Schengen Visa Rejection Horror Stories

Learn what to do when your Schengen visa is denied or rejected. This is HOW IT IS to travel with a not-so-lucky passport. When applying for a visa is the 10th circle of hell. No visa, no travel la!

 

schengen visa rejection

 

Don’t we all have one or a dozen visa horror stories to tell?

You know, like that time you got a rejected Schengen visa and your travel dreams were shattered.

You raised hell, ranted on Facebook and cried yourself to sleep at night. You wake up the next morning and…your Schengen visa is still not there.

As a Filipino traveling with a third-world passport, you’re probably all too familiar with this feeling.

I have been denied Schengen visas and even work visas a few times too many. I know the feeling TOO well. In fact, I know it too well that I am now writing this because all the horror feels came bubbling up while I am organizing our #DreamFamilyTrip this summer.

Here are our recent Schengen visa rejection horror stories of me and family.

 

In this series:
Schengen Visa Rejection Horror Stories
How to Appeal a Schengen Visa Refusal and get your visa approved
How to Write an Appeal for Schengen Visa Refusal that works
Sample Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Refusal

 

IMG_3908

My “Give me my visa, b*tch!” face

 

Schengen Visa Rejection, The Juicy Part

My parents were finally coming to visit me this summer in Europe and they applied for a German visa for their trip on June 25 to July 17 last April 18. They submitted all the required documents listed on the embassy website. I also gave them an informal invitation letter complete with a copy of my passport and my German ID even if they were NOT required. Just to be sure.

One of the main reasons your Schengen visa will be rejected is if your documents are incomplete. That seems pretty obvious but a lot of people who email me or comment on the blog are shocked that their Schengen visa applications were denied when they have not submitted all the required documents.

I personally checked each of the documents my parents were submitting to make sure everything was in order. Their application form, flight reservation, employment papers, travel insurance, hotel reservation etc. I mean I have applied a few times for a Schengen visa at the German embassy in Manila and even wrote a huge-ass guide about it. So I am pretty familiar with the whole hellish process.

Note though that my parents were applying for a tourist Schengen visa on their own. This means that I was not officially sponsoring their trip nor did I get them a Formal Obligation Letter from the city hall. They have to show their own bank accounts and employment papers and prove that they can afford to come visit me. It was much easier this way as it was more trouble to get the Formal Obligation Letter here in Germany and then FedEx it to them.

But guess what these Dementors at the German embassy asked for during their interview?

“Can you please show me the visa of your son when he entered Germany in 2012?”

This after you show and submit them everything: your employment papers, all your properties, all your freakin bank accounts. It’s worse than applying to run for Philippine Presidency.

Can’t they see I have a legit German ID? How the freak did I get that? And what does my 2012 visa have to do with my parents coming to visit me here as tourists? Aren’t they supposed to look at the merits of their own documents and not go looking for random stuff like my visa in 2012? WHAAAT?

Apparently they wanted to make sure I entered Germany legally in 2012. Or in layman’s terms, they wanted to make sure I wasn’t some third-world illegal immigrant in Germany.

Seriously these paranoid androids were getting to my nerves.

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

The worse was that all my files are actually at the German embassy because I have applied for visas with them 3 times in the past. The girl at the window could have easily checked her computer to search my name and verify my German visa in 2012. Of course my parents didn’t know this so they didn’t tell her to do that. They just said they will ask me and submit it as well.

It was just so absurd.

So they gave my parents a paper asking for additional documents that states “Copy of son’s Schengen visa, the one used when he entered Germany”.

I already gave them a photo of my official German residency ID even if it was not required. And yet they wanted this random extra document. Do they think it’s so easy to get an official German residency ID?

I don’t get it. But whatever. I wanted my parents to get a Schengen visa so I emailed the embassy a photo of my previous Schengen visa.

And we waited.

 

My German Schengen visa in 2013. They have a record of this.

My German Schengen visa in 2012. They have a record of this.

 

Normally, Schengen visas are approved or denied within 3-7 days but a week or two have passed and there was still no sign of my parents’ passports with visas on the mail.

Waiting is a nightmare.

When you wake up everyday checking your email or your phone for updates about your visa application and there are no updates.

I was getting impatient so I emailed the embassy a few times. And on the 16th day since their interview, the embassy emailed to tell me their passport was on the way and should be delivered within 3 days or so.

They won’t tell you if it’s approved or denied. So it was so nerve-wracking to wait for the delivery to arrive. But at least we know we only have to wait 3 more days instead of forever!

Finally when it arrived, my father sent me a photo of their passports WITH VISAS! Hallelujah, Praise the Lord Jesus Buddha and Allah.

It took three weeks instead of 3-7 days!

But DJ, your parents got their visas! I thought this was a Schengen visa rejection horror story?

Well, thank God they got their visas but the whole ordeal was a nightmare. Actually I am sharing this because this is an important part of the real Schengen Visa rejection story.

This is just an intro! It gets juicier and meatier!

 

schengen visa facebook group

 

Schengen Visa Rejection, The Meaty Part

What I didn’t tell you in the first part of the story was that my youngest sister also planned to join us in this trip. I did mention I was planning a summer #DreamFamilyTrip (emphasis on family), right?

So my sister, Diane, was planning to join us. She was supposed to apply for a visa at the same time as parents but she applied for her new Philippine passport late and it didn’t arrive on time before their visa interview as a group.

Diane is the Queen Procrastinator. She would do everything last minute and half the time it was already too late. She’s the youngest and I think we spoiled her too much. She knows she always has other people taking care of her. But she’s already 23 so she should learn to adult by now.

Anyway, since her passport was late, she had to reschedule her April 18 interview to another date. And because March to September are usually busy months at the embassy, the earliest date she could get was May 24, a month before our planned trip. This means she had an extra month to complete all her documents so it was all good.

Diane being Diane, she completed her documents super duper last minute again.

Well, kind of.

During the day of her interview, she still did not have her Certificate of Leave of Absence. Why? Because the zip file that HR sent her a few days before her interview could not be opened. It was password-protected and there was no way she could open it with the password they gave her. I also tried and can’t figure it out. Her HR is located in another city so she could not just easily drop by and get a physical copy.

So it was partially HR’s fault. But then again, if she asked for this document waaaaaaay earlier she could have seen this problem and solved it in time.

Of course they had to ask for her Certificate of Leave of Absence during her visa interview. She didn’t have it. But she went to the HR office that same day, got a copy and went back to the German embassy the next day to submit it. We thought it was all good.

She submitted all the required documents. She mentioned that she will join our parents in visiting me. They have the same travel dates and plans. She even included a photo of my parents’ approved Schengen visas as proof.

But of course planning this #DreamFamilytrip has been a nightmare mostly because the German embassy is THE DEVIL.

Remember, we have less than a month to finalize our trip. It’s not cheap to book last-minute flights from the Philippines to Europe in summer!

In less than a week, Diane got her passport back. Without a visa. With a rejection letter.

They freaking DENIED her visa application!

The reason for her refused Schengen visa?  Your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.

In layman’s terms: “We think you look like the illegal immigrant type.”

 

Schengen Visa Rejection Letter

The dreaded Schengen visa application rejection letter

 

I LOST IT.

These foreign embassies in the Philippines truly hate single, brown females. This has been the theory of my friend, Nicola, who was also denied a Schengen visa before. I have dozens of Filipina friends who have been denied a visa for the same reason. Even if they have shown sufficient proof that they will come back.

What does the German embassy require as proof of your rootedness in the Philippines, that you will come back? You need to show that you either have a job or a business or you are a student. If you have a job, you need to submit your certificate of employment, Income Tax Return, approved Certificate Leave of Absence as proof that you will come back.

Diane works for Unilever and probably earns more money than all these Dementors working at the front desk at the embassy. She has also lived and travelled all over Europe before as a scholar of the European Commission. If she wants to be an illegal immigrant she could have done it then. Also, she’s traveling with our parents to visit me. What could we be planning?

I was also denied a tourist visa before for the same reason even after living in Europe for 2 years! I wrote an appeal letter and got a 3-month visa after.

I’m not gonna let them get away with this.

But Diane didn’t want to talk about it anymore for a week and completely got out of touch. She ignored us for a week. She won’t read my messages and won’t return or answer my calls. She was obviously depressed about it. I thought she doesn’t want to join us anymore. But after bribing her and forcing her a week after her rejection, she finally agreed to write an appeal letter.

 

Schengen Visa Sample

Diane’s old Schengen visa + passport stamps from her travels. Did you bitches even see this?

 

I asked her, “Do you really want a Schengen visa rejection on your record? You know that will probably make it harder for you to get a Schengen visa next time, right?” I think that kinda did it.

So I forced my sister to appeal the Schengen visa rejection. To fight back. To not let these embassy bullies keep rejecting legitimate visa applications.

She was running out of time because my parents are due to fly on June 25 and she sent her appeal letter on the 2nd week of June. Visa appeals usually take 4-6 weeks processing time.

The struggle was super real.

I helped my sister write a bitchy appeal letter calling them out on their disgusting system and pretty much demanded that they give my sister a visa.

In less than 48 hours, the embassy called my sister and approved her visa. And she can dictate how long she wants to visit. Not them, which is usually the case.

Imagine? All it took was a one-page appeal letter to make them change their minds?

Does everyone really have to go through this hell to get a visa? Does everyone have to beg for a visa? Really German embassy? Thanks for the nice welcome!

Don;t get me wrong, I don’t hate the German embassy. I hate the system in general. I hate visas. I hate borders. I hate how they treat Philippine-passport holders.

These days, when the employment rate of of countries spikes up or it feels like there’s a shooting or bombing happening every time you check your Facebook feed or turn the TV on, there’s probably increased pressure at embassies and border controls to make us feel “safe”: stricter visa rules, tightening security, upping deportation quotas. But in an effort to make ourselves feel safer, we’re setting up situations where good people are being punished for wanting to travel or visiting a loved one abroad.

So frustrating.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your Schengen Visa horror story? Or any visa horror story. I wanna hear it in the comments!

 

Schengen Visa Rejection

Finally received the visa on June 17, eight days before our trip! Nakakastress!

 

Read next:
How to Appeal a Schengen Visa Refusal and get your visa approved
How to Write an Appeal for Schengen Visa Refusal that works
Sample Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Refusal

 

I’m writing a book!

After all these horror stories – horror realities – and all the comments and rejection emails I receive everyday from you guys, I decided to make it my mission to help as many people as possible to get their Schengen visas approved. Because all my blogs promoting travel in Europe will go to waste if you don’t even have the permission to set foot in Europe. A very basic human right to be honest. Like it’s up there with breathing. The freedom to move! To go anywhere you like! But then embassies and visas happened.

There’s no point fretting about this in the corner. It can be done. The first step in your Dream Euro Trip is to get that damn Schengen visa! So let me help you with that. I will be posting more articles in the next weeks about Schengen visas to help you get it.

So I’m writing a book about it! I’ve been writing for a few months now. That’s why I have been missing in action in the blog for a while. I didn’t wanna say it but I figured making it public will pressure me to finish it already. Email me at djyabis at dreameurotrip dot com with the subject line: FINISH THE DAMN BOOK, DJ! for extra pressure 😀

Sign up below so you can be the first to know when it’s out. Plus I’ll be emailing exclusive information to people who have signed up. I will be sending you a free copy of my Schengen Visa appeal letter we used that helped me and my sister get our visas approved within 48 hours! Only available to people who signed up.

So sign up if you’re planning to apply for a Schengen visa soon!

  1. Hi

    I have applied for schengen visa as spouse of eu national
    I ve submitted each and every document required
    They called me me for an interview on 2nd August
    After two days they rejected my schengen visa for denmark and case automatically sent to appeal

    Guess what?
    Danish appeal time takes upto 6months
    After that no guarantee that it will approve or not

    What the hell
    Im EU national spouse not just a visitor,but yes im applying just for visit visa
    For 30days

    After that got depressed and dont know what will happen
    Still waiting for my visa finap decision and i m on vacations already which will be end in this December
    I was planning go go in august
    They will response by next year when I will start my thesis work and i won’t b able to go
    I was going to visit my wife but they objected like i won’t leave territory on the time etc
    There were 3 similar objection

    Im on still waiting and facing too much difficulty
    TO SEE MY WIFE
    THANKS TO EMBASSY

    • The same with me…they called me 12 days after I submitted my application at the Denmark embassy in Kuala Lumpur ,after submitting all required document My visa was refused because they don’t think I going to leave the area and stay there illegally ,well they said my case has been automatically sent to the danish immigration and it could take up to 6months before a decision is made 😭😭.

      My plan was to travel on 21 December and besides who would wait for 6 months to get a visa?

      The embassy said I can’t do anything all I have to do is wait,they won’t even accept my appeal letter.

      Something’s just not right about the embassy as they gave me my passport back the day I submitted my application and they told me to wait for their call and after my application gets approved that they will call me to bring my passport and put the visa on it the same day….I don’t understand as other embassy accepts your passport the same day you submit your application ?

      Please if you have any information that can help please leave a message here thanks .

  2. Goodness DJ! I’m so sorry to hear about all the hassle that you and your family have to go to, however, I thought that you were already a German citizen by marriage!

    Anyway, I’m glad that it all worked out well as I’m looking forward to readying about the travels of one of my favourite bloggers!

    p.s. Tighten that loophole sister!

  3. Glad to hear it all turned out well even after several hiccups. Why was your sister’s visa issued by Poland in the photo? I thought it was from Germany? Just curious 🙂

    I think the only horror story I have was my recent Schengen for Hungary. I’ve been travelling here and there and have had many Schengen visas issued in the past for multiple entries with long duration. This time, I only got 2 weeks validity, SINGLE entry and here’s the fun part – 04 DAYS DURATION. So, as soon as my friend and I land, we fly back to Dubai. What a waste of precious money. If I had known, I would have just applied for a New Zealand visa. Next time, I will try a different Schengen state.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Woah, that’s crazy how much your family had to go through even with an invitation from you!
    I’ve LITERALLY just finished a video talking about my experience, actually with a little help from your site with info and the flight itinerary service I was successful so I’ve been lucky enough to have pulled off my first solo Euro trip despite being an African (Kenyan) female applicant on my own.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpRElespuXo

    It can be done of course, but the 3rd-world passport struggle is real, yo! Thanks for what you do here though DJ 🙂

  5. How do you send your letter of appeal? Are they strict with couple travelling as tourists?
    Thanks!

  6. My only advise is to check the date your visa will commenced. I was supposed to leave for turkey last July and in applying for a Turkish visa it has a set condition that my schenghen visa is supposed to be valid upon entry to turkey. Based on past schenghen visas from France and Italy the start date is normally the date you apply. I assumed and didn’t check and was more particular with the expiry date given. To my horror when I was at the airport and upon check in I was denied boarding due to this very significant detail. So yeah check check and double check each time, and when the airline ask you what to do with your tickets you have 3-4 hours to cancel with just $50 penalty rather than ano show of $200. So there!

    • No, the visa validity starts on the date of your travel indicated in the itinerary that you submitted when you applied for a Schengen visa.

      US visa is the one that is valid upon approval.

  7. Got denied last May and I was so depressed when I have the letter that I don’t even want to talk to anybody.. and after a week we filed an appeal.. and finally last August 9, the IND gave us 90 days.. so lucky to have 90 days… just waiting for Netherlands Embassy to call me for picking up my visa.

    • Were you also denied from netherlands? I got my passport back today and its refused for the reason of Suffiecient justification for the purpose and circumstances of the intended stay was not provided. Although you have stated that the primary place of residence during your trip is in the member state of destination you indicated, this is not supported by the documents submitted. I dont know what this means but i submitted hotel vouchers but it was on my sponsor’s name my boyfriend since he is my sponsor.

      Should i make an appeal? How did u make your appeal? Please someone help me. Thank you

  8. I’m sorry to hear your sister experienced the same thing! Remember when I asked for your advice for my Schengen visa application last May? I got rejected too and I was surprised because I submitted all the requested documents and I was upset with the refusal knowing i exerted effort and spent much money. I think they have a thing with single, Pinay women applying for Schengen visa. I sent an appeal and fought for my right. Kaloka! Sharing my experience here: http://www.senyorita.net/2016/07/schengen-visa-appeal/

    I am hoping they’ll grant me 3 months or at least more than 10 days on my next application lol

  9. Two years ago, my tourist Visa aspirations for Italy was denied. Same as with the above (story) reason: that I am TNT material even though my documents were complete (shares and stocks, land titles, bank accounts, invitations, etc.)

    So I moved to plan B. I wrote a letter of appeal. And me, being a movie lover, stated all my favorite movies with Italy as the setting in the letter. I wrote all the movie places down in vivid detail and explained to them that I wanted to see all of it. PERSONALLY.

    My description of the different piazzas and Tuscan campagnas were straight out of the movies.

    And then, finalmente, Visa was granted. Just 30 days allowed to stay. And i had to promise and sign a waiver that I would report back to them within a week after coming back from the trip.

    Letters of appeal work. Pour your heart into it when making them. 😉

    • Hi Randy. I just want to know what type of documents did you submit as proof that you have shares and stocks invested?

    • Hi Randy! May I know to whom and how you wrote your letter of appeal to the Embassy of Italy here in Manila? I have a similar case right now. Hoping for your reply. Thank you!

  10. Hi DJ! Glad to hear your family’s fairy tale ending on the visa and euro trip. Brings back unpleasant memories..

    My husband and I have been denied schengen visas twice, 1st through the Italian embassy in 2014 and again through French embassy last year.

    Little bit of a back story..

    My husband and I traveled around Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore) in 2013 to increase our chances at the French Embassy to no avail,
    My family (2 kids and husband) went to Japan in late 2014 prior to our application last year for added points to no avail.

    It’s been a long time dream of mine to go on a euro trip and I wanted to go last year before we moved to Canada, while it was still conveniently easy to leave the kids with my parents in the Philippines, but it did not happen.

    Now my family and I already live here in Canada ( immigrant visa, another story, but with a happy ending) and it’s gonna take awhile to be able to go to Europe while the kids are still young.

    But you know what? There was news going around early this year that Canadians might have to apply for Schengen visas next time too. And being visa-free was one of the reasons we moved here. Hahaha!

    Well, do hope I get a Eurotrip done on my bucket list..

  11. I applied for Brazil visa last month by post to the consulate in Sydney. We fill an online application and then print the final page with the application number which is to be posted along with passport and few documents some which were already attached in the online application. In their website it says not to contact them unless 15 working days have passed after they received the application. I sincerely waited for 15 working days and did not check the tracking of my delivery cover that was sent to receive my passport by post. Finally when I contacted them by email after the required minimum period, I was shocked with their reply. They had sent me phone message and email that they need my Australia Student visa letter the expiry date (Aus don’t stamp visa). OMG Can’t they read English? It is mentioned very clearly in the first page of my visa paper. They could figure out my name and the type of visa. So they gave me a week to respond and not hearing from me they sent my parcel back with visa fee money order (lucky to save 144 AUD) as the application was not processed.

    First of all I didn’t receive any messages or emails regarding this. I checked spam, trash, inbox folders, phone messages and did not find any from the consulate. When I told them in a detailed email about it and asked if they can forward me the email that they claim to have sent me, they say now that only phone message was sent (but I never received). Moreover the post guy dropped the parcel in the student village office and the reception lady signed instead of me and kept it for 2 weeks. After I received the email from the consulate I checked the tracking of my delivery cover and it was delivered 2 weeks back and signed too. I was shocked and complained to the post office how it happened. Later I went to the reception office of my accommodation units and found it. I was relieved but was angry and frustrated that it had been lying there for two weeks all because of the incompetent consulate, the post man and the reception lady who usually notify of an important post with a delivery card in my unit. Immediately I contacted the consulate that I found my passport and highlighted with a pink marker the expiry date of my visa (totally ridiculous) and they said to post it and will stamp visa immediately. The express post platinum flies anywhere in Australia overnight (Toowoomba to Sydney with my experience) and next day morning my visa was approved one hour after it reached the consulate as I could check the status in my online visa application.

    All because of one small mistake- not able to read simple English words. Now my Paraguay and Peru visa are in process but if those two weeks had been saved then I would have got these two visa done and applied for Bolivia. After waiting for a week as per Paraguay embassy Canberra I email about my visa status and they are still awaiting confirmation from Paraguay. I requested that I need my passport by end of this month for my New Zealand trip and for applying other visas as well. They were kind enought to send me my passport for my NZ trip and other visas, and will notify me when the Paraguay visa is approved so I can post my passport to get it stamped. Yesterday I called the Peru consulate as I was told to do so because they said visa can be given prior to the 15 working day time period. But now it seems to take 15 days and they assured me that it will be sent well in time for my NZ trip. I found Australia and New Zealand visa process very good and systematic. The case officer personally contacts by email and requested me for any additional documents and when I sent it by email they approve without any hassles, of course the lengthy application form is a bit time taking compared Latin America with hardly one page application.

    Why would anyone reject tourist visa from an eligible candidate? In fact tourists are good source of revenue by tourism for their country.

    • I got Italy Schengen visa in 2 weeks during my Bachelor degree as I applied Study visa for 2 months to do research project. Luckily it was free visa for that purpose.

  12. Maybe they could’ve said that they are going to Germany for tour and not visiting someone because it will make it more complicated. Applied Schengen visa last year. 3 days later, got my passport and visa on it.

  13. I can relate so much with your experience. My visa also got denied at the German embassy and when I appealed it took almost 2 months before I got the results. And it was denied again! So heartbreaking! How did you write the appeal letter?

      • Yay! I will wait for that Appeal Letter you did just in case my visa got denied. Planning to apply from Czech Embassy.

  14. my fiance from netherland, he get my passport copy, singapore visa, birth certificate then his lawyer worked it last nov. he pass my paper on ph. embassy, released by february 2016 and pass to netherland imigration released by last week of july now only the stamp of red ribbon to my invitation letter and already done with my visa patience too lng to wait whatah hell this visa policy they think that every people go to their country is just need a money😡😡

    • OMG that’s like almost a year! I know it’s so ridiculous! Thank God you got your visa. I would be so pissed after waiting for months!