First time landing with dependant visa

Hello,
I have a dependent visa and I may have to travel with an infant and a 5 yr old alone from India to Brussels in the month of May. Since there is no direct flight from India to Brussels, I would like to know if my first arrival has to be Brussels only or can I come via Amsterdam or Paris. There are direct flights to these cities from here. Will it be a problem in the immigration?

Thanks for your replies.
Priya

Port of entry has to be Brussels (to the best of my knowledge). So you may want to try some 1-stop flights.

Indeed, it is the best to enter via Belgium the first time. You have to make 1 transit anyway, so why not make it in any middle-eastern airports. Arlines like qatar, Etihad, Emirates have connections to Brussels from most Indian cities, with one transit in either Doha, Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Thank you both for your replies. My husband is already in Brussels and it would have been easier for him to come to Amsterdam / Paris to pick me up than me doing the full journey alone with kids with a transit at UAE. Hence my reason to ask this question on this forum. Seems like I don't have a choice now.
Thanks again.

Dont worry. Transiting in middle eastern airports is normally okay. If the gate is far or so, you can ask for assistance to the staff.  Make sure you have at least 2 hours of transit.

Hi Priya,

Hope this reply is not very late.

We came via Paris to Belgium. It was not a favorable situation in immigration. We were asked a lot of questions. We were asked to show tickets to Belgium. I had not booked tickets because we had a friend in Paris where we planned to stay a day or two. We were denied a phone call too. But after talking for few minutes and when I pressed, "Isn't this Schengen and isn't there freedom of movement with this visa?" the officer understood they can't simply harass us. The whole issue lasted maybe 10 minutes. They have to be extra cautious because there's substantial number of illegal immigration here.

So the correct answer is you can come to Paris or Amsterdam and come to Belgium. Your visa allows that. Our Port of entry is Paris. But there's a scope for people to harass or discriminate. Also keep in mind they can refuse to speak English.

Alternatively, now some airlines book both train and flight together. I think Air France and jet airways do that for Paris. In that case there won't be a problem. There are similar options for Amsterdam too.

Do the best that works for you.

Maximus, it is correct theoritically. However, the immigration officer in Paris (or any other port of entry) has the right to send the traveller back if he is in any doubt or if he is not convinced by the explanation. In your case it worked, but it may not necessarily work in all cases. Better not to take the risk especially when traveling with small kids etc.

Thank you again for taking the time to reply. Was quite helpful.

Hi Priya,
Have you travelled via Amsterdam to Brussels ?
Did the Immigration Officer create any trouble?
Could you share the experience because I been in the similar situation right now .
My wife is going to join me in Belgium first time on Dependent Visa . I want her to come to Amsterdam so that I can pick her up from there.

sudhanshulvs30 :

Hi Priya,
Have you travelled via Amsterdam to Brussels ?
Did the Immigration Officer create any trouble?
Could you share the experience because I been in the similar situation right now .
My wife is going to join me in Belgium first time on Dependent Visa . I want her to come to Amsterdam so that I can pick her up from there.

A bit of comprehensive info on this:

What we all need to understand is that, visa stamped on the passport does not assure an entry to the country (not only the EU - any country). Final decision maker whether to admit the traveler to the country or not, for any purpose of travel (including transit -  if your transit involves immigration), is the officer in border control. The officer makes this decision based on responses to the questions he/she ask to the traveler and by verifying supporting documents proving the purpose of visit, medical coverage, financial means to support the visit and that the traveler will go back to his/her home country after the intended period of stay (in case of short stay). In case of long stay, officer has the right to verify the work permit, employment contract, accommodation, medical insurance and/or dependency documents as appropriate to the purpose of entry (employment or joining spouse/parent - family reunion) of the traveler before admitting. In case of transit, officer has the right to ask questions about your onward travel, demand documents to prove that and carries the right to deny entry if he/she is not convinced.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Travel_in_the_Schengen_Zone
Note: "Even if you possess a valid visa, actual entry may still be denied/refused if you are unable to satisfy the border officer's questions and/or requests to see documents."

It is highly recommended that all possible supporting documents must be carried by the traveler and presented to the officer if demanded. (Most of the documents submitted with the visa application is returned to the applicant by the consulate in the home country + what one can collect additionally - including tickets for onward travel - in case of transit, etc).

Now, practically speaking, in >90 percent of the cases, immigration officers don't ask many questions or supporting documents if they have no reason to do so. But if the traveler encounters a strict officer or when there is a stricter border control in place (example: period where there is a raised security level, crisis situations, etc), these documents are the only things that can help the visitor to have a smooth immigration passage.

Like I said, most of the times, everything goes smooth. This is why when you ask around, people will say, "No problem, it is perfectly fine". They say that based on their experience which may haven been very positive or smooth.

My suggestion is to be prepared and careful, especially when someone is traveling for the first time.

Aneesh post is a perfect resume.
I'm just gonna insist on what he said in his previous post:
if your wife has a visa to come in Belgium, but coming first in Europe from another country, make sure she can show a valid flight/train ticket to continue her trip to Belgium to the immigration!!!!!!!!!!!, even if you pick her "manually" in that other country.

Avoid problems......................................
My 2 cents...

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