Like countless other third-world passport holders, I am a statistic. Yes, despite extensive travel (fine, they were all within Asia!), multiple-entry visas in other OECD countries (Japan and Korea), impeccable travel history (I have never been refused anything in my life save for the Schengen Visa. Char!), complete documentation and an honest-to-goodness intention of just visiting Europe, I have been refused the Schengen Visa. Numerous times. Since I feel that I have become somewhat of an expert, I will share with you 11 reasons why your Schengen Visa will be denied.
Disclaimer: I am undergoing Game of Thrones withdrawal so this post if full of GoTS07 gifs. .: This post contains spoilers.
11 Reasons Why Your Schengen Visa Will Be Denied
Reason no. 1: You lied.
In your refusal letter: A false/counterfeit/forged travel document was presented.
Attempting to present false travel documents to the Embassy or Consulate, trying to misrepresent your identity or using a fake identity are surefire ways to get your Schengen Visa refused. As an added bonus, you might even get blacklisted.
Reason no. 2: You are incomplete.
In your refusal letter: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided.
This is why you should go to great lengths to make sure you are submitting all the requirements. Getting this reason for rejection means that the picture your documents painted was not convincing enough. Possible Scenario 1: Those claiming to visit families might not have provided sufficient the proof of relationship. Possible Scenario 2: You provided contradictory information, like, for employees, the number of leave credits indicated on your Certificate of Employment does not match the claimed intended duration of stay.
Reason no. 3: You can’t afford it.
In your refusal letter: You have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence, for the duration of the intended stay or for the return to the country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which you are certain to be admitted, or you are not in a position to acquire such means lawfully.
This is it, the “your show money is not enough” note from the Consulate. If Westerners are becoming notorious begpackers in Asia, we, of third-world passports, are not allowed to do the same. Exhaustive proof of financial means should be provided, which are not limited to
- A personal bank statement indicating your financial movements (for at least 3 last months)
- Credit card
- Traveller’s cheques
- Pay slips
- Proof of employment
- Supporting document to attest sponsor’s readiness to cover your expenses during your stay
- Proof of prepaid accommodation
- Document about accommodation in private
- Proof of prepaid transport
Otherwise, you might be judged guilty of the following cases:
- Failing to offer financial statements not older than one (1) month from the application date
- Lacking to enjoy a current account statement (presenting credit card statements in its place)
- Missing to possess enough funds in financial statements presented
- Presenting a traveler’s check that does not have the candidate’s name
Back on the matter of show money, each country of the Schengen area is free to set a fixed amount they deemed as “sufficient means of subsistence”. For example, take this excerpt on applying via the French Embassy:
As the European Commission specifies, any foreigner seeking to enter France, since 19 June 2014, when applying for Schengen Visa via the French Embassy, must be able to attest to possess the daily money amount of 120€ if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation. If the applicant has a prepaid hotel, then this amount is reduced to 65€/daily for the period of covered hotel accommodation, while the rest is 120€. Also, in case the applicant provides cheaper forms of accommodation the amount is decreased to 32.25€/day.
Information on other countries is available here.
Reason no. 4: You overstayed your welcome.
In your refusal letter: You have already stayed for 90 days during the current 180-day period on the territory of the Member States on the basis of a uniform visa or a visa with limited territorial validity.
Nope, overstaying is not allowed. The maximum duration of your stay at the Schengen area as dictated on your visa should be followed. Going beyond it will result to dire consequences on your subsequent applications.
Reason no. 5: You are blacklisted.
In your refusal letter: An alert has been issued in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the purpose of refusing entry by ____.
You have a negative entry in the SIS. No matter how many times you reapply, as long as this remains in your record, it is usually not possible to be granted a visa.
Read more: How to Apply for a Japan Visa
Reason no. 6: You are a terrorist… or contagious.
In your refusal letter: One or more Member State(s) consider you to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health as defined in article 2(19) of regulation (EC) No 562/2006 (Schengen Borders Code) or the international relations of one or more of the Member States.
Applicants with previous charges of terrorism, drug abuse, child abuse, addiction and other serious crimes would be given a hard time when it comes to applying for a Schengen Visa. I mean, having a third-world passport is already bad enough, having a criminal record definitely makes it so much worse.
Reason no. 7: You are not insured.
In your refusal letter: Proof of holding an adequate and valid travel medical insurance was not provided.
When applying for a Schengen Visa, not only are you supposed to pay visa fees, processing fees and countless other fees in order to complete the required documents (bank certificates, photos, photocopies), you are also expected to buy some travel insurance. And not just any old travel insurance, get the EUR 30,000 one. Good thing there are countless insurance companies who offer these products. And because the travel insurance is already part of the checklist of requirements, make sure to provide this during your document submission and avoid some unnecessary heartbreak.
Reason no. 8: You are not trustworthy.
In your refusal letter: The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable.
This, in my opinion, is the most hateful reason of all. This one is reserved for applications that are complete and sound but the Consulate feels you are nevertheless unworthy to set foot in their country for reasons probably set by your predecessors. In my case, this was the reason I kept receiving. The only one. The vaguest and least actionable item of them all. Never mind your pure intentions. As long as you are a single, brown female, you are suspect.
Reason no. 9: You will overstay.
In your refusal letter: Your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not ascertained.
Uh-oh. You gave off the impression that you will overstay.
Reason no. 10: You are a slacker.
In your refusal letter: You have not provided sufficient proof that you have been unable to apply for your visa in advance, which justifies your request for visa upon arrival.
Schengen Visa application can be done as early as 90 days prior to the departure date. If you were not able to do it within this time frame and were not able to justify your reason, then expect that rejection.
Reason no. 11: You take things for granted.
In your refusal letter: Cancellation without prejudice has been requested by the visa holder.
Why anyone would do this, I am yet to fathom.
When all has been said and done, what remains is the question “What will I do now?” Well, you can always reapply – to the same Consulate or a different one – but it would not matter unless you find some way to fix the problems in your documentation, or even in your personal situation, as they cited above.
Then, there is also that option of lodging an appeal. The procedure varies depending on the Consulate. For instance, with the French Embassy, the appeal must be sent via registered mail to BP 8.609 44036 Nantes CEDEX 1 within two months from the date of your refusal letter. The appeal must be written in French. If you hear from them, good for you. Otherwise, no response means a “no”.
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor. I wish you never see a refusal letter in your life.