My friend applied for a Schengen visa to Germany. His first port of entry is Copenhagen and then he plans to travel by rented car to Hamburg with other friends. He will spend 2 nights in Copenhagen and 3 nights in Hamburg and that is the reason why he applied for a visa from the German embassy. He showed his return tickets (to & from CPH) along with the other documents, However, VFS refused to take his application stating that he should show how he is going to travel from Copenhagen to Hamburg.

He already provided the following documents:

Documents indicating the purpose of the journey

Documents indicating that the applicant possesses sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to his country of origin or residence. (Includes Accommodation and flight transfers)

If I understand correctly, showing documented proof for travel within the Schengen area is not mandatory and detailed itinerary should be sufficient as there are frequent trains and buses and it is just one of the supplementary documents. Is that correct?

Also, How to provide the documentation if it's a rented car not in his name as the VFS website states that we need to provide the car registration number etc:

When travelling by car: car registration, car insurance, return travel tickets (ferry or Eurotunnel) mentioning the car’s registration number and driver’s driving licence. If applicant is not the driver, then driver’s cover letter (signed & dated) confirming joint travel with applicant and travel dates need to be provided too.

  • The last paragraph seems to be aimed at people entering the Schengen Area by car (from Great Britain or other nearby countries), not at those planning to rent a car in the Schengen Area... – Sabine Dec 6 at 15:56
  • Exactly that's what I thought and that's the reason why I think he doesn't need to provide the documents for travelling within the Schengen region as they haven't specified that anywhere. – Arpit Bajpai Dec 6 at 16:00
  • The reason why they ask for the train tickets is because your friend applied for a German visa. He has to tell them how he plans to reach Germany. I just had written "I will buy a train ticket at Copenhagen station and step into the next train to Hamburg" because that's how you use trains in Europe. – Janka Dec 6 at 22:04

I would include the rental reservation in the friend's name along with a statement by the friend about the travel plans. This seems implicit in the instructions:

car registration, car insurance

Rental reservation seems a reasonable substitute for these; if the driver will use his or her own insurance, include that, of course.

return travel tickets (ferry or Eurotunnel) mentioning the car’s registration number and driver’s driving licence.

If there's no ferry in your itinerary, omit this, of course. I would include the driver's license no matter what.

If applicant is not the driver, then driver’s cover letter (signed & dated) confirming joint travel with applicant and travel dates need to be provided too.

This should be self explanatory.

You asked:

If I understand correctly, showing documented proof for travel within the Schengen area is not mandatory and detailed itinerary should be sufficient as there are frequent trains and buses and it is just one of the supplementary documents. Is that correct?

Probably. Other evidence of plans in Germany should be sufficient to justify an application to the German consulate. Principally, this should include evidence of accommodation such as hotel reservations or a statement from someone with whom the traveler is staying. Other reservations can also help.

But if VFS is asking for evidence of your intra-Schengen travel before they'll accept the application, you have two options: either to provide it or to complain that it shouldn't be necessary. The first option is probably faster.

If you nonetheless want to complain that it shouldn't be necessary, VFS has a customer complaint procedure. They should escalate the complaint to the German consular service if necessary. If they do not, you should try getting in touch with the consulate directly to complain that VFS is using incorrect criteria to refuse to process visa applications.

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