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I'm planning to go to Germany on Sept 6-8, then Netherlands on Sept 8-11 and exit Switzerland on Sept 11-14.

My question is:

Which embassy do I need to apply for the Schengen visa? The number of days are the same for Netherlands and Switzerland, but I'm planning to apply in Netherlands since it will be my second point of entry.

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    Welcome. I'm no Schengen guy so this is just a comment, but usually with visa questions it's handy to know what citizenship (ie passport) you are, and where you're currently residing - or where you'll be when you apply. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Dec 6 '14 at 13:35
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    Hi. I'm Lester Obdin and a Philippine citizen. I'm working here in Qatar right now and I will be applying in Netherlands embassy here. It's my second time applying for a Schengen visa, the first was last Aug 2014 and got approved (we travelled last Sept to Spain, France and Italy) – Lester Dec 6 '14 at 13:50
  • Of your first entry point is Germany then I strongly advice you to get the German schengen visa. Germans are really tough regarding this if they are the first entry port then it has to be from a German embassy. – Nean Der Thal Dec 6 '14 at 13:58
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    @MeNoTalk: If so, the Germans you speak about are acting in direct contradiction to the relevant Schengen regulations. A uniform Schengen visa must be issued by the member state that is the principal destination for the applicant, and the Germans have no business refusing entry to the common area with visas that another member state issued for the purpose of visiting that other member state. – Henning Makholm Dec 6 '14 at 14:33
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    @MeNoTalk Are you referring to this event? Many details might explain it: Was it a single entry visa? Did your friend have a plan to go to Italy? etc. If they really made it a rule that you need a German visa to enter through Germany, it would be a flagrant violation of Schengen regulations and would preclude any transit at FRA to a Schengen destination… But there are other rules they can use in some cases and not much you can do if a border guard bends them. – Relaxed Dec 6 '14 at 16:11
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+50

According to Schengen Visa rules if applying for tourist visas:

“you should apply where you would be staying maximum number of days. If you are spending equal number of days in Schengen countries, then you will have to apply where you will be entering first."

Which Embassy to apply for a Schengen visa? The number of days is the same for Netherlands and Switzerland?

1 Germany (6-8 Sept)

2 Netherlands(8-11 Sept)

3 Switzerland(11-14 Sept)

With the provided itinerary, it really looks simple to apply for Germany because of equal number of days in each Schengen countries. However when we reach Schengen Embassy/Consulate or VFS (Visa Facilitation Center), they normally start counting with provided hotel/accommodation booking by nights for each member Schengen member states.

1 Germany (6-7) 2 nights

2 Netherlands (8-10) 3 nights

3 Switzerland (11-13) 3 nights

So obviously we cannot apply to Germany because applicant is just staying there for 2 nights. However there is equal number of nights stay in between Netherlands and Switzerland, therefore applicant has to apply for Netherlands because he will be entering Netherlands before Switzerland.

Personally with my own experience with German and Italian Consulates I noticed the same procedure whenever I applied for a Schengen visa, I still need to justify my answer from Schengen Embassy/Consulate.

The answer below is provided by Embassy of Switzerland (Schengen member state):

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You apply at the country where you will be either:

  1. Staying the longest.
  2. First port of entry.

In your case, as you are staying equal amount of days in multiple countries it is Germany as that is your first port of entry.

For reference, here is the text from the The Netherland's embassy:

You must apply for the visa at a mission of the Schengen country of your journey’s main destination or the Schengen country where you intend to stay the longest. If you will be staying an equal length of time in more than one Schengen country and cannot designate one of these countries as the country of your main destination, you must apply for your visa at the mission of the first Schengen country you intend to enter.

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    If one of the destinations are more important to the purpose of the travel than the others -- say, if the OP's going to attend a meeting in Switzerland and incidentally combining that with some touristing about in Germany and the Netherlands now he's there anyway -- then this would generally trump the "longest stay" and "first port of entry" criteria. – Henning Makholm Dec 6 '14 at 15:13
  • As far as I know, there is no such specific thing as "most important" in the visa process. They usually look at your itinerary and the country in which you are staying the longest wins. You could have a one hour important conference in country X but staying 3 days in country Y, if so then country Y is where you would apply. – Burhan Khalid Dec 6 '14 at 15:58
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    @BurhanKhalid Yes, there is, per article 5 of the Schengen visa code: “ The Member State competent for examining and deciding on an application for a uniform visa shall be: […] if the visit includes more than one destination, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay;” (but +1 to your answer as your advice seems sensible to me, aside from this technicality). – Relaxed Dec 6 '14 at 16:07
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    x @BurhanKhalid: See the common consular instructions, section II.1.1(a). The longest-stay rule is only used as a fallback "when no destination is the direct result or additional to another destination". The EU legislation that these instructions flesh out are here, in particular article 5. – Henning Makholm Dec 6 '14 at 16:15

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