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I had a trip planned - 3 days in Greece and 2 1/2 days in Paris together. I submitted the travel itinerary and got a multiple-entry Schengen visa from the Greek embassy as it was my main destination.

But unfortunately I couldn't make the planned trip to Greece due to important deliverables at the office that came all of a sudden.

I can make the rest of the trip to Paris for the 2 1/2 days as I'm meeting my dad in France.

I would also like to mention that I have had two Schengen visas from France and Belgium previously and I have stayed as per itinerary both times.

I'm just wondering, if I entered France with a Schengen visa issued by the Greek embassy and tell them that my itinerary with Greece was cancelled due to genuine reasons and tell them I'm continuing with the itinerary I have applied with, will there be any questions about that?

I also have a relative in France who can provide accommodation documents for me. I can provide return tickets, bank statements, payslips and everything to authenticate my reason.

And as for not entering Greece as mentioned in the tour itinerary, would that pose a problem for my future visa applications? I do have plans to travel to Athens in the future, just not immediately.

I thought of calling the Greek embassy and mention my plan change and ask if I need to cancel this visa and get another one from France. In that case, I don't get a French visa appointment in time before my trip.

I would like suggestions on what to do before I let the Greek embassy know about my plan change.

Thanks in advance.

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    As long as you explain to the border guard everything I'm sure you'll be fine, just be honest, if you have nothing to hide there should be no problems. – BritishSam Feb 16 '18 at 16:16
  • @Sam : Thanks for your prompt response!! I was also wondering if I wanted to visit Greece again, would this be a problem when applying for the second time, as they wouldn't find a Stamp from the Greek officals in my passport. – veritas o paella Feb 16 '18 at 16:19
  • No, many people never actually use their visa after being issued due to different reasons, if they question it just give the honest reason you didn't go and what you did instead. – BritishSam Feb 16 '18 at 16:26
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    Also of note is that if your primary destination was Greece, you would be quite right to apply for a Greek visa even if you planned to enter and exit the Schengen area through another country, so there's no reason to expect Greek stamps in your passport anyway. – ajd Feb 16 '18 at 16:41
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    Should I also let the Greek embassy know about the reason and change in my plan before arriving at Paris, just to be on the safer side.. Or would this cause unwanted troubles?? – veritas o paella Feb 16 '18 at 18:05
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While it is a bit of a gray area, there's nothing that strictly prohibits a change of plans after the receipt of a visa. There are stories of people getting in trouble when they use their visa for a purpose other than that shown in their visa application, but the basis for this trouble is suspected fraud rather than any explicit rule against changing plans.

That is, you're not allowed to lie about a plan to visit Greece when you really want to visit France. People might do that if they believe that the Greek consulate is less likely to refuse their visa application, or if the Greek consulate is more convenient to travel to, or if the Greek consulate has appointments available when the French consulate does not.

Based on the facts presented in your question, however, your hope to travel to France on a Greek-issued visa has nothing to do with fraud or other deception, so you should, in theory, be fine.

As I've mentioned, however, it is a bit of a gray area, not only with immigration authorities, but even more so with airlines. You may want to check with your airline about this before you travel, to minimize any negative impact.

When you enter the Schengen area, you may want to avoid bringing up your change of plans voluntarily. You might mention it if it comes up naturally in the conversation with the passport inspector, and you should certainly mention it if asked directly.

You should also bring any legitimate documentary evidence you have that shows what happened. To be thorough, you will want to should

  • Why your trip to Greece had to be cancelled
  • When that reason arose
  • That the reason arose both
    • After you had received your visa, and
    • After you had planned your meeting with your father

You might also consider asking Greek or French authorities about this; keep a record of any such communication so you can show it to the airline or to anyone else.

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