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DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY ARRIVAL FLIGHT DATE???

I will be a student in Italy this October. I live in the USA. My program runs from October 24, 2022 to October 20, 2023. I have a flight to arrive in Italy on October 1st. The school took a long time to give me the start date so I bought my flight knowing it would be in October. For visa and temporary residency purposes do I need to change my arrival date? I have contacted multiple Italian consulates in the USA and have not received any replies.

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    That depends on when your visa is valid, and you did not provide that information.
    – Dr. Snoopy
    Aug 14, 2022 at 21:38
  • @Dr.Snoopy it may also depend on the traveler's citizenship, which is also not mentioned.
    – phoog
    Aug 15, 2022 at 9:55
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    I have US citizenship and will be getting a long term student visa. I am trying to sort this out before my visa appointment.
    – user25291
    Aug 15, 2022 at 10:57

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As a US citizen, you are entitled to be present in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. This is separate from your long-term visa. If your visa's validity date falls after your arrival in Italy, you ought to be able to enter as a visa-exempt visitor (I presume you haven't already exhausted the 90-day allowance). You might need subsequently to leave and re-enter the Schengen area after your visa becomes valid (a trip by land or by ferry to Croatia would accomplish this, for example, as would a ferry to Albania or a flight to any number of nearby countries). This isn't necessary as far as EU law is concerned, but Italian law might require it, or the local authorities might. You can try asking them or just plan to make the border run to be on the safe side.

In any event, arranging a short trip outside the Schengen area may be less expensive than changing your flight, and it is likely to be a better use of your money.

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