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How to Avoid Schengen Visa Rejections?

If you've been planning for that Europe tour, you must be well aware of the importance of a Schengen visa and how time taking can the process can be. The Schengen zone is infamous for its strict Immigration protocols. If you’re worried that your Schengen visa application may get rejected, here are some mistakes that you can avoid to save a visa rejection!

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Why did your Schengen Visa Got Rejected?

In 2020 alone, the Schengen visa rejection rate was 13.6%. More than 140,000 visa applications were rejected by various Schengen consulates across the world. But what forces any Schengen embassy or consulate to reject a visa?

This can range from unclear information to fraud, incorrect sponsor details, or even unavailability of the Consulate. To avoid a Schengen visa rejection, you can take care of the below-mentioned tips and enjoy your trip hassle-free.

Tips to Avoid Getting Your Schengen Visa Application Rejected

Here are some of the most common reasons for Schengen visa application denial. You can keep these in mind before starting your application, so that chances of getting rejected are minimal:

Submit Valid Travel Documents & Photo

A big no-no, anyone who attempts to provide fake or false travel documents will not only get rejected but face far-reaching consequences. This includes identity misrepresentation, forgery and a lot more. If you don't want to get banned for later applications, don't do it.

You also need to follow the required Schengen visa photo requirements, i.e. two identical coloured photos, size 35*45 cm, 70-80% head & should occupy the Schengen visa application photo.

Provide Accurate Travel Itinerary

Incorrect travel itinerary (flight, hotel bookings, accommodation, etc.) is one of the most common mistakes leading to your application's rejection. Many people are unclear about their itinerary or don't consider planning properly.

You should ensure that your application is for the correct Embassy of the Schengen Area. Many people can't provide accurate booking details for every destination and every night they're planning to spend in the Schengen area.

It is recommended that you provide a copy of your bookings (hotel and flights), along with travel tickets for any other Schengen destination that you may have booked.

Give Clear Purpose for Travel

While you may feel your reasons for visiting a country are clear, you may not do a very convincing job of communicating them. Make sure to provide an accurate justification of your purpose and conditions of travelling to that Schengen country.

Some ways to do so include providing sturdy proof of financial ability, current professional or employment situation and providing unchanging declarations about your reasons for travelling and staying in that Schengen zone.

You should also be careful about the visa period you have applied for. It should be adequate for your presented travel itinerary and revenue situation.

Prove Clear Intentions of Returning

Not only Schengen countries, but many other developed countries reject visa applications if your intent to leave their country after the determined period is not clear.

In the case of Schengen visa applications, you should provide proper proof that you will leave the Schengen territory before your visa expires. Similarly, those overstaying their visa later find it hard to get their visa approved for the next visit. Make sure to provide proper documentation such as proof of onward or return ticket.

Meet Schengen Travel Insurance Criteria

Travel health insurance is a compulsory requirement during your Schengen visa application process. If you are unable to prove sufficient travel insurance coverage for your planned duration, then your Schengen visa application can get rejected.

Always ensure that all the requirements are met by your plan, including EUR 30,000 coverage and validity across the entire Schengen area. Your travel insurance plan should also cover your return date in case of emergency and must cover the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen countries.

Submit a valid Accommodation Proof

Another common factor leading to a denial of a Schengen visa is a person's inability to provide accommodation proof. Make sure to provide proof of sponsorship if you have an invitation from the host (friend, family). You can also provide the receipts of a pre-paid tour or booking receipts of your hotel reservation.

Ensure Validity of Letter of Reference

This is an important requirement during a Schengen visa application. If you provide an unauthentic letter of reference without its original letterhead and other details, your visa can be rejected. Make sure to provide this letter within three months from your application, and that the address and contact details of the person issuing it are accompanied by their stamp and signature.

Don’t Use a Damaged or Invalid Passport

If your passport is not in a good condition or has detached pages or missing cover, your visa can be refused.

Similarly, ensure that your passport is valid, with sufficient blank visa pages. You should also ensure that the passport is valid for at least 3-6 months after your planned return from the Schengen area. Similarly, passports older than 10 years are also invalid, leading to visa rejection.

Have Sufficient Means of Subsistence

Schengen nations are extremely wealthy countries with a high cost of living. Your visa application can be rejected if you fail to provide sufficient income or means to sustain your stay here, or to return to your home country in case you run out of money.

Make sure to provide the latest financial statements at least a month before the application date. You should also have enough funds that you have presented in your application. If you're presenting a traveller's cheque, make sure it has your name.

Past or Present Criminal Records

Schengen visa applicants with any past priors or current criminal records are very likely to be rejected. This is because the authorities may see you as a threat to their internal security and public wealth.

This can range from addiction to other serious crimes. There isn’t much anyone can do to mitigate this factor, as a person with any criminal record will face difficulty during security clearance.

What Happens if Your Schengen Visa is Refused?

Even after extreme caution if your visa application is rejected, you have the right to lodge an appeal against this denial within 60 days. In most cases, the consulate informs you about the rejection along with the reason for refusal. This will let you re-apply for the visa after some time. Make sure to check the official consulate websites so that you can rectify the mistake.

To Conclude,

While the whole visa process may be a tedious one, it is all worth it for the experiences that Europe offers. While you work on your application, don’t forget to buy the right Schengen travel insurance plan. This will help you get one step closer to meeting your application requirements as well as ensure your financial security once you’re there!

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

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