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I'll be traveling to Germany in July for a short summer camp at a university. Can I change my travel itinerary after I get my Schengen visa? I plan to stay in Germany for three days after the camp so I can visit a nearby city by train. All my documentation is linked with the university, so I don't want to mix it up with my extra three-day venture. I'm kinda confused on this. Should I just show them a travel itinerary for eight days of the camp or should I add the extra three days? I'm worried they might raise an issue of my extra days?

I'm an 18 year old who's traveling alone for the first time.

  • Please clarify, do you already have the visa for the eight days or are you planning to apply for it? It is legitimate to make minor adjustments to your itinerary after the fact if the main purpose of the visit stays the same and if you stay within the time limit for the visa. It is not legitimate to give an incomplete itinerary when you apply for the visa. – o.m. May 7 '16 at 7:46
  • no I.haven't applied yet, and am in the process. I'm going for a one week summer camp but want to stay three more days. should I mention this on my application? – huss123 May 7 '16 at 7:52
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    You should mention all relevant facts on your application. The length of your intended stay is obviously relevant. One thing every country wants to be sure of when it grants visas is that the traveller will leave again. Lying about your intended date of departure really isn't a smart move. – David Richerby May 7 '16 at 8:24
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Yes, you should -- as a matter of principle -- be as complete as possible about your travel plans when you apply for a visa. Not doing so is strictly speaking fraud and, if found out, can have much more serious consequences than the information you're concealing would have.

There is essentially no risk that a few days of side trip on the way to or from your summer school would cause a visa application to be rejected if it would otherwise have been approved. About the only way I can see that happen is if you can't show that you can afford to support yourself for those three extra days.

Remember that what the consular officers will ask themselves is not, "does this guy deserve to visit Heidelberg?" but simply "can we risk letting him into the country at all?" And letting you into the country is what will happen no matter whether the visa covers only the summer school or the summer school plus three days of leisure travel.

What you'll be suspected of -- simply by virtue of being a young person from a visa-requiring country who wants to travel to the Schengen area -- is that you're actually going to immigrate illegally, taking jobs from the locals etc. etc. But once you provide enough documentation to convince them that this is not the case, you're actually going because of the summer school and are motivated to return home, then appending a bit of tourism to your trip is not going to sound like an increased risk of overstaying. On the contrary, it is normal and routine for visitors to spend some time playing tourist in conjunction with a more serious visit.

  • Thanks alot for your detailed reply! secondly my whole trip is prepaid, from the camp fee to accommodation and meals. so for my extra days I should pre book the hotels and the train tickets right? to attach them with my application. – huss123 May 7 '16 at 10:14
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    Also keep in mind that the consular staff will look over your itinerary to decide if it looks consistent with your means and the stated purpose of your visit. It is much better to explain three days of tourism than to have three unexplained days between the end of the summer school and your departure. – o.m. May 7 '16 at 10:31
  • @huss123: The Schengen rules don't require that all such things are prepaid, and my impression is that showing e.g. bank statements to demonstrate that you have the funds to pay for tickets, meals etc once you're there is a better option. They're interested not only in verifying that you have the money, but also in knowing where that money comes from so they can see it makes sense given your (or your parents' or whoever is paying) economic situation to spend such-and-such amount on a leisure trip, rather than an investment in moving to greener pastures. – Henning Makholm May 7 '16 at 11:50
  • The general advice in this answer about bank statements for UK visas also applies to Schengen, and you're encouraged to consider the points made there. – Henning Makholm May 7 '16 at 11:53
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    I would not book any sort of non-refundable hotel reservations or train tickets until you have your visa in hand, just to be safe. – Zach Lipton May 7 '16 at 18:11

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