Schengen visa refused: what can I do and how can I prevent it?


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The Schengen visa is an important document for nationals of certain third countries that allows them to enter the Schengen area for a stay of up to 90 days. In addition to entry, the Schengen visa also allows free travel within the 26 Schengen member states. So what happens to get your Schengen visa refused?

When applying for a Schengen visa, you must carefully prepare all the necessary documents. If the application is inadequate, it may be rejected. Has your application for a Schengen visa been rejected? We will show you what you can do in this case and how you can prevent it!

Why was my Schengen visa rejected?

In 2019, around 220,000 Schengen visas out of a total of 2.2 million processed applications were rejected. If your Schengen visa is rejected, you will receive a notification stating the decisive reasons for the rejection as well as information on legal remedies.

If your visa has been denied, one of the following reasons is usually given:

  1. Forged or falsified travel documents.
  2. The purpose and conditions of your intended stay could not be proven, for example due to missing or insufficient documentation.
  3. There is a lack of proof of financing for living in the Schengen zone, transit or return to your place of residence.
  4. You have already stayed in the territory of the Member States for longer than the 90 days per 180-day period you are allowed to do.
  5. They were advertised in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for refusal of entry.
  6. One or more Member States consider that you pose a threat to public order, internal security, public health or the international relations of one or more Member States.
  7. Evidence that you have adequate and valid travel health insurance has not been provided.
  8. The information provided about the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not credible.
  9. You could not credibly prove your willingness to return.

Note: For more information on the reasons for your rejection letter, please contact the embassy or consulate of the relevant country.

Why was my visa refused despite the declaration of commitment?

If you have submitted a declaration of commitment to the responsible immigration office, the costs for your stay in the Schengen country are secured, but your willingness to return to your home country is not, which is a common reason why a Schengen visa is refused.

Which travel health insurance do I need for my Schengen visa?

For a Schengen visa, you need travel insurance that covers the costs of patient repatriation and medical emergencies with a coverage of € 30,000. The best Schengen insurance policies fulfill these conditions and issues you a personal insurance policy, which you can print out as proof when applying for the Schengen visa and submit it to the consulate with the application.

My application for the Schengen visa has been rejected, what can I do?

If your application for the Schengen visa has been rejected and you do not agree with the decision of the embassy, ​​you have the following options within a period of one month to take action against the rejection notice:

  1. You can submit a complaint to the relevant diplomatic mission abroad (remonstration). In the event of a renewed rejection, you have the option of filing a complaint with the relevant institution (see point 3) or of making a new application.
    • Visa refused in Germany : You can file a complaint with the administrative court in Berlin. 
    • Visa refused in Austria : You can file a complaint with the Federal Administrative Court in Vienna.
    • Visa refused in Switzerland : You can file a complaint with the State Secretariat in Bern. 
  2. If your application for the Schengen visa has only been rejected due to incomplete documents, the embassy recommends submitting a new application, as a remonstration process is usually more time-consuming.

Note: If you do nothing, your documents and the rejection will be saved in the Schengen Information System (SIS).

How do I write my remonstration?

If you have received the letter in which your Schengen visa was rejected, you can initiate your remonstration in person or through an authorized person in writing at the relevant embassy within four weeks. In addition to your written statement, you can add new documents and information to the letter. 

Your application for a Schengen visa will then be re-examined free of charge. It can take up to twelve months to review your remonstration. You will be informed by the embassy unsolicited about the acceptance or rejection of your application.

If the decision is negative again, you can :

  • Bring an action at the competent court in Germany, Austria or Switzerland
  • Submit a new application and respond to the previous reasons for rejection and refute them with documentation

Checklist for my remonstration:

  • Name, first name, date of birth, passport number and date of
  • six-digit barcode (BCXXXXXX) from the rejection notice
  • postal address
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Your signature and a power of attorney signed by you (you should not remonstrate yourself)
  • detailed reasons why the rejection is not justified
  • detailed explanation of why you want to travel to the Schengen country and why your stay is important to you
  • other documents that support your argument and that you have not yet submitted when you submitted your application

How can I avoid my Schengen visa being rejected?

In order for your Schengen visa application to be eligible, it must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the travel date. As a rule, the diplomatic missions in the country through which you want to enter the Schengen area need up to 14 days to decide on an application for a Schengen visa. Due to possible waiting times, you should submit your documents early, up to a maximum of six months in advance

In Germany, the application for the Schengen visa must also be submitted via the online system VIDEX. Old paper applications are no longer valid here. 

In any case, make sure that you submit your application for the Schengen visa and the other required documents properly and in full. The following checklist can help you with this.

Checklist for your Schengen visa application

  • Meet deadlines Use the VIDEX online system (in Germany)
  • Completed and signed visa application
  • Valid passport
  • Two current biometric passport photos
  •  A letter with your reason for entry 
  • Travel data based on an entry and return ticket
  • Proof of accommodation on site
  • if necessary, letter of invitation when visiting relatives or acquaintances
  • Proof of financial means
  • Take out Schengen visa travel insurance

Good to know: If your Schengen visa is rejected, the Schengen insurance will be reimbursed by your Schengen visa insurance provider.

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FAQ: Schengen visa refused

Why can a Schengen visa be refused?

There are different reasons why a Schengen visa can be rejected: An incomplete visa application or missing documents or an implausible willingness to return may be the basis for this, for example.

What to do if the Schengen visa has been refused?

If your Schengen visa has been rejected in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, you can file a complaint with the relevant court. You also have the option of a remonstration, which you submit to the relevant embassy.

Will I get the fee for my Schengen visa application back if it is rejected?

If your Schengen visa is rejected, the fees for processing the application will not be reimbursed.

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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