The Schengen visa, which allows its holder to travel to 26 European countries, has been one of the most famous and sought-after visas in the world in recent years. Before the pandemic, in 2019, more than 16 million people applied for a Schengen visa, and the most popular destinations were France and Germany.
To obtain such a visa, a tourist needs to complete all the necessary procedures, collect documents and submit application to the consulate or visa center. And here an important question arises: which Schengen embassy should the application be submitted to.
Those who plan to visit only one country should apply for a visa at the embassy, consulate or visa application center of the country in which they are traveling with this visa. It's simple and clear.
However, the problem becomes a bit more complicated when it comes to those who want to visit more than one Schengen country.
In fact, the Schengen visa code clearly and unequivocally addresses this issue. If the traveler is going to two or more Schengen countries on the same trip, the application should be submitted at the visa application center of the country in which he will spend more days.
But what about tourists who plan to spend the same number of days in each Schengen country? And here is the only correct answer: the application must be submitted to the visa center of the country through which the traveler will enter the Schengen zone, that is, the one that the traveler will visit first.
Sometimes tourists’ plans suddenly change, or they intentionally apply to the embassy of the country to which they do not plan to go. For example, in where you are more likely to get a “long” visa, or in which there are free dates for recording.
This phenomenon is called “visa shopping”; and is considered illegal in the countries of the Schengen Agreement.
Consider the following situation: having a Schengen visa of country A in the passport, a tourist decided to enter Europe through country B. visa?
In such cases, the traveler must explain to the border guards the reasons for changing their plans. But in any case, the decision on whether to allow the traveler to enter or refuse and send back remains in the power of the border guard.