What Happens if Your Schengen Visa is Rejected?

The Schengen region in the European continent is famous for its wealth, brilliant governance and job prosperity. However, it is also infamous for its rigid immigration and visa laws. If you or someone close to you has faced Schengen visa rejection, this article will definitely help!

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When is Your Schengen Visa Rejection?

Millions of people apply for different types of Schengen visas every year. Of these visa applicants, Indians are among the top five nationalities with the highest number of applicants.

Schengen Visa Rejection

In 2022 alone, over 6 lakh Indians applied for various Schengen visa applications, of which 18% were rejected. This Schengen visa rejection rate is among the highest in the world and surely a point of concern for Indians who wish to study, work or simply explore different countries of the Schengen Zone.

So in case your Schengen visa application was rejected despite your best efforts and it has left you confused- there is no need to beat yourself up over it. We will be carefully dissecting different scenarios and subsequent actions you can take to fix the situation.

Can I get a Schengen Visa after Rejection?

Get Schengen Visa

First things first- Schengen visa rejection is not the end of the world! Your visa application for the Schengen zone is rarely rejected unfairly or without a valid reason. This reason is always notified to you, and they can range from lack of necessary funds to lack of proper reason for visiting. After addressing these concerns, you can appeal the decision or apply for a fresh visa as per what’s required.

What to Do in Case of Schengen Visa Rejection

It is extremely frustrating when your visa is rejected. Especially when your plans are on hold because of your visa, a Schengen visa rejection means considerable re-evaluation and even re-application. Here are the steps you can take after your Schengen visa has been rejected:

  1. Filing an Appeal to the Schengen Visa Rejection

    You can appeal to the Schengen Member Country that rejected your visa. However, this will be useful only if you are sure that the decision was incorrect or you’re absolutely certain that you can fix the problem that contributed to your visa denial. In case of an appeal, you can request the visa officers to review your rejected application and identify the problem to fix it. Here are the basic steps for filing an appeal for your denied Schengen visa:

    • Step 1: Write an appeal letter for a Schengen visa application rejection. It should be crisp and contain factual information and supporting evidence to prove the rejection was incorrect.
    • Step 2: Go through the structure of the Schengen visa appeal letter before sending it. It should contain personal details and up-to-date information. It should also have accurate reasons behind Schengen visa refusal, the date of application rejection and a polite but informative list of reasons why you think the officers should reconsider the application.
    • Step 3: Present the letter to the Schengen country’s designated embassy or consulate that you initiated visa processing.
    • Step 4: You will get a decision once the appeal processing organisation of that Schengen member state goes through your appeal. Depending on the revision required in your applications and your ability to fix them, the officer responsible for the final decision will make a decision.

    Please note that organisations handling Schengen visa appeals may not necessarily be that country’s embassy or consulate. For instance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will handle your application if you have applied for a French Schengen visa. 

    Similarly, the time taken to get a decision will vary with the country. In fact, some countries will not inform you if they reject your Schengen visa application. Upon finding out, you can either apply for a new Schengen visa application or change your plans. There is no second appeal possible.

  2. Re-applying for Schengen Visa

    If you plan to try applying for a Schengen visa again, wait for at least a month. This may not be an option for many travellers who don’t have so much time, but if your travel plans are flexible, go for it.

    However, two visa applications by the same applicant simultaneously are not allowed. For this, you should wait for a month at least. Also note that if you re-apply for your second Schengen Visa, it may be automatically refused because of the refusal of your first application.

    If your Schengen visa appeal has been rejected, then re-applying for a Schengen visa after getting the previous visa application rejected is the right course of action. You should also take some time off to re-evaluate the errors and reasons behind your Schengen visa rejection. 

    In case there have been changes in your personal situation, such as a change in plans or trip duration, you can update them accordingly. Here are some quick pointers you should know before re-applying for a Schengen visa:

    • Wait at least 30 days before re-applying.
    • Go through your visa rejection reason and find out the exact reasons. One of the most common reasons include the inability to prove the purpose of visiting; you should provide a proper itinerary and, if needed, a letter of invitation.
    • Ensure that the errors you made in your previous application are not repeated as they may increase the chances of it getting rejected.
    • Provide latest photos and documents (bank statements, utility bills etc.) as they would be at least a month or two older during your second application procedure.

    Finally, go through different blogs and experiences of people who have faced similar rejections. You will get clarity regarding the process and get a lot of help regarding mistakes to watch out for.

What Justifies Schengen Visa Refusal?

Any kind of Schengen visa can be rejected due to a number of reasons ranging from carelessness in documentation to something extreme like having a criminal record. Here are some of the reasons that will surely get a Schengen visa rejection: 

  • Hiding any criminal record
  • Producing fraud or fake documents
  • Missing an important supporting document
  • Error in your documents or information provided
  • Presenting insufficient bank statements or proof of financial ability
  • Not providing Schengen travel insurance as per the entry requirements
  • The visa officer suspects that you may not return to your home country
  • Your purpose of the visit is unclear and has issues with your cover letter, travel itinerary or letter of invitation
  • Lying during the interview or not being able to convince the officer about your reason for visiting

Over to You,

Visa application is a complicated process, often requiring plenty of hard work, research, documentation and time. Especially in the case of Schengen countries, it can be confusing and disheartening if your visa application has been rejected. Make sure to apply for your Schengen visa as early as possible so there is no shortage of time in case of a rejection. You should also buy best travel insurance for the Schengen countries you plan to visit, as they will meet the mandatory EUR 30,000 coverage requirements necessary to get your Schengen visa.

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