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I'm attending an internship in Austria and I wanted to know if I can apply for a Schengen visa to enter a couple of weeks before my program starts so that I can have a tour of neighboring Schengen countries.

The invitation letter is issued with a date only three days earlier than the program's start date, so is it doable?

UPDATE: I'm Egyptian, applying for a C multiple entry visa for the internship in Austria and a tour across France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy.

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    Your nationality is important to know for this type of question. – Gayot Fow Dec 16 '16 at 14:03
  • I'm Egyptian, applying for a C multiple entries visa for the internship in Austria and a tour across france, netherlands, spain, and italy – Mohaned Atwa Dec 17 '16 at 12:13
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What you need to show for a short-stay visa are plans that look reasonable given your circumstances and the documentation you have.

If the main purpose of your travel is the internship and that itself is well-documented, then it is generally reasonable to combine it with some touristing about since you'll be abroad anyway, and you can certainly present such plans when you apply for the visa. (You'll need to provide an itinerary for that part of your plans, though, just as you would for a standalone tourist trip -- you can't just supply documents for the internship and ask for a longer validity period without further explanation).

If the "tourist" phase is longer that a few weeks, however, then you may encounter doubt whether the internship is actually your main purpose -- especially since you're from Egypt, which is reasonably close to your destination countries, such that "I've flown all the way to Europe anyway" reasoning does not look all that compelling. There is no hard threshold for how much pleasure travel you can tack on, though; it will be up to the consular officer who processes your application.

Here I'm assuming that you're already sure that the kind of "internship" you're traveling for is something Austria allows short-term visitors to do, or that you have secured appropriate permission from the Austrian authorities anyway. (Oftentimes "internships" are something the authorities would consider work, and a visa will not allow you to work).

  • It's a medical observership for undergraduate medical students at Graz Medical university so it's pretty well documented, and won't be confused for work I guess. Do I need to deposit a definite sum of money in a bank account at home for better status or do I just have to present booked accommodation and a Eurail pass ? – Mohaned Atwa Dec 17 '16 at 21:57
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    @MohanedAtwa: No!! Do not even THINK of "depositing a definite sum of money in an account" -- submitting a bank statement with a large recent deposit is a BAD THING for a visa application. It can easily make them reject an application that would have passed without that deposit. See Should I submit bank statements ... and funds parking. – Henning Makholm Dec 18 '16 at 15:03

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