The Schengen Area is the largest free travel area in the world and covers 26 countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.
The Schengen visa is one of the most popular travel documents in Europe. It allows the beneficiary to freely travel between countries in the Schengen zone.
This special short-stay visa would allow the beneficiary to stay in any country of his choice for up to 90 days.
Third countries nationals whose home country does not have a visa-liberalization agreement with any state within the Schengen area must apply and obtain a visa before in the home country.
Here is the list of countries whose nationals must apply for a Schengen Visa before traveling to Europe. So if you need a visa to travel to the Schengen area, what makes the embassy/consulate reject your application? In this article, we will reveal the major reasons why your Schengen visa application keeps getting denied.
1. Falsified travel document
If any of the document you provided during the application stage was vetted and evaluated as a fake. Your application will automatically be rejected and you may even get banned from visiting the countries in this region.
Before applying for a visa, you should check its authenticity especially if you sourced the document via an agency.
2. Invalid travel documents
Invalid travel documents are different from fake travel documents. You want to make sure that all your travel documents are in order and up to date before applying for a Schengen visa.
Invalid travel documents may include damaged passport, outdated passport photographs, passports with less than 3 months validity or has less than two blank pages, passport with missing pages, birth or marriage certificate are not accepted or authenticated by the consulate, and two or more documents having contradicting details.
3. Past criminal activities
One of the most common reasons why your application was declined was because you were/currently involved in illegal activities and seen as a threat to the public wealth, policy, and security of the Schengen member states.
You want to make sure that you have a clean record for at least five years before applying for a Schengen visa.
3. An unacceptable explanation for the purpose and circumstances of your visit
The embassy has the right to decline your application if they don’t see any reason to justify the purpose and conditions of your planned travel.
They can reject your application because they believe that you have plans to overstay or look for a job while holding a tourist visa.
The purpose for your travel should be supported with the documents you provide like a proof of accommodation [if you plan to stay up to 90 days], an employment letter and work permit [if you are immigrating for business or employment], travel itinerary, professional qualification, proof of financial sustenance…
4. Invalid travel insurance and proof of financial subsistence
Both invalid insurance and limited capital fall under the denial for financial reasons. If you can’t provide valid proof of financial sustenance, the embassy would assume that you would depend on the country’s social services for survival upon arrival. Your bank statement should reflect a positive bank balance for the last 6 months.
If you can provide your income tax returns for the last 3 years, your chances of getting your visa approved would increase by a milestone.
If you also fail to provide valid travel insurance that would be valid throughout your stay in the Schengen Area, your application would be rejected.
Make sure that your insurance policy would be valid in the Schengen countries and the amount stated in your coverage should cover the duration of your stay and when you plan to return to the home country.
The good news is that if your application was declined, you can easily appeal the decision if you are sure that the decision was incorrect.
Appealing the decision is not a simple task, but the first step you should take is to file an appeal to the Member State on the decision concerning your application.
You must provide valid reasons why you think your application was incorrectly declined, why their decision should be reversed, and your application approved.
The appeal must provide evidence, facts, or reference to laws and cases why the decision taken by the embassy was incorrect. Each embassy has its deadline for an appeal to be submitted.
If your appeal was also turned down, you would have to apply again. Make sure that all necessary corrections are made before reapplying for a Schengen visa.