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An overnight stay in Holland en route to Czech Republic

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BangkokPhil
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« on: March 18, 2012, 02:29:43 am »

Hi guys, I'm really looking for some reassurance about my Schengen visa issue because I seem to get 10 different answers from 10 different people.

My wife and I will shortly be travelling from Bangkok to the Czech Republic via Holland for a 12-day stay. My wife is Thai and obtained a single entry Schengen visa from the Czech Embassy in Bangkok. The visa states that she can visit any country in the Schengen zone.I am a UK citizen so have no problems.

We actually have just a one night layover in Amsterdam en route and we've booked a hotel at Schiphol Airport, which doesn't require us to actually leave the airport and enter Holland.

However, it was our intention to 'grab' a few hours in Amsterdam because it's a city we love and have been to before. Then we would come back to the airport, get a few hours sleep and then check-in and fly on to the Czech Republic the following morning.

From what I've read on various Schengen websites, there doesn't seem to be a flaw in this plan, but when I talk to various people and tell them we only have a single entry Schengen visa, the doubts suddenly start to creep in.
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« on: March 18, 2012, 02:29:43 am »

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atari
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 02:57:26 pm »

Single entry means that the visa is good for visiting the Schengen zone once. If you travel from Amsterdam to the Czech Republic, you do not leave the Schengen zone. However, if you travel from Bangkok to Prague, the situation is a bit different. When you travel from Bangkok, the international flight might be considered outside the Schengen zone all the way to Prague (depending on how the traffic is routed at the airport). So, if you leave this international flight in Amsterdam, you could not come back to this international flight to continue to Prague later, but you would need to board a separate flight that is just "European" (or continue to Prague via car).
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BangkokPhil
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 04:00:17 pm »

Hi Atari,

Thank you very much for your response. However - and I don't wish to sound ungrateful - but your response has left me even more confused.

As I said, we are flying directly from Bangkok to Amsterdam, spending one night in Amsterdam and then going on to Prague the following morning. At the end of our holiday in Prague, we will be flying back to Amsterdam and then home to Bangkok. From my understanding, we will be arriving in Amsterdam (which is the Schengen zone), flying on to Prague (which is also in the Schengen zone) and then doing that journey in reverse. And leaving from Amsterdam.

So surely at no time are we leaving the Schengen zone, so a single entry Schengen visa will be adequate. Have i not got that right?

 
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atari
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 05:39:22 pm »

The trick may be in your flight. Is the flight from Bangkok to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Prague on one ticket, or is it two flights purchased separately? My point is that while you transit in Amsterdam, you might still be in the international (out of Schengen) zone. So, if you leave the Amsterdam's airport international (out of Schengen) zone, they will let you back in, but with a single entry visa, they would not let you back to the Schengen zone again. But I may be thinking too much, it would be unusual for the passengers on the Bangkok - Amsterdam - Prague flight not to go through the Schengen border right at the Amsterdam airport. (for example, when you fly to Prague from the USA through Frankfurt, it works that way - you get out of the US airplane and go through the Schengen border right away at Amsterdam (not at Prague), and whatever you do then is within the Schengen zone - I have not been to Amsterdam's airport recently, so I am just pointing out the chance of it being different there)
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BangkokPhil
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 01:51:11 am »

Is the flight from Bangkok to Amsterdam and then from Amsterdam to Prague on one ticket, or is it two flights purchased separately?
It is one ticket from Bangkok to Amsterdam and then Amsterdam to Prague. I still can't see what difference it makes though. How can being in Amsterdam be 'out of the Schengen Zone' when the Netherlands is a Schengen country?
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atari
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 10:31:29 am »

The foot traffic at the airport could be routed through terminals in a way that while walking from an out-of-Schengen flight to the second airplane, you can still be in the "international (out-of-Schengen) territory". Here is an idea - go to the Amsterdam's airport website and locate their map. The map should show where the Schengen border is located, and by looking at timetables, you can find out at which terminal you arrive, and from which terminal you depart to Prague. This will help you to figure out if you go through the Schengen border at Amsterdam, or at Prague. (I bet it will be in Amsterdam, but better to check and be safe.)
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