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This question already has an answer here:

I applied (and received) Schengen visa from German consulate as I was initially planning to visit Germany. However, a bunch of my friends are going to Spain around the same time so I want to go to Spain instead.

My question is should I apply for a second Schengen visa since my initial itinerary was based on Germany stay only and I am not going to Germany anymore?

Note that I read other answers here and here but those questions are about slight change of plans while I do not plan to visit the country that issued me visa completely

marked as duplicate by Gayot Fow, JonathanReez, Willeke, David Richerby, Karlson Jul 4 '16 at 2:28

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • It's all straight-forward and formulaic. I am marking this question for community review as a duplicate. I think the answer given by (Relaxed)[travel.stackexchange.com/users/6669/relaxed] is sufficient for your case. – Gayot Fow Jul 3 '16 at 5:36
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    @GayotFow The question you suggested as a duplicate concerns a multiple-entry visa. We do not know whether the visa in this case is a multiple-entry visa. – phoog Jul 3 '16 at 6:02
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    @GayotFow there has been some concern expressed by respected ("reputable"?) contributors to this site about travelers who change their plans like this risking accusations of visa fraud. The only actual anecdotes supporting this that I can recall are from the Baltics, though. But might it not be safer to ask Germany to cancel the visa and to make a new application to Spain? – phoog Jul 3 '16 at 7:01
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    @phoog please wrap that comment into an answer; it may help prevent closure. OR alternatively put it into an answer on the canonical. Both options are good, and we need that type of reflection in the database, not the comments. And then ping me :) – Gayot Fow Jul 3 '16 at 7:11
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    @GayotFlow - my question is different from other one as mine is a single entry visa....but thanks for your comments, really appreciate it phoog thanks! – user1596115 Jul 3 '16 at 21:17
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If your visa is only valid for Germany, and is only valid for one entry - then you will need to apply for a different visa.

Here is a picture of what a visa sticker looks like (from this page), which is annotated by me:

enter image description here

  1. This is the area for which your visa is valid. If it says "Schengen Staten" (as in the picture), then it is valid for the entire Schengen zone. The visa sample is issued by the Netherlands; in yours it may say something else.

  2. Start date of your visa. You can only enter the zone on this date.

  3. End date of your visa. You must exit the zone at or before this date.
  4. This is your visa type. For short stay visas, it is usually C.
  5. This identifies how many times you can utilize this visa. In the sample, it says MULT which means it is valid for multiple entries.
  6. How many days you can stay on each trip within the zone. This includes the date of entry, and the date of exit.

Now, according to the rules - a Schengen visa is valid for every Schengen state (see point #1 above). So you can request entry at any Schengen port.

However:

  1. For short stay visas, you need to show documentation at the immigration control for the purpose of your visit. This may include proof of financial support, return ticket, invitation documents, hotel reservation, etc. If you don't have these documents you may be denied entry. I mention this because these documents may be specific to Germany (for example, you have an invitation letter from there, but are trying to enter in Spain). There is no guarantee you will be denied entry, but since you are already spending money to get there - why take the risk?

  2. Some airlines (personal experience) refuse to board you for any destination other than the country that issued the visa - especially if this is your first trip on that visa.

  3. There have been cases reported of subsequent denials of visas if you don't enter the initial country that issued the visa. Germany seems to be especially strict on this; other countries not so much.

In summary - as you are already spending money and probably don't want your trip ruined because you were denied entry; it is my recommendation that you enter Germany on your visa, and then select a convenient way to head to Spain and visit your friends.

Chances are, you can easily find a cheap flight or train ticket from Germany to Spain.

This way, you don't risk anything - and are guaranteed entry into Spain as there are no immigration controls between Schengen states.

  • thanks for the detailed response....I have scheduled a Spanish visa appointment but it is 9 days before my planned trip, I hope they give me visa in time – user1596115 Jul 3 '16 at 21:18
  • They may - but the guaranteed response time is 12 days. – Burhan Khalid Jul 3 '16 at 21:31
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Especially if your visa is single-entry, using it for a completely different purpose than the one you applied for will be risky.

The visa is legally valid for entering Spain, but the border guards will (as they are supposed to) question you about your plans when you enter, and that's when you're at risk of getting the visa annulled pursuant to the Visa Code, article 34(1):

  1. A visa shall be annulled where it becomes evident that the conditions for issuing it were not met at the time when it was issued, in particular if there are serious grounds for believing that the visa was fraudulently obtained. A visa shall in principle be annulled by the competent authorities of the Member State which issued it. A visa may be annulled by the competent authorities of another Member State, in which case the authorities of the Member State that issued the visa shall be informed of such annulment.

The trouble is that in order to get Germany to issue a visa, you'd have to present a plan for going to Germany as your main destination with the visa application -- otherwise the German consulate would have rejected the application. So the border guards in Spain (or wherever you enter) will know that you filed such a plan with your application. If the tickets and other documentation you have to show at entry are for a completely different trip, the border guards may get the idea that the trip you originally applied for was a lie from the beginning and therefore decide that your visa should be annulled as fraudulently obtained.

It is not certain that this will happen -- if you manage to convince the border guards that you really truly did intend to go to Germany at the time you applied but changed your mind afterwards, then the above section won't apply to you, and you should be fine.

But still it feels like something of a gamble.

If you have time, you should probably make a new application to the Spanish consulate and ask them to revoke the German one. If you don't have time for this and have already paid for tickets to Spain, then an argument for chancing it could be made. Hey, it might work! But note that if your visa does get annulled (and you're sent back), this may make it harder for you to obtain another visa in the future.

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