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I am planning a 2-3 week visit to the UK, with short trips to Schengen countries before and after. As pointed out, I should be able to apply for a Schengen visa once to cover both trips.

  1. Will the Schengen visa likely cover just the duration of these two trips, or also everything in between? If it also covers everything in between, I might add a short trip in the middle (e.g. to France) later.

  2. When applying for the Schengen visa, my itineraries will include flights to/from the UK. Will they want to see that I've already successfully applied for UK visa, or the proof of flights between my country and the UK?

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    There's no set rule, but generally best to apply for the Schengen last. – Gayot Fow Feb 17 '16 at 9:03
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  1. If you apply for 2-entry Schengen visa, the visa will cover the whole duration of your stay in Europe. Note the 2-entry restriction: it will be impossible for you to make more than 1 trip to the UK from the Schengen area.

  2. Getting a UK visa is (generally) harder, so it's better to apply for a UK visa first.

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The limitation you may run into is "entries".

Schengen visas can be single entry (lets you enter only once), double entry (lets you enter twice) or multiple entry (lets you enter as many times as needed within the validity period). UK visas can be single entry or multiple entry (I don't think the UK does double entry visas though i'm not 100% sure on that).

The UK and Schengen have seperate border controls. So going from one to the other counts as a new entry.

So home->Schengen->UK->Schengen->UK->Schengen->home would mean three entries into Schengen and two entries in the UK which afaict means you would need multiple entry visas from both the UK and schengen.

Will they let you have those? I don't have personal experiance but I expect it depends heavilly on your circumstances. AIUI some embasies are reluctant to give multiple-entry visas to first time travellers.

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    I think for first-time travelers in a situation like this the reluctant embassy will give a multiple-entry visa with a short period of validity. If the visa is only valid for 21 or 30 days, it will be difficult for the traveler to abuse the privilege of multiple entries, if not impossible. – phoog Jun 27 '16 at 22:32

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