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My friends and I planned to visit Germany, so I got a single entry tourist Schengen visa to Germany. However, my travel plans have changed since then, because my friends are going to Italy instead. I don't have time to apply for a visa to Italy, but I have been told that I can use my Schengen visa to enter Italy. Is that true?

  • @vicky how this ended eventually? – Treviño Apr 2 at 16:47
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I got a single entry tourist Schengen visa to Germany. However, my travel plans have changed since then, because my friends are going to Italy instead. I don't have time to apply for a visa to Italy, but I have been told that I can use my Schengen visa to enter Italy. Is that true?

This is true. A single entry into the zone occurs when a person first enters the zone and is fully consumed when the person leaves the zone. During the visit, movement within the zone is not controlled. That's the theory.

However, the situation laid out by your question means you are outright asking for trouble...

At the control point in Italy, the official will see a single-entry Schengen issued presumably by Germany. This will flag up as something to be delved in to.

They will be entitled to ask why you entered the zone in Italy and more to the point, the official will be entitled to see your arrangements for immediate onward travel to Germany along with your accommodation arrangements in Germany.

If you cannot provide satisfactory answers and/or documentation, the official will be entitled to conclude that you are attempting to abuse the terms and conditions of your visa (which you are). At that point you become vulnerable to removal.

A less frictionless strategy would be to enter the zone in Germany and then depart for Italy. That clears the issue about why Germany issued the Schengen, but leaves open the possibility that the official is not satisfied with your accommodation and arrangements for leaving the zone from Germany.

In either case, the best practices strategy is to request an revocation of your Schengen in favour of one issued by Italy.

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    In fact, the official would be entitled to see arrangements for a visit in which Germany is the main destination, which wouldn't necessarily require immediate onward travel to Germany. The changed plans described in the question would fail that test too, of course. – phoog May 20 '16 at 15:35
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    For Schengen visas, the correct terminology is "revocation", cf. article 34(3) of the visa code. "Annulment" implies fraud (i.e. the conditions for issueing the visa were never met). – Relaxed Aug 30 '16 at 12:20

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