I have Indian passport and currently residing in US. I still haven't given my visa interview at French embassy but I have a rough idea about my itinerary. I plan to visit France twice in the next couple of months strictly for tourism and meeting friends (total duration less than 30 days). I will be staying and traveling mostly in France. Maybe a few days to other Schengen countries that I have not figured yet.

While booking the visa interview date I selected the itinerary and got documents (the airline ticket, medical insurance, hotel stay) for the date ranges (for 2 separate trips) that seemed best at the time although now I feel I should've selected something in the future.

Unfortunately, there's no way to "Update" the travel dates in my visa application online and I will have to cancel my application and book another appointment even later and forfeit my air tickets (that I booked to go to the consulate) etc etc. So the plan is to give the visa interview with the itineraries presented at the moment and try to follow them the best I can as I don't intend to violate any rules. Other posts that I read related to this: link link 2 link 3. This does not help me much as my question is not about which country I will spend most time in or enter through, but about changing the travel dates itself.

The question I have is what happens if the itinerary is changed? If I take one trip but don't take the other do they care (as long as I stay mostly in France)? If I throw in some other Schengen countries that I had not stated in the travel itinerary and remove some others does that make a difference? Do they keep a record of my movements and any deviation is noted (at the borders etc)? And some posts say "if found it can affect your future visas". Does this mean once I present them with the itinerary it's set in stone? Will changing itineraries have negative impact on current/future schengen visas?

It seems like a catch 22 situation where the embassy themselves state "don't buy tickets just book them because you don't know if visa will be issued", which means I cannot buy (cheap) tickets ahead of time and plan itineraries in advance (cheap hotel bookings in advance) and then I shouldn't be changing them once I get the visa?

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    As long as your primary destination is France, you can visit any other Schengen country freely. However, if you obtain a visa from one Schengen country and use it to only visit other places, there could potentially be problems. As far as I know, if you get a double-entry or multiple-entry visa, it will usually have the validity covering both of your trips, and you can change plans within that period (as long as you don't exceed the maximum number of days for each entry).
    – dbkk
    May 14, 2018 at 21:26
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