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While I understand this question might be seen as a duplicate, I still need to ask it.

I have planned a trip to Greece this June. After booking tickets and hotels (all non-refundable), I realized that the Greek embassy requires a validity of 6 months on my residency following the return date from my trip. I have traveled to Europe three times, always entering through the country that issued my visa, never overstaying, and always adhering to my itinerary. All the 8 countries I visited previously required only 3 months of residency validity, so I didn't think to check Greece's residency validity requirements (my mistake, I know). Now, I am certain that I will be refused a visa at the Greek embassy because my residency expires in November, which is 7 days short of the 6-month requirement.

Therefore, I would like advice on whether Greece allows entry with a Schengen visa issued by Italy. I know a few Schengen countries are flexible in this regard since I have friends who faced no issues entering other countries as their first port of entry, even though those countries did not issue their Schengen visas. They didn't even visit the country that issued the visas. So, I am aware that passport control officials may or may not allow entry.

My entire trip is non-refundable, otherwise, I was prepared to cancel the trip and travel after my residency had a 6-month validity. But now, I'll lose a lot of money if I'm not able to travel.

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    No Schengen country has a requirement that people have to enter the Schengen area through the country that issued the visa. All Schengen countries comply with the Schengen codes, which have other requirements that are incompatible with a requirement that people enter the Schengen area through the country that issued the visa. Why would you think that such a requirement exists?
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 5:41
  • @phoog Oh i have had friends (in kuwait where im located) who were denied entry into germany and france ( as first points of entry i mean) since they held sch visas from other schegen countries. This was during summer last year.
    – Shirley
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 5:56
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    Either they were denied entry improperly or, more probably, they did not accurately understand the reason for denial of entry. As an example: someone who is planning a trip of five days in France followed by ten days in Spain must generally have a Schengen visa issued by Spain, even though the traveler might be entering in Paris, or Frankfurt, or for that matter at the land border in Poland.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 6:16
  • @ phoog Or perhaps since they did not have any plans of going to Italy ( visa issuing country) and their entire stay was in germany, thats why they were refused entry?
    – Shirley
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 6:31
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    probably. If they applied for a visa from Italy with no intention of actually visiting Italy then they lied on their visa application, and no Schengen country should admit them. If they legitimately changed their plans after the visa was issued then they presumably failed to convince the officer of that.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 10, 2019 at 6:47

2 Answers 2

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  • You must not misrepresent your itinerary to get a visa (we nickname that 'visa shopping' if it gets you a different consulate). Being caught out can mean your entry is refused and you get a big black mark on your record.
  • Your must broadly stick to your itinerary. You can make adjustments, but only in good faith. This can go as far as changing the country of entry, if you find a better flight, but it must not change the main purpose of your trip.

What the second bullet point means is that yes, you can enter in a different port of entry. They might ask you how you plan to travel on to your official destination. You would have to lie. And that is a very bad idea, not just for moral reasons but because it goes into your file.

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If your main destination is Greece, you must apply for a visa from Greece. If you get that you can enter the Schengen area whatever way and wherever you like.

Likewise: If your main destination was Italy and you got a visa from Italy you could enter Schengen through Greece.

If you don't meet the Greek rules, then you shouldn't plan a trip with Greece being the main destination. Sorry, but that's how the rules are.

If you apply to Italy for a visa for a trip where Greece is clearly the main destination, they will probably refuse your visa saying you have to apply to Greece and not even look at the rest of the application.

The only legal choice I see is to hope that the Greek will see that you have three previous trips to Europe, obeying the rules, and say that's more important than seven days too little on your residence permit, and as a result grant your visa.

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