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According to the info on EC website,:

If you intend to visit more than one Schengen States, you should apply at the Consulate of the country where you will spend the longest period of time. If you intend to visit several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the first country you will visit.

What I don't know (and haven't been able to find through online searches) is that, if I'm making multiple separate trips and applying for a multiple-entry visa, should I apply to the country I will be spending the most time only in the first trip, or across all trips?

For example, if:

  • June 5-15: First trip, consisting of 2 days in France and 8 days in Spain
  • July 5-15: Second trip, consisting of 10 days in Greece
  • August 5-10: Third trip, consisting of 5 days in Italy

Would I be applying to Spain (main destination for first entry to Schengen area) or Greece (longest duration of stay across all planned trips)?

I have looked at all the similar questions on Travel.SE but they focused on the question only for multiple countries in a single trip, but not multiple trips (multiple entries to the Schengen area).

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  • What’s your travel (and visa) history to the Schengen Area? I.e. have you already received and used Schengen visas? If so, how many?
    – jcaron
    Commented May 9 at 15:32
  • @jcaron Travel history: granted Schengen area visa in 2014, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2023. All of them were used apart from the 2020 one which was unused due to COVID. All single entry.
    – Kidburla
    Commented May 9 at 15:35
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    Note that there is usually (but not always) a split between single and double entry visas on one side (with a limited duration matching your trip, more or less), and multiple-entry visas with duration of one, two or five years. The latter are normally only issued to people with a good travel history, in theory 3 visits in 2 years. But there’s a lot of leeway, though it varies a lot from one consulate to another.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 9 at 15:52
  • @jcaron yep, there's a lot of variation. See this related question. Right now Germany is the best consulate if you want a multi-entry visa.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented May 9 at 18:25

1 Answer 1

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Article 5 of the Schengen Visa Code tells us:

  1. (…) (b) If the visit includes more than one destination, or if several separate visits are to be carried out within a period of two months, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length of stay, counted in days, or the purpose of stay (…)

(Emphasis mine)

You should apply at the consulate of the country where you will be spending the most days across any visits within 2 months, namely Greece.

Note that many consulates and their processors (and even the EC on the page you linked to!) routinely ignore the “purpose of stay” and use only the number of days.

Don’t be surprised if the same happens here and they tell you only the longest stay in the first visit counts.

Sadly, that means that the best option is often to make sure you adjust your travel to their expectations: adding a few days to your stay in Spain and/or removing a few days to your stay in Greece so that the longest stay is in the first visit (that would then be Spain). That may avoid any useless, frustrating and time-consuming back-and-forth.

Note that while at first glance they should only consider the two first trips (and grant a dual-entry visa), include the third trip as well, they may provide a multiple-entry visa, though that probably depends on the strength of your application and especially your travel history.

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