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Risks to Changing Plans After Getting Schengen Visa?

Risks to Changing Plans After Getting Schengen Visa?

Old Sep 6th, 2023, 10:20 AM
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Risks to Changing Plans After Getting Schengen Visa?

Are there any risks to entering the Schengen area in a certain country, based on preliminary plans, and then changing your plans and spending a lot of time in other countries? For example, if I have to get a visa, and I get it from, say, Austria, based on a plan to spend a week there, and then I change my mind after I arrive and decide to spend more time in France than Austria, will they lock me up or deport me or what?

I will be traveling with a person who will need a Schengen visa. Not actually planning to visit Austria or France. Those are just countries I used to frame the question.
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 01:56 PM
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You shouldn't ask this kind of question in a travel forum, where you have no assurance that the people who answer have any idea of what they're talking about.

With that caveat, my nonexpert understanding is that your visa should be for the first country you enter and that thereafter you can spend your time in a different Schengen country.

Try calling the consulate of the first country, and tell them you're asking for a friend.
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 02:07 PM
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You have to provide proof of accommodation on the application, as well as return flights and proof of finances.
So whilst you could fly into Austria and then go to France you would need to show you have booked and have paid for accommodation according to your submitted itinerary. It could get expensive if you change your plans.

A basic search on visa requirements will show you this.
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 04:33 PM
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wow, that's the first I heard that you had to prove you've paid for accommodations for your entire trip. Finances, sure, and RT ticket to leave.

I was just going to say, no one will care as long as you spend some time in Austria to begin with, if you then change days a bit between the next one.

This page (which I think is a forprofit company), says you just have to show bookings for your stay, not that you've prepaid everything.
https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/sch...-requirements/

I think you just have to show sufficient means that you CAN pay for all your accommodation for your entire stay, that's what the finances proof is for.

This is the official document from the Austrian Embassy and it says that also, not that you need prepaid lodging, just reservations showing your planned itinerary.

Visa_for_Tourism_Checklist_2023.pdf
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 05:30 PM
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I know a couple of things from dealing with European embassies already.

You don't have to have a paid ticket to get a visa. The system is a little silly. They want you to have a travel business make up dummy tickets for the purpose of getting visas. Of course, a dummy ticket is a total fake that costs nothing and will not get you on a plane. It's a complete joke, and it's a mystery to me why governments want these things.

Having proof you paid for a ticket home when you ENTER the country is another story. This happens weeks or months after you get your visa. I don't have any idea what they'll want to see at the airport. As an American, I just waltz through immigration, so I have to get such information from other people.

The hotel should not be a big problem, because so many hotels offer last-minute cancellation, even for paid visits. I should be able to give my companion proof the hotel has been paid for, and if we change our plans, we can get refunded after entering the Schengen area.

I'm hoping we can buy round trip tickets and stick with them, but I would like the flexibility to mess around with our destinations BETWEEN arrival and departure.

You shouldn't ask this kind of question in a travel forum, where you have no assurance that the people who answer have any idea of what they're talking about.
I figured there would probably be Europeans here, and they would know about moving around inside Europe. Or maybe people who have had to get Schengen visas could offer advice. Trying to talk to embassy people is a total waste of time. I know that from dealing with a bunch of embassies. Email them on Sunday, hear back on Saturday, if at all.

Again, I am only using Austria as a hypothetical example. I could just as easily have said Lithuania.
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 07:07 PM
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I have been getting these visas ever since the Schengen zone was set up. The dummy flight and hotel bookings requirement isnít really a joke, most embassies ask you not to buy your ticket in advance. For if your visa is rejected, the jokeís on you! The important thing is to show funds to cover the cost of your travel and stay.

My Schengen visa has always been issued by France, but oftentimes my first port of entry is in another country and I have never had any problems. But thatís just my personal experience.

Once in the Schengen area you can basically travel anywhere you want, stay being limited to your actual visa. Mine is a business visa which allows upto 90 days at a time, not to exceed 180 days in a year. I have never come anywhere close to that number in all these years 😉
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 08:21 PM
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Unless you get in trouble for something else nobody is likely to even notice.

Have an accident? They might notice. Get robbed or otherwise be the victim of crime and they might notice.

If you leave when you're supposed to it's impossible for them automatically know where you've been. In theory you could fly into Nice walk to Italy. Walk back. How would anybody know?
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Old Sep 6th, 2023, 10:52 PM
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I know this is not the same visa but perhaps some of my daughter's experience might be helpful. She was required to show proof of her plans to depart the UK when she arrived there on a student visa and proof she had been accepted to a university program. I think they were concerned that some students enter on a student visa with no plans to leave and no intention of attending school. Perhaps the same logic applies to your friend's visa? She was also required to prove she had enough money in her bank account to cover the duration of her stay. She may have also been required to show proof of medical insurance but I can't remember if that was the case.
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Old Sep 7th, 2023, 08:07 AM
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I think we'll come up with an itinerary and submit it. If they approve, we'll keep the flights but change whatever else we want.

I feel bad for hotel owners we've dealt with. I've had to do this numerous times, and although fake tickets were good enough, consulates generally required proof hotels had been paid for. I have canceled maybe 15 thousand dollars' worth of hotel stays because of visa application rejections.
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Old Sep 7th, 2023, 09:06 AM
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I have only ever provided proof of hotel reservations, not actual payment. But they do require proof of insurance.
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