My family (me, wife and kids) reside in Switzerland where my mother visits us regularly. Usually she applies for a visa through Swiss embassy and gets a 6-month multiple entry visa with "Visite familiale" remark.

Now she wants to do a 3 day trip to France and there is currently no existing plans to visit us in Switzerland, but most probably she will spend much more time in Switzerland than in France in next 6 month.

My question is: if she applies for a tourist visa to France and gets a multiple entry visa (let's say for example a 5-year one) can she then visit us in Switzerland for the duration of the visa? And in general does the "main destination" rule applies for the first trip to Schengen zone? For example, if one plans to go to France for 3 days, then exit the Schengen zone and then visit Spain for 2 weeks, should he apply through French or Spanish embassy?

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


The main stay rule counts just for the first visit. As she plans to only travel to France this time that is the visa she has to apply for.

She can mention relatives in Switzerland as a reason to apply for a multiple entry visa. But France does not have to give a multiple entry visa.

As mentioned in a comment, the visa officials will see previous visa and are more likely to give a multiple entry visa.

With a multiple entry visa the first travel should be what was mentioned in the application, small changes are allowed.

Later travels can be to any of the Schengen countries as long as time restrictions are met.

  • Also the French will probably see the previous visas issued for family visits and react accordingly. Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 19:44

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