I just got an email now saying that my application has been referred; ‘Belgian embassies and consulates general must submit certain visa applications to the Immigration Office of the Federal Public Service Home Affairs for a final decision’.

I don’t get it. I made sure I had all the correct documents. I’m a first-year law student at a good university here in the UK, and was given a previous Schengen visa in February and travelled to the Netherlands and returned. Why is my application now being referred?

  • Where did you apply and what’s your citizenship? It appears that Belgium has one of the highest rejection rates overall so it follows that a referral from the local processing centre is probably relatively common ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/… – Traveller Apr 17 '18 at 12:31
  • I applied in London and have a Nigerian passport and BRP – user75532 Apr 17 '18 at 13:08
  • Maybe you have the same name as someone who is a heinous criminal, and they want to double-check your identity before refusing the visa. It really could be anything. – phoog Apr 17 '18 at 14:31

It's impossible to say. The information you got could mean

  • the consulate wants to reject the application but needs the home office's sign-off on that


  • everything's alright, but the home office wants to see a random sample of applications they process, for quality control

or anything in between those extremes.

Sit back and wait for the actual decision. There's nothing you can do by now anyway.

  • I’m considering just requesting my passport back as in the email they said it could take up to 60 days and im meant to be traveling this week :( – user75532 Apr 17 '18 at 13:10

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