I want to apply for a Schengen visa. I am planning to stay in Paris for 3 nights and 7 nights in Switzerland.

Which visa do I need to apply for? If I choose France then is it possible that I can stay for 2 nights in France and 8 in Switzerland after visa approval.


You should apply to the country that is your main destination, not whatever you choose. In your case there's no doubt that Switzerland is your main destination (7 is much larger than 3, in your alternative scenario it is even clearer), so you must apply to them.

Small changes to your itinerary are allowed after getting the visa, and a one day change in when you go from France to Switzerland is (probably) a minor change. But it doesn't change anything, you clearly have to apply to Switzerland. (The French embassy would probably reject your application as clearly misdirected.)

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  • ... with the caveat that the purpose of the visit may still make France his main destination. For example, if he's going to attend a conference in Paris and combining that with a week of leisurely week of Alp-watching in Switzerland since he's already flown around the planet to get to the conference. – hmakholm left over Monica Jan 17 '19 at 15:45

You should apply for a visa from the country which is the main destination of your visit.

If the main reason for your trip is a conference or a business meeting in France, and you incidentally want to spend some time in Switzerland, then you should apply for the visa from France.

If however there is no more reason to visit one rather than the other (for instance if you're just visiting both countries for tourism), the rule is that you should apply for a visa from the country where you intend to spend most of the time in (which would be Switzerland in your case).

Short stay visas allow you to travel to any other Schengen Area country during the validity of your visa, so you can indeed travel through France on your way in or out of Switzerland (or vice-versa).

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  • So if i show 5 nights in each country and apply for visa.a fter approval i change plan for 3 nights in paris and 7 in switzerland – Ayush Kalia Jan 17 '19 at 13:54
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    Why do you absolutely want to apply for a visa from France rather than Switzerland? If you already know you are going to spend more time in Switzerland, don't try to lie about it. – jcaron Jan 17 '19 at 13:59
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    A change from 5 nights in each country to 3 in one, 7 in another might be considered too substantial, so you'll risk having your visa cancelled. – Henrik supports the community Jan 17 '19 at 13:59
  • No, the rule is that you should apply from the country that is the main destination of the visit. Only if you cannot discern any main destination by looking at your purpose for going does the "where you spend most of the time" tiebreaker become relevant. – hmakholm left over Monica Jan 17 '19 at 15:46
  • @HenningMakholm Indeed, took a bit of a shortcut. Edited answer. – jcaron Jan 17 '19 at 15:51

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