I plan to attend a conference in Austria in the second week of April and I would require a visa for that. However, visa appointments at the embassy are available only after the 10th of April which is obviously too late. My plan then is to apply for a Schengen tourist visa to visit a nearby country, spend a couple of days there and then travel to Austria for the conference on the same visa. Can anyone tell me if I am allowed to do that?

If it matters, I currently reside in the US on an F-1 student visa.

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    The title misses the main issue. The problem is not using a tourist visa, but using a visa from another state. You need a visa from your primary destination, which, by your description, seems to be Austria.
    – ugoren
    Mar 4 '18 at 20:46
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    I plan to spend a greater number of days in the nearby country so would that not make it my primary destination?
    – john doe
    Mar 4 '18 at 20:51
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    According to the rules, you're required to apply to "the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay." You run the risk that they'll consider attending the conference to be the main purpose of your visit, regardless of the number of days involved, and require you to apply to Austria. They also might accept it, especially if your trip really is primarily a tourist trip. Mar 4 '18 at 21:04
  • Thanks that's helpful.. so I presume not mentioning the conference at all would amount to lying and could potentially put me in trouble?
    – john doe
    Mar 6 '18 at 11:17

This is absolutely possible; you just have to convince the officer in your application that the majority of the time will be spent in your landing country and not Austria.

There are no visa controls / checks within the Schengen zone. You may be subject to a random ID check though - but this will not invalidate your visit as you are absolutely allowed to roam within the Schengen zone.

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