New Delhi: European countries have become active to stop ‘Visa Shopping’. Passengers at airports in India are being checked thoroughly for hotel bookings and other documents to cross-check if passengers have given incorrect information in order to get visa faster.
As per Schengen Visa norms, in case of travel to multiple countries, you need to take visa from the country where you will have maximum days of stay, irrespective of the fact which country is your port of entry to Europe. In case, you are visiting two countries with equal days of stay then country to be visited first will issue the visa. Visa Shopping is the practice of applying for “visas” at a consulate, where it is easier or faster to get travel permission compared to others. Since some countries give visas faster, many use their visas to enter Europe and stay in other countries for longer duration.
For instance, France gives visa in 48 hours compared to some other countries like Germany that usually takes over a week. So people take French visa and then go to Germany and other countries and stay there longer than what is needed.
The Schengen zone includes the 26 countries which allows people to travel within the zone freely. The country competent for deciding on your visa application must be the one that is your sole destination of visit; whose territory is the main destination of your visit (as far as length or purpose of stay), or the country whose borders you intend to cross first to enter the Schengen Area. However, several travellers use the short cut to get quick visa by providing incorrect information to the embassies and not adhering to any of these norms. Officials in embassies in India said that it is not possible to verify itinerary of all the visa applicants due to heavy rush and added that to prevent “Visa Shopping”, immigration officers are there at airports to question passengers and check for discrepancies in information.