4

My husband who is an Indian software engineer at Microsoft in Seattle with a Green Card just had his Swiss Schengen visa rejected on the basis of: "The information submitted regarding the justification for the purposes and conditions for the intended stay was not reliable".

Should we:

  • Re-apply for a Schengen visa in Switzerland with additional invitation letters
  • Apply for a Schengen visa in France because that’s where our family lives and we will be spending almost as much time in France as in Switzerland
  • Appeal the decision

Are there risks to applying to a different Schengen country than the country we were rejected from? We don’t want to appear to be “visa shopping” by applying for a Schengen visa in France rather than Switzerland.

In only 45 days, we are supposed to travel to the UK, Switzerland and France to visit family. The purpose of our trip is to visit family. We have invitation letters and our family members are French and British. He has 3 previous Schengen visas (2 from Switzerland and 1 from Iceland) and a 2 year UK visa.

We’re spending almost as much time in France and in Switzerland, which I stated in our purpose letter. We can just skip Switzerland altogether and only visit our family in France.

5
  • 1
    A visa refusal is retained in the Visa Information System (VIS). So the cause of the previous refusal still must be addressed when making a new application. May 19, 2023 at 3:28
  • Something seems off here. Did he submit anything different from the first three applications that were granted?
    – phoog
    May 19, 2023 at 8:30
  • Are you visiting family as in staying at their place? Do you have family in Switzerland? If not, what will you be doing in Switzerland? Tourism?
    – jcaron
    May 19, 2023 at 10:04
  • 1
    Also, what's your nationality? If you have EU citizenship or nationality of an EEA country or Switzerland, the answer is going to be very different. I suppose you know this, but it deserves explicit mention just to be certain, especially since you mention French relatives.
    – phoog
    May 19, 2023 at 10:11
  • I’m American and went to undergrad at Franklin University Switzerland, so we have friends there. We’ve visited Lugano Switzerland many times in the past. May 19, 2023 at 13:41

1 Answer 1

1

Are there risks to applying to a different Schengen country than the country we were rejected from? We don’t want to appear to be “visa shopping” by applying for a Schengen visa in France rather than Switzerland.

Yes that's exactly the risk. If you submit the same application, it's somewhat likely the other country's consulate would reach the same conclusion and it will be very easy for them to see the earlier decision and just check the same box on the form.

In fact, an appeal is very difficult and likely to be too long to rescue this trip and both other options are risky and not particularly likely to be successful. The safest way to proceed to secure future travel to the Schengen area would be to give up on this particular trip and apply again later (in 1-2 years) making sure you have excellent documentation.

Note that “justification for the purposes and conditions for the intended stay was not reliable” is not only about getting invitation letters but also about your credibility in general, see Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable. If you already had several (properly certified) letters, I don't see how one or two more are going to change much.

11
  • Would you recommend reapplying to the same country we were rejected from and including more detail about our itinerary in Switzerland? I'm afraid our cover letter and itinerary was not detailed enough in terms of what we were doing on a day to day basis and more general dates of when we were going to be in Switzerland and France and Italy. So if we apply again with better documentation, do we have a chance? Everything else in terms of flights, bank statements, hotels, ect was detailed. May 19, 2023 at 8:20
  • As I wrote in the second paragraph of my answer, my recommendation is to give up on that trip and not apply anywhere (not France and not Switzerland). Whether the refusal is meritless or there is some other reasons for it we haven't understood, immediately reapplying is likely to make things work and unfortunately I do not have any solution to offer. As @phoog commented something seems off.
    – Relaxed
    May 19, 2023 at 10:13
  • 1
    @MeaganTeutsch "not reliable" doesn't mean that there wasn't enough detail. It could mean that they aren't convinced of some document's authenticity or of the applicant's credibility. It's puzzling that they would find such a deficiency in an application from someone with a green card and a positive travel history.
    – phoog
    May 19, 2023 at 10:18
  • 1
    Thinking about it, being eligible for citizenship next May could change the calculation a bit. The risk of a new application is that a new refusal could make Schengen visa applications more difficult for years to come. But if and when your husband becomes a US citizen all this will be mostly irrelevant, at least as far as visits to the Schengen area are concerned.
    – Relaxed
    May 19, 2023 at 14:21
  • 1
    I’m a US citizen so don’t need a visa. If he’s denied again, at least he’ll be a US citizen next May any way May 19, 2023 at 14:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .