After almost two years of closed borders, travellers are now more invested than ever to travel, experience new places, and realize the travel plans that they had put on hold for such a long time, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
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Travellers to the 26 Schengen Area countries who need a Schengen visa to be eligible to enter, however, day by day, are more likely to face another hassle, that of having their visa application rejected. In 2021 the rejection rate of Schengen visa applications worldwide reached its peak, with 13.4 per cent out of the total number of travellers receiving a negative response in their application.
According to Schengen Visa Info, there are 12 reasons for which visa applications are rejected most frequently, including here a criminal past of the applicant, a damaged passport, the invalidity of one of the documents submitted, and insufficient financial means to support travel, etc.
Three Reasons for the Rejection of a Single Application but “None of Them Stands”
Recently, many travellers have taken to Twitter to share the reason why their application has been rejected, calling the reasons “nonsense” and “without a basis.”
Michael K. Okyere Asante, a lecturer at the Ghana’s University of Environment and Sustainable Development, was set to conduct research at Foundation Hardt in Switzerland and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in Greece. However, the Swiss Embassy in Accra, Ghana, rejected his visa application.
“The Embassy claims that “justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided.” This is totally false. Both letters from the Hardt Foundation and the American School clearly provide justification for the purpose and conditions of stay,” Asante wrote on his personal Twitter account, sharing the story with other fellow Twitter users.
He further noted that the claim is contradictory since the Embassy also told him that “the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable,” and according to him, means that the Embassy claims that the proof actually provided but was unreliable.
He calls the Embassy disrespectful, recalling that the Hardt Foundation has existed since 1950 while the American School has been here since 1881, and both are reputable organizations.
“The third and final reason provided by the Embassy is that “you have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence, for the duration of the intended stay or for the return to the country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which you are certain to be admitted,” he says.
Further, he explains that he provided a letter from the Hardt Foundation, which includes a full board research scholarship and proof that he has access to free accommodation in Athens.
Staff Negligence & “Non-Legitimate Grounds for Rejection”
Asante is not the only one who claims that the reason why their visa application was rejected is “non-reasonable” and has no legitimate grounds.
A Twitter user called Vindya Dayananda claims their Schengen visa got rejected because the VFS Global officers did not take a copy of their United States green card extension and accused VFS of the negligence of clients.
“My Schengen visa got rejected because your officers did not take a copy of my green card extension. It’s cost me 2K to fly across the country for a 2nd appointment, and now thousands of dollars in reservations are at risk because I have run out of time. Sadly, I will miss my BFs wedding,” this person wrote last June.
Hemant Khatri, an Oceanography and Climate Science Research Associate at the University of Liverpool, had his transit visa rejected by the German Embassy in India under the pretence that “There are enough flights available without having to change planes in a Schengen country”.
“Why do you have a transit visa category then? Had to cancel tickets from Lufthansa. Wasted time and money. It is just harassment,” he tweeted, sharing a photo of the letter of rejection issued by the German Embassy in India.
Another Twitter user under the handler @Koromone_K claims that her friend was denied a Schengen visa based on “there are reasonable doubts that you won’t return home before the visa expires” even though she submitted bank statements, letter of employment, and return ticket.
Whereas a visa applicant named Suraj Mehta claims that the Swiss Embassy in India rejected his visa without any legitimate grounds, even though he previously had a Schengen visa and now has a valid US visa and Canada visa. He also claims that his application met all the conditions as set by the Embassy.
Visa Rejection Rates Increasing Year by Year, Some Applicants Want Their Money Back
Schengen visa application rejection rates have been increasing continuously year by year as follows:
- 2014 – 5.1 per cent
- 2015 – 6.2 per cent
- 2016 – 6.9 per cent
- 2017 – 8.2 per cent
- 2018 – 9.6 per cent
- 2019 – 9.9 per cent
- 2020 – 13.6 per cent
- 2021 – 13.4 per cent
Under claims that more visa applications are being rejected in 2022, some applicants now want their money back in cases when their visa is not approved.
The Moroccan National Federation of Consumer Rights (FMDC) has joined these voices by sending an open letter to the Embassy of France in Rabat, Morocco, urging the French consulates to refund all applicants whose visa requests were rejected.
“The restrictions of the granting of this document were imposed by the government of France without having informed the consumer applying for a visa of the new terms of issue,” the letter stated, referring to a decision by France to reduce the number of Schengen visas granted due to Morocco’s refusal to repatriate Moroccans staying illegally in France.
Morocco is also among the countries that have experienced a steep increase in the number of rejected visas year by year, from 15.3 per cent of applications being rejected in 2017 to 18 per cent in 2018, 20.5 per cent in 2019, 23.6 per cent in 2020, and as many as 27.6 per cent in 2021.
>> Almost 40,000 Algerians Had Their Schengen Visas Rejected in 2021, 80% of Them by French Authorities