Is there a common codification of the consequences and penalties resulting from consular fraud across all Schengen member states? Or does it differ from member state to member state?

I am specifically interested in the case of false representation and/or documentation when applying for a visa. I know for the UK there is a 10 year ban before being able to apply again, whether the false representation was direct or indirect. For the US I believe there is an indefinite ban. But I have a hard time finding the penalties for the Schengen area.

Are there any resources where I can find official documentation on this matter?


2 Answers 2


Not only applicable to the Schengen agreement, but EU regulations and directives are in general incorporated in national law and the penalties for violations are defined there, in national law.

So to answer your question: No. There is no Schengen wide codification of the possible penalties for consular fraud or the violation of immigration law. You will have to look into national law and since laws often define a very wide range of possible consequences for a violation, you may also likely have to look into previous court rulings regarding similar cases to get an idea what to expect.

  • Interesting. But, then, how would one go about implementing a ban for example if it is defined in national law only? If one is banned from entering a Schengen country because he committed consular fraud and is therefore in violation of a national law, and the country in question decided to impose a ban on the individual, does every country that is a member of the Schengen zone have the obligation to also impose this exact same ban?
    – Hilbert
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 18:53
  • 3
    @Hilbert Entry bans are registered in SIS (the Schengen Information System) and are effective for the entire Schengen area even if imposed by a single state. The option or possibility to impose an entry ban is regulated at the EU/EEA level, but the reasons leading to and the length of the entry ban is regulated in national law. Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 19:00
  • As an example, I tried looking what the consequences might be for Belgium, where most of the EU institutions are headquartered, to compare them with what is applicable in the English speaking countries, and I am still unable to find any prescriptions for a case of fraud. Is it generally codified in the immigration law or is it in the penal code, if codified at all?
    – Hilbert
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 20:25
  • 1
    @Hilbert If you want to know more about the legal situation in Belgium, you should ask a new question asking about that in particular. In Germany, there is no particular law against providing incorrect infomartion in a visa application, but still a breach of more general laws. If you actually use a visa obtained 'by furnishing incorrect or incomplete information' to enter Germany, you are however violating immigration law, will be removed and be issued an entry ban. Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 21:04

Whenever you apply for a visa, relevant information will be added to the Schengen Visa Information System (VIS).

If you submit any fraudulent documents, this will be noted in the VIS.

Information in the VIS is shared by all Schengen countries, and consulates are meant to check the VIS while processing any application.

Data entered into the VIS is kept for 5 years.

So, even though there may be not explicit ban, you can be sure that a “visa refused due to fraud” entry into the VIS is likely to be a very large red flag, and is quite unlikely to result in a positive result.

So, in effect, you get an automatic 5-year ban.

  • What does an "effective ban" mean in practice? When an application is reviewed and every claim made by the applicant is substantiated and each submitted document is also verified, and after checks and verifications, the application is found to be genuine, unless there is a provision in the national law stating that an application shall be automatically refused if it is found that the applicant had submitted a false application before, I don't see on what grounds can the new application be refused (assuming the visa granting process is governed by regulations).
    – Hilbert
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 0:55
  • @Hilbert That's not how Schengen visas work in reality. You're right that, absent an alert in the SIS, having submitted counterfeit documentation in the pats is not valid grounds to refuse a new application. In fact a national law provision or policy mandating a negative decision in this case would be irrelevant and legally dubious, it still wouldn't be one of the grounds listed in the regulations.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 3:46
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    Instead, consulates would probably use the catch-all justification “does not provide justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay”. It doesn't matter how strong the documents you provided are, they don't have to tell you what they don't like about them and that's not necessarily actionable in court (that part might depend a little on the country). You do not have a right to a visa and there is very little stopping a consulate to refuse it in this situation. They do not have to try hard or find a flaw in your documentation to do that.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 3:49

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