Can visa officers check for this detail themselves and I just simply acknowledge that I'd been refused a visa before and why, or should I be really honest and tell them the details as well (when, where, how many, etc.)?

What's the best way to go about it?

EDIT: I probably should clarify, but I don't mean visa interviews. I was more specifically referring to the application forms that usually has one question asking whether you'd previously been refused any visas before where they provide a space for you to explain.

  • 2
    This is a really great question, actually. The right amount of information to give in a free-response "details" space is not at all obvious. The "full disclosure" answer is correct, of course, but you also don't want to put so much information in there that the visa officer can't find the salient details quickly. Knowing what must be included in "full disclosure" and what may be considered extraneous is going to be difficult for people who haven't had much experience with visas and visa officers.
    – phoog
    Dec 19 '19 at 0:30

The best advice is full disclosure.

If you’re applying to a jurisdiction that previously refused you, they will know.

If you’re applying to any of the Schengen countries, they will have details of previous refusals from Schengen zone countries https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-information-system_en

Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK share immigration data under the ‘five eyes’ agreement - to what extent isn’t always clear but it would be better to err on the side of caution and assume they know.


First of all they have all your information in front of them. Second no need to tell any information apart from what they ask you, in case if they ask you about your previous visas then you can provide the information. The only thing is that do not tell lie or try to hide anything which is asked to you by them.

  • Thanks for answering, but not quite what I was looking for haha. I edited my question and clarified. :)
    – Excal
    Dec 17 '19 at 11:38

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