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I have a multiple-entry Schengen visa issued by the Spanish consulate in UK, but due to change in plans I want to travel first to Malta, return to UK, and then travel to Spain. Would this cause any difficulty in entering Malta and subsequently Spain?

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    The main reason for this rule (the main country you are going to on your first trip issues the visa) is to insure that the issuing of the visas are more equally shared. A change of itinerary (especially in these times) is not an unheard of event. It is unlikely to cause problems when travelling to both countries. Aug 3, 2021 at 18:07
  • That answer has mixed signals. But I’m gonna hope for the best and show up to Malta. I’ll keep some docs for the intended Spain trip just in case.
    – Dexter
    Aug 3, 2021 at 19:34
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    This may raise red flags. If you entered the Schengen area through another country with plans to travel to the original country afterwards it shouldn’t be a problem (as long as the main goal of the trip is indeed in the visa-issuing country). In your case you will be exiting the Schengen Area before entering again in the original destination country, this is clearly against the rules. Depending on your circumstances (citizenship, apparent wealth, reasons for travel…) this may be completely overlooked or result in quite some trouble. Do indeed have evidence of your intended trip to Spain.
    – jcaron
    Aug 3, 2021 at 19:53
  • Hello @jcaron! Thanks. So I could get a ticket to Spain and (on paper) return to London from Spain. That should not raise any red flags?
    – Dexter
    Aug 3, 2021 at 20:12
  • travel.stackexchange.com/questions/26939/… is almost an exact duplicate (multiple-entry visa, UK resident). Note that UK resident traditionally could get multiple-entry visas more easily and undergo less scrutiny (there are less concerns about you using a short-term visa to establish residence illegally as you already have a long-term visa/residence permit from a hard-to-reach European country).
    – Relaxed
    Aug 4, 2021 at 6:47

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There are no rules restricting how you travel using your Schengen visa. There are rules telling you where you should apply for it given a particular travel plan.

Since you have a multi entry Schengen visa, it is perfectly fine to make a trip to Malta, and later a trip to Spain. If "they" would mind you making multiple trips, they could have given you a single entry visa instead.

Now what you should not do is apply for a Schengen visa from the Spanish embassy if you actually want to travel to Malta (and not to Spain). You didn't do this, but there might be a risk that the Maltese border person questions you on this. Having evidence of your subsequent trip to Spain on hand and being able to explain the situation should alleviate this.

Getting tickets you don't plan to use just to paint a particular picture seems like a very dangerous idea to me.

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  • Thanks. I’ll stick to my original story and present the papers as they are.
    – Dexter
    Aug 3, 2021 at 22:35

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