I know the rule is to apply at the consulate of the country which is either your only/longest stay, or of first entry if all stays are equal in terms of purpose and length.

My itinerary goes like this:

  1. 4 nights in France (tourism)
  2. 7 nights in Germany (tourism + take the opportunity to visit a fair related to my business/where I'm registered as a trade visitor).

I've been told that the business aspect of the trip will seem like the main purpose and therefore I should apply at the German consulate, even though the reason why I'm traveling is tourism (and I'm paying for the whole thing from my personal account). So I tried to book an appointment with the German consulate, but the first appointment in my country is a week after I'm supposed to return from my trip (in 3+ months). My only chance is to apply at the French consulate, I'm just worried they'd reject me because it doesn't seem like/isn't the main destination.

What should I do?

  • We have heard from people who tried this and were refused. Jul 29, 2016 at 23:55
  • As in the consulate refused to process their application, or was their visa rejected? Also, would changing my itinerary (so they're an equal number of days) help? Jul 30, 2016 at 0:02
  • 1
    Another option: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/51232/…
    – Relaxed
    Jul 30, 2016 at 0:02
  • @Relaxed brings up a good possibility. Under the circumstances, a different German consulate in your country might be willing to accommodate you. Jul 30, 2016 at 0:03
  • 1
    @GayotFow As I understand, visa shopping is when you're refused a visa by a member state so you apply at another. I wasn't refused a visa; the nearest possible appointment is in more than 3 months. Jul 30, 2016 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


You're right that applying to the French consulate is fraught with difficulty and likely not to work. But you could try, if you are completely upfront (don't cheat and lie about your intentions), you don't risk a refusal (which would have all sorts of unpleasant circumstances) but only a rejection (the consulate will promptly decline to process your application and you should get your fee and documents back). If you try this, join a letter explaining why to your application, it might help too.

A few other things you might try is finding another German consulate (if needed in a neighbouring country you can access easily) or keep watching the schedule to see if new appointment slots open.

In any case, three month waiting time is not acceptable (people are not supposed to apply more than three months in advance!) so you can certainly try to contact the German consulate (politely, don't act entitled or angry even if you and I know they are at fault) and ask if they can suggest a solution.

  • I'll try again with the German consulate (closest neighboring country is Libya and their German embassy delegated their visa applications to Cairo though so I'll be trying the local one) and if it doesn't work out, I'll be upfront with the French consulate. If they accept, great. If they don't, I'll change my itinerary (= my actual plan, as I will not be committing fraud) so France is my main destination. Thank you. Jul 30, 2016 at 13:48
  • @egyptianlamp I am not sure about applying twice to the French consulate. You can try one or the other but doing both risk giving the appearance that you don't have any genuine plan and are prepared to say anything to get a visa. Add to that the fact that the German trade fair suggests Germany is the main destination even if you spend less time there, you could risk an actual refusal the second time (the motive could be ("Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable"). If staying longer in France is an option, maybe try that first?
    – Relaxed
    Jul 30, 2016 at 20:18
  • See also travel.stackexchange.com/questions/53411/…
    – Relaxed
    Jul 30, 2016 at 20:18
  • 1
    Yeah, you have a point. I'll just change my plans and extend my stay in France. Jul 30, 2016 at 20:46
  • 1
    @egyptianlamp You did the right thing Aug 1, 2016 at 8:28

Just change your travel plan say you will stay 3 nights in Germany. Or say you will stay more nights in France, you will need to book additional nights accommodation but you can cancel the booking after you got your visa. It's really that simple. I have applied schegen visa through french ambassy couple of times without even landing in the country . All you need is a proper travel plan and accommodation booking (cancellable) that proves your plan, and the flight tickets proves the plan, of course that needs to be cancellable (business class). It's nothing but a paperwork game. And most importantl of all, this is all legal , you can change your plan right?

  • 7
    Not committing outright visa fraud has its advantages too.
    – user4188
    Jul 30, 2016 at 4:45
  • It's not a fraud if I don't tell you this. I would call it playing with the rules. There are so many things people are playing with the rules only you didn't know. Jul 30, 2016 at 5:12
  • 3
    You won't get caught that's why it's not a fraud because every piece of documentation is authentic. A fake document then it's a fraud. Jul 30, 2016 at 6:31
  • 3
    I won't get into this debate. You know and I know it's fraud as you are lying about your intentions, whether they get caught, as I said, is a different matter.
    – user4188
    Jul 30, 2016 at 6:40
  • 1
    (-1) This is not a reasonable answer. Beside the fact that it is clearly fraud, the OP rightly mentioned the fact that attending a conference makes this very difficult. Even if s/he would genuinely plan to spend more time in France, it would still appear to be the motivation behind the whole trip and could make Germany the main destination.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 30, 2016 at 7:26

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