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For my trip across Europe, I will be applying for a double-entry Schengen visa with a validity of 34 days since my itinerary goes like this (in the same sequence):

  • Depart from Mumbai (where I live)
  • Milan, Italy (4 days) - Enter Schengen
  • Budapest, Hungary (5 days) - Schengen
  • Zagreb, Croatia (2 days) - outside Schengen
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia (4 days) - outside Schengen
  • Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina (3 days) - outside Schengen
  • Kotor, Montenegro (3 days) - outside Schengen
  • Brussels, Belgium (6 days) - Back to Schengen
  • Paris, France (7 days) - Finally exit Schengen to go back to Mumbai

I will be applying to the French consulate in Mumbai for a French visa (since I will be spending maximum amount of time in France - though there is a break in the Schengen journey and France is in the second part of my trip). My interview at the French consulate is in four days.

However, reading through some of the threads here on Stack Exchange, my trip might be constituted as two separate trips (though I am not returning to my home country and the amount of time in non-Schengen is 12 days).

Do I stand a risk of being rejected for the double-entry Schengen visa?

All the accommodation bookings have been already done done and I have spent in excess of 3000 USD in making all flight bookings, hotel bookings etc. (throughout my entire itinerary) so I am in quite a bit of a conundrum about what to do.

As for my travel history, I have already received a single-entry Schengen visa twice in the last three years but never a dual-entry Schengen visa.

  1. Do you think applying to the French Consulate is the right thing here?
  2. What are my other options?
  3. What are the possible outcomes of my current plan of applying to the French Consulate?
  4. What should I do to maximize my chances of getting a dual-entry visa?

Another important point: I will be going on this trip with my wife (also an Indian citizen) who has never been to a First World country before. I will be completely sponsoring the trip for her and have the relevant funds to show for the trip as well as our marriage proof. There is still 1.5 months left for our trip to commence so I can look at all possible options here however I want to keep my financial losses to a minimum since all my internal flight, hotel bookings are non-cancellable.

Update: Got the visa today in one day! Submitted strong financial statements of €6,000+, detailed itinerary with hostel bookings for each day of the stay along with sponsorship proof for my wife. Despite asking for a dual-entry visa we both got a multi-entry visa valid for three months. Thank you all to those who helped !

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    travel.stackexchange.com/q/71033/38009 Check my experience and update in this above question, although not much relevant. Just explain your trip nice and clearly to embassy staff in interview. – DavChana Nov 5 '16 at 19:37
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    @pnuts I would expect the Hungarian consulate to return the application with instructions to submit it to France. – phoog Nov 5 '16 at 20:28
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    @YashDesai congratulations that means you can go to Bosnia as well now, thanks for reporting back :) – Ali Awan Nov 16 '16 at 12:58
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I think applying to the French consulate is a perfectly reasonable course of action. There is absolutely no reason for your itinerary to lead to a refusal. Assuming the rest of the application (financials, etc.) is fine, the worse the consulate could do is:

  • Decline to process the application, which means you get your fee and documents back and have to apply again (say, to another consulate). (Actually, they could do that even if the application is not fine, in principle, that's a decision they make before evaluating the other details.)
  • Issue a single-entry visa for the second part of the trip. You might apply for a multiple-entry or two-entry visa but the consulate is still free to do that if they want.

Both would be annoying because you would then need to lodge another application but it's not as bad as a refusal.

Beyond that, I don't know what the consulate is likely to do but there are many things that should play in your favor: going to a non-Schengen EU country (like Croatia) is the original purpose of two-entry visas, you obviously don't have the time to come back to India and apply for another visa in-between. Also, unlike multiple-entry visas, two-entry visas do not require the applicant to meet any special condition. As far as the regulation is concerned, it's just a slightly different flavour of single entry visa.

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    I concur: you have time so that's not an issue: you can try any of the embassies/consulates on your trip if France would refuse and you have a proof to back up your story: bring the hotel/ticket bookings with you to the interview. – Fabby Nov 6 '16 at 8:24
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Do you think applying to the French consulate is the right thing here ?

Yes, This is the only option because you are spending maximum number of days in France"According to schengen visa rules, you should apply where you would be staying maximum number of days. If you are spending equal number of days in schengen countries, then you will have to apply where you will be entering first."

What are my other options ?

Multiple entry Schengen visa , because Bosnia and Herzegovina you have to have a multiple entry schengen visa .For Croatia you can enter with double or multiple entry schengen visa.

Source: http://bihembassyin.com/consular-affairs.php

enter image description here

Also Visa policy of Bosnia Herzegovina confirms the same: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Bosnia_and_Herzegovina

enter image description here

What are the possible outcomes of my current plan of applying to the French consulate?

This is an opinion based answer, still it is written in all Schengen visas application that

"Compliance with required documents does not necessarily means a visa would be issued"

What should I do to maximize my chances of getting a dual entry visa?

With provided itinerary, You must have a multiple entry schengen visa, I am afraid dual entry will not work unless you have a multiple entry visa from another EU country if you plan to enter Bosnia Herzegovina as well.

Or @ZachLipton Just commented, It is also possible to apply for an 2 entry visa than you will have apply for a Bosnian visa separately. personally it is just matter of writing two sentences in your application that you need a multiple entry visa in order to travel to Bosnia as well.

There is absolutely nothing wrong applying for a multiple entry schengen visa even on first time. Unlike USA and UK multiple entry visas, schengen multiple entry visas can be for 34 days with limited validity in schengen stay for 22 days like in your case

Here is 1 example of my schengen visas which I obtained for dual entry from Italy. First I entered montenegro, second Croatia and last I entered Slovenia with a limited stay of 12 days in schengen.enter image description here

Here is another example of applying for multiple entry visa. I needed a multiple entry visa because of Bosnia Herzegovina. I entered Germany, Austria, Slovenia(Schengen), Croatia(Non Schengen), and Bosnia Herzegovina.

enter image description here

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    I am not sure I completely follow your answer, as you wrote yourself, a two-entry visa is not a multiple entry visa, yet the visa you mentioned at the end is a two-entry visa. – Relaxed Nov 5 '16 at 21:43
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    @Relaxed I'm not super knowledgeable on this topic, but I think the issue being raised here is admission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would require a separate visa for an Indian citizen unless they hold a valid multiple-entry Schengen visa, not merely a dual entry one (I think, I'm not positive this is the rule). It would, of course, be possible to get a dual-entry Schengen visa and then apply for a separate Bosnian visa, at additional trouble, time, and expense. Croatia allows a dual entry Schengen visa for admission, Bosnia may not. – Zach Lipton Nov 5 '16 at 22:50
  • @zachlipton yes absolutely right, the point is for this particularly itinerary there is a need of multiple entry visa just because of Bosnian, however there is also another possibility is just to get a dual entry visa and apply separately for Bosnian visa. I tried to answer accordingly to the questions asked by op – Ali Awan Nov 6 '16 at 0:52
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    @AliAwan I keep learning new things and find new problems with my itinerary everyday. So now it looks like dual entry visa is relatively easier to get than multiple entry but I will have to leave out Bosnia & Herzegovina out of my itinerary since they do not accept dual entry visas. I have emailed the consulate about whether they can accept dual entry visas. Let's wait and hope for their reply. – Yash Desai Nov 6 '16 at 4:21
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    Thanks @AliAwan. I will then apply to the French consulate for a dual entry visa since it will be easier to get than a multi-entry. I will leave to leave out Bosnia out of my itinerary. – Yash Desai Nov 6 '16 at 6:05

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