TOP REASONS FOR SCHENGEN VISA REJECTION and REFUSAL of EUROPE VISA
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The allure of exploring the enchanting streets of Paris, savoring authentic pasta in Rome, or witnessing the breathtaking Northern Lights in Iceland is a dream that many travelers share. The Schengen Area, comprising 26 European countries, offers a passport to this dream, allowing visa holders to freely traverse its borders and experience the rich cultural tapestry it has to offer. However, for countless hopeful travelers, the path to obtaining a Schengen visa can be a rocky one, fraught with uncertainties and potential pitfalls.
Schengen visa rejections can be a disheartening setback, causing not only financial losses but also shattering the dreams of embarking on a European adventure. The Schengen visa application process is renowned for its strict regulations and rigorous scrutiny, leaving little room for error. To increase your chances of success and avoid the disappointment of rejection, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the common reasons why Schengen visas are denied and how to steer clear of them.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of the Schengen visa application process, shed light on the most frequent grounds for rejection, and equip you with valuable insights and tips to help you navigate this challenging journey successfully. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a cultural expedition, or a business trip, understanding these common pitfalls and their avoidance strategies will be your key to unlocking the wonders of the Schengen Area. So, let’s embark on this journey together and ensure that your Schengen visa application is met with approval and opens the doors to your European dreams.
Common Reasons For Schengen Visa Rejection & Avoidance
Here, you will find the typical visa rejection letter, known as the “Standard form for communicating and providing reasons for visa refusal, annulment, and revocation.”
1. Falsified Passport or Travel Documents
Official reason – “A false/counterfeit/forged travel document was presented“.
Submitting a “false/counterfeit/forget travel document” means using fake passports, travel itineraries, hotel bookings, flight bookings, insurance, etc (because each of them relates to a travel document). For example, using a fake passport can result in a permanent ban from entering the Schengen Region and can be seen as a criminal act in many countries.
How to address this issue – This advice may seem obvious, but it’s crucial: do not attempt to apply for a Schengen Visa using counterfeit passports or any other fraudulent travel documents. Visa officials are extensively trained to spot and identify fake travel documents, making it a risky and ill-advised endeavor.
2. Unclear travel purpose & conditions
Official reason – “Justification for the purpose and the conditions of the intended stay was not provided”.
Visa officers require a clear understanding of your intentions for traveling to the Schengen Region.
If your visa application was denied for this reason, it indicates that you needed to provide sufficient evidence regarding your travel purpose and the conditions of your trip.
Irrespective of your motive for entering the Schengen Region, substantiating it is essential.
For instance, merely thinking, “I need to travel for medical treatment, so they should grant me a visa,” is insufficient. Visa officers can only ascertain your need for medical treatment if you furnish supporting evidence.
How to address this issue – Even if you have submitted a comprehensive application form, flight reservations, accommodation details, and proof of financial means, these elements alone may not adequately justify your travel purpose.
Are you planning to visit a close relative there? In that case, you’ll need to prove your claim by providing an invitation letter and additional documents showing your degree of kinship (even if your relative does not offer accommodation and you have hotel reservations).
Alternatively, if your purpose is tourism, you should provide a thorough and authentic day-to-day travel itinerary outlining all your planned activities during your stay within the Schengen Area.
It is imperative to submit all the necessary documents that can substantiate the reason for your visit to the Schengen Region, even if some of these documents are labeled as optional (as optional documents can provide supplementary evidence of your travel purpose).
Additionally, substantiating your purpose for traveling to the Schengen Region necessitates providing a comprehensive set of documents.
For example, if you require medical treatment, merely presenting a document indicating a specific illness wouldn’t suffice to justify your entry into the Schengen Region (you must also include an invitation letter from a hospital located in a Schengen country).
3. Not enough means of subsistence
Official reason – “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”.
In this case, there are two options available:
- You didn’t submit enough documents proving that you have enough funds to travel – For example, you didn’t submit all of your employment documents or documents such as your bank statements of the last 6 months or the bank statements of your sponsor.
- You actually proved that you do not have enough money to travel – For example, you submitted all of the required documents but your documents show that you do not have enough money to cover all of your expenses while staying in the Schengen Area.
How to avoid this – First, you must ensure that you do not miss any important documents that bring evidence of your means of subsistence (no matter if you pay for your trip by yourself or you have a sponsor).
Secondly, you must ensure that you actually have enough money to travel. The minimum amount you must have in your account for each day spent through the Schengen Region varies by country.
However, as a general rule, you must prove that you have at least 60 EUR per day (this excludes the amounts you need to pay for hotels, flights, insurance, etc).
In addition, you have to show proof of financial capacity to that (or your sponsor) can support your expenses for the whole duration of your travel.
- For sponsored travel: Your host or sponsor declares that he or she will be solely responsible for all expenses incurred during your trip.
- For those traveling without a sponsor: this means that you will cover all your expenses during the entire duration of your travel.
- Bank statements – must show records of the past six months. A bank statement shows your transactions in your account at a specific period. It will show debits (withdrawals, payments, taxes, service fees) and credits (deposits, interest earned.) Bank Statements can also be seen online especially if you have a registered account. There is no signature for the manager or a bank officer.
- Bank Certificate – it is a confirmation by the branch manager or a bank officer that you have an existing account in their bank. It shows the account number, the type, and other details such as the opening date of your account, your account balance as of the date of request, and your average daily balance.
- Other proof of income (supporting documents) – although it is not really required, you can submit invoices and pay slip equivalent to prove that you earn enough to support this trip financially.
If you maintain a bank account for a long time, better maintain it. Kahit na may sponsor ka, of course, plus points pa din sa visa application mo if idadagdag mo din bank statements mo, payslips from our employer, and other proof na financially capable ka din and most importantly, it proves deep rootedness as well.
Sponsorship Letter which should state the fact that he/ she is inviting you to come over, your relationship with each other, and that he/ she is willing to sponsor you during your trip. Of course, it needs to have documentary proof.
The sponsor’s copies of: passport including the biodata page and travel history (passport stamps) and ID Card or Resident ID card
Recent proof of income of the sponsor (3 last months’ salary slips, etc.)
Proof of relationship with the sponsor (pictures together, Birth or Marriage certificate, and screenshot of chat conversations)
4. Breaking the 90/180-day rule
Official reason – “You have already stayed for 3 months during the current 6-month period on the territory of the Member States on the basis of a Uniform Visa or a Visa with Limited Territorial Validity”
Both the Uniform Schengen Visa, which is the most common type, and the Limited Territorial Validity Visa, a less common type that restricts your travel to the issuing Schengen country or specific countries you specify, permit you to stay for a maximum of 90 days within the Schengen Region over a 6-month period, as governed by the “90/180 rule.”
To put it differently, with a multiple-entry visa, you can enter and exit the Schengen Region as frequently as you desire within a six-month timeframe, as long as your cumulative stay in the Schengen countries does not exceed 90 days.
If you have already spent 90 days in the Schengen countries within the current 6-month period, but your visa remains valid (meaning the 6-month period has not elapsed), you cannot request a new visa.
How to avoid this – If you have already spent three months within the Schengen Region in the past six months, embassies and consulates will not grant you another visa. To avoid the hassle of preparing a new application that will ultimately be rejected on these grounds, it is advisable to keep track of the number of days you’ve spent in the Schengen countries within the last six months. You can also utilize a Schengen Visa calculator to assist you in this calculation.
5. An alert was issued on your name
Official reason – “An alert has been issued in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the purpose of refusing entry by (indication of Member State)”.
The Schengen Information System (SIS) serves as a vital tool for European countries in matters of security and border management.
This system empowers competent authorities, including national border control, police, customs, judiciary, visa, and vehicle registration authorities, to both input and access alerts regarding individuals or items.
When an SIS alert is associated with a person or object, it signifies that it poses a potential threat to the safety and security of European nations.
For instance, alerts within the SIS may pertain to individuals or items involved in activities linked to terrorism. Additionally, return decisions and entry bans are part of the information shared within the system to enhance their effective enforcement.
How to avoid this – Unless you possess a criminal record or encounter unfavorable circumstances related to your Schengen Visa history, your visa application should not be declined on these grounds.
Nonetheless, in the regrettable circumstance of your application being rejected due to these reasons, and if you find yourself unaware of why the Schengen Information System (SIS) has issued an alert in your name, you may be a victim of identity theft.
However, it is essential to start by gaining insight into what the SIS database contains about you.
6. You are considered a threat to the Member States
Official reason – “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”.
First of all, according to Article 2(19) of Regulation EC No 562/2006, being a threat to public health means having “any disease with epidemic potential as defined by the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organisation and other infectious diseases or contagious parasitic diseases if they are the subject of protection provisions applying to nationals of the Member States”.
Being a threat to public policy and internal security also means having a past or current criminal record.
Also, you can be considered a threat to public policy if you have submitted fake or false documents for a previous Schengen Visa application or you have attempted deceit (for example, you attempted to misrepresent your identity).
How to avoid this – In an ideal scenario, you should not be considered for any reason a threat to public policy, internal security, or public health when applying for a Visa. Otherwise, you risk your application being rejected.
However, if you suffer from any infectious or contagious disease, you should wait for the disease to be cured before applying for your Visa.
If you have a criminal background or you have submitted fake documents to a Schengen Embassy/Consulate previously, you can try applying for a Visa but you should be aware of the high risk of being rejected.
7. Valid travel medical insurance missing
Official reason – “Proof of holding an adequate or valid travel medical insurance was not provided”.
Having valid and adequate travel medical insurance is extremely important when applying for a Schengen Visa.
Any mistake concerning your Schengen travel insurance will automatically lead to the rejection of your application.
How to avoid this – Make sure you get travel medical insurance valid for the Schengen Region that includes covers for at least 30,000 EUR.
Also, your insurance must cover the entire period you plan to spend within the Schengen Region, including the day of arrival and the day of departure. I highly recommend Pioneer Insurance which you can avail yourself through me. Feel free to directly inquire through JASTravel on Facebook and I would be very glad to assist you.
8. Inconsistent information
Official reason – “The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and the conditions of the intended stay was unreliable “.
Typically, such cases include four different situations:
- You have provided conflicting statements regarding the purpose of your stay within the Schengen Region. For instance, the information you provided during the visa interview to the consulate officers did not align with the purpose and conditions of stay as outlined in your documents. As an illustration, if you submitted a day-to-day travel itinerary demonstrating your intent to travel solely for tourism, yet during the interview, you stated to the Embassy/Consulate officers that your purpose was to visit a close relative, this inconsistency could lead to a visa rejection.
- There are discrepancies evident in your documents, such as inconsistencies in travel dates or other forms of conflicting information. For instance, if you present reservations for luxury 5-star hotels while your bank statements show that you possess only the minimum required funds for daily expenditures during your trip, your application may face rejection due to these inconsistencies.
- The documents on the purpose of your trip and the terms of your stay could not be verified. For example, while Embassies/Consulates accept reservations for hotels and flights that do not necessitate full upfront payment, the consulate officers should be able to confirm the legitimacy of your reservations. Employing a fake hotel and flight reservation generator to fabricate these reservations and submit them to the Embassy/Consulate is unacceptable.
- You have submitted documents that do not adhere to specific guidelines. For instance, the employment documents you provided lack official letterhead, stamps, or signatures, or they were issued a considerable time before the application date. Such deviations from the prescribed standards may contribute to the rejection of your application.
How to avoid this – Make sure that all of your documents show consistency (we highly recommend you double-check to see if all of the information on your documents matches).
Just in case your Schengen visa application has been denied, and you find yourself facing disappointment and uncertainty about your European travel plans, keep hope! In many cases, there is a chance to appeal the decision and provide additional information that might sway the authorities in your favor. Writing a well-structured and persuasive appeal letter is your opportunity to make a strong case for reconsideration.
Recap and Tips
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