3

My Schengen visa was refused with following reasons:

  • Justification for purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided
  • You have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence.
  • You have not provided proof that you are in position to lawfully acquire means of subsistence.
  • The information regarding justification for purpose and condition of intended stay was not reliable.
  • Visa Shopping suspicion

I am not sure what has happened here. Based on rejection details given, I believe they suspect I didn't provide enough evidence of subsistence which led to other conclusions.

I had 2 Schengen visas in past, last one was almost 5 years back and I am well-travelled across many countries. This time the Hungary consulate refused my visa. My itinerary was like 5 days in country 1, 2 in country 2 and then 6 days in Hungary, so I applied for Hungary.

My trip is self sponsored with all confirmed bookings. I provided all confirmed air tickets and train bookings. Only in one case where I had to catch a bus, I simply mentioned that without any booked ticket. Is this not right way to show bookings?

I have provided income tax returns and salary slips along with a bank statements (not with big balance but showing cashflows), which should have been sufficient along with a good travel history (same has worked on previous occasions). I can easily provide more details on this. I attached Bank statement of one account which had cashflows and not necessarily deposited funds. All these are more than sufficient for trip.

My concern here is that it impacts my future prospects of Visas. I don't want to reapply a fresh application or change itinerary because I did everything correctly and it feels something has been misinterpreted.

Should I appeal against this decision? Could that make things worse?

8
  • 2
    How many Schengen visas have you had previously, and when? Which country refused you and what was your planned itinerary? Did your financial documents show you met the relevant minimum subsistence level(s) home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-07/…?
    – Traveller
    May 25, 2023 at 9:31
  • 1
    I had 2 Schengen visas in past, last one was almost 5 years back and i am well travelled across many countries. This time Hungary consulate refused my visa. My itinerary was like 5 days in country 1 , 2 country 2 and then 6 days in Hungary, so I applied for Hungary. I attached Bank statement of one account which had cashflows and not necessarily deposited funds. All these are more than sufficient for trip. I feel i should have attached any other sources like credit cards however my impression was that income tax statement/salary slips will be fine. May 25, 2023 at 9:40
  • 1
    Ask a friend to review your previous application. Possibly you are assuming things that immigration officers doesn't know. Consider also language issue (on both sides). May 25, 2023 at 10:29
  • 1
    if you read it harder, question is already answered by the consulate. Your ITR / Payslip / Bank Statement all shows cashflow, none shows more than enough fund in hand to pay for the trip specially a one proposed for 12+ days (don't worry about CC, they don't weight much) Further, 5 days in one country, few in other and just +1 i.e. 6 days in Hungary, you played with fire in a way here and if your friends are not in Hungary then definitely it questions if Hungary really being your main destination. Jun 15, 2023 at 20:31
  • 1
    Btw, how detailed was your itinerary (flight, train, hotel bookings is fine) but did you add things like the real activities you'll do in Hungary in those 6 days, like day 1 in Budapest I will visit old town, visit cathedral etc because Consulate definitely feel purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided. And I don't think "lack of enough evidence of subsistence which led to other conclusions.". All have their own reasons. Jun 15, 2023 at 20:36

3 Answers 3

19

I was able to successfully appeal against Visa refusal and I got the visa. After my trip, I have to go embassy to show that I used it legally which I believe means I need to show that I followed itinerary or what i said in application, which is fine.

Following are my inputs from my experience:

  • If you want to appeal then first point is that you should be convinced that you have enough reasons and data to be able to present a strong argument. Put yourself in shoes of decision maker and see if your reasons are strong enough.
  • I realized that one of the biggest challenge with my application was not a big difference between number of days being spent in various cities. So I had to add more specific details about my stay in cities.
  • While preparing my case, I wanted to ensure that there are no communication gaps. So I grouped various rejection reasons in different categories, shared my reasons and also mentioned which additional documents supported my points. I also sequenced them in order where I had strongest data.
  • My biggest mistake was that I relied heavily on my travel history and didn't added more data which I could have easily provided. Learning for me is that travel history helps however each application is new and taken on its own merit, so strengthen up application with data always. I did that in my appeal.
  • Make the job of visa officer easier. For example, I added photocopies of my previous visa with my appeal letter rather than expecting them to go though my passports. Make navigation of documents easier by grouping them in logical order and giving them serial number.
  • I included additional documents like City pass for cities which I am planning to visit, tour vouchers in order to strengthen up my case.

A visa officer has large number of applications to go through especially during peak season and we must provide enough data to make it easier for them to decide. If data points are less then any doubts will go against you. Overall this has been a big learning for me.

My suggestion is that if you have time in hand and have good data points, then appeal rather than reapply. When you reapply immediately, then previous refusal will weigh more heavily in my view.

Update post trip Embassy visit:

I completed my trip and I would say there were some hiccups like during Schengen region entry in Germany, immigration official was not able to locate visa in system. It took some time but it worked out. No other issue as such. During my trip, I collected all receipts to basically prove that I followed itinerary. Post my trip, I went to embassy with all receipts however it was a brief interview as just asked how was trip, little bit about places I visited and they verified entry exit stamps in passport. It was a good conversation overall.

Most challenging trip finally ended on a good note after all the effort.

1
  • 3
    Thanks for returning to update us, glad it worked out in the end! Aug 9, 2023 at 1:04
3

Should I appeal against this decision? Is appealing against decision a bad thing and can make things worse?

Appealing against a decision is not a bad thing and it won't make things worse. But it does take time and might not make sense if you were going to travel soon. Further, unless you can make strong case it would not be worth it.

If you do decide to appeal, you should respond to all concerns stated individually and not just be like "I will give me them few CC details" and everything will be ok.

It's human to feel I have been wronged against an unexpected rejection but accepting and understanding where the Consulate is coming from is important to make a good appeal case.

For proof of sufficient means of subsistence, show them the money, breakable deposits, real more than sufficient balance in account etc CC / Stock Investments won't work here. Recent movement of money in your account won't work either.

For Justification for purpose and conditions of the intended stay, add detailed itinerary which is not limited to just flights and hotels booking but a feasible detailed day to day action plan, places to visit in that day, activities you'll do like boating, flamingo dance watching etc Few Get Your Guide kind of activity bookings can further help.

For Visa Shopping suspicion, while detailed day to day activity thing will help, increasing your days further in Hungary will relax the suspicion. If the friends you intended to meet are in Hungary even better, some letter of invitation from them can do wonder. Think it in a way that this is a Hungary visa which allows you to also visit few places nearby while you are there. This mindset will help you make a better judgement about if your proposal feel Hungary as main destination enough.

At the end, have a passionate(your excitement to visit Hungary can make a difference but don't overdo, your letter can become weird very fast), genuine and polite appeal cover letter.

p.s.: don't be ever shy about putting up as much documents (relevant) with your Schengen Visa application and never avoid adding as much details (relevant) as possible of your trip plan and afcourse always top it up with an exciting cover letter.

3
  • Only appeal if, as Traveller noted earlier, you can address all of the refusal reasons. I'd add as well that appearing "desperate," as this answer suggests, is a very poor tactic. Genuine and polite are both fine. Remember that they don't have to let you in; begging is unlikely to be persuasive. Jun 15, 2023 at 22:49
  • 1
    thanks @DavidRecallsMonica I updated the answer to make it more accurate. Jun 16, 2023 at 4:53
  • Thank you @dragosrsupercool for your inputs they were very helpful Jul 15, 2023 at 19:03
2

Should I appeal against this decision? Is appealing against decision a bad thing and can make things worse?

You can appeal or lodge a fresh application, but only if you think there is something you could add to satisfy all the refusal reasons. See eg Schengen Visa Refusal: Does it make sense to appeal?

Pretty much all of the refusal reasons are covered here Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided and here Schengen Visa Refusal: Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable

You have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence.

In a comment you say that your itinerary was Germany > Slovakia > Hungary, and that you submitted “Bank statement of one account which had cashflows and not necessarily deposited funds”. IMHO it’s (highly) likely that the latter wasn’t deemed sufficient to prove that you meet the required subsistence level for each country in your itinerary. https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2022-07/handbook-annex_25_en_0.pdf. Ideally you should submit statements that show a credible sustained surplus of income over expenditure and demonstrate that your intended spend on the trip is consistent with your financial means. I’m not sure if credit card statements would help much here; better to submit savings statements or similar if you have them.

Visa Shopping suspicion

You don’t mention your citizenship, but you can see visa refusal rates by country here https://statistics.schengenvisainfo.com/

3
  • Thanks for detailed answer. My approach was that my salary slips/IT returns are much stronger indication of financial status and i added bank statement from salary account. Not sure how visa officer interpreted this. In your view do you see any drawbacks in appealing? Can it have further negative impact if appeal fails for some reason. May 25, 2023 at 11:28
  • 1
    @TravellingJuggernaut Salary slips/IT returns only demonstrate income, in themselves they do not show that you have sufficient funds available to you to meet the costs of your trip. I don’t know for sure but I do not think that a rejected appeal has any further negative consequences. However, they’ve given five refusal reasons, I don’t recall any questions on TSE with a similar tally. An appeal has to convince them their decision on your application was incorrect. If I were you I’d wait awhile then reapply, making sure to submit paperwork to strengthen your case and address each reason.
    – Traveller
    May 25, 2023 at 12:13
  • It is the number of reasons itself which make me feel that something basic like finance has been misinterpreted or they didn't felt enough evidence was there. I am already with worst case scenario, so not much to loose. Thank you for all your inputs May 25, 2023 at 12:46

You must log in to answer this question.

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