I'm a US permanent resident, not a citizen yet. I'm originally from… well let's say my country isn't doing great these days. With my current citizenship, it would be a guaranteed rejection. However, since I'm a permanent resident in the US, I think I may have a chance.

I mainly want to stay in Germany for 2-3 weeks. So the right choice would be applying for a Schengen visa from Germany, but I was told it could be extremely difficult, and I was recommended to apply from Spain since it's easier, but I have no intention in staying in Spain. So does it look bad to apply from a country with no intention in staying in it? Which country do you think I should apply to?

My current situation in the US is great. I'm a graduate college student and I have sufficient funds in my bank account. So providing support documents shouldn't be a problem.

  • If you apply for a Schengen visa somewhere else than Germany, for a visit to Germany, they will reject the application. And if you lie and say you are going to Spain and show up at a German Airport they will likely ask for your onward ticket. If you fail to show one you will be in trouble as well. – Willeke Mar 6 '16 at 8:51
  • Money and a diploma are good, permanent residence and a job are even better. – Relaxed Mar 6 '16 at 9:47

Yes, it looks very bad and it seems you might be misjudging the risks. If your citizenship is somehow an issue, showing up in Germany with a Spanish visa and no coherent explanation for your first Schengen trip would be a huge red flag, much more likely to lead to problems than a straightforward application to a German consulate in the US.

If you disclose your intentions in your application, Spain should decline to process your application, send your documents back, refund the fee and invite you to apply to Germany. That's not too bad but you would just be wasting your time.

But if you don't disclose your real intentions and pretend you want to go to Spain and are found out, that's fraud and an actual guaranteed refusal. If you do manage to pull it off and show up at the border, you could still be found out, in which case your visa would be annulled on the spot and you would be sent back to the US by the next flight. This would make it nearly impossible to get another Schengen visa, from any country, in the near future.

  • 1
    So all he needs to do is spend a little more money right? As in go to Spain then go to Germany, and that would sort it out? – Ulkoma Mar 6 '16 at 11:20
  • 1
    @Ulkoma I wouldn't quite put it that way but basically yes. That's a common trick and is usually enough to get away with misusing a visa because border guards have no easy way of knowing what you will do/did during your stay in the area and don't spend much time inquiring if everything else looks alright. But if your main destination really was Germany all along, that's still fraud and could – theoretically – lead to the same consequence. – Relaxed Mar 6 '16 at 11:32
  • 1
    @Ulkoma, the proper way to do this would be to spend longer in Spain than in Germany. Then he could non-fraudulently apply in Spain. – o.m. Mar 6 '16 at 11:34
  • 1
    @kasperd To the main destination, and if none can be determined, the first country you are going to enter. That's why o.m. rightly suggests spending more time in Spain. If you turn this trip into a European grand tour with some time in Spain, France, Italy and then Germany, applying from Spain is fine. If you sandwich a three-week stay in Germany between a couple of week-ends in Spain, you are most likely to get away with it but you are bending the rules. – Relaxed Mar 6 '16 at 11:41
  • 1
    And the notion of a “main destination” is deliberately vague, intent matters. If you're going to Germany to attend a wedding or a conference, it could be construed as the main destination, even if you are spending a little longer in Spain. – Relaxed Mar 6 '16 at 11:43

I believe you are doing the German consular staff an injustice if your think there would be a "guaranteed rejection" based on your citizenship. Sure, people from some countries are under increased scrutiny due to past problems with their fellow countrymen, but that is not the same. Each application is examined.

It looks bad if you apply at the wrong country. It could be a mere clerical error, e.g. asking for a German Schengen visa if you merely enter the Schengen zone in Frankfurt and transit elsewhere. In that case you will be informed where your application should be handled, but they will note that you obviously didn't read and understand the instructions.

Deliberate lies about your itinerary can be a problem before, during, or after the trip. If they catch you at it, that will be entered in the Schengen database.

There might be one way around it. Ask for a multiple-entry Schengen visa with the first trip e.g. to Spain. Make no firm plans yet for any subsequent trips. Make the first to Spain trip exactly as declared. But getting a multiple-entry visa from Spain might be more difficult than getting a single-entry visa from Germany ...

  • Fwiw, a certain embassy receptionist advised "somebody" that as your surname is Singh, you are from Punjab, your salary is only $1800 a month, 90% chances are that you will be rejected. But "he" got visa.. – DavChana Mar 6 '16 at 9:22
  • 1
    @Davinder, a 10% chance comes up one time in ten. And how long that salary will go depends on the size of the family. There are many people in Germany who earn less than €1600 per month. – o.m. Mar 6 '16 at 9:31
  • agreed. the cash in debit, saved over a year was $3000+, return ticket was prepaid, and in any case, their concern about money was not the issue, the other two stated reasons were not good, community & geography. But all is well that ends well :).. 90% was rejection rate/opinion (not necessarily of embassy but of that specific person) – DavChana Mar 6 '16 at 10:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.