I'm an Indian citizen and I am currently a third-year student in engineering. I have been selected to work for Google Summer of Code with VLC (VideoLAN) Organisation, which offered me an opportunity to visit their headquarters in Paris in June.

I did not have a passport, so quickly got one and applied for a Schengen visa. During the visa application process, I was asked the purpose of travel. I said attending a conference and tourism. When I got my biometrics receipt, it said my visa had been applied for under the business category. I was a bit surprised, but nothing could be done at that point. After a few days, my passport was returned with my visa refusal letter, stating the reason of refusal as "information provided is unreliable."

After I talked to my mentors at VLC, they agreed to let me try again and visit them in July. I will be applying shortly for my visa would like to know if there is anything else that I should include, apart from the usual documents.

  • If you went for an interview and the consular saw that, I would want to believe it means he was okay that category fit your application and hence I would venture your refusal is not based on just that issue. If however your application was done via a VFS and mail without interacting with a consular, then it's different. In any case the French consulate in DC has called me twicepreviously to fix minor issues with visa applications and approved it and in my opinion they are the most lenient Schengen countries so your application might have a different fatal flaw than this relatively trivial one. – Augustine of Hippo Jun 20 '17 at 16:28
  • Okay. Thank you for your opinion. My documents were submitted at a VFS centre. I had mailed the consulate regarding this and my contact in paris tried to reach them via call as well but to no avail. Let's see. – gautamc Jun 20 '17 at 19:53

While there is no separate Schengen 'business' visa, there may have been some confusion with a student having a business reason for travel. The Schengen short stay visa (C) allows for a range of activities/purposes, including tourism, visiting family, and business meeting, and includes attending conferences.

As the refusal notes that the 'information provided is unreliable,' it suggests some lack of clarity. You might overcome that with your letter of invitation from the sponsoring organization. It should be very specific: your relationship to the organization, what it is giving you, how it may be supporting you or reimbursing you financially, any arrangements it will make on your behalf.

You might want to add evidence of your university enrollment, confirmation that you are in good standing, and that you are expected to return for the upcoming term. And, depending on your finances, you may want to include an affidavit(s) of support, in addition to your bank statements.

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