Exploring Europe is perhaps in everybody’s bucket list. Who wouldn’t love to see the Eiffel tower in Paris, ride a boat in Venice, or see Mona Lisa in France? However, many countries, like the Philippines, need a Schengen Visa to go to these countries. And with visa applications, comes the fear of getting denied.
If you want to apply, you need to know visa denial reasons to avoid it. It’s like knowing the enemy first before coming to war unprepared. This article will help you in your application for a Schengen Visa.
However, first, here are the 26 countries that are a part of the Schengen Area:
Common reasons on why a Visa application is rejected has something to do with your submitted documents; we will be explaining mistakes that have been made per document:
1. Visa Application Form
A reason for rejection is inconsistencies in the application form. For example, the duration of stay stated is ten days, yet the reservation ticket is only good for a week, it doesn’t match. Another one is you would like to tour around France however your invitation letter is from your relative in Spain without mentioning about going to France. Be consistent.
Always make sure that they are the same, and your documents are not fake. Remember, you are dealing with the government, and they know what’s bogus or not.
2. Passport-sized Photos
Some embassies are very strict when it comes to the pictures; the wrong size may cause the rejection of the application. I have a friend who tilted her head (a little bit) and got rejected.
Make sure that there are two identical colored photos of you not older than Moreover, months. Size is 35x45mm, and your head length must be 70-80% of the picture. Look straight to the camera with neutral expression; no smile and mouth are closed.
3. Valid Passport
If your passport is damaged, you will be denied your visa application. Always keep it in good condition, no detached or missing cover, no watermarks or tear, and bio-page is without unnecessary markings.
Your passport must also be valid for more than 3 remaining months after the return from the visit to the Schengen Area. For example, if you return from a Schengen Area on December 31, your passport must be valid for more than April 1 of the next year.
Make sure that the passport has two blank visa pages and is not older than 10 years.
4. Flight Reservation and Daily Itinerary
A Flight reservation with the date, flight numbers, entry, and exit area needed in your application, if you are not able to provide one, then it can lead to rejection. You don’t need to pay for the whole ticket just a flight reservation. If you need one, we provide services for a Rent-A-Flight Ticket.
A travel itinerary is also required; you can make a bullet one so that it’s neat and easy to understand. Make it detailed and also highlight the places to see or the tours you would be getting. However, you need proof like hotel reservations or tour tickets. There are services available for hotel reservations with free cancellation, so you can get that.
Make sure you are applying at the correct embassy too. When your Itinerary says 5 days in Italy, 3 days in Switzerland and 10 days in France, but you went to the Italian Embassy, it can be rejected. The rule is to apply in the Embassy of the country where you will be spending most of your time, if all are equal, then the first country you enter. For this example, you need to apply to the French Embassy, but if you spent 5 days in each country then the Italian Embassy.
5. Proof of Accommodation
Your application may be refused if you are not able to prove that you have a place to stay during your travel there. You need to have hotel reservations or an invitation letter from the host where you will be staying.
6. Proof of Financial Capacity
You need to have enough money to support yourself in your travel or have a sponsor who will shoulder your expenses. A visa application may be rejected if the applicant has failed to offer financial statements no older than 3 months and the funds are not enough. If you want to know how much money you need in a specific country, you can my Schengen Visa FAQs article.
Make sure your bank account is normal too. There have been accounts that people who had deposited a large amount of money before the visa application got rejected. Please deposit your cash gradually instead at one time since it will show up in the Average Daily Balance.
For those that have sponsors, the invitation letter must state that the sponsor is the person’s relative or friend that is going to be visited, include the duration and purpose. Financial proof and proof of relationship must be submitted too. If an important detail is missing especially the signature, then it can be rejected.
7. Travel Insurance
The requirement is that you are insured for the whole Schengen territory with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros. It must cover the entirety of your trip in the Schengen area up to your return for your home country.
8. Supporting Documents from Sponsors
Aside from the normal invitation letter, each country has a required and official “guarantor/ invitation letter” that you need to submit together with their supporting documents. For example are below:
- France – Attestation Accueil Etat
- Germany – Formal Obligation/ Angaben Zur Verpflichtungserklarung
- Italy – Dichiarazione Garanzia E/O Alloggio / Proof of Sponsorship for Private Accommodation
- Spain – Solicitud de Expedicion de Carta de Invitacion
- Norway – Garantiskjema for Besok / Guarantee Form for Visit
- …and a lot more depending on the Embassy you’re applying!
There are additional requirements depending on the Employment Status:
Submit a Certificate of Employment which states how long have you been working with them and how much is your salary, a letter made by your employers stating that you are allowed to travel or a signed leave form and an ITR.
Submit a business license and an ITR
You need to submit a proof of enrolment and a no objection letter from the School or University.
Submit a pension statement of the latest 6 months.
Unemployed and married to an EU Citizen
You need to submit your spouse’s valid passport, official marriage certificate, and your spouse’s Certificate of Employment.
If you can’t submit complete documents, then you may need to explain it in your cover letter. If incomplete or invalid, your application may be rejected.
Here are also other reasons for Visa Rejection:
If the applicant is a threat to the Schengen Area, then you may be denied entry. If you have a record of terrorism, child abuse or trafficking, addiction, theft, homicide, or heinous crimes, it will be hard to enter the territory.
Bad Schengen History
If you had a Schengen visa before but failed to respect its rules, then you may be denied your second visa. An example is if you have overstayed or was unable to follow the itinerary you have presented.
If you want a better application, then here are some tips:
You can attach a personal cover letter that includes the purpose of your travel, especially what you look forward to in the country you are mainly staying at. Make it simple but with a personal touch.
Showing that you are a frequent traveler and have a good travel history will be useful for your application. You can submit your issued visa or entry/exit travel stamps.
Apply at an Embassy with a low chance of rejection
If it’s your first time going to Europe and is afraid of rejection, then it’s better to apply at an Embassy where there is a low visa rejection rate. Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Iceland are prime examples.
If your visa got rejected, you may submit a remonstrance letter or apply it again. You may reapply at a different embassy.
To know more about the Schengen Visa, you can read Schengen Visa FAQs. If you want to have a Schengen Visa, here is a Schengen Visa Guide for Filipinos. If you need a little more help, just let me know! I can personally train you for interview questions and go through your requirements one by one. We’ll both work hard for you to get that visa of your dreams! Set an appointment now 🙂
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