I'll be visiting the following cities/countries. And I don't know which embassy I should apply my visa.

  • 4/29-5/1: Santorini, Greece
  • 5/2-5/4: Athens, Greece
  • 5/5-5/6: Naples, Italy
  • 5/7-5/8: Rome, Italy
  • 5/9-5/11: Milan, Italy
  • 5/12-5/13: Venice, Italy
  • 5/14-5/15: Prague, Czech Republic
  • 5-16-5/18: Berlin, Germany
  • 5/19-5/21: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 5/22-5/26: Paris, France

This is my itinerary. Can someone help me where I should apply for my visa?

2 Answers 2


You are spending the greatest amount of time in Italy. You have no activity in any other country that would make that country the "main destination" over Italy. Italy is therefore the country responsible for deciding on your visa application.

This is specified in article 5 of the Schengen Visa Code, in particular paragraphs 1 (b), found at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:02009R0810-20160412:

(b) 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; or

The next paragraph makes it clear that the first country of entry comes into play only if there is no single main destination:

(c) if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross in order to enter the territory of the Member States.

You should submit your visa application to the Italian consulate responsible for your place of residence, unless Italy has no representation there, or another country has agreed to handle applications for Italy. In that case, another Schengen country will be designated to act on Italy's behalf, and you would need to submit your application to that country instead.

(source: Schengen Visa Code, article 8)

  • Might be worth citing Art 5 1. b) and c) as it underlines your answer even better. +1
    – mts
    Jun 21, 2016 at 8:46
  • It looks pretty clear that there is no single main destination: Italy is less than a third of the trip. I'm no expert on EU visas, but that seems like the plain logic to me
    – mattdm
    Jun 21, 2016 at 15:59
  • @mattdm the rule implies that if there is no main destination with respect to the purpose of the trip, the main destination is determined with respect to the length of stay, if possible. In practice, that means the place where the traveler will be the longest, not necessarily for a majority of the time. See, for example, the Handbook for the processing of visa applications, which says at Par 2.1.2. "...The main destination is ... the destination where the applicant intends to spend the longest time."
    – phoog
    Jun 21, 2016 at 16:24
  • @mattdm the applicant could test this, if there is enough time, by applying to the Greek consulate, which will most likely reject the application (and, I think, refund the fee) with instructions to apply via Italy.
    – phoog
    Jun 21, 2016 at 16:25
  • The applicant intends to spend the longest time not in Italy. It really seems silly to calculate "main destination" in that way. If the applicant were staying for a day in 20 countries and 2 days in one other, would that one other really be the main destination? I will, however, admit that regulations are sometimes nonsensical in this way. :)
    – mattdm
    Jun 21, 2016 at 16:32
  • If you do the same thing in each country (always business or always sightseeing) there is no clear main destination. Apply at the first country of your itinerary, i.e. Greece.
  • If you do different things, you might be able to argue that another country is the main destination.
  • It'll be all for holidays. Jun 21, 2016 at 5:04
  • 3
    The itinerary has one more day in Italy than in Greece, which makes Italy the main destination.
    – phoog
    Jun 21, 2016 at 5:08
  • 3
    I miscalculated. There are three more days in Italy than in Greece.
    – phoog
    Jun 21, 2016 at 5:27
  • 1
    No expert but I disagree with this answer. See Art 5 cited by @phoog in his answer: you should apply to "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". Since here there is no main destination in terms of purpose of stay, length of stay counts so the OP should apply in Italy, not Greece. You will need to cite sources to make me believe your answer.
    – mts
    Jun 21, 2016 at 8:48
  • But: this is a 28 day trip, of which Italy is only 9 days — about 30%. When 70% of the trip is elsewhere, it's hard to argue that that's the "main purpose". This seems to therefore fall under "no main destination can be determined" as given in the other answer.
    – mattdm
    Jun 21, 2016 at 15:57

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