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Posted on September 21 2021

Know your visa: Why your Schengen Visa application won't fly

By  Editor
Updated May 25 2023

Let’s talk about the Schengen visa. Specifically, we will see why Schengen visa applications get rejected. We will examine the most common reasons here.

What is Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa is a short-stay visa. It lets you travel to any member nation of the Schengen Area. The allowed period for a stay in these places is up to 90 days for purposes of business or tourism.

The most common visa for Europe, Schengen Visa enables you to go into, freely travel within, and travel out of the Schengen zone from any country that’s a Schengen member. Border controls are lifted for Schengen Visa holders within the Schengen Zone.

But if your plan is to study, work, or live in a Schengen member country for a period exceeding 90 days, you have to apply for a national visa of the European country you are in, instead of a Schengen Visa.

Why do applications for Schengen Visa get rejected?

Here are some common reasons:

False travel document

If you present false travel documents to the embassy or consulate, with an intention to misrepresent your identity you are sure to be denied a Schengen visa.

Past or current criminal actions

If any aspect of your past indicates an element of threat to internal security, public policy, or public wealth of the Schengen area, that will be sufficient ground for denial of Schengen Visa to you.

An insufficient explanation for the purpose and circumstances of your stay

If your motive of staying in the Schengen country is not convincingly communicated and proven, that could be grounds to reject your Schengen visa application.

Damaged passport

A passport that’s not maintained in good condition will lead to the rejection of a Schengen visa. This includes detached/missing passport pages, damaged cover, etc.

Invalid passport

Your Schengen visa application may be rejected if you presented a passport that the embassy/consulate cannot accept due to cases like:

  • Your passport has no valid period of 3 or more months left after your return from your visit from the Schengen country
  • Your passport hasn’t got 2 different blank visa pages
  • You presented a travel booklet in place of a passport
  • Your passport is over 10 years old

Missing travel itinerary

If you do not present a proper travel plan in the Schengen area, it could be grounds for rejecting your application for a Schengen visa.

Invalid letter of reference

You are required to provide a formal letter of reference authenticated by the author. Some cases in this scenario may be:

  • Not submitting a formal letter that has an original letterhead containing the company’s address as well as contact details or the author issuing it
  • Not presenting a formal letter issued that’s not older than 3 months from the date of application
  • The formal letter has the stamp and signature of the author missing

Not enough means of subsistence

Lacking or insufficient proof of means of subsistence for the period of stay in the Schengen area and to return to the home country after it can be grounds for rejection of your Schengen visa application.

Birth/Marriage certificate that’s unacceptable

There could be many reasons for such certificates being deemed unacceptable which include:

  • Not offering a certificate in a language other than English that’s translated by the authorized translator
  • Not offering a certificate endorsed by official authorities (Ministry Interior)
  • Not producing a civil certificate (a religious document offered instead)
  • Inability to offer a certificate with names matching that of the parties presented on the passports submitted
  • Inability to offer a certificate that shows both parents of a child
  • Inability to offer a document demonstrating the legal sole custody order for the child (in case of a single parent)
  • Inability to offer the adoption documents (for EU Spouse application) for the adoptive child deemed legal

Invalid travel insurance

If you are unable to present appropriate travel insurance coverage for the period of stay in the Schengen area, your application for Schengen visa will be rejected.

Not presenting proof of accommodation

It’s necessary for you to have a place to stay in the Schengen area you are visiting on a Schengen visa. If you fail to give the details of such an accommodation, your application for a Schengen visa will get rejected.

Your unfavorable history with Schengen visa

If your earlier history with a Schengen visa has been less than favorable, that could become grounds for rejecting your Schengen visa. Here are a couple of instances:

  • You previously failed to respect limitations set for Schengen visa. E.g., overstaying in the Schengen area, deviating from the travel itinerary submitted)
  • You hold a passport with an active Schengen Visa

If you are interested in visiting or migrating to Europe, contact Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 immigration & visa company. Click here to connect with us.

Here are a few more interesting articles:

  1. Want to work in Canada, USA? Check their fastest-growing jobs
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Schengen Visa


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