What Happens If You Are Denied Access to a Country?

Imagine this: after months of planning and waiting for the ultimate trip abroad, you finally get an update on your visa application but it has been rejected! Not only has this ruined all your plans but there goes all your money down the drain. If you're planning your first international trip or don't know a lot about applying for a visa, do read on!

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When is a Person Denied Access to a Country?

After a valid passport, your visa is the most important travel document when going abroad. Only after getting a proper visa can a foreigner enter another country for whatever reasons including tourism, education, business or work.

Person Denied Access to Country

A person who wishes to travel to a country may be denied entry in many cases. Visa rejection and visa refusal are done when the immigration authorities of a certain country don’t find the applicant eligible.

While a person may be straightaway denied entry during their visa procedure, some countries that offer visa-on-arrival/ visa-free entry to Indians may deny access due to certain reasons. These have been discussed in more detail in later sections.

What are the Chances of Visa Rejection or Visa Refusal?

Chances of Visa Rejection

The validity of this visa can range from a few days to a few years depending on your purpose of visiting a certain country. However, some circumstances can lead to a visa rejection or even visa refusal. While the chances of this happening are not very high, they’re not uncommon.

While visa refusal is very rare, visa rejection is common for first-time visa applicants or people who may have misunderstood some instructions or filed incorrect/incomplete documents.

Both these circumstances can be very disturbing and ruin your plans. In such cases, you may have to cancel your entire trip altogether. Before we proceed, let us first learn about the crucial difference between getting a visa rejected and getting a visa refused.

What Is the Difference Between Visa Refusal and Rejection?

A visa is rejected when there are issues found in your visa application or supporting documents. This is usually because of some documentation error or failure of meeting all the visa requirements of the country you want to visit. In most cases, visa rejection can be appealed. You can also apply for another visa in case of many countries, given that you have sufficient time.

On the other hand, a visa refusal means that you fly to another country, but the immigration officer refuses your entry due to certain reasons. While visa refusals are rare, they are customary if the immigration officer finds something wrong. This can be any of the following reasons:

  • You unknowingly carried some contraband without declaring it first.
  • Some documentation errors were ignored by the airline.
  • The border guard has misunderstood something, such as not finding reliable proof of funds for your stay or doubts regarding your intentions of visiting that country.
  • You don’t have an onward ticket or it's not visible on their system. In such cases, a receipt of that ticket will be required and if not available, you will be refused entry.
  • Your passport may not have sufficient validity left from the date of your departure, as is the case with many Schengen countries.

Any of the above can be a reason for being denied entry to a country. The recent COVID-19 pandemic also saw a lot of visa refusals due to wrong or invalid COVID-19 test reports and proof of vaccination. You must hence ensure that all your documents are in order and you have well-researched all the probabilities that may affect your entry.

How Do I Know What Is the Reason for Visa Rejection?

Among visa denials and visa rejections, the latter is more common and a lot of Indians face it. Your visa contains all the important information necessary for your safety and identification abroad. This includes your name, passport number, date of birth and purpose of visiting that country. Since the visa requirements and procedures differ in different countries, you need to be thorough with every visa application.

You already know that a country can reject visa applications in case of wrong or incomplete documentation. However, there are plenty of reasons that can result in a visa rejection. Ranging from lack of sufficient funds to lack supporting documents, these are some of the most common reasons behind your visa rejection:

  • You didn’t have sufficient funds or could not provide appropriate documentation to prove your financial ability
  • You didn’t have a valid reason for travelling or applied under an incorrect visa category not matching the purpose of your visit
  • You couldn’t answer a question clearly or properly during the visa interview
  • You may have a criminal record
  • You did not attach correct supporting documents or used expired documents

If your visa has been rejected and you’re not sure about the reasons, then please make sure to contact the embassy or consulate that handled your visa application. They will let you know the reason so that you can fix the problem again.

Does Visa Rejection Affect Your Future Trips?

Visa rejections not only ruin your present plans but also have a significant impact on your future travels. Your visa rejection may appear on any future visa application for that country and it may be costly and time-consuming to get a visa in future.

It also gets more challenging to get visas for other countries as travel history is very important to assess a traveller’s intention of visiting. Especially for nationalities who need a valid visa before entering a lot of countries, a visa rejection may also limit their travel options.

Thus, you need to be very careful in your visa application. However, there is no need to worry or obsess about a visa rejection. You can simply approach the embassy or consulate to get clarification or even appeal to them. Take a look at some helpful ways to avoid getting your visa rejected:

  • Keep all your documents in order. Prepare them only after you have gone through the official process described on their website.
  • If you are confused with the procedure then don’t hesitate to take help from a tour operator or experts.
  • Prepare for the visa interview. Especially if going abroad for work or education, you can prepare your answers for the interview so that you’re confident and clear.
  • Buy travel insurance for your trip. Even if it is not mandatory for visiting that country, having travel insurance shows that you’re a responsible traveller and won’t turn into a liability while visiting that country.
  • If you have trouble understanding something the immigrant officer asked, ask for clarification. No need to be ashamed or worried about language barriers.
  • Go through your documents and be sure to know important details about yourself. Do not answer vaguely or in a misleading way, this will make a bad impression on the officer, as they don’t want to waste their time on vague conversation. All they want to do is to know the kind of person you are and that you don’t pose a threat to their country by any means.

In a Nutshell,

Going to another country is a thrilling experience for most of us. However, with so many risks associated visa formalities can be tricky and time taking. You can easily tackle this process by taking the help of someone experienced or simply following all the instructions. While you’re preparing for that trip abroad, do buy international travel insurance to avoid any medical, financial or trip-related emergencies abroad. It is mandatory for some countries but having a plan will always work in your favour!

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