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My mother, who had an expired Schengen visa from a previous trip in her passport, was just refused entry to the Schengen Area at Frankfurt, from where she was to take a connecting flight to Budapest. It's clear why she was denied entry, I'll explain below. My question is more about the future effects of this.

I live in Hungary, my mom came to visit me here recently and then took a trip to the U.S., planning to return to Hungary before flying back home. Admittedly her own mistake, she didn't notice her Schengen visa was a single entry visa because all her visas from multiple previous visits were multiple entry. As a result she wasn't let into the Schengen Area (on her way back from the U.S.).

Immigration officers indicated that they could see it was a mistake since she had all documents and return tickets and she simply used up her single entry when she came to Budapest first. She wasn't given a special stamp like void or anything like that. I'm just seeking reassurance.

Could this affect her future travel plans?

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    This sounds very strange. Frankfurt and Budapest are both in the Schengen area, so a flight between them is "domestic" for immigration purposes, and would be irrelevant as far as visas are concerned. Are you said that the airline refused to transport your mother from Frankfurt to Budapest -- or that she was refused entry by German border guards on arrival in Frankfurt from the US? In the latter case, the Frankfurt-Budapest leg is irrelevant. – Henning Makholm Jan 22 '17 at 10:44
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    sorry i should have been clearer, your assumption is correct, she was refused entry by German border guards on arrival in Frankfurt from the US – conversation.16 Jan 22 '17 at 10:46
  • @HenningMakholm thanks for your input, if the Frankfurt-Budapest leg is considered irrelivant, I suppose is safe not to worry about immigration issues in the future? – conversation.16 Jan 22 '17 at 10:55
  • @o.m.: Yes, that is what the question says now, after Crazydre edited in information from the OP's first response to me. – Henning Makholm Jan 22 '17 at 11:01
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    Frankly, I'm wondering how she was allowed to board the flight in the USA without a valid visa. Normally the airline would check her visa during the check in process. Lufthansa is usually very careful about this. – Aleks G Jan 28 '17 at 16:11
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Having been refused entry once does not change your mother's legal situation for future visa applications. There is no ban or mandatory waiting period she has to let run before she can apply for a visa again.

However, you should assume that the consular officer processing her application will know that she has once been denied entry, and will therefore apply additional scrutiny to it. (It does not matter that the refusal happened at the German border and she's applying for a visa to Hungary: expect the Schengen countries to share such information between each other).

In order to manage that risk, she should enclose an honest explanation of the circumstances of the refusal with the future visa application. Even if she is not formally required to make such a disclosure, it will bolster her credibility significantly if she does so up front.

She should take some care to make this explanation as accurate as she can. For example, it shouldn't be worded as if she thinks the flight from Frankfurt to Budapest was a problem, given that she we refused entry on arrival to Frankfurt, before she had a chance to even attempt to get on the flight to Budapest.

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    If the explanation starts with "I made the mistake ..." that would be a good thing. – o.m. Jan 22 '17 at 12:15
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To put it bluntly, your mother has shown that she cannot be trusted to read and understand the terms of her visa. That is a bad thing. On the plus side, she has a history of Schengen visa and probably did not run into such problems before.

In future visa applications anywhere in the world, if there is the question if she has ever been refused entry elsewhere, she must say "yes." That does not mean an automatic rejection, but it can lead to higher scrutiny, longer processing times, and a higher probability of a rejection.

The next Schengen visa can be tricky, but if she gets it most of the bad effects will be countered.

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