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I got a 1-year multiple-entry Schengen visa a few months back. Travel plans changed due to work and I couldn't make my planned trip that time.

It's been ~9 months since the issuance of the visa and I'm planning to make a trip soon (within the visa validity period).

I'm thinking of either:

  1. 2 days in the issuing country (Point of Entry, Country A), 4 days in country B.
  2. 2 days in the issuing country (Point of Entry, A), 2 days in Country B, and 2 days in Country C.

Any issues with either of the above ?

Thank you!

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    How about option 3, follow the itinerary on which the visa was given?
    – Willeke
    Mar 29 at 7:15
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    What was your original intended purpose of travel and itinerary? Were countries B and C originally included, or is the itinerary completely different other than the point of entry? Is this your first ever Schengen visa? Related question
    – Traveller
    Mar 29 at 12:21
  • Thanks for the comments. Sticking with the itinerary isn't an option since that's already in the past. I couldn't make the trip because of work commitments. Yes, the countries remain the same. This isn't my first ever Schengen visa. Mar 29 at 15:25

1 Answer 1

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The usual rule is that, both for a single-entry visa, and for the first visit on a multiple-entry visa, you should do what you had described in your application (on further visits on a multiple-entry visa you can do whatever you like as long as you stay within the allowed limits).

While minor changes in your itinerary (a day here, a day there) are not a problem, major changes, especially those that involve a change in the reason for the trip or the main destination, can be an issue.

Remember that the issuing country does not need to be the country where you enter the Schengen Area. It must be your main destination (for that first visit).

Whether this will actually be noticed or not is difficult to predict. Some countries are extremely strict and will get notifications from hotels if your bookings are cancelled for instance, and will send you e-mails menacing you of cancelling your visa if you don't stick to your plan (obviously not the case here, but that illustrates how far it can go). Others will only check what happened on your next application. Others will not care whatsoever.

Likewise, border officials may ask a lot of questions or very few. If they do ask for an itinerary and for any evidence of it (bookings, etc.) they are likely to notice the discrepancy and raise an issue. They are probably less strict with holders of multiple-entry visas (especially if you have a longer history of visits to the Schengen Area before that), but still, the first visit counts. Again, it may vary a lot from country to country, and it helps if your entry point is the issuing country, but it's by far not a guarantee.

Your first proposed itinerary changes the main destination nearly without a doubt, and that can definitely be an issue on a first visit. If it also changes the purpose of the trip (e.g. it was originally a business trip and now you are going for tourism or to visit relatives), that can be even more of a problem.

Your second proposed itinerary is a bit more on the edge, as you have equal time in all countries, so the first country is usually considered the main destination (unless there is a reason to consider another country as the main destination), but you may get into considerations of how time in each country is counted (days or nights?).

I would strongly recommend you stick to your original plan as much as possible. If not, you should probably ask the issuing consulate/embassy, and you may need to apply for a new visa to be on the safe side.

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  • The original itinerary was a few months back, which got canceled due to work commitments. The reason for the trip remains the same - tourism. Thanks for the answer! Mar 29 at 15:21
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    Thanks for the advice on calling the issuing consulate. I called them up and they confirmed this was alright. Mar 29 at 15:37

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