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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 personal experience, while applying for the Schengen visa for my recent 58-day backpacking trip in Europe, I was asked by VFS to provide 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 a 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 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.

Related Reading: Schengen Tourist Visa ProcessTips For Australian Tourist Visa

Filed under: VISAs


After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!


  1. jesvin says

    hi dev,
    im planing to travel to Amsterdam with my other friends who are indian but residence in ireland. we are planing of 8 day trip and while submitting document the first 4 days hotel reservations was done in one of my friends name but mentioning room booked for 6 people. just that we didn’t mention the names last 4 days booked in my name.
    but in the cover letter i have mentioned all their names and that we are going on a trip also mentioning their passport number.
    will this be an reason to reject visa?? please help me
    today is april 2 i submitted documents yesterday will i get visa before may 3 ?? pleas help me with this urgently.

    thank you

  2. H mehta says

    Hello, I have my travel planned for France and netherlands.. from 4th nov to 11th Nov.
    I applied for France visa because I am going to stay there longer.
    I am employee and I have all proper documents from my work place, ITR 3 year, leave letter from company every possible documents.
    I am traveling with my husband and he is a freelancer and he is share trader.. trading in shares and he has got ITR for 1 year. We have enough funds in our accounts like 4lacs and 8lacs respectively in his and mine accounts. I have done all bookings like flight and hotes for France and netherlands. I recently traveled singapore, Indonesia, thailand in last one year. I provided all documents like hotel, flight tickets return flights, my ITR 3 year, pay slips, leave letter, insurance every possible things. Still I got rejected please help me what changes I make and I apply as I have all bookings done and I want to travel europe for my diwali holidays.
    Please suggest that is is hampering visa just because my husband doesn’t have 3 years ITR papers or he is a freelancer??? Please help

  3. I have booked a trip with my mother for France and Switzerland scheduled for October 2018. It’s her 70th Birthday so wanted to make it special. We are travelling with a escorted group tour by My mother has a travel history of US in 2014 and her US Visa is still valid. I have been rejected for US tourist visa twice once in 2014 and 2016. Apart from that I have travelled Dubai, Singapore and Thailand on 2018 on tourist visa. I have all documents intact. Earlier I was running a proprietorship company so I have my personal ITR for past 7 years but this June 2018 I turned it into Pvt. Ltd. So no present ITR’s for pvt Ltd yet. What are the chances for visa approval and where can I make the case strong. Is it the group departures have a better chance with visa approval ? Kindly advise. Thanks

  4. Priyanka says

    Hi Dev,

    I have applied for the Schengen Visa through Czech Republic . We are three friends , We applied on 5/04 and I got a small interview call on 11th April with details such as how much time are you going to spend / how much money/ what is the currency of Czech. I have travelled to Dubai/ hongkong/ Singapore before but as this is my reissued Passport it only has srilanka stamp . My other friends passport has got dispatched on 13th , My status still doesn’t show anything.

  5. Chandralekha Dey says

    Hii Dev,

    Me n my husband applied for schengen visa last month. We submitted our visa applications along with all the necessary documents(cover letter, proof of income, itr of 3 years, planned itinerary, hotel bookings, flight tickets, travel insurance, etc) .. in Kolkata. After a week we got an email from czech embassy to appear for interview in New Delhi. So we went to new delhi few days ago and appeared for the interview. They asked us general questions as our purpose of visit, how many days in praque, mode of expenses, if its our frst foreign trip, which countries are we visiting , etc. Also they asked me one simple question- which countries share the boundary with czech republic? As my geography is a bit weak i cudnt answer the question i cud only remember Hungary sharing the border, rest i said i forgot, i dont know actually. Although my husband answered evrythng correctly.

    My concern is –
    1 . Why did they call us for the interview?
    2. Will they refuse the visa for my last answer?
    3. Wat wil be our next step if they cancel our visa?

    Please help..

    Regards Chandralekha

  6. Harjeet Singh says

    in which language hungary visa officer take interview for tourist visa

  7. for 11may18, me (57), wife (53) & daughter (21) have booked a swiss-france tour via
    my wife & daughter have valid usa visas & have visited 5 times.
    my wife & i have toured swiss & france in 2016 –
    all 3 of us would be receiving our usa green card (permanent residence) sometimes in apr18.
    since we would be settling in the usa, i have gradually started to whittle down my business transactions during the last 4-5 months. (i am self employed – proprietor)
    i have fixed deposits in banks.
    have started to pre-mature my fds & transfer the funds to my current account.
    (every 5-6 days, i will have a credit in my current account)
    we would be applying for the schengen visa in the 1st week of april18
    my bank balance on *that day would be around 6-7 lakhs.
    * [ would that be sufficient (i would be sponsoring my wife & daughter) ] *

  8. Aishwarya says

    Hey Dev,
    I am a 12th passout student. I want to apply for visa in Belgium (from July 1 to July 4 2018) for entrance exam purpose. Since i want to study in Belgium, I have to be physically present in Antwerp for the exam. The duration of the stay is 4 days and 3 nights. Since i am a student, i don’t have a travel insurance i.e. 30,000 euros. Will that be a problem?
    Waiting for your opinion. Kindly reply soon.

    • Book a travel insurance, it costs nothing. Google for the prices please and you will find out yourself. Moreover, it’s necessary to have the travel insurance while applying for a Schengen Visa. And the figure 30,000 euros, denotes the total amount of damages you can claim, not the amount of money you need to show or something 🙂

  9. Pradeep says

    Hi Dev,
    Is 2 years ITR sufficient for Schengen Visa (For Work purpose)? But in the VFS Global website, it is mentioned 3 years ITR is required. Please suggest.

    • They ask for 3 years, if you dont have it for the previous 3 years, show whatever you’ve and mention about it (with a reason) in your Cover Letter.

  10. 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.

    • Mandeep says

      Hi Dev,

      How are you?
      I need advice from you that my friend in U.K is going to organise his marriage in Italy as his would be wife is Italian. My query is that I would be attending the marriage with my wife and 1 year old child. So what would be the documents which I need from his side and from our side also as marriage is in the end of May. And also other factors which ensure the visa.

      Thank you.

      • Devushka047 says

        Hey hi.. Is south africa & egypt safe to travel solo for a single woman? I have never done solo travel. As in i have went without family but i always went by package group tour. I am thinking of going solo with customised package hence forth so that i wont miss places i want to visit. So is SA & egypt safe? I am thinking of visiting this places.. also, will veg food be a problem here. And is ITR or salary slip or documents needed for this two countries. I have only bank statement and passport as i take home tutions. My travel history is only sri lanka & nepal

  11. 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.

  12. ravinder kumar says

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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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