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I applied and got approved for a Schengen visa with multiple entries to the Netherlands. On my application I noted a planned trip to Romania as well. Due to changes in itinerary (the trip is being paid for by my company) I'm now only traveling to Romania. Flights and hotels are booked and have been paid for by my company.

However, I have an extra weekend in Romania and I was thinking of flying to Rome overnight only: leave Romania on Saturday to travel to Rome, leave Rome on Sunday and travel back to Romania to complete my trip.

Can I use my Schengen multiple-entry visa despite not having the Netherlands as part of my itinerary anymore?

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The answer is unfortunately not as simple as implied by haferblues in his answer. Yes, your visa is valid for the entire Schengen area within the period of validity stated on the visa, but when you applied for the visa, you also provided a purpose and itinerary for the planned trip and you are within reason supposed to use the visa for this purpose and not for a completely different itinerary.

Your original plan obviously had the Netherlands as main destination (since the visa was issued by the Dutch embassy as competent authority) and you are now not planning to go to the Netherlands at all. Your outcome is likely to depend on the amount of scrutiny conducted by the immigration officer when you enter the Schengen area. If you are lucky, you will simply be stamped in and noone will notice the change in itinerary. If you are picked for a more extensive examination, the immigration officer is likely to find out that your current plans do not match the purpose for which the visa was issued, and can refuse entry.

  • I agree. However, I can tell you by experience, that this is very unlikely. In many other countries (e.g. China, India, Iran, Turkmenistan), which are much more strict, when it comes to formalities, you also have to provide detailed information on your itinerary. Once you are in the country no one cares. My visa has been checked in all these countries by immigration officers and I only once had problems in India, which my embassy could solve, since the restriciton was not written on the visa (!!!). – haferblues Nov 8 '17 at 12:30
  • In Schengen on the other hand I see no problem. Business travelers changing their itinerary unplanned happens every day. Since the distances in Europe are so short, it is even possible that you will cross several countries by getting to another place. If immigration would check this every time, the queues on the airports would be endless. So yeah, I'm not saying that this is a no brainer. I also don't recommend giving false information when applying for a visa. But the situation in this case in my opinion is not critical and even if checked is easily explainable. – haferblues Nov 8 '17 at 12:36
  • @haferblues There are several questions here on the site, you can find them with the search function, where people are asking for advice since they have been denied entry to the Schengen area in a similar situation as the OP is here. I also explicitely pointed out in my answer, that travel plans are of course not thoroughly examined for all passengers, so there is no need to assume any endless queues at the airports. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 8 '17 at 17:02
  • @haferblues The situation of the OP is IMHO particularly critical because the issuing authority of the current visa, the Dutch embassy, is not competent to decide if a visa should be issued for the currently planned trip. That problem can easily be determined by the immigration officer even in a superficial landing interview unless the OP tries to lie about the current travel plans. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 8 '17 at 17:02
  • I appreciate your critic and doubts. I'm sure you are right and I found the posts you mentioned here on stack exchange. On the other hand I meet many people who travel through Europe with no itinerary at all. Taking planes spontaneously, deciding where to go on a daily basis. Obviously nobody asks a question here on stack exchange as long as everything goes well. OP to me didn't seem to be concerned about entering Schengen at all. He was only concerned about the trip to Rome since it wasn't mentioned in the itinerary at all. Would be great to get info on how things turned out. – haferblues Nov 9 '17 at 0:52
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If the visa states "valid for: Schengen countries" (or similiar, I only know the German phrase) then it is a USV visa, which means you are not restricted to certain countries. If the type of the visa is C (which is probably the case for you), then you should be able to go whereever you want. In general visa usually contain all information: The area for which it is valid, the valid time period and the duration of stay. If there are no restriction on a visa, then there are no restrictions for you. If someone tells you any different, call your embassy. What is much more important in your case is your travel health insurance. If you go to Rome you are no longer covered by your employer and maybe also not by a private insurance. Get a travel health insurance for just a few Euro (between 5 and 10 Euro one time payment) and you are covered worldwide for a whole year.

  • Would be good to have a reference(s) in your answer. – Newton Nov 7 '17 at 13:24
  • @Newton Different Schengen visa types are explained f.i. here: schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-types Other info is personal travel experience. Itineraries given when applying for a visa are not that important. That's why I said it is important what is written on the visa. If it has restrictions, there is usually no way around it. Everything else is subject to the situation. In my opinion the situation makes it theoretically possible for authorities to stop the traveler (which they can anyway whenever they want), but this will most likely never happen. – haferblues Nov 8 '17 at 12:49
  • I appreciate all inputs. To add some information, the visa on my passport just says valid in schengenstaten and is type c with multiple entry. It is valid for 30days with a start date of Nov 11, which isn't a problem as my return flight home is Nov 22 and has been confirmed too. I also have the required health insurance covering the length of my stay as required during application, also paid for by my company. If I do push thru will post an update here to help other. Worst case is I get denied entry and will just have to stay a weekend at the much colder area of Bucharest . – L Reyes Nov 9 '17 at 9:07
  • @LReyes All inputs...then I'd recommend getting a car via the transfagars road (sceneic) to Sibiu (nice) and maybe continue to Brasov and Sigisoara. You might also take a bus to Budapest, which is beautiful. Odessa (Ukraine) is also reachable by bus and you probably don't need a visa for Ukraine. Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia are all non-Schengen, so you probably also don't need a visa. Dubrovnik and Split (Croatia) both feel a bit like Italy. Skopje (Macedonia) is a nice mixture of Muslim, Christian and Soviet. I'm offtopic, let me know, if you need advice. – haferblues Nov 9 '17 at 15:14
  • I have come back to give an update. I flew in Bucharest last Wednesday using the multiple entry schengen visa (did not apply a separate visa for Romania). I left Saturday and entered Rome via Ciampino. Went back to Romania Sunday. All with no issues or questions. – L Reyes Nov 20 '17 at 11:44

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