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Me being from Mumbai, India, I have travelled to Belgium twice before once in September 2013 and June 2015.

For my most recently completed trip, my Business Visa validity was from 30th May to 16th July for a period of 48 days. However, there was another "Duration of stay" mentioned on my visa which was 30 days (which I did not observe)

While applying for the visa I also had produced my return flight tickets which was from 30th May to 6th July. I had applied for a business visa from a visa consultant (and not myself) and he applied for a short stay visa which is only valid for 30 days but my travel time was for 37 days so he should have applied for a long stay visa which he did not.

Now, while on my way back from Germany (entered Belgium and left from Germany in June, 2015), I was not caught at all at the immigration neither was I caught at Mumbai and only when I applied for another Business Visa on 4th July, 2016 (an year later) for Belgium again, I got a call from the embassy on 5th July, 2016 asking me the reason for overstay, while I truthfully did not know that I had overstayed because I somehow ignored the 30 days validity and only considered the 30th may to 16th July,2015 (48 days) as valid travel dates, I explained the person that this was a genuine mistake from my side and I didn't know the validity of 30 days. The person said, my application needs to be sent to Brussels for further approval and my client in Belgium spoke to the concerned department regarding my application and got an update that my visa has been rejected.

Moving ahead, my tickets are still booked for 4th August 2016 to 16th August, 2016. Would it be wise to reapply for a visa to Belgium itself or should I apply it for some other Schengen country ? Will it be rejected the next time as well or there is a 50% chance of getting approved ? This time application process should be any different or the same ? Should I attach an apology letter ? I would lose a big business opportunity if I am not able to make it to Belgium so any help here would be highly appreciated :)

P.S. Due to this rejection, will I also be rejected to all the other 1st world countries visa applications ? Can I do anything to undo this ?

  • 3
    Short stay visas can be valid for stays up to 90 days in a 180-day period. Your belief that a 37-day stay requires a long-stay visa is incorrect. – phoog Jul 13 '16 at 12:19
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You have previously overstayed a Schengen and your application was referred to the Belgian national authority. You then learned that a refusal is in the pipeline.

Would it be wise to reapply for a visa to Belgium itself or should I apply it for some other Schengen country ?

No, an individual's history of applications is recorded in a central database and available to all Schengen members. This would make your refusal visible to the other Schengen members. It is especially unwise to contrive a premise such that a specific member is targeted and attempts to hide visibility from the 'real' authority. This is called "visa shopping" and they do not like it, here's what the CIA has to say about it...

VIS facilitates the exchange of visa data between member states and is designed to prevent a practice known as "visa shopping,” where an applicant who is refused a visa by one Schengen member state applies for a visa in another member state. VIS conducts a one-to-many (1:N) fingerprint search of the database to determine whether a person's fingerprints are already contained in the database, possibly under another identity. VIS also verifies that the traveler is the same person to whom the visa was issued by conducting a one-to-one (1:1) comparison of a traveler’s fingerprint collected at a port of entry with the fingerprint stored in the database at the time of the visa application. (U)

Source: WikiLeaks

Will it be rejected the next time as well or there is a 50% chance of getting approved ?

50% is a reasonable guess. They will be worried about your previous overstay. You have claimed that it was an honest mistake, but everybody in the world (if you will accept hyperbole) has a reason where the blame is shifted and they have heard it all before. On the other hand, if you have a lengthy history as a bona-fide applicant and a very strong premise, this will be taken into account in your favour.

This time application process should be any different or the same ?

No. All applications are handled uniformly. Your supporting documents are validated by the issuing post, they check your history and then make a decision based upon the level of risk.

Should I attach an apology letter ?

It's fine to make an attestation, but it will be of marginal value. Everybody in the world (if you will accept hyperbole) is sorry when they get caught and they have seen it all before. Applicants who do not know the rules or do not follow the rules are treated as risky.

Due to this rejection, will I also be rejected to all the other 1st world countries visa applications ?

If you are asking if Schengen application history is shared beyond the participating Schengen members, then yes, but in limited form. It does not necessarily mean that all so-called "1st world countries" will treat your risk profile in the same way or even be aware of it. But generally speaking it is a safe assumption that your record and biometrics may available for examination.

Can I do anything to undo this ?

As a general rule of thumb: you need to be successful in a visa application where the problem occured, in your case to Belgium. This sort of history tends to mitigate your level of risk. Otherwise a lengthy history of peripatetic activity can be helpful.

  • Would you advise me to reapply for a visa right away once I get my passport back with the rejection stamp on it ? Or should I cancel my tickets and may be apply after an year or so again ? – Nikhil Rao Jul 13 '16 at 12:42
  • Not disagreeing with the general thrust of your answer (+1) but I am puzzled by "performance history is recorded in a central database and available to all Schengen members". What database would that be and what makes you think that? Also, specifically what information do you suppose is shared with non-Schengen countries and which ones? – Relaxed Jul 13 '16 at 12:46
  • @Relaxed, should those things be included in the answer? Can it be improved by that? Or just explain here in comments or chat or etc? – Gayot Fow Jul 13 '16 at 12:48
  • @GayotFow You can rework your text to remove what's incorrect or add a link to a source to your answer (i.e. improve the answer, not turn it into a discussion thread or an extension of the comments). Discussing in chat is fine too, if you prefer that. – Relaxed Jul 13 '16 at 12:50
  • @Relaxed I would be both flattered and charmed to meet you in chat. I'll go there right now. – Gayot Fow Jul 13 '16 at 12:53
13

There is a good news where in after a Visa refusal when I immediately applied for the second time, I got my Business visa approved.

This time, I had attached a genuine apology letter stating that I genuinely got confused with the visa stay duration and visa travel dates and I also questioned the authorities diplomatically and showed that I was myself confused as to why I was given a visa for 30 days when I had submitted my confirmed flight tickets for 38 days which was ignored by German and Mumbai airport immigrations as well. Also, my client wrote a letter which I attached with my second visa application which stated my daily itinerary for all the 12 days for this trip as to what I will be doing on each day with my client's photograph on his letterhead.

Just be honest and if one is lucky they do spare genuine mistakes!

  • 4
    I'm glad it worked out for you! – Zach Lipton Jul 29 '16 at 8:42

protected by phoog Dec 17 '18 at 15:37

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