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".