I am 23, female, Indian, about to travel to Paris for a conference for 4 days. I am currently unemployed, but was employed until last month. I will be applying for a Schengen visa. Do you think it will be okay to write in the application that I am still employed, since I did get my salary until last month, so the documentation is good. Do the Schengen visa officers check the employment status for everyone? I think lying is never a good option, but I also think if I show that I am just unemployed last month and apply for a visa, they might think I am not planning to return.

In reality, I resigned to study seriously for exams that will allow me higher education in India, but I don't have an admit yet, and I go to a coaching institute during weekends (I started going in February). But saying that I had this thought of resigning exactly before going to Paris sounds fishy I think.

What should I do? My bank account has salary from my employer until a week ago, so just to reiterate, the documents seem perfect if I state that I'm still employed.

I have travelled for conferences before in the past to Schengen countries as well as the UK and the US, only the US visa is valid at the moment.

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    Lying is never recommended. – Henning Makholm Aug 10 at 10:49
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    You have a good travel history including a current visa for the US. Why risk being caught out in a lie and jeopardising any future travel hopes? You won’t be able to provide other fairly standard proof of employment documentation eg contract, leave of absence etc. – Traveller Aug 10 at 11:08
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    Just to add another data point. Years ago I was in exactly the same situation as you are. I had also previously traveled twice to the USA and other developed countries. I applied to the USA in what I thought would be a routine application. I was denied the visa when I told the consular officer I was unemployed at that time. I was from a developing country. Make sure you have your explanation very convincing. – Musonius Rufus Aug 11 at 9:48
  • You are young enough that being "between stages of tertiary education" and thus technically unemployed is quite common. It would be better if you were already accepted, but it is not necessary.
  • Going to a professional conference is a good thing, especially if it ties into your studies. Previous Schengen visits are also good. You could have overstayed then and didn't do it, that makes you appear a lower risk of overstaying.
  • A letter from your parents that you will return is completely worthless. They cannot make you return, even if they tried. If your parents provide the funding for your trip, you have to explain why they do it, and that the money is really a gift to you. This is a "source of funds" matter, not an "intention to return" matter.

Tell the truth, make the application, make it clear that you have a well-planned itinerary and that you can afford the trip. There is a risk that the application will be denied, but this is much less serious than getting caught in a lie.

Do the Schengen visa officers check the employment status for everyone?

You can never answer this question. It totally depends on the officer but the important thing to note is that it's irrelevant. If they do indeed check and find out that you are lying then it's considered as deception and this could mean that you will not be granted a non-immigrant visa or an immigrant visa in the future.

But saying that I had this thought of resigning exactly before going to Paris sounds fishy I think.

This could sound fishy but I don't think you have an option of concealing this information.

What should I do? My bank account has salary from my employer about a week back so just to reiterate, the documents seem perfect if I state that I'm still employed.

I would suggest you write a cover letter explaining your circumstances (your employment status) and also the conference invitation would put some weight on your application. If you have a good travel history and stable bank statements then I don't think you should be bothered about your current employment status. Just make sure you provide sufficient evidence that you have good ties to your home country and you have every reason to go back to India after attending the conference.

  • Should I include a letter from my parents stating that I will return? Will that help? – user3148290 Aug 10 at 11:41
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    I don't think such a letter would help. I understand that it is very difficult to prove such ties at times. You can refer to this question: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/103826/… – Arpit Bajpai Aug 10 at 11:48
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    @user3148290 another person's statement that you will return is less valuable than your own statement, which is already next to worthless because you could lie. With a third party statement, the third party could be lying or simply mistaken. It has essentially no weight with the visa officer. – phoog Aug 10 at 14:38

I'm from India and have often received Schengen visas. In your case, I believe its best to say you are unemployed in the form - in your covering letter, you can say (as a previous poster suggested) that you resigned from an earlier job. The fact that you have previous schengen visas and a valid US visa will greatly strengthen your application. Be sure to mention that in your covering letter.

Just say you are taking a break and apply. Don't lie on the visa application. Indian here as well. Once the visa officers even called up my company (TCS) to check if I was working there despite having multiple Schengen visits and UK visits. If you are from a smaller company, they'll certainly check.

I know it sucks with all the cancellation fees of flights, accommodation etc if a visa is rejected, but trust me lying is not worth it.

One of my visas was rejected by some racist officer from Malta. But since I didn't lie, I was able to both complain to the EU Commission as well. And the complaint helped me in the sense when I applied again to another EU country, shared the email chain, it went smoothly.

I have similar experiences as you have in traveling. I suggest you state your academic profession. For example if you studied Accounting, you are automatically considered an accountant. And if they ask what you do now simply explain your circumstances as stated and if you have proof of your recent exam you can have it separately and provide it upon request. Some of the documents don't add it until they ask during interview. Also mention that you have been invited by your colleagues to participate in that conference at this time since you have previously travel to Schengen for a conference.

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    This is an answer that tells the OP to lie, which is never good and can have far reaching results for their future travels. – Willeke Aug 11 at 15:29

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