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We are proposing to visit Italy at the end of May. However the appointment with Italy is not possible till the end of May for the visa interview. We are getting an appointment from the French embassy for a visa. If we get the visa through the French embassy, can we go to Italy without touching France? We do not intend to visit France at all. From Italy we propose to go to the UK.

  • I marked this as a duplicate but quite a few in the "Related" sidebar are indeed relevant and worth checking it out. – chx Apr 15 '17 at 4:26
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    I think this got marked as a duplicate to the wrong question. This one is about trying to get a visa from France to visit Italy, while the second one is about using a multiple entry visa from France to visit France, and then later using it for something else on a subsequent entry. The OP could conclude that this is allowed, while the scenario they are proposing is not going to work. – Zach Lipton Apr 15 '17 at 8:08
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    This is not a duplicate at all, and should be reopened. – jpatokal Apr 15 '17 at 10:37
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    If you don't intend to visit France as your main destination, then France will not issue a visa -- unless you blatantly lie about your plans to the French consulate, and lying on a visa application is am Extremely Bad Thing for your future travel opportunities. – Henning Makholm Apr 15 '17 at 11:09
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Unfortunately, this poses serious problems.

You are expected to apply for a Schengen visa from the country of your "primary destination." This is the location of the "main purpose" of your trip (if there is one, e.g. you will attend important business meetings in one country) or simply the Schengen country you will stay the longest. According to the rules, a consulate is not supposed to issue you a visa unless your application conforms to these rules.

When you apply for your visa, you'll need to supply supporting documents that provide your itinerary, generally including details of where you will be staying. If you are honest, the French officials will see these documents and determine that you are not staying in France, and your application will be returned, because you've applied to the wrong place.

Alternatively, if you lie and submit a false itinerary for France, you might get a visa, but you could be caught at the border having obtained a visa by deception. Lying on a visa application is really not recommended: it can lead to an abrupt end to your trip and/or great difficulty ever getting a visa again in the future.

What you could do instead is rearrange your trip such that you actually spend more time in France than Italy (or an equal amount of time and visit France first), such that the French Consulate is the proper place to file your visa application. Or reschedule your trip for later in the year after you are able to get a visa.

  • +1 I couldn't find a canonical on visa shopping (I thought there might be one); if not, you might want to create one. – Giorgio Apr 15 '17 at 17:24
  • I know we've had plenty of questions on basically this, but I couldn't find an exact duplicate either, so it seemed easiest just to answer. – Zach Lipton Apr 15 '17 at 17:27
  • Still, work on a canonical: as you say, similar Q, but same A. – Giorgio Apr 15 '17 at 17:37
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    One thought that might be worth including in the canonical answer - without the main destination rule, there could be a race-to-the-bottom in which Schengen countries under fund visa operations. Slow visa processing would not affect their tourism and business travel revenues, because travelers would just get their visas from another country's consulate. – Patricia Shanahan Apr 15 '17 at 22:09

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