I'm currently planning to apply for a visa from Turkmenistan, which is notoriously hard to get, and there's a very high chance of getting a refusal. I am therefore worried that getting such a refusal would mean I'd have to tick the dreaded "have you ever been refused a visa" checkpoint on future visa applications, which would cause dumb algorithms to automatically deny me permits such as the American ESTA or the Canadian ETA. On the other hand, I can't imagine Turmenistan of all places sharing their visa refusals with America or Canada, nor do these countries particularly care about visitors rejected from a remote Central Asian nation.

So the question becomes... when applying for visas, should you disclose visa refusals from low-HDI countries? Or does hiding those refusals make more sense to avoid getting extra scrutiny from visa officials?

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income per capita indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. It is used here to avoid controversial terms such as "first world country" or "developed country".

closed as primarily opinion-based by chx, choster, pnuts, Giorgio, o.m. Jan 13 '17 at 16:21

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    @GayotFow no refusal yet, still trying to arrange an invitation from Turkmenistan. However refusal odds are very high once application is made. And AFAIK their embassy doesn't really give a reason. – JonathanReez Jan 13 '17 at 11:56
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    In the UK, lying on your visa application is an automatic refusal and 10 year ban. So the UK might not care that your Turkmenistan visa was refused, but they do care if you lie about it. – gnasher729 Jan 13 '17 at 12:38
  • @gnasher729 UK visas aren't a big deal since they're face-to-face (if I ever needed one) and even the dumbest official won't care about a random country refusal. But many permits are fully online these days: USA, Canada, India, Australia + plans from the Schengen area. Even if it is approved eventually, you're guaranteed not to be able to have an "instant approval" anymore. – JonathanReez Jan 13 '17 at 13:38
  • The question is good on surface but I do not think it can be answered, it's a big "what if". It is possible that today this information is not shared voluntarily but what if one of the three-letter-agencies pick it up in a year, two years, and shares it back with the immigration officials who do not even need to know the source of the info? I have no doubt they could do this right now should they want to. Trump will be the president in a week, what do you know of the future? Voting to close as opinion based. – chx Jan 13 '17 at 14:44
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    This question is basically asking "If I break the law, will I get away with it?" And I thought we generally don't entertain such questions on this site. – Nate Eldredge Jan 13 '17 at 14:51