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As an Indian citizen there are a bunch of requirements to get a Schengen visa. Some of them are: A reserved ticket (please do correct me if I am wrong) and confirmed hotel reservations.

Now, if I don't need reserved tickets but just an itinerary, do I really have to make the trip as soon as I get the visa or can I just do that any other time before the visa expires?

Is there a rule that says that "if you don't make your Schengen zone trip as soon as you get your visa, it would expire"?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's an expiration date stamped on the visa, and that's when it expires. The issuer may decide to issue a single entry visa that will expire in two days or multiple entry visa that will expire in 10 years, and it will be clearly stated on the visa itself. If there are additional conditions, they will also be clearly annotated on the visa.

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