schengen tourist visa rejection

Reasons For Schengen Tourist Visa Rejection

Let’s find out the possible Schengen visa rejection reasons and make your application stronger.

There can be many reasons for a Schengen visa rejection.

Its process is strict and complicated, and the result is unexpected. You might have provided everything to your best knowledge but it can still be 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 have the highest approval chances, while others believe it’s France and Germany.

So, if you’re applying for one be very careful, and avoid the following Schengen visa rejection reasons.

But before I do that, I would like to share with you this helpful guide on how to apply for Schengen Visa from India. In this blog, I have shared a detailed step-by-step process — from writing the cover letter to buying travel insurance to making sure you get the visa.

Now let’s continue with the topic in hand and discuss the top Schengen visa rejection reasons…

False Travel Documents

One of the recent cases that I came across (of a friend) made me realise that false travel documents are not going to get you a visa. He provided a photoshopped flight itinerary and that was his Schengen visa rejection reason. So don’t even try doing that.

If you do not have a required document, simply mention so in your cover letter and you can still be at the mercy of the visa officer. Providing false travel documents is a direct ticket to getting your visa rejected.

I remember the first I was planning a Europe trip from India and applied for a Schengen visa, it was back in 2017. I was planning for my 58-day self-sponsored backpacking trips across Europe and I provided every required document with my application. From booked hotels to a confirmed flight ticket to other things, my application had everything. 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 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 about what you do or don’t have. Present your visa officer with nothing, but transparency. Failing to do so is one of the fatal mistakes and prominent Schengen visa rejection reasons.

Failing To Explain The Purpose Of Travel

Your Schengen Visa cover letter helps the visa officer learn What, When, Where and How you are planning to travel in the Schengen state. Write 2 pages or 4, it doesn’t matter, make sure you convince the visa officer about the purpose of your travel.

I’ve three Schengen visas in my passport so far. Other than the first time (when it was a self-planned trip) During the second and third trip was a media trip to where I was invited by a tourism board. And since my trip was sponsored by them, I did not have much problem obtaining the visa (read: how to contact tourism boards as a blogger).

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, “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 stay in the Schengen territory, which assured the visa officer that my sole purpose for visiting Schengen states was travelling.

So be very clear about why you are travelling and what all places are, 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 is among the biggest Schengen visa rejection reasons.

Inability To Impress The VISA Officer

Since the definition of What Makes A Schengen Visa application successful is so broad, your application’s outcome 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 the Schengen visa!

I’ve seen people having their visas rejected, despite already having two Schengen stamps on their passports. If your visa officer isn’t convinced that your original intent to visit Europe is travelling only, you are not going to get 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. Buy valid travel insurance that covers your entire stay in Schengen countries, covering at least 350,000 Euros. Provide travel tickets for each destination within the Schengen area.

And if anything is left, make sure you mention that on your cover.

Again, be very clear. Do everything very neatly. Predicting Schengen tourist visa rejection reasons is always very hard.

Documents For Schengen Tourist Visa

You can check for the updated list of required Schengen visa documents on the VFS website, or your respective embassy’s website. In most cases, however, these are the required documents for your Schengen Tourist Visa:

  • A cover letter (stating your intention to travel)
  • Confirmed return flight tickets
  • Confirmed hotel bookings
  • 3 years of ITR
  • Original Passport
  • 2 Passport size photos
  • Photocopies of your Passport (front & back page)
  • Travel Insurance (with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000)
  • Proof of employment & holiday from your employer | Proof of business if self-employed

Not being able to provide any of the documents and failing to mention so in your cover letter is one of the common Schengen visa rejection reasons.


As long as you’re being honest in your application and providing all necessary documents, no one can stop you from getting a Schengen visa. And I am a living example.

I mean if you look at my case… I had no source of income, no employer and I was travelling for 2 months, straight. Yet I got my Schengen Visa. I was clear about my intention to travel and my visa application looked honest.

Similarly, be honest, be clear and you will be all fine!

Again, predicting the reasons for Schengen visa rejection is hard. All you can do is be honest and clear with your application. Still, if you are unsure about what and what not to do, various companies help with your Schengen visa application. So if you’re unsure about the visa rules, use one such service.

If you have more questions, write me a comment below!

Categories Miscellaneous


I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

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