I am a Philippine passport holder and recently applied for a Schengen visitor visa with the Swiss embassy to go on a 2-week holiday in Europe. My reason for the trip is to visit and meet my boyfriend’s (a Swiss national who now lives in Manila - we live together) family and friends and to see his hometown. We were also planning to do a short trip to a few nearby cities after Switzerland. My boyfriend’s stepfather was kind enough to write a letter of invitation for me saying they would provide accommodations for my stay in Switzerland. (I would be paying for everything else.)
Unfortunately, my visa was denied on the grounds of 1) the information I provided was unreliable, and 2) my intention to leave could not be ascertained.
Firstly I would like to say how unfair I feel about all of this is. I was very meticulous in preparing my documents and gave them more than what was asked. Needless to say I was very disheartened but feel compelled to reapply because I know my case is strong.
Here's some further info about my situation. I am a self-employed graphic designer, with one major client who I've been working with for nearly 2 years, and with whom I have a current contract that is valid up to April 2018. My business was only recently registered, about 2 months ago, therefore I wasn't able to provide an annual ITR but instead supplied monthly and quarterly tax receipts in its place. I have a DTI registration, COR with the BIR, was able to supply a certificate of freelance work with my main client saying my current status with them, and even a letter of leave stating that I will be gone for the duration of my trip but I'm expected to resume my work obligations with them afterwards.
I am not sure if my freelance status was what killed my chances, even if I was able to provide what I think was sufficient evidence that I have strong ties here. I also make good money with my main client, it's not something I can just leave. However my other hunch about why I got rejected was my sponsor - my boyfriend's stepdad. We had actually never met and he provided the invitation letter as a sign of goodwill towards my boyfriend. It might be that the embassy deemed our relationship as too distant given that we have no direct relationship. Right now it is only this reason and my freelance status that I think could be the culprits for my visa refusal.
I am planning to reapply now with the French embassy given that France is my point of entry and I’ll be revising my itinerary so that I spend a longer time there. This time though I’ll just apply for a tourist visa (not a visitor visa). Do you think my chances would be better? Do you think it is also necessary to mention that I will be traveling with my boyfriend (he will be flying to Europe a month before me to spend time with his family, and we will just meet there), as I've read in other forums that mentioning a boyfriend or fiance is a red flag for some embassies? Would you also have any other advice for me on how I can strengthen my case given my self employed status? I honestly think my personal situation makes for a strong enough case, I just need to be able to convey it better.
Thanks in advance for your advice.