Tourism is seeing a boom like never before and people are planning their vacations only to face extreme Schengen visa delays due to heavy demand. To avoid this, travellers have started visa shopping without knowing the complications related to this. What is it and how is it bad for your vacation?
Over 27 European countries come under the Schengen Area, including popular summer tourist destinations such as France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary, Greece and Italy.
What is visa shopping?
Tourists applying for Schengen visas are facing a lack of appointments and delays from their destination country, leading them to apply for visas through countries where the Schengen visa process is faster. This is called visa shopping, where people apply for Schengen visas to countries that are not their destination country, just to get the visa. However, this practice has come to the notice of European countries, and they have become more vigilant with such applicants.
Why is visa shopping bad?
European countries are implementing extra checks to ensure that tourists don’t apply just for the sake of procuring the visa and that they genuinely intend to enjoy a vacation in the country. “It is advisable to abstain from ‘visa shopping’, unfortunately, a trend prevalent among Europe-bound travellers,” shared a VFS Global spokesperson with The Economic Times. The spokesperson added, “We strongly discourage applicants from doing so, as this could lead to visa rejections due to improper documentation.”
The following factors decide through which European country can a tourist apply for a multi-entry visa:
- The country where you are likely to spend most of the time or the destination. For instance, if you spend two days in France and five days in Italy, then you should apply for a Schengen visa through Italy.
- The Schengen country you are entering first on your trip, in case you are spending an equal number of days at all your destinations. For instance, if you are planning to give two days to France first and then two days to Italy, then you should apply through France.
Applicants should follow these norms so that their application is processed smoothly.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Visa shopping is the practice of applying for a Schengen visa through countries where the process is faster and easier.
Answer: No, Schengen visa is applicable for 27 European countries that come under the Schengen Area.