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I am from India. I have to present a research paper at a conference in Belgium (in mid-september). However, I am not getting any vfsglobal visa appointments in august/september. One alternative way I could think of is as follows:

  1. I will travel to Hungary/Switzerland on a tourist visa (appointment of which is easily available). I will make a tour of the city. Later on, I will move to Belgium. I will mention both conference and tourism in the application.

Problem 1: I will get the NOC from the institute only for the conference. However, I can get the leave application from the department for Hungary/Switzerland tourism. Is that enough?

Problem 2: Is the above plan valid for visa application?

Problem 3: What is the minimum balance to maintain in a bank account, If I am applying for tourism for 2 weeks in Schengen country.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  • What is a NOC? I don't know that term.
    – Peter M
    Aug 6 at 23:36
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    @PeterM A NOC is a "No Objection Certificate," a statement from the employer that the time off work is OK with the employer and that the employee will still have a job when they return from the trip. Aug 7 at 0:03
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    Subsistence requirements differ by country. For Belgium it’s approximately €95 for each day of the planned stay, for Hungary 10.000 HUF per entry, and for Switzerland it’s approx. CHF 100 per day home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-07/…
    – Traveller
    Aug 7 at 6:14
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    Problem 1 as stated is unclear. What do you mean by “leave application from the department”? Typically you’d need proof that you’re presenting the research paper at the conference, plus evidence of approved leave (NOC) for the entire duration of your proposed trip. However, as the main purpose of your trip is the conference, IMHO you must apply to Belgium, see 1.1.2 of the Visa Code Handbook home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2020-06/…
    – Traveller
    Aug 7 at 6:25
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    We can't say whether any course of action will get anyone a visa (it always depends on individual factors, and we are not the issuing authority), so as posed we can't answer problem 2, but we can say that the rules on where to apply are about main purpose, not length of stay, so as long as the conference is the main purpose, it doesn't matter how much time you intend to spend in another Schengen country. Aug 7 at 7:31

1 Answer 1

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I will mention both conference and tourism in the application.

That part is extremely important. While mentioning the conference might led the Hungarian consulate to decline to entertain the application (see below), it would be even worse not to mention it as you would risk a refusal and black mark in your record.

Problem 1: I will get the NOC from the institute only for the conference. However, I can get the leave application from the department for Hungary/Switzerland tourism. Is that enough?

This, together with the mere fact that you would be attending a conference strongly suggest that the conference is the real purpose of the trip and therefore that Belgium is the main destination. Published advice from the EU Commission and implementation of this rule has been somewhat inconsistent but engineering a longer stay in Hungary should not be enough to overcome that presumption. There is a significant risk that Hungary therefore decline to process the visa on that basis.

Problem 2: Is the above plan enough to get the Schengen visa? Any suggestions about making the tourism itinerary to convince visa officer well enough. Is there any schengen country where I will get the visa with ease or less paperwork with the above conditions?

The rules are designed to make this impossible. You are not supposed to have a choice in where you apply and the rules are supposed to be the same across Schengen countries. In practice, there are some differences in their implementation but I don't think it would help in this case. From this perspective, there isn't and shouldn't be any solution to your problem besides waiting for an appointment with the Belgian consulate.

Problem 3: What is minimum balance to maintain in bank account, If I am applying for tourism of 2 weeks in Schengen coutry.

You can look at earlier questions and the link posted by @Traveller for guidelines. Do note that you might need more than a specific amount of cash in your bank account, it's also important to show that you can afford this trip based on your income.

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  • Technically if Hungary rejects the application, this wouldn't count as a "refusal", right? So if OP can't get a visa application slot in time, they have nothing to lose except for their time and losses on cancelled plane tickets. Best case Hungary accepts the application, worst case they refuse to process it and the end result (not going to Belgium) is the same.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 7 at 7:28
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    @JonathanReez Yes, in principle they should not take any decision in this case but rather refund the fee and invite the applicant to apply again to the Belgian consulate.
    – Relaxed
    Aug 7 at 7:34
  • @JonathanReez In that case, I might have to drop the plan as there is not any appointment available at all in the next two months. If Hungary rejects my visa application, would it create any problems for my future travel?
    – ABCD
    Aug 7 at 14:46
  • @SatyamMishra no, if they reject your application on the grounds that you should’ve applied at a different consulate, there will be no impact on future travel.
    – JonathanReez
    Aug 7 at 14:48

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