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Schengen Visa - Never Get Rejected! | A Complete Guide to Apply Visa

Updated: Oct 3





“With a hope that tourism industry would recover soon from the world pandemic, this information is dedicated to encourage the travelers and bring back the touristic charm on the currently empty streets of Europe. We hope for coronavirus vaccine to available in the market soon, so people can start traveling again without any fear”

When I used to work in a travel company in Dubai, the most common query I used to hear from people was “how to apply Schengen visa?” For those who aren’t familiar with the word “Schengen”, here is some information for you:


A Schengen visa is a short stay tourist visa allowing its holder to travel in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries in the Europe. Find below the full list of countries that comes under the Schengen region:

Austria

Belgium

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Italy

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Norway

Poland

Portugal

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Note: Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland are not a part of European Union, although they are associate members of the Schengen Area.





How to apply the Schengen Visa?

It isn’t certain, but after the COVID-19 pandemic would be over, these guidelines might change a bit depending on the world situation and travel restrictions.


Applying for Schengen visa isn’t that difficult as many people think it is, in-fact it is the easiest visa application if you compare to the tourist visa application of USA, Canada, and Australia. A lot of people pay the travel agents to apply the visa on their behalf as they are not confident in themselves. Trust me, if you have been to school and you are able to read this blog then, you can apply for the Schengen visa yourself. YOU DON’T NEED ANYBODY.





Before, we speak about the:


  1. Visa Documentation

  2. Procedure & Processing Time

  3. Which Schengen Country gives the visa most easily?

  4. Common Mistakes that people do,

  5. How to Prevent the Visa Rejection?

  6. What must you do in-case your Schengen visa was Rejected? and

  7. Common Reasons Why Schengen Visa Applications gets rejected?



First we must find out who needs the Schengen Visa. Mostly the Asians, Africans, and South American nationals need the visa for Schengen countries, but just for you to be sure here is the link to find your visa eligibility as per your nationality.






Visa Documentation:

Due to the high alert of COVID-19 cases around the world, including Italy with a record breaking coronavirus cases in the Europe, many Schengen countries has temporarily suspended accepting the visa applications. So, before planning to apply for the visa, please find out this information from Visa Application Center or the Consulate.


Schengen Visa is usually processed through Visa Application Centers. VFS Global in the most known visa application center authorized by most of the Schengen countries. You must find this information from the web that which visa application center is authorized in your country by the country where you want to travel. Also in some countries you may visit the Embassy/ Consulate directly. Visa Application Center are the authorized offices where you submit the documents and apply for the visa. Application documents normally vary from the country to country. The best way to know the visa documents is to call the Visa Application Center in your country and speak to their customer help center or visit their website and get the documents’ checklist. Certain documents are common and one must never miss them out:

Original Valid Passport (Your Passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the planned date of return to your home country from the Schengen State. For Example, if you intend to travel to Greece from 26 June to 30 June, then your passport must be valid until 31 December)


Photocopy of your valid passport


Photocopy of all your previous Schengen / UK / USA / Other country visas (if you have any. This validates your travel history to the consulate and adds value to your credibility as a tourist).


Personal Bank Statements (Last 6 months or 3 Months depends on for which Schengen country you are applying the visa. You must maintain a sufficient balance in your account before applying the visa). How much is the sufficient balance? Read about it in the later part of the blog.


Hotel Booking (In some cases, the consulate calls the hotel and verifies the hotel booking, so never risk by faking this document).


Flight Booking (I know, nobody wants to book a flight unless they are sure they have got the visa. I don’t understand why Schengen Consulates has made this document mandatory as it simply wastes the money of applicants in-case their visa gets rejected. Many visa applicants fake this document to avoid the risk of losing the money, but I won’t suggest you that).


Travel Insurance (Trust me, this is an essential document whether the official visa document check-list of the Schengen state ask for it or not. Anything can happen when you travel, so always be prepared and cover the risks).








Procedure & Processing Time

Once you submit the visa application to the application center, the application along with your original passport goes to the consulate of the Schengen country. If Schengen consulate of your destination does not have an office in your country then, there is a chance your visa application will be processed by some other Schengen country consulate or your application along with your original passport might travel to another country for the visa stamping. For Example, when you apply the visa for Netherlands in UAE, the visa approval comes from the Netherlands Consulate in Amman, Jordan.



Once your visa application is logged in the system of the Consulate, it normally takes between 15 and 21 days for the visa processing. Sometimes, you might get the approval earlier than the standard time because of several reasons like, if you have an extensive travel history, if you have previous Schengen visas on your passport, and if the Consulate isn’t overloaded with visa applications. Sometimes, it may take more time depending on your nationality. It’s a bitter truth, but for some nationalities the application goes through more thorough validation/verification of the applicant. If you know you fall in this category, then read “How to prevent visa rejection” in the later part of this blog.



Schengen visa can be applied 3 months before the actual date of travel and some Schengen Consulate gives the flexibility to apply 6 months before the travel date. This may vary from country to country. You must check this rule in your country through website of the Visa Application Center or the Schengen Consulate.




Which Schengen Country gives the visa most easily?

Well, this depends on the country from where you are applying the visa. The visa regulations for all the Schengen countries are almost the same. Sometimes the ease of visa processing for one particular Schengen country, comes out of the promotion in tourism. You must check this info from a local travel agent or you can ask travelers in your region from a Facebook group.


Another question that a lot of people ask - Can I enter Switzerland (or any other Schengen country) if I apply the visa from Paris (or any other Schengen country)? Ideally you should apply the visa from the Consulate of the country to where you actually intend to stay longer or enter though in the Schengen Area. But, officially there is no restriction on it and that is the beauty of the Schengen visa that you can travel 26 countries with just one visa.



Common Mistakes that people do

Bank Statements - A lot of people make a mistake when it comes to the bank statements for the visa application. Most commonly, they do not maintain a sufficient balance in their account to show the Consulate the required funds to bear the travel expenses. Officially there isn’t any minimum account balance defined by the visa authorities. The Consulate asks for 6 months bank statements to verify the bank transactions, if it is an active account. Never submit a bank statement which does not belong to you (exception in case of minors, they can submit their parents bank account statement). Never submit a bank statement of an account which is inactive (you do not operate regularly). If you are a business owner, do not submit your business account bank statements, the consulate do not consider the business funds as your savings.


Mismatched Travel Dates - The travel dates on your visa application form and travel dates on our fight and hotel booking must match. If your dates are mismatched, you are likely to have a visa rejection.


Photocopy of Old passport and Previous visas - Many people forget to attach the copies of their old visas. If you have previously traveled to other countries then, you must attach a copy of those visas to increase your chances of getting the visa approval.


Abide the Document Checklist - Always arrange your visa documents as per the official document checklist of the Schengen Country. You can find this checklist on the website of the Consulate or the Visa Application Center.




How to Prevent the Visa Rejection?

If you abide the visa document checklist and do not make any errors in that then, you are likely to get your visa approval. However, in some cases that is not enough. The Golden Rule for a guaranteed Schengen tourist visa is - You have to prove to the Consulate that you will come back to your country after the trip. Now, you must be thinking how do one prove that? What more could you do besides providing the checklist documents? Well, there is a lot more you can do!

In simple words, find out the documents that could tie you up from your home country (or the country from where you are applying the visa, in case you are an expat). For example, if you are a student, you could show the proof of your enrollment at your university or school. If you are an employee, get an NOC (No objection letter) from your employer to acknowledge your trip. If you are a housewife, you can attach a NOC from your husband along with his passport copy) and if you are a business owner, you can attach the trade license copy of your business. You can also attach other financial documents like, fixed deposits and property investments in the country from where you are applying the visa. All these document shows your commitments in the country where you live and proves that you do not intend to stay back in Schengen Area beyond the planned trip.



What must you do in-case your Schengen visa was rejected?

First of all, if you are applying the Schengen tourist visa for the first time then, I advise you to apply it minimum two months before the planned travel dates. The reason for keeping two months grace period is that, if unfortunately your visa gets rejected then, you will have sufficient time to appeal against the denial. You can appeal only once, so when you re-submit the documents, make sure you have got everything covered. Ask for procedure of appeal from the visa application center from where you applied the visa.


If your visa has been rejected twice within 3 months, then do not re-apply the visa for the next 6 months. I can’t give you a clear understanding of why you should wait 6 months, but during my work experience in a travel company I had seen cases, you have a better chance when you re-apply after 6 months time.







Common Reasons Why Schengen Visa Applications gets rejected?

  1. Past or Current Criminal Record

  2. False Travel Documents

  3. Insufficient Explanation For The Purpose of Travel

  4. Damaged Passport

  5. Passport Invalidity

  6. Lacking to prove the Travel Itinerary

  7. Insufficient Funds to pay for the Travel

  8. Invalid Travel Insurance

  9. Lacking to present a Proof of Accommodation.

  10. Failing to prove your Return from the Schengen Country

Hope this information was usefull to you! Enjoy your trip in Europe and for the safety of all, please do take the necessary precautions:

  • Take a COVID-19 Test before traveling

  • Wear a face mask in all public places

  • Keep a hand sanitizer with you while traveling

  • Maintain social distancing


Happy Travels!!!


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