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So currently my company is planning to have a conference in the Czech Republic and as a person who needs to have a Schengen visa, I would need to apply for it at the Czech Republic Embassy.

Unfortunately there is no Czech Embassy in my city. I would need to travel to another city + apply there + stay there until I got my visa, which costs a lot of money.

So I was thinking, since I'm going to spend money anyway to go to this event, would it be fine if applied for a business visa for another Schengen Country?

I would then travel to that country and spend a week before finally going to my company's conference.

For example:

  • Apply for a Schengen visa at the Austrian embassy.
  • Travel to Austria and stay there for a week as a tourist (7 days).
  • Then travel to Czech for the conference and also leisure after the conference is over (6 days).

NOTE:
I will spend more time in Austria than Czech just so that I can fulfill the condition to apply at the Austrian embassy. Otherwise I would need to apply at the Czech embassy.

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  • Is your main purpose of travel the conference, or tourism?
    – Traveller
    Nov 23, 2023 at 1:02
  • I need to go to the conference, even though I spent most of my time outside the Country where the conference is being held. So I guess main purpose is Conference ? but Considering I'm spending more time on Tourism then Business, you can also said that my main purpose could be for Tourism. Not sure how to answer this question
    – Alpha
    Nov 23, 2023 at 1:06
  • Would you be applying for a visa at all if you weren’t going to the conference? There are lots of questions on this site from people planning to add some tourism time to a business trip, typically they’re not doing that to get around an inconveniently located embassy. Austria might see it that way.
    – Traveller
    Nov 23, 2023 at 1:40
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    Seems odd that an employer is expecting an employee to attend a conference in another country but won’t cover the associated costs of said employee getting the visa they need in order to be able to go.
    – Traveller
    Nov 23, 2023 at 8:10
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    There is no such thing as a business visa, only short-stay visas and that's what you will be applying for. So whether you should apply for a business or tourism visa is a red herring. Even if VFS or some online forms make it difficult, what you are supposed to do is simply to check both tourism and business. All this is mostly unrelated to where you should apply.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 23, 2023 at 17:46

3 Answers 3

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The answer to the question in your subject line is 'yes.' The answer to your plan is 'no.'

You are supposed to apply for a visa from the main destination of your trip. All other things being equal, the main destination is where you spend the most time, but when you combine a business conference and some rest and sightseeing, that business conference is your main destination.

  • Example: You plan on one week at the beach in France, and two weeks climbing mountains in Italy. Italy is your main destination, since tourism is tourism and Italy is the longer period.
  • Example: You plan on two days attending a wedding in Netherlands, and three days sightseeing in Germany. The Netherlands are your main destination, because your itinerary is determined by that wedding.
  • Your Example: You spend six days on business in Czech Republic, and seven days on tourism in Austria. The Czech Republic is your main destination, because your itinerary is determined by that conference, and because for most people business is more important than leisure.
  • Example: You spend a month on the beach in Spain, and in between a day in France on business. You can probably argue that Spain is the main destination, because one day does not determine your month-long tourism.
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In response to the answer by o.m. I had a conference planned in Hungary which was my primary reason for visiting (had the invitation letter and everything) and thought why not take a week long trip to Italy. Went to the Hungarian consulate today and without they straight up asked me that they can't issue a visa to me by law because I'm staying in Italy longer. So, I'll take this advice with a grain of salt.

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  • (+1) The law says “the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay”, though, and not only “length of stay”. There is some room for interpretation and you can't force them if they don't want to but it's definitely not forbidden for Hungary to issue a visa in this situation.
    – Relaxed
    May 3 at 17:29
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Got my visa: I ended up just getting a tourist visa. Much easier than a business visa.

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    Please review Relaxed's comment to your original question. There is no "business visa" or "tourist visa." in the Schengen area. In Schengen, there is only the short-stay visa. I'm glad your application was successful, but you'll do better long-term if you accept the Schengen view of visas. Feb 14 at 4:05
  • @DavidRecallsMonica you are correct they want to know who you are and your purpose there is only C type short term entry limiting you to stay 90 days May 4 at 3:39

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