I was a non-US citizen when I was denied entry to Europe 15 years ago due to my low income back then, now I'm a US citizen and I don't require a visa to European countries anymore.

I have a flight to Amsterdam coming up soon and I'm wondering if I should even try to visit Europe with my US passport? Am I going to deal with I/O issue upon arrival?


Not a problem. A visa denial merely meant at the time they were not convinced you have enough ties to your home country (which might even be justified given it sounds like you moved to another country). Even without new citizenship, if your circumstances change, a previous visa denial is not a problem (repeated visa requests in short periods of time refused for the same reason would be). I wouldn't worry. If asked about it, don't lie to immigration, that's rule #1, once again you have nothing to worry about but if you are asked and you lie, then you will have a lot to worry about.

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  • Got sources for any of this? – lambshaanxy Sep 11 '19 at 9:41
  • Thank you for your prompt response. Yes I did end up moving to the US from another country and I was denied entry with my previous country's citizenship but I'm assuming they'll see the same name that was previously denied entry trying to get in with a different nationality/citizenship and they'll probably give me a hard time and ruin my 1 week vacation . It is very stressful and I'm the person that's never been convinced or never had a speeding ticket ever. I just want to do the right thing and hope everything goes well – Jes1888 Sep 11 '19 at 17:13
  • @jpatokal there's no source that's going to say that a prior Schengen visa refusal is no bar to entering the Schengen area, but you can read the Schengen Borders Code and the Schengen Visa Code and see that they don't say that it is a bar. – phoog Sep 12 '19 at 4:15

It is unclear from your question if you were refused a visa (from a consulate) or if you were refused entry (at the border) and from which country you received this refusal. This may be relevant, but probably not.

If the refusal is 15 years old and from any EU country, it is likely not on record anymore. All EU countries must follow relatively strict data protection regulations and are simply not allowed to keep such records for a very long time. Currently, records of Schengen visa refusals are only kept for five years in the central VIS register and then deleted.

In any case, the current common border and visa code for the Schengen area clearly states that each visa application or entry attempt shall be independently assessed. A previous visa or entry refusal shall not count against you if you try to reapply for a visa or seek entry again and your circumstances have actually improved. In case of visa refusals which are still on file, you must of course expect heightened scrutiny in the examination of your visa application and perhaps a more thorough verification of your current story to detect 'creative fixing', but if your circumstances really have improved and this can be clearly documented, an old refusal will not mean that a new attempt will fail.

If you arrive in Amsterdam with a low risk passport, as the US passport is, and don't look obviously conspicuous in any way, I would deem the chances that you are questioned by the immigration officer at all to be extremely low. You will probably be 'stamped in' without any conversation at all.

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  • (+1) In Amsterdam, I think you can even use the automated passport gates. You still walk up to an officer to get a stamp but interaction is really reduced to a minimum in most cases. – Relaxed Sep 11 '19 at 22:33
  • It was a visa denial due to low income and not enough financial ties. – Jes1888 Sep 12 '19 at 1:13
  • @Jes1888 how do you know that? Schengen visa denials are effected via a form letter that is not so specific. – phoog Sep 12 '19 at 4:21

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