12 Common Reasons Why Schengen Visa Applications Get Rejected (2024)

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12 Common Reasons Why Schengen Visa Applications Get Rejected (1)

Applying for a Schengen visa can be tricky, and sometimes applications may be turned down. We will cover some of the main reasons why Schengen visa applications get rejected, from missing documents to not showing enough funds.

Knowing these common issues can help you avoid them and increase your chances of getting your visa approved.

What Are Some of the Most Common Reasons for Visa Application Refusal?

Some of the most common reasons why your visa application might get rejected are:

  • Criminal records or security risk.
  • Forged travel documents.
  • Incomplete or incorrect application.
  • Inadequate justification for the planned stay.
  • Damaged passport.
  • Passport invalidity.
  • Lack of evidential travel itinerary.
  • Insufficient financial means.
  • Unacceptable birth or marriage certificate.
  • Invalid or insufficient travel insurance.
  • Lack of presenting proof of accommodation.
  • Prior Schengen visa violations.

Criminal Records or Security Risk

The past and current circ*mstances and actions of the applicant matter a lot in the decision of the consular officer to issue a Schengen visa. When assessing visa applications, consular officers prioritize the safety and security of the Schengen Area. As a result, a visa refusal may occur if the applicant is perceived as a potential threat to public policy, internal security, or public wealth within the Schengen Area. (i.e., terrorism, drug abuse, child abuse, addiction, and other serious crimes).

False Travel Documents

False travel documents, such as forged passports, are considered fraudulent and illegal. Visa authorities and consular officers take document fraud very seriously, and if they discover that any of the documents you have submitted as part of your visa application are counterfeit or altered, it is highly likely that your visa application will be rejected.

Submitting false travel documents not only jeopardizes your current visa application but can also have long-term consequences, including being banned from entering the country or the Schengen Area for a specified period or even facing legal action.

Incomplete or Incorrect Application

Visa rejection can occur if your visa application is incomplete or contains incorrect information. It’s crucial to provide all required documents and ensure the information you provide is accurate and complete to avoid such a rejection.

When you fill out your visa application, be sure to read each question and answer them correctly carefully. Some questions are marked with a star (*) to show they are mandatory, so you can’t leave them blank. If a question doesn’t apply to you, you can write “N/A” (which means not applicable or no answer).

Immigration officials may ask for more documents or clarification if they find your application is incomplete or unclear.

To avoid the risk of visa rejection:

  • Read each question carefully and answer all of them, even if you think they don’t apply to you.
  • Take your time while filling out the form. Don’t rush, and if you have questions, ask for help.
  • Review your application before submitting it to make sure all questions are answered correctly.

Inadequate Justification for the Planned Stay

Another motive that can result in the consular office denying your Schengen Visa is failing to have the needed justification for your purpose and conditions of the planned travel and stay. Such are the cases of:

  • Failing to demonstrate a consistent match between your employment and professional qualifications and your declared financial situation.
  • Incapacity to provide documents that support the stated purpose of your travel and stay in the Schengen Area.
  • Not applying for a visa duration that corresponds with the provided travel itinerary and the available vacation time or financial means.
  • Offering inconsistent statements or declarations regarding the purpose of your travel and intended stay.

Damaged Passport

A reason for a visa refusal could be presenting a passport that is not kept in good condition. Such cases can be when passport pages are detaching or missing when the cover of the passport is damaged, and so on. A damaged passport may not meet the required standards for travel and could be considered invalid by the visa authorities.

Passport Invalidity

Presenting a passport that does not meet the criteria set by the Embassy or Consulate can lead to the consular officer denying your visa application. This includes situations such as:

  • Presenting a passport that does not have a valid period of less than three (3) remaining months after the return from the visit to the Schengen Area.
  • Presenting a passport that does not possess two different blank visa pages.
  • Presenting a Travel Document Booklet instead of a valid passport.
  • Presenting a valid passport that is older than ten (10) years.

Lack of Evidential Travel Itinerary

Failure to present a comprehensive travel plan within the Schengen Area is another common reason for a Schengen Visa application to be unsuccessful. Such cases include:

  • Applying at the wrong Schengen Embassy. The inability to determine the primary destination of your visit within the Schengen Area can lead to applying at the wrong Embassy.
  • Lack of proof of booked accommodations. Failure to demonstrate confirmed accommodation reservations for each destination and every night of your stay within the Schengen Area.
  • Inability to provide booked flight tickets for each applicant (in the case of a group of travelers). When traveling as a group, not being able to furnish flight tickets for each member of the group can lead to visa refusal.
  • Inability to provide travel tickets for each destination within the Schengen Area. Failing to present travel tickets for each leg of your journey within the Schengen Area, especially if you plan to visit multiple destinations, can result in visa rejection.

Learn How to Get a Flight Itinerary for Schengen Visa Application without paying any money towards the actual cost of the full airline ticket.

Insufficient Financial Means

Visa authorities typically assess your financial situation to ensure that you can sustain yourself without relying on public assistance or engaging in illegal employment while in their country. If you do not have sufficient means of subsistence or financial resources to support your intended stay in the destination country, your visa can be rejected.

If your financial documentation, such as bank statements, income statements, or sponsorship letters, does not demonstrate the ability to cover your expenses during your stay, it can lead to a visa rejection.

»Proofing financial sufficiency when applying for a Schengen Visa or entering the Schengen Area

Unacceptable Birth Or Marriage Certificate

An additional cause for a failed Schengen Visa application is not being able to offer birth or marriage certificates that are accepted (not authenticated) by the embassy or consulate. Such cases include:

  • Failing to offer a certificate endorsed by official authorities, i.e., Ministry Interior.
  • Failing to offer a certificate in a non-English language translated by the authorized translator.
  • Lacking to prove a civil certificate (offering a religious document instead).
  • Not being able to offer a certificate showing both parents of the child.
  • Not being able to offer a certificate that matches the names of the parties presented on the submitted passports.
  • Not being able to offer a document of the legal sole custody order for the child (if a single parent).
  • Not being able to offer the legal adoption documents for the adoptive child (for EU Spouse application).

Invalid or Insufficient Travel Insurance

Many countries require visa applicants to provide proof of adequate travel insurance coverage as part of the visa application process. Valid travel insurance is essential to cover potential medical expenses, repatriation, and other unforeseen circ*mstances during your stay in the destination country.

If your travel insurance is considered invalid, it may not meet the required criteria specified by the embassy or consulate, such as coverage limits, duration, or specific coverage for medical emergencies.

Cases when travel insurance leads to visa rejection include:

  • Not supplying travel insurance with coverage in the required amount.
  • Failing to provide travel insurance that includes coverage for the candidate’s return to their home country.
  • Inability to present travel insurance with a policy valid throughout the Schengen Area.
  • Incapability to demonstrate travel insurance that covers the entire duration of the trip within the Schengen Area.

Learn more about Schengen travel insurance requirements.

Lack of Presenting Proof of Accommodation

Proof of accommodation is typically a crucial requirement in the visa application process, as it demonstrates your preparedness and intention to have a place to stay during your visit.

If you do not provide evidence of where you will be staying, such as hotel reservations, a letter of invitation from a host, or a rental agreement, it can raise doubts about your travel plans and your ability to support yourself while in the country. As a result, your visa application may be denied due to the lack of proof of accommodation.

Learn more: How to Get a Hotel Booking Confirmation Letter For Visa Application.

Prior Schengen Visa Violations

Having a negative travel history and a history of visa violations can weaken your position when applying for a visa. Conversely, a clean record of adhering to Schengen visas in the past can increase your prospects of obtaining a Schengen visa. Immigration authorities typically check your intent to depart from the Member States’ territory before your visa’s expiration date, so it’s crucial not to break this rule.

Common visa violations include:

  • Staying in the destination country beyond the authorized period granted by your previous visa.
  • Unauthorized employment. Working without the necessary work permit or on a tourist visa, where employment is not allowed.
  • Violation of visa conditions. Engaging in activities that are prohibited by the visa, such as attending school on a tourist visa or engaging in illegal activities.
  • Misrepresentation or fraud. Providing false information or forged documents during a previous visa application.

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12 Common Reasons Why Schengen Visa Applications Get Rejected (2024)


12 Common Reasons Why Schengen Visa Applications Get Rejected? ›

Failure to provide all supporting documents can lead to the rejection of your visa application. The lack of documentation, such as employment letters, hotel reservations, proof of financial means, etc, make your visa application seem ingenuine and incomplete.

What makes Schengen visa rejected? ›

Failure to provide all supporting documents can lead to the rejection of your visa application. The lack of documentation, such as employment letters, hotel reservations, proof of financial means, etc, make your visa application seem ingenuine and incomplete.

What percentage of Schengen visas are rejected? ›

Nevertheless, despite the significant decline in both the absolute number and the percentage of Schengen visa applications, the rejection rate for Schengen visa applications increased significantly. Globally, the total rejection rate surged from 5% to 17.5% in 2022, marking an increase of 12.5%.

What is the hardest Schengen visa to get? ›

Greece, Italy, and Switzerland are slightly tougher. And Scandinavia — along with top tourist destinations like France, Germany, Portugal, and Spain — tend to be the toughest to get approved for a Schengen visa to.

Which Schengen country has highest visa approval rate 2024? ›

Schengen Countries with the Lowest Visa Rejection Rates
  • Iceland.
  • Lithuania.
  • Finland.
  • Luxembourg.
  • Poland.
  • Switzerland.
  • Italy.
  • Schengen Countries with the Highest Visa Rejection Rate Includes Malta, Sweden, Belgium, and France.
Feb 20, 2024

How can I increase my chances of getting a Schengen visa? ›

Make sure you apply for your Visa well in advance of your intended travel date. The Schengen Visa application process can be time-consuming and complex, so it's best to start the process weeks or even months prior to your intended travel date to ensure that you have enough time to gather all the necessary documents.

How can I avoid Schengen visa rejection? ›

The visa period of the Schengen visa is 90 days, so the time of stay duration needs to be planned. This means, not just your leaving the country dates, but returning the country dates and flight must be planned and booked. If you do not show proof that you will not overstay, your visa might be rejected.

Which country has the highest Schengen visa rejection rate? ›

In 2022, the five Schengen countries with the highest rejection rates were as follows:
  • Malta 36.4 percent.
  • Sweden 29 percent.
  • Belgium 28.4 percent.
  • France 22.2 percent.
  • Norway 20.3 percent.
Jun 12, 2023

Which country has highest visa rejection rate? ›

Estonia rejected the highest share of visas from India in 2022 - 56% of 1,986 applications. Malta had a 45% rejection rate, while Slovenia rejected 44.5% of 2,732 visas. Germany had the lowest rejection rate for Indians.

Which Schengen visa has the lowest rejection rate? ›

Iceland. The Nordic country received 7,715 visa applications in 2022, and rejected only 146 of them. That's a rejection rate of 1.9%—the lowest across the Schengen region. Go for: The phenomenal beauty of glaciers and geysers, lava fields and waterfalls, and the Northern Lights.

Which country gives Schengen visa easily? ›

Switzerland. Switzerland is the easiest country to get a Schengen Visa. It had a rejection percentage of only 5.86% for Indians in 2019. Not only that, France, Italy and Germany surround Switzerland, so you can travel to these major European holiday destinations with minimum travel.

What is the easiest European country to get a visa? ›

Finland: Finland has a high visa approval rate and is among the easiest European countries to obtain a visa. In 2021, out of 61,018 visa applications, 55,882 were granted.

What is the easiest Schengen visa to get 2024? ›

The quickest Schengen visa to obtain is from Lithuania, with shorter wait times for appointments and application decisions. Estonia is also a good option, granting more than 97% of applications and receiving fewer requests.

What is the hardest visa to get? ›

Hardest Countries to Get a Visa to Visit
  • Iran.
  • Turkmenistan.
  • Chad.
  • Bhutan.
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • Western Sahara.
  • Somah2a.
  • North Korea.

What is the average wait for Schengen visa? ›

General information about Schengen visa and the application process can be found here. IMPORTANT: Duly completed application forms may be submitted six months prior to your intended travel date. It may take an average time of 15 days to process your Schengen visa application.

Is Italy visa easy to get? ›

You can obtain a visa for Italy through ACKO within 20 to 25 business days. However, there are times when the embassy may need more paperwork. If that happens, we will let you know right away and ask that you send us the necessary documents as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

What is the difference between Schengen visa refusal and rejection? ›

Visa refusal means you did something wrong and that went on your permanent record, leading to visa refusal. While the visa rejection means something is missing from your application and you have to resubmit your paperwork.

How long should I wait to apply for Schengen visa after rejection? ›

Reapplying for a Schengen visa after rejection is a common scenario, so let's explore how you can minimize the chances of failure through reapplication. Reapplying does not have a formal time limit. After visa rejection, you must wait at least 30 days.

What is the difference between visa refusal and rejection? ›

Visa Refusal refers to the act of denying your entry into to a particular country by rejecting your visa application. Visa rejection may happen when you fail to prove your eligibility to visit a particular country.

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