VISAs
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Reasons For Schengen Tourist Visa Rejection

A Schengen tourist visa is one of the toughest visas to obtain. Its process is strict and complicated, and the result, totally unexpected. You might have provided everything to your best knowledge but you can never predict what the country embassy you’re applying for your visa with, has in store for you. Some people say that countries like the Czech Republic or Hungary are the safest options and guarantee high approval chances, but you can never totally believe that either.

So if you’re applying for a Schengen tourist visa, be very careful, and avoid the following mistakes to improve your chances of approval. These are the top reasons for a Schengen tourist visa application rejection:

False Travel Documents

One of the recent rejection cases I came across, of a friend, who provided a photoshopped flight itinerary, made me realise that false travel documents are not going to get you a visa. So don’t even try. If you do not have a required document, simply mention that in your cover letter.

For example, speaking of a personal experience, while applying for the Schengen visa for my recent 58-day backpacking trip in Europe, I was asked by VFS to provide a proof of transportation inside Europe during the entire 58 day period. And since I couldn’t provide that, I clearly mentioned that in the cover letter. I wrote that I didn’t provide the proof of transportation inside Europe because “I will be using interstate buses and trains and my plan will be spontaneous, based on whatever option will seem cheaper” Similarly, be clear with what you do or don’t have while applying your Schengen visa application. Present your visa officer with nothing, but transparency.

Insufficient Explanation For The Purpose Of Travel And Circumstances Of The Planned Stay

The whole idea of asking you to provide a cover letter with your application, mentioning your intention of travel, is to get an idea of What, When, Where and How are you planning your travels in Europe. Write 2 pages or 4, it doesn’t matter, just make sure you convince the visa officer about the purpose of your travel, and that is HOLIDAY!

When I applied for my Schengen travel visa, I’d no job, no regular credit history, but I mentioned that very clearly. I wrote that I’ve recently started travel blogging after quitting my job and so far I have been working as a freelance writer. But since my bank account had enough funds to cover my cost of living for the total duration of my travel in Europe, I should be fine to handle my travel costs. Moreover, I’d a return flight ticket and pre-booked accommodation throughout my intended time of stay in the Schengen territory, which gave the Visa officer an assurance that my sole purpose of visiting Schengen states is travelling.

So be very clear about why you are travelling and what all places, and back them up with as many documents as you can — from transportation to hotels to everything else in between. Your inability to offer declarations about the purpose of travel and stay can lead to a dismaying rejection.

Inability To Impress The VISA Office

Since the definition is so broad, consider that your application’s outcome depends on the visa consulate’s mood and behaviour. I know it sounds funny, but it’s true. And that’s the problem with Schengen visa. I’ve seen people having their visas rejected, despite having two Schengen visa stamps already in their passport. If your visa officer isn’t convinced that your original intent to visit Europe is travelling only, you cannot guarantee a positive response.


So present a pre-booked accommodation for each destination and each night you’re going to spend in the Schengen Area. Provide a (confirmed) return-flight ticket. Have a travel insurance valid during your time of travel, covering at least 350,000 in Euros. Provide travel tickets for each destination to be toured inside the Schengen area. And if anything is left, make sure you mention that in your cover letter.

Further Reading: Schengen Tourist Visa ProcessTips For Australian Tourist Visa | Australian Tourist Visa Process | Thailand Visa On Arrival | Cambodia Visa On Arrival

Filed under: VISAs

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Shortly after my first real nine-to-five job, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in my backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to stay in one place. I believe that with a little courage and inspiration, everyone has the power to follow their dreams. Just as I've followed mine!

18 Comments

  1. varsha reddy says

    Hello Dev
    Me and my husband applied for France tourist visa last month and unfortunately visa refused with 2 reason 8 & 9.
    8. The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and condition of the intended stay was not reliable.
    9. Your intention to leave the territory of the member states before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.
    Help me out in details for these two above reasons.
    As far as the reason of “8th point” is concern, I think my husband did mistake by showing his business which was established 5 years ago in partnership with his dad. But he is dealing business by last 2 years in India, but before that he was working in GCC. So is this the reason for the refusing of visa due to the collision between these two different professions.
    Help me to rectify the mistakes to reapply the visa without any further reason to get refuse, we already booked tickets and hotels in Paris for the next month.

  2. Hey hi dev,
    just came across your site. really liked the info you provide. i have a question to ask you. actually i did mba finance & marketing passout year 2011 & 2012 from pune.. i didnt work after that… i only took tutions at home for school kids to kill time & make some money.. i did this as i dont like working in corporate co. what mistake i have done is not filed returns as i dont earn more than 1 lac .. i started travelling this year.. my first ever foreign trip.. went to sri lanka with package trip and then to nepal. as i went with group package trip but stayed in single occupany the trip was quite costly. spent to 1 & 1.5 respectively which is insane for these countries Lol but frankly i was scared to travel solo. now i have little confidence to go but i am hearing from travel agents that i wont get schengen visa.. frankly i have a long list of schengen countries to visit but due to budget limit i would want to travel to only one country any country. say finland to see northern lights. i like nature more than anything else. even though that place would be insanely cold. I am not sure how that country gives visa. as i have said i dont have returns but can manage to have say 1000€ to show apart from bookings.. will that be enough. travel history i have mentioned above already.. Apart from this i can show property document if i can get it transferred from dad Lol I am only daughter .. this trip i am planning for 2019 feb (too early to plan i know) and not now so if i get property transferred by say nov 2018.. can that be shown.. i mean for visa purpose i will ask for transfer or as such it doesnt make sense as it is the house i and my parents stay in.. I want to take a trip to any european country before marriage ( read inspired from queen movie) Lol .. sorry for the long message. pls tell what chances i have to get finland visa without return? without returns without propery paper? without return but with flat paper & bank statement?

    • Hi Meera, can’t comment on that as ITR is one of the mandatory things that embassy asks for. If you cannot provide that, but still want to go ahead and file the application, just mention that in your cover letter. Also, you need around 30-40 Eur per day as your travel expenses. so if you’re travelling for 10 days, it’s 300-400 Eur in your bank account. Please check the embassy website, vfs website for the recent info and the updated figures. Thanks for writing.

      • Okay. Will i get a stamp of visa denied or any sticker of visa denied kinda? if i try for a tourist? i dont want such stamp in my passport. i would rather not apply if such stamp is given so asking.

  3. ravinder kumar says

    hello
    sir my passport is fresh and 2 lakh rupees in my bank account my itr between 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh. i want to apply for schengun visa please suggest me can get tourist visa.

  4. Rahul Chawla says

    Hi Dev,

    My friend Sidhant recently applied for Czech Visa. It got rejected twice in last month. All documents were perfect except a Detailed Cover Letter as you have mentioned. Both times the reason cited was” justification for travel purpose and conditions for intended stay was not reliable”.

    Now, me and My friend Priya also applied For Czech Visa with same itinerary and Tickets. Both of us got the visa. The only difference is we applied from Delhi together and he applied from Chandigarh but we had common documents for itinerary. While applying third time, how can Sidhant establish the relation that he is going with us. Can he present photocopies of our approved visas in his re-application (cover letter) and convince Czech visa officer that we are travelling together?? Would that be feasible??? Or another option , should he apply solo from Hungary (with detailed cover letter) since Hungary is also part of our itinerary???? Kindly share your thoughts on this

  5. Mandar Deshpande says

    Hello Dev,
    I had applied for Italy tourist Visa but got rejection from Italian Embassy stating “justification for travel purpose and conditions for intended stay was not reliable”. So what should I do now? When to reapply for next trip? Any suggestions? What change should I do in my documents?
    I am travelling solo and it would be my first international trip. I am currently working in a well known MNC and had clear cut documents too with sufficient balance in my account. Still got rejection.

    • you can never predict the outcome. Did you provide a cover letter? I’d say reapply with a proper itinerary mentioned in your cover letter. IF you’re travelling for a week or more and visiting a few places, perhaps create a routemap in the coverletter. Hope you provided all documents: hotel booking, return flight ticket, ITR 2 years, means of transportation inside Schengen territory, insurance with min coverage of 300,000 EUR.

  6. Sonali says

    Hi Dev,

    I am desperate for a few answers. I applied for tourist visa to Italy for a 35 day solo trip. I am an undergrad student and also have a part time job. My parents were sponsoring me so I took a letter from them and showed sufficient proof of income with all their documents. I submitted confirmed and prepaid AirBnB bookings and Hostel reservations for each night of my stay. I submitted a copy of my Italy Rail Pass and of course there was my confirmed return flight ticket, insurance, leave letter from my employer, NOC from my college, NOC from my parents and a very detailed itinerary. My visa was still refused with the reason “information provided regarding justification of purpose of stay was not reliable.” I really don’t know what I did wrong because I already have previous visas from France and Hungary and followed the same process.

    Although my trip for now is cancelled, I am quite okay with it. Just one vacation less wont kill me ahahah. But I am really worried about how this affects my future visa prospects. I am looking at a few universities in France and Italy for my masters. Would this refusal turn out to be costly for a student visa or future tourist visas? Do you know anything about this?

    • No. I don’t think this will affect your future visas, as rejections leave no stamp in the passport.

  7. Mandeep says

    Hi Dev,

    I really appreciate your blog services and quick reply. For the countries you have suggested, I have seen packages provided by Thomas Cook and other Starting from 71K for 6days package. I would like to ask you that If I do it at my own(as earlier tour to South East Asia I have managed at my own) would it cost more or it would be good to take package from any tour operator.

  8. Mandeep says

    Hi Dev,
    I want to travel 2-3 European countries within budget, for a week only, with my wife. I got southeast Asia travel history. Kindly suggest us the country(s) from with would be easy to get Schenegan Visa. Even got one year child but not taking him with us. Kindly suggest.

    • They all are the same. I don’t think if any country is comparatively lenient than others. But as per what other people say, try Hungary or Slovakia or Czech Republic. For budget, visit Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. If you’ve one week, I’d recommend Prague, Vienna and Budapest – covering three countries and the major highlights, reason being… they’re closer and will save you travel time. Moreover, they’re comparatively cheaper than Western European countries.

  9. I took up your cover letter suggestion when I applied for visa to Hungary along with my sister. She is a first time foreign traveler and guess what? We both got visas! The trip is for November.

    • Hey that’s so great. Glad I’d a chance to suggest a person like you. And know what I so envy you’re visiting Hungary during such perfect time of the year. I’m sure Hungary in Nov-Dec looks magical. Good luck with your trip!

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