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 may still have your visa rejected. You can never predict what the country embassy you’re applying for your Schengen visa with, has in store for you. Some people believe that countries like the Czech Republic and Hungary that have the highest approval chances, while others believe it’s France and Germany.
So if you’re applying for a Schengen tourist visa, be very careful, and avoid the following mistakes.
Reasons For Schengen Tourist Visa Rejection
False Travel Documents
One of the recent Schengen visa rejection cases that I came across a friend, made me realise that false travel documents are not going to get you a visa. He provided a photoshopped flight itinerary. So don’t even try doing that. If you do not have a required document, simply mention that in your cover letter and you can still be on the mercy of the visa officer than providing forge documents.
I remember the first time I applied for a Schengen visa, it was back in 2017, and for my 58-day self-sponsored backpacking trips across Europe. I provided every required document with my application, from booked hotels to a confirmed flight ticket to other things. The only thing that was missing was the proof of transportation inside Europe. And since I couldn’t provide that, I clearly mentioned so 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
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 Schengen countries. 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!
I’ve three Schengen visas in my passport so far. Other than the first time (when it was a self-planned trip) the other two times I was invited by a tourism board on a press trip. And since my trip was sponsored by them, I did not have much problem in obtaining the visa.
But when I applied for my Schengen travel visa for the first time, my case was rather unusual. Though I mentioned in the cover letter that I work as an independent travel blogger, technically I had no job and no regular source of income. But I mentioned it all very clearly in my cover letter. 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 has 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 had 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.
There are some companies who help with creating a purpose of travel and getting other visa documents ready, for example, Visa Axa is one I have personally used and can recommend.
Inability To Impress The VISA Office
Since the definition of What Makes A Schengen Visa Applications Successful is so broad, your application’s outcome more or less depends on the visa consulate’s mood (and of course, how transparent your purpose of travel is). 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 provide 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 valid travel insurance during your entire stay in Schengen countries, covering at least 350,000 in Euros. Provide travel tickets for each destination within the Schengen area. And if anything is left, make sure you mention that in your cover