or exit from the Schengen area via a country other than the one you have a visa for. However you are strongly advised to stick close to your itinerary when traveling to the Schengen Area as your documents may be checked at your first port of entry - even if your travel plans are more flexible when you are within the Schengen Area.
No. You should check you have all the correct details before applying for your visa and take care with your application - as you will have to resubmit your visa application if you want to make significant changes.
Yes. Providing they are one of the 26 countries within the Schengen Area.