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I recently applied for Schengen visa from India and unfortunately it was refused. I was surprised with the fact that I met all the required formalities, still unable to believe why my application was refused. I have also traveled frequently to far eastern and middle eastern countries in last 5 years. I am not happy with this decision and would like to ask a question .

Is it possible to make another tourist visa application through Germany? I believe I can get visa from there.

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    Are you asking whether or not you will get a German visa? Or if you can apply at the German consulate? – JonathanReez Nov 24 '16 at 9:45
  • Yes another tourist visa from Germany – karan-kakkar Nov 24 '16 at 9:48
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    You appear to misunderstand the process. Merely "meeting all the required formalities" is not enough. Having a visa issued by Schengen/US/UK/etc is not just a formality - they don't just require the documents, they look at them, and a person sits down and considers what they say about you, and if that makes you a "safe" person to issue a visa to. – CMaster Nov 24 '16 at 10:32
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    "...required formalities..." the first step on the pathway to doom. There are no formalities. – Gayot Fow Nov 24 '16 at 11:13
  • @karan-kakkar: of all the countries in Europe...Switzerland? Really? Oh god :-D – motoDrizzt Nov 24 '16 at 12:47
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I was surprised with the fact that I met all the required formalities, still unable to believe why my application was refused

You are not the first person who met all the formalities and get rejected. In fact, it is written in all Schengen visa forms that:

" Compliance with the required documents doesn't necessarily means visa will be issued".

The embassy/consulate must have provided you with an explanation letter with the stated reason as why your visa was refused.

Is it possible to make another visa application through Germany?. I believe I can get visa from there.

Actually, it is not a good idea to apply immediately to another Schengen state because you recently got a refusal from Switzerland. The embassy/consulate must have provided you a letter to lodge an appeal if you are not satisfied with the visa refusal. The best practice is to appeal against the decision and convince the embassy/consulate that you can justify with compelling reasons why your application should not have been refused.

However unlike other Schengen countries, you can appeal against this decision, but you will have to pay some fee along with your written objection, which is CHF 200 per person or family.

The good news is the administrative fee will be refunded in case the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) comes to a positive decision.

Here are the details how you can appeal against this decision: Appeal

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    "The best practice is to appeal the decision" That looks like very bad advice. An appeal will only be successful if the decision was wrong. Appealing just because you disagree with the decision is a waste of time and money -- almost everybody who is rejected (from anything, not just a visa) disagrees with that decision. – David Richerby Nov 24 '16 at 12:06
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    @DavidRicherby Indeed. Unless the decision was wrong, based on the evidence submitted, the appeal will fail. Best practice is to identify and correct the deficiencies of the application in a new application, if that is possible. If it is not possible, then the applicant should wait until it is possible before reapplying. In other words, if the applicant comes to understand that new evidence should be submitted to strengthen the application, a new application is indicated rather than an appeal. – phoog Nov 24 '16 at 12:11
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    "The embassy/consulate must have provided you an explanation letter with the stated reason why your visa was refused" -- in fact the common Schengen refusal form is extremely terse and provides next to no information about the reason why the visa was refused, only a categorization into one of 5-10 quite broad categories and nothing that was specific to that particular application. – Henning Makholm Nov 24 '16 at 12:44
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    I agree with AliAwan, my friends lawyer in Zurich preparing my appeal also he said the same. – karan-kakkar Nov 24 '16 at 18:26
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    @karan-kakkar I personally adviced you to go for appeal because if you are successful not only you will get a visa but also it will also revoke your recent visa refusal which is stored in VIS. But choice is yours either you can listen to random chatter on net or your lawyer if you can afford it :) good luck and wish you all the best – Ali Awan Nov 24 '16 at 18:32
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It's possible to apply, a refusal does not entail any ban or cooling-off period. You should however be aware that:

  • Your application history will be available to the consulate and might taint their evaluation (they should not refuse automatically but if you reapply immediately, they are likely to look at your application more carefully and seize on anything that looks fishy to get rid of it).
  • You cannot apply for a visa from the German consulate unless you want to go to Germany. For any given plan/situation, there is only one consulate that's competent. So if Switzerland is still your main destination, you cannot pick another consulate to circumvent their decision.
  • Mistakes, arbitrary decisions and differences of appreciation are not unheard of, but in the Schengen area refusals have to be justified using one of a handful of standard reasons and all countries are supposed to use the same criteria. If you submit the exact same application, it's therefore more likely than not that the German consulate would reach the same conclusion than the Swiss consulate.

Instead, you should peruse earlier questions on this site to try to figure out where the problem lies and improve your application before trying again. And "improve your application" might require more than additional documentary evidence, things like a better job or more stable circumstances (which is obviously easier said than done).

  • I believe that a common reason for rejection is the lack of permanent or good job (and I think that this might be different also depending on the country of origin). Knowing how complicated is for Indian people to get a work visa in Europe, I assume there is even more strict evaluation when it comes to tourism. – BioGeo Nov 24 '16 at 16:06
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It really depends on why you got rejected in the first place. I'll give you a personal example which might add some context.

I had applied twice before (successfully) for a Schengen visa from the Netherlands as I have to take a business trip each year for a professional conference that is held in Amsterdam.

This year, I applied the same with exactly the same documents that I had been successful with for the past two years, the only difference was I had a new passport; and that this year the process was outsourced to VFS.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got rejected and the reasons were the following:

  • Could not establish sufficient ties.
  • Could not establish the reason to attend the conference.

My initial reaction was the same as anyone. Then I realized my mistake:

  • For some reason, my HR office forgot to mention the date I had joined the company (it was the same job as before), and since I had recently renewed both my passport and my residency (which was valid for only a year), I assumed that the decision was made without checking my travel history.

So the next day I reapplied with the same documents, except with an adjusted salary certificate and copies of my previous passport showing the old visas.

At the same time, I even lodged a complaint (well, not an official one - I went to the embassy website and submitted a note using their feedback form). I received a reply which stated the following:

  1. I did not need to supply my previous passport, as they can see my previous travel history.

  2. They were concerned about my residency expiry date, and tried to contact me but were unsuccessful.

  3. They received my second application with the correctly salary certificate.

  4. They had issued me a visa.

This was a surprise for me that they responded and in such detail (really, amazing service from the Netherlands embassy); but it clarified a lot of things.

Now the only issue I have is that I have - for the first time - a rejection on my travel history.

The key things you should take away here:

  1. Each application is judged individually.
  2. Your prior application (and I assume, travel) history is available throughout the Schengen system.
  3. Is is not a magic combination of documents. You may have the best documents, but your application may be rejected for other reasons - one of them being that your documents do not provide evidence for which they are submitted; or (as in my case) they can't contact you.
  4. Rejection letters are delivered in the native language of the embassy, along with an English translation. The English translation is provided as a convenience - the official rejection letter is that which is in the native language of the mission.
  5. There is no cool down period, you can apply immediately - even to the same country.
  6. Do not - under any circumstances - go "visa shopping"; your application history and data are shared across the Schengen states and you may be subject to a flag or ban.
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Like in all countries, the authorities decide whether you are granted a visa or not, based on the documents they have and their own guidelines. They are not required to provide an explanation and these guidelines might change for different countries of origin.

I can't say if there is any issue with applying so soon to another country. But in general, it's possible to apply to any Schengen country for a visa, as long as you can justify that this is your main destination.

So, you might not be allowed to enter in Switzerland if you have a German Schengen visa and if you cannot justify that your main destination is Germany at the entry point. It would be easier to enter in Germany and then travel to Switzerland.

To back it up, I know people that apply for example to Spain rather than France, because Spain requires less papers and then had to fly to Spain first before travelling to France.

And of course, there is no guarantee that you will get the german visa.

Edit: Ok, I did some more search. People seem to agree that it's possible to enter any Schengen border with any Schengen visa (which contradicts the personal story). I now attach the link from the FAQ of the Europa website that also covers this matter. http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy/docs/frequently_asked_questions_en.pdf

5 Where do I submit my visa application? You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate of the country that you intend to visit, or – if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the Consulate of the country of your primary destination (i.e. main purpose of stay or longest stay). If you intend to visit several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area. As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate with territorial competence for the country in which you legally reside. For more detailed information, please visit this page on our website: Where and how to apply

6 Can I enter the Schengen area in country X, while the visa was issued by Schengen country Y? As a general rule you may cross any Schengen border with visa issued by any Schengen country. However, the short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. See FAQ no 16 on checks at the external borders.

13 My visa has been issued by, for example, the German Consulate. Could I use this visa to make a trip to other Schengen States? Yes. According to the Schengen rules, the Schengen visa is generally valid for all the countries in the Schengen area. Please note, however, that you always have to apply at the consulate of the country which is your primary destination (see FAQ no 5). The territorial validity of your visa is indicated on the visa sticker under the heading "Valid For". You will find information on how to read your visa sticker on this page of our website: How to read/understand the visa sticker. See FAQ no 16 on checks at the external borders.

16 Do I have to present any other document at the Schengen external borders apart from my travel document with the Schengen visa? The short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At border (or during other controls) you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation, for example information on that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay).

So, in theory, it's advisable to enter at the port where your visa was issued, although it seems like several people have had no issue with that. And from my friends' experience, they didn't try to travel directly to France and were declined, but they travelled to Spain (which issued the visa) so I can't comment on whether they would face a problem or not.

  • +1, great answer! Would you please just double check the accuracy of "...you cannot fly to Switzerland, if you have a German Schengen visa..."? Just to be sure it sync's up with similar answers on the site that indicate otherwise? Thanks! – Gayot Fow Nov 24 '16 at 13:11
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    "it's ok to apply to any Schengen country for a visa, as long as your point of entry will be that country" -- THIS IS WRONG! You must apply to the country that is your main destination, independently of where your point of entry will be. The only relevance of the point-of-entry is that it is used as a last resort for determining the main destination when absolutely nothing else can help point to one. – Henning Makholm Nov 24 '16 at 13:46
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    "So, you cannot fly to Switzerland, if you have a German Schengen visa" -- THIS IS EXTREMELY AND EGREGIOUSLY WRONG. – Henning Makholm Nov 24 '16 at 13:47
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    Well yes, @HenningMakholm's comment is less elliptical than mine, somewhat more direct, and it indicates you can benefit from an edit to your answer. I hope you can fix it. – Gayot Fow Nov 24 '16 at 14:04
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    No, you're simply wrong. The point-of-entry matters, as I have said, ONLY if no main purpose for the travel can be identified AND there is not even a destination country where the traveler will spend longer time than any other member state. That is an extremely far cry from being "the main thing that matters". If you know some people who have obtained a visa fradulently by applying to the wrong country, lied about their plans (because otherwise their application would have been rejected), and got away with it, then good for them, I suppose -- but that doesn't change what the rules are. – Henning Makholm Nov 24 '16 at 15:10

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