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.


Read these related Visa Appeal article:
1. How to Appeal a Schengen Visa Refusal and get your visa approved
2. How to Write an Appeal for Schengen Visa Refusal that works
3. Sample Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Refusal



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.


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



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 these related Visa Appeal article:
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!

DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do YOU think?

95 Responses to “Schengen Visa Rejection Horror Stories” Subscribe

  1. Md sueb miah February 16, 2019 at 4:03 PM #

    Hi, my visa was refused by France embassy Dhaka Bangladesh.It was wrong decision.The reason was
    “You have not provided any evidence to support the existence of a family relationship with the EU/EEA or Swiss citizen Whom you declare to be a family member ”
    But i gave my marriage certificates ( nika nama) and sponsor ship late.
    Please let me know how to appeal

    • DJ Yabis February 18, 2019 at 11:42 PM #

      Check the links in my post

  2. Quenne Abigail Lucasan September 18, 2018 at 4:52 PM #

    Hi, I was rejected by Spanish embassy, reason of rejection: my fiance and I have a huge age gap which they cant accept. Beat me why. I dont get it myself, this will be my 4th visa, I have previous schengen visa from other schengen countries. So that means I already went back and forth in europe every year 3. But still they wont accept the fact that my fiance and I has a huge age differences and as per them they consider this as”high -level risk of migration”, on top of that they ask weird question (interrogation) that make you feel degrade, and also another reason of my rejection as per the embassy is because Im travelling to portugal half of my trip , I mean honestly that’s why its called “schengen” visa so I can also go to other part of schengen countries. In the end even my fiance wrote them an appeal letter they cant change their mind on their decision.

    • DJ Yabis November 5, 2018 at 4:49 PM #

      Sorry to hear this. That really sucks. Is it from the same embassy where you got your 3 previous visas?

  3. Danic July 10, 2018 at 2:36 PM #

    Hi DJ,

    I know this comment is not related to a horror story of being rejected.

    Did your sister receive an SMS or email that her processed application is ready for pick up? How did she know about the rejection? Did the VFS call her and let her know about it? I got an email and SMS from VFS Global today that my processed application is ready for pick up and I’m not sure if I’m approved or denied. I’ll get it this coming Friday. I’m pretty nervous right now and a little bit of excited too! I’ve been looking for an arcticle related to receiving SMS and email, but I couldn’t find one. Maybe you can answer me and it’ll comfort me.

    Thank you and more power!

    • DJ Yabis July 13, 2018 at 2:26 AM #

      I can’t tell. Just wait for it 😛

  4. gurbanichopra July 7, 2018 at 5:06 PM #

    I had applied for a visa at the French consulate three weeks back for two months backpacking across Europe. It was supposed to be a birthday gift to myself. I cancelled my flight and bookings just now cause my flight departs on Monday and still no sign of visa. #SoloBrownIndianGirlWoes 😐

  5. Jaspreet singh July 2, 2018 at 7:26 PM #

    Hey I read your story and same thing happened to me all time with same reason while applying for a schengen visa and I got rejected four times can I apply again or wait for sometime? I got rejected on 28 June 2018

    • DJ Yabis July 3, 2018 at 5:56 AM #

      Sorry to hear that. What was the reason for rejection? You can re-apply as soon as possible.

  6. Kritika June 13, 2018 at 8:45 AM #

    I completely agree with your friend that Schengen embassiess are biased agaianst single brown people (not just women). I have multiple visa rejection horror stories, in every case the application had every single necessary document –

    1. My best friend had booked a euro trip with a travel agent & then her visa was rejected (because she was travelling by herself & could be a potential illegal immigrant I believe) and she lost all her booking advance amount. 😪 She had applied to Swiss consulate, but she was too disappointed to appeal the rejection.

    2. I live in Germany & my boyfriend was planning to visit me & then we were to travel to Greece in 2016 but his visa was rejected by the Greek embassy (& I thought Greece badly needed tourists!). We didn’t know the rules very well then so we chose not to appeal. But this was a heartbreak moment as we hadn’t met in 6 months & we had such big dreams of Greek holiday. 😣

    P.S.: My bf is also a student now in Germany & I’m writing this from Athen’s airport as we’re waiting for our flight back to Germany after an amazing vacation in Greece. So we finally did it after 2 years! 😌

    3. A friend of mine, solo traveller, had his visa rejected by Italy embassy back in 2016. He appealed (with no change in documents, just an appeal letter) & his visa was approved. Why make someone go through this!!!? Did they want to see if he “really” wanted it or not! 🙄

    These are all Indian passport holders with jobs in reputed companies & sufficient balance in their bank accounts.

    To add why I came to this blog today, I’m waiting decision on my parent’s visa for their first visit to Germany. I will be sponsoring their trip & I had sent them the formal invite letter. Of course I also provided a copy of my current German residence permit but not my first student visa and they did not ask for it either. But this makes me nervous. Actually, waiting for a Schengen visa is nerve wracking & thanks to my past experiences I can only think of what can go wrong & so I’m researching the net for how to appeal even before I know the decision. Best be prepared! 🙈

    • DJ Yabis June 16, 2018 at 4:41 AM #

      I know right? I receive dozens of emails everyday of the same heartbreaking stories. It pains me to read your story and others coz I know the feeling too well.

  7. Paul John June 8, 2018 at 12:39 AM #


    I followed Dj yabis suggestion to put Urgent on my appeal email on German Embassy cause my intended travel date is in less than 2 weeks. 1 week has passed and I haven’t heard from them. Anyone experience the same?

  8. Phai May 30, 2018 at 3:03 PM #

    Hello! Just wanted to ask idea or what did you say on the appeal letter? Just in case you know.. we need it. Hehe

    • DJ Yabis June 1, 2018 at 3:19 PM #

      It’s linked on this post if you actually read it

  9. Karen Rosales January 15, 2018 at 3:12 PM #

    Let me now share you my story..

    First how I got here in this forum?  I went online to check schengen visa requirements for me and my boyfriend is planning to go to Austria before going to his hometown Bulgaria since Bulgarian visa can’t be used as a passes to going to Austria..

    I ended up here and started to read thier stories and demoralized me bigtime!!!majority here were denied no matter they have a very reputable work waiting for them when they get back,so what about me then? I have NO WORK since last year, will there be a chance for me?and believe me I already come to the point like I dont want to apply anymore but my boyfriend pushed me hard to go and try,he said nothing to lose anyway but of course except for the visa fee. So I already got my schedule to submit the requirements in VFS global (agency handling everything and forwarding all the documents to the embassy where I am applying for. I went there by Dec.26,2017 and everything seems well,the girl just asked me wait for a couple of days for the result.

    So I went back home with a hope that I will get a Schengen visa stamp when they get my passport back to my address but after 2 days that means Dec.28,2017 someone from VFS global called me and told me that the Austrian embassy forwarded my passport back to VFS and to advise me to get Romanian visa first because that will be my first entry country. So in that case trouble for me already to think that our Romanian Embassy here in Philippines is currently closed and someone told me to go to Malaysia,but calling in Romanian Embassy in Malaysia only to find out that Romanian Embassy there is closed too and that the nearest place that can cater me ti get Romanian visa will be in Hanoi,Vietnam.. OMG!  but of course that left me with no choice so we booked to Hanoi,Vietnam from Jan.9 to Jan.12,2018 for my Romanian visa application schedule will be the 11th of January by 10am. We arrived in NAIA T3 2 hours before the scheduled flight and to our surprise while we are in check-in section,my boyfriend who is a Bulgarian citizen must have visa. The girl advised us to go online application first and get the approval letter from Vietnam and get send it to them and they will print it yadaaa..yadaaa..yadaa that makes me feel feel nervous already and my boyfriend have to pay $238 to get temporary pass and have to coordinate again with someone in Vietnam airport soon as arrive,tgat means before going to immigration to give us the hardcopy of his Vietnam visa.. OMG!!! Thank God everything is good,arrived to the Vietnam and able to go to the hotel where we are book for 3 days.

    Jan.11,2018 we went to Romanian Embassy and submitted all the requirements they asked me to submit and told me to go back by 3pm for the result. So we did as what they told us to do,infact we went back 45mins before the said time.. The officer who got my documents was also the one went back to me with my passport with a Romanian visa stamp on it. (Thank God I got it) but as I checked my Romanian visa I have noticed that there was a mistake on my passport #,1 letter that will cause me trouble to getting in to Romania so I called the officer’s attention regarding the mistake and he told me that its not his responsibility anymore,he said that is what he saw on my online application so that’s what he put on my Romanian visa..I am almost crying thinking that Romanian visa is in my hand already and I was also thinking maybe without Romanian visa I will not have Schengen visa too.. So I asked the officer what we can do about it,he went back to his office,we waited for a couple of minutes with so much hope that the officer would help me correct it and so time has come, he went back to me again saying “SORRY THE VISA NOW IS CANCELED,” and by this time I am already crying,my boyfriend was the one got me passport from the officer and they are both laughing..(boyfriend and officer) then suddenly my boyfriend told me “you got a new visa,he just void the first one” ..and with so much happiness I hugged the officer so tight. 

    Jan.12,2018 we traveled back to Philippines and soon as we landed by 6am,first thing in the morning before headed back to home we dropped by to the VFS office to bring them back my passport as per advised when I already have my Romanian visa.

    Jan.15,2018 I still don’t have my passport from Austrian Embassy and I am worried because our flight to Romania will be Jan17,2018 so I called Austrian embassy already to follow up and the one I was speaking to told me that my visa is already on the last process and asked me to call back after an hour but before I called she already called me with in mobile telling me everything is good now,that I have to coordinate with the VFS if I want to get it by myself or delivered to me address..

    So I am happy to tell you guys that yes by tomorrow Jan.16,2018 I will get my passport with Schengen visa on it!If its just luck well I am so lucky..So dont be afraid guys if you are not working or what not,.Just be transparent and I guess when they feel your sincerity they will grant you,like what they did to me..

    • DJ Yabis January 16, 2018 at 3:03 AM #

      WOW crazy. Thanks for sharing your story!

  10. Eisyl January 12, 2018 at 12:18 AM #

    hello, thank you for the nice articles, made ma feel better. I got rejected by the french embassy, the reason given was the information given for the justification……..was not reliable. Fuck! I submitted all my requirements and I don’t have any plans of being a “tnt” i feel so rejected, and i am supposed to leave feb 21.

    • DJ Yabis March 25, 2018 at 11:57 PM #

      sorry to hear that. i know it’s super annoying! i hope you were able to get your visa?

  11. Sharmaine November 3, 2017 at 7:04 AM #

    Hi, I got my passport and a refusal letter from italian embassy, may I ask if where I can send a letter 🙁 for the appeal

    • DJ Yabis December 11, 2017 at 3:01 PM #

      check the embassy website

  12. Khatera October 20, 2017 at 8:35 AM #


    My schengen visa was rejected by German consulate Istanbul due to these reasons:

    3. you have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsitence etc…
    6. One more Memeber states consider you to be threat to public policy,internal security,as defined in article… .
    9. your intention to leave the territory before the expiry of visa could not be ascertained.

    I want to remonstrate this rejection but the problem is I applied for schengen visa late the date of my documents are already expired. The purpose of my trip was a 90 days internship in a German Hospital which would start on 16 October 2017. I applied for visa on 25 September. Got the rejection on 13 October.

    Now I am confused and dont know whether I can appeal or I should reapplye for schengen visa with updates documents? If I can appeal Should I update my perviouse documents and then attached with my appeal letter or it is not necessary to update?

    It would be appreciated if you give information regarding my problems.


  13. Noore Khorshid October 20, 2017 at 12:25 AM #

    Hello DJ,

    I applied for schengen visa because of doing 90 days an internship in a Hospital.
    It was rejected 5 days ago for 2 reasons.
    1. you have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsitence.
    2. your intention to leave the territory before the expiry of visa could not be ascertained.

    I applied to late for visa I submitted my documents in German consulate on September 24, 2017. My departure date was on October 15, 2017. my internship would start on October 16, 2017 and in other of my document.
    such as flight reservation, health insurance etc.

    I want to remonstrate this rejection but my documents are out of date what should I do?
    Can I appeal this rejection? If I can
    I don’t know wether I can appeal with this documents or with new documents and submitted again?

  14. kakeru October 16, 2017 at 11:48 AM #

    Maybe it is because the previous visa was issued by Poland but she entered and exited through Netherlands? I think it’s better if you will at least either enter and exit and get stamped by the member state who issued the visa.

  15. Henny October 2, 2017 at 10:36 AM #


    We will be applying visa as a family in German Embassy. Will the interview be in group? or individually?


    • DJ Yabis October 2, 2017 at 3:29 PM #

      I think individually. You have to get a schedule for each person.

      • Osagie Itamah May 24, 2018 at 7:23 PM #

        What happens if you forget to sign your application form after filling it.i dated it and wrote the location but forgot to sign on the space allocated for it. i applied for a study visa for masters program.

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