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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Appeal Process is a Sham



The Appeal Process is a Sham


Applicants for a Schengen visa whose applications are refused are, by law, entitled to appeal the decision. But there is no information to guide the applicant in an appeal. The stated reasons for refusal are so vague that the applicant can only guess at the true reason for refusal. In the case of France, the appeal will be decided months after the applicant’s intended departure and if unsuccessful, the applicant will receive no notification. His appeal will simply vanish.

The appeal process is a cruel joke. It is likely to waste the applicant’s time and cause yet more grief and confusion by falsely raising his hopes.

The right to appeal

The Visa Code provides that applicants who have been refused a visa shall have the right to appeal. It stipulates that the appeal be conducted in accordance with national law; and

the Member State shall provide applicants with information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal, including the competent authority and the time limit for lodging such an appeal. (Article 32) (my emphasis in bold)

Guidance is hopelessly inadequate

When an applicant’s visa is refused he will receive a Notice of Refusal with his passport. In the case of France, the only information regarding the right to appeal is the sentence,

“You may lodge an appeal against the decision to refuse a visa with the Commission des Recours contre les decisions de Refus de Visa d’entrée en France, BP 83 609, 44036 – Nantes CEDEX 1, within two months from the date of this notification.”

The Visa Code requires that the Notice of Refusal give information regarding the appeal procedure, “including” competent authority and time limit. It does not say “comprising” competent authority and time limit. "Including" indicates that the notice should provide more information, such as:

  1. reference to the fact that the appeal will take two months to be decided – a fact that would influence most applicants’ decision to appeal or not. 
  2. guidance as to how to file an appeal; 
  3. what the grounds for an appeal might be; 
  4. what factors might assist the applicant. 
Indeed, the intention manifested by the Refusal Notice is to provide as little information as possible presumably in order to discourage appeals.


The stated reason is inadequate

The Visa Code provides that reasons for refusal shall be given to an applicant. But it confines such reasons to those listed in Annexe VI. Of these, the only reason I have seen given (and, I suspect, the most frequent choice) is,

“the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay are not reliable”.

How could an applicant base an appeal on such gobbledygook? By contrast, the UK requires its consulates to give reasons specific to the case. Which document was defective? In what way was it defective?

The vagueness of Article 32 (reasons for refusal) has the effect of making the refusal process opaque, leaving the visa section totally unaccountable and rendering an appeal impracticable; that is, it is impossible for an applicant to lodge an appeal without knowing the specific reasons for the refusal. It is highly unlikely that a court would agree that such perfunctory reasons satisfy the duty to give reasons under Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

The Visa Code should be amended to require the consulate to refer to a specific document in the applicant’s file and to the specific defect in that document.

Two months is not a reasonable time

In a previous post I discussed how the Visa Code adopts the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Article 41 of the Charter states that
“[e]very person has the right to have his or her affairs handled … within a reasonable time.”
What would be a reasonable time for a person going on holiday to Europe? Presumably it would be a period of time that enables the applicant to proceed with his travel plans. The only way for an appeal process to be meaningful, at all, would be to have an appeal process that takes place within days, rather than months. There is no point having an appeal process that takes so long that opportunity to travel has passed.

Result of the appeal should be notified 

The appeal process in France simply fades away. One is sent a case number and told that if you don't hear from us within two months you may presume that the appeal has failed. This is an extraordinary demonstration of contempt for the applicant. It is also a flagrant violation of the applicant's rights under the Charter. Article 41 of the Charter requires that reasons be given for an administrative decision. It is not only common courtesy. It is also the law. Article 41 also requires the administration in question to reply in the language of the application provided it is one of the languages of the Treaty.

The most opaque process in the EU

The appeal process for applicants whose Schengen Visa application has been refused must be one of the most opaque and contemptible processes in the EU. It makes a mockery of the principles of fairness laid down in Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It is mere window dressing. The EU Parliament has two choices: either amend the appeal process and make it fair and practicable or get rid of it completely. 








177 comments:

  1. honestly speaking, re-application or appealing for visas is one of the hardest part of the process

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  2. I really like your insight on EU immigration and visa policy. A bit EU-esceptic, but reflected quite well how the visa code is just an instrument to fight immigration, and close the door as much as possible, under false pretensions of having "law certainty and fairness" whilst administrating the process to obtain a permit to cross EU external borders to visitors coming from third countries.

    However, if is truth that most of EU law counts with certain "opacity", to grant maximal approval in the decision community method (inside the Council, and between the Council an the Parliament), this same EU law could be interpreted according to EU fundamental rights to "save the day". I think that one of the biggest problems here is that administrative employees are the ones taking decisions, and they adapt and reflect national immigration policies that can be more strict than the EU policy itself. Not to talk about the natural tendency that people has to abuse of their power once they have it!

    I'm not saying "the EU visa-code rules!" But there is a big responsibility on the hands of national administrations and their delegates!

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  3. Thanks for your comment Lucy.

    Actually I'm not Euro-sceptic. I don't think the code is an instrument to fight immigration. I merely think there is a lack of political will to implement the grandiose declarations in the code that promise fundamental rights but cannot deliver. If there were enough political will then, I agree with you, the law could be interpreted to 'save the day'. The institution to do that is the courts. My Petition would be a good vehicle to allow the courts to clarify the law. But let's see if there's political will.

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  4. Hello Greg!

    Thank you for the useful articles! Do you have more information on the appeal process, such as how exactly to appeal, any statistics on how many people win their appeals? Thank you!

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  5. Catie,

    The lack of information on 'just exactly how to appeal' is one of the themes of my article.

    Statistics on visa refusals are published. But l have not seen statistics on appeal success rates. Let us know if you find any.

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  6. Thankyou for this blog. Its an eye opener. I had always dreamt of exploring Europe and finally at age 42 when I applied for schengen the passport was returned after two days with a refusal stamp!
    We are a Pakistani family and living in Karachi. My husband is a senior banker, I have an established Architecture and Interior Design Studio, our kids go to a prestigious school and will be giving their CIE exams.

    We are planning to enjoy our summer vacations with our children in Italy, Germany and France. We were surprised and disappointed that our passports were returned with visa refusal stamps alongwith a standard form in just two days! No call for interview or missing documents!

    The reasons ticked are
    no.2. Justification of purpose and conditions of intended stay not provided
    no.8. The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of intended stay was not reliable.

    We had attached a covering letter with itinery and all the required documents and requested Zeb Travels, a reputable agency, to book flights and hotels. This agency had helped us for our Thailand, Dubai, Srilanka and Morocco vacation plans and we were satisfied with their service.

    I would highly appreciate your guidance. Being an architect, I am really keen on visiting Italy. This being our first trip I could not think of a better place to start from.

    I emailed the visa officer as meeting or calling is not allowed. Its quite unfair since we have paid for the visa.

    If I apply to another Schengen state will the refusal stamp be an issue on entering Italy? Will another state accomodate our request despite the stamp?

    The form says we can appeal through a solicitor. The internet says Italian appeals can only be filed at Lazio with a local lawyer. Can I appeal while I apply to another state? as kids summer vacations are not that far away.

    When I read your blog, I started thinking.. could it be because we are muslims? or because I cover my hair? If so will all schengen states refuse us?

    Please advise. I keep looking at the passport as I just cant believe it!

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  7. Dear Idealist,

    Welcome to being a second class citizen of the world. Hundreds of euros pocketed by the embassy without an intelligible word of explanation. "Sod off, we don't want you, but we'll keep your money and there's nothing you can do about it" is the message.

    No, you can't apply through another state unless you change your itinerary. But even then the refusal will be a blot. Quite likely throwing good money after bad.

    No, it is not because you are a muslim or because you cover your hair. There are plenty of people from the muslim world visiting Europe.

    You can waste nervous energy trying to guess the reason for your refusal but in the absence of clear reasons for the refusal that's all you can do: guess.

    As you can see from this blog entry, the appeal process would likely cause you more grief. The only effective remedy that I see would be starting legal proceedings in the country to which you applied on the basis of the Visa Regulations and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, as I have discussed in this blog. But that won't get you a visa by summer.

    The only thing you can do is find another country to visit for your holidays and hope and pray that one day the Schengen area follows the spirit and letter of the Visa Regulations and gives you a fair process. This is likely to be a long time. My Petition was accepted 13 months ago and I have heard nothing to date.

    You have my sympathies. It is indeed an insult to be treated in such a peremptory and disrespectful manner, especially when the law is clear and your rights are flagrantly denied. Put the passport away and find somewhere else to visit.

    gb

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  8. Hi, can very much relate with the people who have posted on this blog.

    We{our family - Me(Service), my Dad(Government Servant), my Mom(Service), my younger Brother(Student)} have been a victim of the same process. Had booked our Europe tour from a very reputed tour operator in India, but got a intimation from the team that the French Consulate has refused our Schengen Visa just a day before the departure date, for the following reasons:
    1) You have not provided proof of sufficient means of subsitence, for the duration of intended stay or for the transit to a third country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which you are certain to be admitted, or you are not in a position to acquire such means lawfully.
    2) The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions intended stay was not reliable.

    We have not entirely understood the reasons for refusal, especially because the Visa application was done through the reputed tour operator in India, and all the required documents were submitted as told by the tour managing team. Also my father being a government servant in India, he had submitted a document mentioning the leave dates approved by office. (If he does not resume duty as stated in the document submitted, disciplinary action can be taken against him by the government, not sure how the consulate did not consider this???)
    The tour team is saying this might be because of no travel history, as all of us have not travelled internationally before, but how we look at it is “there is always a first time”. Now we are also worried that this rejection stamp will remain on our passport permanently.

    We will have to bear substantial financial losses due to this. Please suggest how can this be taken forward.......????

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  9. My suggestion is that you find somewhere else in the world to satisfy your wanderlust, at least until the Europeans can behave with decency and give you a fair hearing as their law requires. If you have read my blog you will see that the appeal process is a not worth the mental energy. You won't even get notice that your appeal has failed. You could of course submit another application, roll the dice for 8,000 rupees per person and try your luck. But why go through this demeaning process again? Even if you show more funds, how can you be confident that 'the information regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of intended stay' (whatever that means) will be deemed 'reliable'? You can't. Find a country that treats you with respect (as your own country treats me every time I apply for a visa).

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  10. Thanks a lot for the suggestions given, but why we are more surprised is that this was through a reputed tour operator, so the funds related documents submitted were all done by consulting them. Also, what we assume is that the reason 'the information regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of intended stay' should have been taken care of by the letter given to the consulate by the tour operator(we assume they would have).

    But the tour operator says that the main reason would be Travel history and the reasons stated in the refusal form are for the sake of it. Do you think this could have happened because of any kind of negligence on part of the tour operator??? And how much does travel history matter????

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  11. One can only guess. The whole problem with this process is that it is not transparent. The reasons that you are given are not reasons. They are categories of reason for refusal.

    The claim by the tour operator that, 'you haven't travelled before' is an ex post facto justification. If they really suspected this 'reason' might they not have warned you before you submitted your application? Did they warn you? If not, they are just as mystified as you and clutching at straws. Might the tour operator have been negligent? Perhaps, but given the totally opaque process it would be difficult to prove.

    Again, you have my sympathies. You have been taken for a ride, led up the garden path, humiliated and fleeced - not by the tour operator, but by a system that claims to be the most civilized and egalitarian on the planet, but which is, in fact, the most contemptuous of 'second class' world citizens.

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  12. Gregory is there a time period that one should ideally wait to apply for a Schengen visa from another country if his visa is refused from the first country ! in my case I was refused a visa by the German Consulate about a month later I changed my Itinerary and applied at the French Consulate even that got a refusal. Now I am wondering when should I apply again as it is raining refusal after refusals !

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    1. Raj,

      I don't think jurisdiction shopping is likely to be productive. I have heard a rumour that you are unlikely to succeed in a new jurisdiction when you have been refused in another jurisdiction. If you are determined to go to Europe, better to keep your itinerary constant, try to guess the reason for the refusal, pay the exorbitant fee and roll the dice again. Good luck!

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    2. I have been given different information from different people there was one section of people which said if you have been refused from a country lets say Germany and if you apply again in Germany you would most likely again get a refusal and hence I changed my itinerary and applied to the French Consulate now you are saying that changing itinerary and applying to a different country in the Schengen area is again not going to help. I really am getting confused here I don't know what to believe and what to listen to, I genuinely wanted to go on a vacation to Europe and these guys at the consulate have started making me feel as if I am some international criminal in an attempt to flee my country what the heck ! So now some guys are suggesting please do not apply again, atleast for a couple of months till they feel that I don't look desperate, maybe 6 months or a year is what they are saying. In the mean while I am planning to write a letter to the Consul General of France at the Consulate (I see his seal and signature on the refusal letter) Explaining him I understand his country's concern of trying to stop a potential illegal immigrant but to look at everyone with suspicion and doubt how is that a fair justice ? How else can I prove that I am a genuine tourist and I will return to my home country ! Do you think Greg this will help ? Does a High Profile, Big entity like a consul general intervene in such petty (atleast for him) cases like mine ? Firstly I have doubts if my letter will reach him in the first place and will he read it or not ? Because these kind of Foreign Officials in a Foreign Country have so many layers of security around them that even a letter is first read by other person before it reaches him.

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    3. Raj,

      We are all guessing. No one really knows which is the best strategy to follow. This is an opaque bureaucratic process that has a life and purpose of its own. The Visa Code claims to promote 'bona fide' travel. But in fact it promotes bureaucratic indifference.

      Do I think writing a letter to the Consul will help? No. In my experience there is no interest in providing personal service. The consulate is probably overworked and understaffed. There are probably dozens of people like yourself being refused every day, writing letters and venting anxiety. Your visa fee, instead of being applied to providing good service, is probably siphoned off to subsidize some other government function, leaving the consular staff overworked and indifferent. My advice to all would-be tourists who are refused: find another country to visit until the Europeans wake up and behave towards bona fide visitors in the civilized manner that they claim in their laws to uphold.

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  13. Hi everyone! I need some advice. I was just turned down for my Student Visa Application. By the way, I applied for Student Visa “Under INTERNSHIP PROGRAM ONLY” I will be having my internship in a Hotel.
    The denial letter states “in accordance with Art. 38.1.a).2 º. del Real Decreto 557/2011, which stipulates that the applicant has to have economic means to cover all expenses that will be incurred for the studies and stay in Spain, as well as for his/her return to the Philippines.” as the reason for my visa denial.
    First of all, I applied for an “Internship Program Only” which is a pre requisite for the completion of my studies here in the Philippines so I don’t have to pay any tuition or academic fees. Second, I was offered by the Host Company noted on the “ACCEPTANCE LETTER” that they will shoulder my Accomodation, food and 100 EURO/month allowance which are the major factors of my expenses. Hence, we have provided evidences to justify these when I submitted my application. Furthermore, I have submitted my own bank account that has 1,000 EUROS monthly and with the help of my sponsor’s bank statements with around 4,000 EUROS monthly cost to be use for the rest of my expenses that has to be borne, namely my aunt, have submitted evidence of how my internship in Spain will be financed including her bank statements, ID’s and a notarized letter for guaranteed financial assistance. These genuine documents largely stand as evidence of my sponsor’s financial circumstances and commitments with a true reflection that these funds would be available.
    During my interview, I was asked about my sponsor which is my aunt. I honestly answered that my parents wouldn’t be able to support me and that is why my aunt who have been married and living in the USA with no children will be there to help me out. She’s the one who sent me to school during my college and certificate course, sending me allowances and I’ve been considering her as my 2nd mom and my guardian . Our bank accounts currently holds sufficient funds as required by their policies.
    I don’t know why they rejected my Visa. I need guidance on this! Also, how many weeks do I have to wait for the result? My internship will start on June 6. Hope someone can advice me. Thank you!

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    1. Unfortunately, your case is beyond the scope of my research and unfortunately, there is no specific reason given for the refusal. They claim you don't have sufficient funds. You have evidence that you do have sufficient funds. So what's the problem? A specific reason would identify the defect in your documentation and give you an opportunity to correct it. Sorry I can't advise you. You are dealing with an opaque and unsympathetic system.

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    2. Hi John Reggan, I got the same refusal from Consulate General of Spain in Manila on January 5, 2015. I applied for One year student visa because I got accepted in a Hotel in Barcelona as a culinary intern. Id like to ask what happened to your application? did you file an appeal? I submitted my letter of appeal on January 7, 2015 and was told to wait for them to contact me..

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    3. Hey Ren! hope you are doing good!

      I also had been refused for a student visa to Spain, All I am interested to know is that how did you file for an appeal? specially my case, where there was no specific reason for my refusal.

      your help would be appreciated! Thanks!

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  14. Hello Guys, i applied for Schegen Visa for 3 months and i was recjected, and my Sponsor appealled the decision to the court, and we have heard from the court two times. First letter from them, was we have to send them the refusal letter and wait for 6 weeks , and we did that with rest of documents like the invitation letter, insruance etc... And So their second letter was the bill which is 438 Euros, and my friend already paid! Now they said we wait until the end of month *June*. Can i know whether this looks good or not please? E-mail hadim1@outlook.com please please help

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    1. I have replied to you by email to learn the details of this case. Sounds like you really are taking this to a court - and not the administrative appeal mentioned on the visa refusal. Bravo! This is the way to go. You might actually get results.

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    3. Hi Hadim and Gregory,

      My family has the same story of refusal (with unreliabilty being reason) and I'm working in France. So I'm planning to try getting justice done by appeal/court. Could you please help me with your details? Thanks in advance. My mail id sinharnab [AT] gmail [dot] com

      Waiting to hear back soon.

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  15. Hi there, I'm again the another victim of French embassy. I have to travel to France next month to attend my cousin's wedding with French citizen. I had the invitation and Attestation d'accueil from the French citizen. After providing my ample proof of my financials and provided them with all the documents, my visa got rejected. Woow !!
    The reason they provided is
    “the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay are not reliable”.

    Please guide is it worth applying for an appeal? I'm going to France to attend the marriage next month and not to be an illegal citizen. Even if they allow me to immigrate to France, I won't do. I don't want to be a citizen of a debt ridden cheese eating country. Please advise !!

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    1. I thought I made it clear in the blog post, above. Perhaps not. OK. Let me make it very clear: in the circumstances of the current appeal process, it's not worth the time and effort to appeal.

      Hmmm, maybe you didn't pass the cheese test.

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    2. Hi, Finally, I re-applied and got the visa. Great. Well, may be they crawled on this blog and granted me the visa. I made my case very strong. Well, here is my advise to all:

      1. Apply only if either you're married.
      2. If you are not, then you must have a very good job in a very good multi national company and earing a handsome package from atleast last 3 years.
      3. If you're going to attend some function there, make sure, your french friend should draft a letter in french separately that how important are you for them.
      4. Apply maximum documents as you can. Show them ample proof.
      5. Create a very strong cover letter. urge them that your visit is very important and ask them that how can I provide other proofs to make the case genuine or I can come over for an interview.
      6. Show them last 6 months bank statement, highlight your pay stubs/salary in the statement.
      7. Show them your credit card statement.


      Believe me guys, you need to make your application strong, very strong. They want you to visit their country but they only welcome genuine tourists.

      Best of luck!

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  16. I applied for a long stay student visa application very recently...
    I was confident that I would get a visa so I went ahead and paid for my tuition fee for an entire year in a private and expensive school as per school requirement.

    I first applied for a visa and was asked to return after a week. I didn't even think about it much I have all documents to support all claims and I have nothing to worry about. To my horror I was denied of a visa, I was completely shocked and speechless. They gave me a refusal letter and address for an appeal.

    As my school intake is fast approaching I immediately re-applied. I reviewed my papers well, and there was no discrepancy whatsoever. Everything is paid for! Flights, secured accommodation, health insurance, financial sources, etc... It was impossible to believe my visa refusal. Perhaps it was the way the interview went, it might have not gone too well.

    I was confident they just overlooked my papers and if they look again, it will change their decision. After another week from the interview, I WAS AGAIN DENIED.

    I'm still confused by now as this is not my first time to enter Europe, I was just given a tourist visa few months ago before trying to get a student visa and have travelled several countries in Europe and made sure I did not overstay. I have also been to most countries in Asia and my passport has been busy the past years... I live in the Philippines and I am 25, btw.

    I feel that the decision is unfair and I decided to write a letter to the appeal address and ask why I was denied. It is pointless now to ask them to reconsider because my classes have started.
    But will they answer me? Because I wouldn't like to try again next term and get denied again!
    I want to know if i should start looking into other countries instead since after two months if I dont hear from them presumably the decision will not change. I only want to them to tell me why because I noticed that both refusal was done on the same day as the interview according to the stamp on my passport. Does it mean they don't thoroughly check the papers and review it page by page?

    Upon writing this I should have been on my way to Paris, and it still makes me cry with all the confusion and not to mention losing money with cancelling flights, visa fees, etc...

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    1. I feel you (T_T) I was shocked when Spain denied my Student Visa..I lost ample amount of time, money and other opportunities...

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  17. Kris, You have my sympathy. Of course you shouldn't have presumed that you would get the visa. But that is easy to say in hindsight.

    "I only want to them to tell me why." Sadly, they won't tell you and that is the greatest injustice. If they simply told you what the defect was you could fix it. And indeed, the right to be given clear reasons is enshrined in The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Article 41(2)c), which is made applicable to visa applicants by the Visa Regulations.

    What to do? Find somewhere else to study where the bureaucracy sincerely wants to facilitate bona fide travelers.

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  18. I am afraid the refusals will reflect negatively on my future visa application elsewhere. France is old fashioned and it is impossible to speak with them. I hope they can just void the refusal on my passport so I can go ahead with my life without fear of another rejection.

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  19. Gregory, I have always hated being in any cue to apply for a visa but unfortunately I have done this several times and always got it until recently I applied for a student visa to Belgium where my fiancee is and we have been in a distance relationship so long. traveling to each other all the time. we practically spend all our savings on trips to see each other so we just thought me studying there was cool. Unfortunately am a very busy person (I own a company) so I submitted my documents late and they refused saying it was canceled because the school year already started. Fair enough although the officers there are as rude as hell and I gave them a piece of me. maybe that is why they submitted it late but I don't really care. Now I have to re apply for 2015 somewhere after march and I will. No Problem.

    What then is the problem? here is the problem, for the past 4 years we have always wanted to spend Xmas and new year together but something always comes up. finally this year, am traveling to the US and decided to go to Belgium from there so we can spend it together. At the embassy I met the most rude lady ever, it was as if she was my teacher at school or most hated aunty. I had already received 3 visas from same embassy. I went back and she gave me them vague denial reasons 8 and 9, intention of me leaving after visa expiry cannot be ascertained and ...intended stay was not reliable.

    Now I find this very insulting, and I want to appeal it. after a long search and tossing about I found out the process but it seems am best at getting a lawyer thus my contacting you, are you in a position to help me appeal the response in court? I could let go but the fact that I will walk around with someone thinking I want to be an illegal immigrant sickens me. besides, if it wasn't for love and relationship, I would never consider studying in Belgium. I am forcing myself to study the language and all just to be with her cos she is studying medicine there too.

    Do please let me know if helping is possible. BTW, nice goats! :)

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    1. Yes, mw. I will help anyone who is prepared to take this issue to court on the basis of the Charter. (I'm not much use on domestic law.) You can have your lawyer contact me. Good luck.

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    2. That's very helpful. Thank you! I will do that but is it also possible I do this myself? I don't have a Belgian lawyer and I think the lawyer has to be there or something.

      here is a link to the site for appeals in case anyone needs it. I got it from several email inquiries between myself and literally the whole Belgian public service. http://www.rvv-cce.be. its in French, Dutch and Deutsch languages so if you need a translation you might want to use either google translate or just click this link to open a google translated site https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rvv-cce.be&sandbox=1

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    3. They strongly advice I use a lawyer but am considering doing it myself. what is your advice?

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  20. You can't do it yourself. Get a lawyer. You should be able to get one for free using Belgian legal aid.

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  21. Maybe I should have studied law instead of engineering. Now look at me, how do I engineer this? haha

    I sent an email back to see how that is possible and am looking around as well.

    If its ok with you, I will keep all updates on this thread so anyone interested can get some help from it. It might be complicated or difficult but it doesn't wipe away possibility.

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  22. Yes, you are welcome, provided you stick the issues.

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  23. Dear Mr. Gregory,

    I also have a problem with my Schengen visa appeal. I would like to send you an e-mail with my story. To which e-mail address can I send it? Thank you.

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  24. If you would like to relate your story, I and others who read this blog would welcome your contribution here. Please put your story in a comment.

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  25. I am going to study in a university in Spain for a duration of 4 years and I applied for a student visa three months ago. However, after 15 days, I received a call from the Embassy, informing me that my visa application was rejected. They did not provide any reasons on the phone and told me to come to the Embassy to collect my papers. When I came, they have only given me the Refusal letter and asked me to sign it. The reason of rejection was: No means to live and study in Spain. The reason was so vague and so we asked the officer to provide us a clearer reason. First, he refused to tell us anything but he eventually hinted it. The reason they denied me the student visa was because the Embassy could not see the relation between my step-father and I (my step-father will be the one to provide me with full support in Spain). Since we have not provided any documents to show and prove our relation, the Embassy was not convinced. My step-father and I are of different nationalities as well, thus, it was not obvious that he is my step-dad. The officer told us that we have 30 days to appeal the decision with a lawyer in Madrid.

    I somehow managed to contact the Consul through a friend and the Consul told us to write an appeal letter and provide a Notarial Affidavit of Support from my step-father. He also mentioned that providing these documents does not guarantee that I will obtain the visa. He said that they have 30 days to get back to me.

    I came back to the Embassy to submit the appeal letter together with additional documents to support it. These documents included the Notarial Affidavit, Marriage Certificate of my Mother and Step-father, my Birth Certificate and a new Bank statement indicating sufficient funds.

    It has been two and a half months since the submission of my appeal but until now, I still have not heard from the Embassy. Due to desperation, I even contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid to seek for assistance. I have spoken to someone in the Visa department and she offered to help and she contacted the Embassy to know what is going on. After a few days, she replied, informing me that the Embassy will send me the resolution of my appeal the next day, at latest. To my disbelief, I didn’t get a call or anything from the Embassy the next day, and until now. I contacted the person from the ministry again to inform her that I have not received the resolution yet, however, she no longer replied to me.

    The situation has already caused me great grief and I have already missed 2 and a half months of classes. I have decided to not wait any longer and to just re-apply again for a student visa. This time, providing more documents to make my application more effective.

    Thus, I would like to ask for your advise on which other documents would be effective to submit to prove my relation to my step-father, and other additional documents you think would increase the chance of a successful visa application. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. reading what you posted about the appeal, im starting to feel hopeless... :( could you please give me any update about your student visa application? thank you...

      Delete
  26. "The officer told us that we have 30 days to appeal the decision with a lawyer in Madrid."
    Wouldn't the fair thing be to give you the chance to bring a document to the embassy before refusing the visa? That's how they did things in the old days. In 2005 I took my girlfriend (now wife) to Greece. The consul called me on the phone and asked me to put some money in her account so that she would satisfy the mimimum 'means of support' requirement. I complied and he issued the visa. We had a lovely holiday in Greece. He didn't reject the visa with instructions to seek a lawyer. He acted in a sincere manner confident that we were bona fide tourists. Since the introduction of the unified visa code the visa-issuing bureaucracy has gone mad. They no longer look to see whether the applicant is a bona fide traveller. They no longer try to facilitate bona fide applicants. They follow a very rigid set of regulations while ignoring the spirit of the code.

    The desparation, frustration and grief caused to bona fide prospective visitors by this attitude is incredible. I recently wrote a letter to Jan de Cuester, head of the Visa Issuing Department of the European Commission. He blithely dismissed my criticism saying that 95% of applicants get their visas. The implication is that the other 5% don't matter. Never mind that 5% of applicants represents hundreds of thousands of people. Can you imagine if this sort of logic were applied to the criminal justice system? "95% of people in jail are guilty - the other 5% are 'unfortunate'". I confess that I was so dispirited by this response that I let the matter drop. I have been campaigning for two years for justice for Schengen visa applicants. But with such an attitude at the head of the system, I despair there will be any progress.

    You, and everyone else who comments on this blog, have my heart felt sympathies. I have experienced your frustration, albeit second hand. Every time I read a comment such as yours it revives feelings of despair. I can't advise you what other documents to submit. Find another place to study where you are welcomed as a human being.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Mr. Gregory,

    Does this mean that I can never enter Spain and other Schengen countries?
    I have a friend who also had his student visa denied. Actually we applied for the visa almost at the same time. The reason why his visa was denied was because of his lack of sufficient funds. He also did appeal the decision. After one and a half months, he received his visa. He also had a contact to the Consul. But the difference between our situation is that he received his visa after appealing, and I still haven't.

    It really is just a big disappointment to me as I have always dreamed to live and study in Spain.

    ReplyDelete
  28. No. It means you are subject to the whim of a capricious system. Try your luck if you have the energy.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear Mr. Gregory
    My name is Mey, an Indonesian woman and I'm in the confusing situation right now.
    I've got my refusal visa from Spain Embassy a few weeks ago. I planned to meet my Spain bf who lives in Lanzarote and he is my sponsor in this case. The refusal visa stated that my intention to leave The territory of member states before the expire of visa could not be ascertained (although I submitted purchased round-trip tickets to bring me back to Indonesia). Then my bf sent some emails to the embassy and asking what has happened to my documents because we were very careful to prepare those documents.
    Based on their reply, the general problem was about my financial, my salary and not enough money in my bank account (I submitted my deposit money in bank also and yes in my active account there was a few of money).
    While my bf busy to send emails to Spain embassy in Indonesia, I prepared for appeal of administration and sent email to embassy what documents that I have to complete my appeal letter. They replied that I should prove that I have my own economic means to support myself during the dates I intend to travel. Moreover, I must prove my relationship with the host (emails, list of telephone calls, proof of his visits to Indonesia,...).
    Then I move my deposit money to the bank, bought Euros for 2 weeks and did everything with my bf to complete the documents... Was a time that robbed a lot of energy but we were very excited to do this because we hope this is the right way to void denial visa decision before.
    But suddenly day by day (it's been 2 weeks since I submitted appeal letter to embassy) I have no news about this and my flight is on December 22nd...
    This situation is affect us, we are so sad and I'm too scared also...
    Should I ask to embassy about this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, you are lucky that you got a reply from the embassy. This is unusual. The common practice is to be given a vague, meaningless, reason for refusal and any further attempt to get clarification is ignored.

      However, your comment is confusing. There is no provision in the visa code for an appeal to the embassy. You can submit a new application to the embassy or appeal to the administrative authority in Spain, which, if you have read my blog, you will understand is probably a waste of time.

      If you are concerned about the date of 22nd December, I suggest you consult someone locally who knows how to handle the situation. You are one step ahead in that the embassy is actually giving you meaningful reasons. That means you can take the steps necessary to comply with their requirements.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  30. I am a permanent resident of an EU Country based on the directive 2004/38/EC

    My French Schenghen visa application was rejected on the basis that "YOUR INTENTION TO LEAVE THE TERRITORY OF THE MEMBER STATE BEFORE THE EXPIRY OF THE VISA COULD NOT BE ASCERTAINED"

    I applied from Nigeria were i am currently doing a six month contract.

    I submitted the following-

    • Hotel Accommodation Reservation For Two Adults
    • Travel Insurance.
    • My Air Flight Ticket Reservation
    • My Wife's Air Flight Ticket Reservation
    • Copies of my wife's UK passport
    • My original passport
    • letter approving my wife's permanent residency based on the Directive 2004/38/EC
    • letter approving my permanent residency based on the Directive 2004/38/EC
    • My marriage certificate.
    • Copy of My permanent residency card.

    The Visa Officer refused to follow his/her own Schengen visa guidelines which clearly states that as a family member of EU Citizen that I do not have to answer questions 19, 20, 31, 32, 33 of the Schengen application form..

    ReplyDelete
  31. I APPEALED IN FRENCH AND MY APPEAL WAS BASED MAINLY ON :
    PART III: SPECIFIC RULES RELATING TO APPLICANTS WHO ARE FAMILY
    MEMBERS OF EU CITIZENS OR SWISS CITIZENS.

    DOES DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC APPLY TO THE VISA APPLICANT?

    1. Question no 1: Is there an EU citizen from whom the visa applicant can derive any
    rights?
    2. Question no 2: Does the visa applicant fall under the definition of “family member”?
    3. Question no 3: Does the visa applicant accompany or join the EU citizen?


    Answers
    1. On the first answer to question 1, yes I derive my rights from my wife Mrs. XXXXXX XXXX (see enclosed copy of her data page of her UK passport, letter approving my wife's permanent residency based on the Directive 2004/38/EC, letter approving my permanent residency based on the Directive 2004/38/EC and my GNIB 4EUFAM CARD).
    2. On the second answer to question 2, yes I fall under the definition of “family member, I am her spouse (see enclosed copy of our marriage certificate).
    3. On the third answer to question 3, I would be joining my wife (see enclosed copy of her flight booking and my flight booking).









    1. My French Schengen visa application was rejected on the basis that "YOUR INTENTION TO LEAVE THE TERRITORY OF THE MEMBER STATE BEFORE THE EXPIRY OF THE VISA COULD NOT BE ASCERTAINED" which is not applicable under this section PART 111 - SPECIFIC RULES RELATING TO APPLICANTS WHO ARE FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU CITIZENS OR SWISS CITIZENS. (please see below PART III, SECTION 3.8. REFUSAL TO ISSUE A VISA) which clearly states on reasons why family members may be refused a visa - MY VISA APPLICATION WAS REFUSED BASED ON A FALLACY.

    3.8. Refusal to issue a visa
    A family member may be refused a visa exclusively on the following grounds:
    • the visa applicant failed to demonstrate that he is covered by the Directive on the basis of the visa application and attached supporting documents under point 3.6 (i.e. it is clear that the reply to at least one of the three questions referred to above is negative);
    • the national authorities demonstrate that the visa applicant is a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to public policy, public security or public health; or
    • the national authorities demonstrate that there was abuse or fraud.
    In the latter two cases, the burden of proof lies with the national authorities as they must be able to present evidence to support their claim that the visa applicant (who has presented sufficient evidence to attest that he/she meets the criteria in the Directive) should not be issued with an entry visa on grounds of public policy, public security or public health or on grounds of abuse or fraud.
    The authorities must be able to build a convincing case while respecting all the safeguards of the Directive which must be correctly and fully transposed in national law. The decision refusing the visa application on grounds of public policy, public security or public health or on grounds of abuse or fraud must be notified in writing, fully justified (e.g. by listing all legal and material aspect taken into account when concluding that the marriage is a marriage of convenience or that the presented birth certificate is fake) and must specify where and when the appeal can be lodged.
    The refusal to issue an entry visa under the conditions of the Directive must be notified in writing, fully justified (e.g. by referring to the missing evidence), and specify where and when an appeal can be lodged.
    A visa may not be refused on the sole ground that the applicant is a person for whom an alert has been entered into the SIS for the purpose of refusing entry into the territory of the Member States35. Before refusing to issue a visa where there is an alert in the SIS, in any event it must be verified whether the person concerned represents a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to public policy, and public security. For further information, see Commission Communication COM (2009) 313 final36

    ReplyDelete
  32. The visa officer is either not aware of the rules governing applicants who are under the protection of the Directive 2004/38/EC or just chooses to ignore it - (please refer to Part III of EU visa Handbook), my application ought to have been decided according to this guidelines and I tried explaining this position to the visa officer at the interviewing desk but she was condescending, rude and would not listen.

    COMMISSION DECISION OF 19.3.2010
    ESTABLISHING THE HANDBOOK FOR THE PROCESSING OF VISA APPLICATIONS AND THE MODIFICATION OF ISSUED VISAS

    The French embassy staff were clueless on the Directive 2004/38/EC and its application especially within the EU Visa handbook.

    ReplyDelete
  33. But i have written to Europa.eu - Solvit - Administration court in Nantes and the wife has written to a solicitor.... The German embassy have the best and most competent staff and their appeals process is also transparent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems you are absolutely correct and already aware of the regulations. What is the update now? Did it worked out? Did Solvit helped?

      Delete
  34. Hey Greg, I recently applied for a Schengen visa to Switzerland and was rejected and was given the response "the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable". I did not comprehend what that meant in terms of documents, but I had been told while I was applying that the area of coverage of my travel insurance was not clear and my bank account had been open for less than 3 months old and I'd presented a statement of it without indicating when the account was initially opened. I amended these details, used a clearer and more trusted travel insurance document and re-applied again, I was surprised to see that I had been refused and given the exact same response. I ended up going to the embassy to find out the exact reasons of my rejection and long story short I was told by the supervisor that she did not find that it made sense for me to want to spend 25 days in Switzerland in just 2 hotels and thus she did not believe the purpose of my travel (eventhough these 25 days were during my Easter break). I started considering shortening my trip just to appease her concerns and salvage what was left of my vacation till she surprised me with the revelation that I was never supposed to apply for a second time and that it was not within my rights to do so and that it would definitely not be within my rights to re-apply again and that my only course of action was to submit an appeal, I asked her to show me the rule that prevented my from doing so and she responded by saying that she couldn't because it was an "internal rule". Given what you've said about appeals not being all that useful, and given the fact that I've never heard about a rule that prevents a refused applicant from reapplying, what would you suggest that my best course of action is now?
    (Extra info. I'm an Egyptian tier 4 student studying in the UK for my masters degree which still ends in october)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Fadl,

    You could try an appeal but I would urge you to take legal action. The refusal to allow you to apply again is so obviously wrong and the claim that there is an 'internal rule' is so obviously a fabrication. There are no 'internal rules' for Schengen visas. All the rules are set out in the Handbook, referred to in my blog. Transparency is one of the fundamental rules of EU administrative law.

    If the facts are what you say, you might complain to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, claiming that the official has a private agenda and is not following Schengen rules. (I have done that once, in the case of Austria, where the rules for a family visa application were not followed. The Ministry was at first concerned and then came back to me insisting that the official had behaved correctly and that it was all a misunderstanding. Anyway, they had a good shake-up which was all I wanted because I got the visa for my wife under the Directive.) In your case you have nothing in writing to support your case, only your version of what the official allegedly said. This is a weakness. But it is not fatal. I would still do this first.

    Your case, as you describe it, falls within the scope of my main thesis: your application should not be dismissed on the basis of a mere suspicion. You might do this. You might do that. But what you might do is irrelevant according to the Charter. You have the right to be treated fairly. If the official has a suspicion you should be heard before a decision is made. That is the essence of fair procedure.

    The EU Petitions Commission is dragging its feet on my petition on this issue. The only hope for people in your predicament is for someone, such as yourself, to take legal action. You can probably get legal aid from the Swiss government. Don't be treated like a worthless nobody. Demand your rights! They are so clear: the Visa Code 'respects the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU'. The Charter gives you the right to be dealt with fairly by officers of the EU, in particular, to be heard before 'any measure is taken which might adversely affect' you.

    Good luck.

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  37. Hello Greg,
    Thanks for the information. I really appreciate the great work you do for the schengan visa applicants.
    I planned to visit Italy with my family ( me , wife, two sons) , France and Switzerland for 15 days in this month and gave all details. I am a salaried professional with an annual salary , hence no monthly slalry slips, but i have all other papers for tax returns etc...and submitted fully paid return ticket, rail passes and a bank balance of 15000 euros.
    was called in for a interview by Italian Embassy in Delhi, had a rediculously awkward interview with one lady almost rediculing all answers i gave her, my wife interrogated (almost ) and no additional documents discussed, which i had duly carried.
    After 2 days, was handed out 4 refusal letters with reason clause 8 : saying " visa is refused as the "information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable"
    As a result, the fresh passports of my wife and two sons have been stamped with the undesirable stamps.
    I have decided to give this a fight. i dont hold them in high esteem anymore but neverthless i am sure that neither my credentials nor my documents deserved to be shunted out without a thought.
    I would like to know from you if you are aware of anybody ( if at all ) who has had a successfull appeal either with Italians or any other schengen countries....!!!
    I will surely update mine.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Just to add further,
    I have already paid my attorney the advance for the appeal fees and recieved an invoice. This appeal is a done deal now immaterial of what i get from it.
    JUst wanted to have a fair idea of what to expect in such situations. Blogs and communities of Fellow Travellers will definitely matter.
    Is there a light at the end of this tunnel ?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Murthy,

    Sorry for the late reply. (Just got back from India.)

    Yours is another classic case of refusal for no apparent reason. But at least you were called for an interview. I argued in the blog that this is the right conferred by the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In other words, you should not have your application refused without being given a chance to be heard. You were given a chance to be heard. But, I guess, you would claim that the hearing was not conducted in good faith; ie, the interviewer had already made up her mind that you were 'undesirable' and cloaked that sentiment in the language of Clause 8.

    How do you appeal? How do you prove that the information that you supplied was reliable? I don't know the answer. However, if you feel that the interview was conducted unfairly, you might consider appealing on that basis.

    Good luck.


    ReplyDelete
  40. My long-stay visa (Scientific) was refused by French authorities. I was encouraged by embassy staff to lodge an appeal against the decision. I sent my appeal to concerned commission. It has been almost 2 months and still I haven't received any response from commission.

    I want to know how I can approach administrative court in France. I would appreciate if anyone can help me with this matter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suggest you try to find an ngo in France that can help you. Google will produce a few results. Note that your time limit to apply to the courts is limited to a period - I think two months - from the time of 'deemed refusal' of your administrative appeal, which is two months after your appeal was accepted. All of that is in my blog, above.
      Good luck.

      Delete
    2. Many thanks for valuable suggestion. I also want to ask, can I re-apply for visa now?

      Delete
    3. Sure. They'll be happy to take your money as many times as you wish to re-apply. Just make sure you have something different in your application.

      Delete
  41. Hello gregory!
    I was applied spanish visit visa but my visa was refused and given me the right to appeal in spanish high court and i also submitted that appeal.i want to know how much time it will take and kindly tell about its chances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ch, If you were refused by a Spanish consulate, they would more likely offer you an administrative appeal, rather than an appeal to the high court. I don't know Spanish law. Every country has its own appeal rules. I have only researched the French appeal procedure. You can read about it in the blog, above. As to the specifics of your case, I couldn't comment. It depends on the reason for the refusal - which is difficult to know - and the reasons for your appeal.

      Delete
  42. Hello Gregory, my visa application for 1 year German language course was rejected for the 2nd time. Can I go to court without appealing. As the previous appeal did not yield any result. Can we trust the cour or is it also a sham. If I go to court how long it take get a decision.
    Godfrey

    ReplyDelete
  43. You'll have to check for each country whether you can bypass the appeal process. I would have much more faith in the courts than in the administrative appeal. The courts are transparent whereas the appeal process is totally opaque. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. Dulla,

    I suggest you write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany and ask them. https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Service/Contact/contact_node.html?https=1

    Good luck.

    gb

    ReplyDelete
  47. I applied for 13 days tourism for Spain, but the Embassy refused me. I submitted my appeal in February 2015 but still i did not receive any reply. Beside this, Spain Embassy Islamabad did not return my original documents. Please tell me approximately time of appeal process.
    Please kindly reply me, I will be very thankful for this kindness.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I don't know the procedure for Spain but I'm sure you can google it.

    I would guess that if you haven't received a reply there is a 'deemed rejection' of your appeal.

    ReplyDelete
  49. My partner applied for a 10 day visitor visa to France as we were planning a long due holiday. After 48 hours he has received his passport with the Visa rejection letter that says " "the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable". He is a doctor in alternative therapy and he had all necessary documentation including hotel bookings, bank statements etc. It is an unfair process and that leaves no room for a face to face interview even to discuss your application.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have an Indian Passport and I applied for Schengen Visa at The Swiss Embassy in New Delhi on 18th June 2015. I was told to collect my passport on 1st July 2015. My visa got refused stating that The intention to visit the member states is not clear and The intention to leave the member states before visa expiry is uncertain. My host (relatives) in Switzerland filed appeal for the decision given by the embassy on 3rd July'15. On 21st July, they got the response that The Embassy has accepted the appeal and is ready to investigate upon the decision. They said that they will receive the documents from The Swiss Embassy in New Delhi via courier and they will start investigation once the fee for appeal (200 CHF) is paid. They gave a deadline for fee deposit. The fee was paid by my hosts on the same day i.e (21st July'15). As of today, 16th Aug'15, My hosts havent received any response from the embassy. I would like to ask the experienced people about the time taken by The Embassy to process the appeal and announce a decision. My intended date to visit Zurich(Switzerland) is 28th Aug'15. I have cancelled my air tickets for now. My relatives in Switzerland say that some of their friends had the same case and after filing appeal, the decision was overruled. I hope my application gets accepted.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello Gregory!

    My Italy student visa got rejected four days ago. I've been given the right to appeal at the Italian court in Rome. How is that even possible if it's impossible to go there. I'm shattered because there goes my dream, my goal and passion. I actually had to prepare a 350 page book in order to pass the entrance exam as prerequisite for admission. Time, energy and motivation wasted just like that in the twinkle of an eye. I've read all the previous posts but I've not read any experiences similar to mine with a testimony. Can you please provide some insight or suggestion on how to appeal? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you sure it's at the court? Usually the first appeal is administrative, not judicial. Usually the judicial process requires a negative result from the administrative process. But if you can proceed to the courts it would be better. You would have two courses of action:
      one, find an agent specializing in education visas, throw out some more money and roll the dice again; or
      two: find an NGO in Italy that helps students or that helps with immigration matters.
      WANGO directory is your first port of call.

      http://www.wango.org/resources.aspx?section=ngodir&sub=region&regionID=39&col=2586BA

      If you've invested time in a 350 page book, don't toss it all away now, without a fight. And remember, time is of the essence with these cases. If you leave it too long (usually two months) you will be statute barred.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  52. Thanks, Gregory.

    I'm definitely sure they sent the request to appeal at the court.
    You're on point about not giving up on this one. This isn't going down without a fight! This system is full of baloney. Like what was the point to invite me TWICE to the embassy to submit my documents?

    While reading through other threads, another victim mentioned that after she received her own shocking news, she went on to pressure her university to call the consulate to inquire about her refusal. Another mentioned she made an intensive search online and found a lawyer who called the consulate to find out. It seems things worked out well eventually at the end for the both of them. I'm guessing this might be an option for any other person with a similar case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

      gb

      Delete
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  54. I really appreciate this forum. I apply for France visa but its refused. But on my passport just stamp and write VISA C FR on it. On small page return with passport and tick one box reason of reject the visa. Read the box are: THE INFORMATION SUBMITTED REGARDING THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PURPOSE AND CONDITION OF INTENTED STAY WAS NOT RELIABLE.
    That's why refused and reject me visa. But at the bottom said I can appeal within two month.
    Please kindly advise me on it. Olastock7@gmail.com
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Greg,

    I was denied business visa to Germany. It took them less than 24 hrs to reject it with some really funny reasons. I was so disappointed and spoke my client in Germany. He is some sort of big shot there. So has written and directly involved the Prime ministers office and ministry of commerce following my refusal. Embassy stated that I won't come back,, is that a joke? I will leave my well settled business and stay back in Germany, live like a hidden identity illegally earning just enough to eat, what they think they grow money on trees which I am gonna pluck if I don't come back to my country.. Any ways do you think involving ministries will help? Because my client is really very pissed off over the silly reasons for refusal and is very much wiling to kick some butts and make them realise how they are causing economic damage to genuine applications.

    Thank you.

    Best Regards
    Deep

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  56. Involving ministries might help. But involving the courts would help not only yourself but thousands of other people in your situation. The consulate should have given you an opportunity to be heard before rejecting your application and pocketing your fee. Read my blog entry on Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which applies to your case. (http://schengenjustice.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-law-governing-schengen-visas-and.html) I suggest that your friend find a lawyer and litigate.

    ReplyDelete
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    2. Glad to hear that. But it would be interesting to know how it happened.

      Delete
    3. It was quite dramatic. After my client approached the ministries, I got a call from the visa officer who rejected my application, may be he got some pressure from high positions as he already rejected my remonstration as well. He called up and asked for documents which don't apply in my case and asked me to mail them to him. I thought to go personally and so I did. I met him first in the morning. Explained him about the documents he asked for are not applicable. He asked me no questions at all. It was clearly a formality just to show he did his job rightly. It was my first schengen visa, I applied for 2 years multiple. He said he will be giving me 3 years visa and asked me to collect after 4 hours. I thanked him and came back. Then I got a call from him again after 2 hours stating my visa is ready to pickup. So I went there. My passport was placed separately and I didn't have to stand in collection line, in fact they remember me well and when the people over there saw me, they greeted me by name. I was surprised. Guess what the visa guy came and personally handed over the passport and said I am giving you visa for 5 years and also asked to convey his regards to my client.

      That was really unbelievable but in the end I got a lot more than I expected.

      Thank you.

      Regards

      Delete
  57. Hi All,

    The polish embassy recently rejected/refused me national VISA with reasons beyond my understanding.

    I'm from Africa and was offered a job in Poland by a top multinational company.I got my work permit, intention letter all carrying my salary with gross amount of 2,800 Euro, with a bank statement having an ending balance of 22,600 Euro in my local currency.All the other necessary documents were also provided.

    Their sole reason for rejection was that .I don't possess sufficient fund...blah blah blah...

    I appealed and nothing changes. Any advise on how to go about it?

    NB: I h've resigned from my previous employer three months ago..I'm more than confused on what to do

    ReplyDelete
  58. Find a Polish lawyer and sue them for failing to observe your fundamental rights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do I go about it? Any tips will be helpful.

      Also, I got this email from my company when I told them the sad news.

      " Dear XXXXX

      That's terrible news and I certainly understand how much of a dissappointment this must be for you.

      I don't have any ideas as to what else you could try to change the outcome. If any solution to the problem occurs to you, we are certainly willing to wait a bit longer if necessary."

      Please what else can I do?

      Delete
  59. Your company in Poland would be the best source to consult on that question. They must be able to find a lawyer. The only tip I have is to read my blog thoroughly and advise the lawyer to do so, if you find one.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hi gregory
    I applied for 7 days sechgion visa to portugal embassy islamabad. He recently reject me ( the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable ). Now I want to appeal against my regection.plz help me any chance for success. Reply
    Me

    ReplyDelete
  61. Qaiser,

    Not much help I can offer. You will have to read my blog thoroughly and make your own decisions.
    Good luck.
    gb

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  62. Hello Gregory,
    I've been commented here on July 9, wanna say thank you sooooo much for your precious help. I followed your advice and sent an appeal copy to the foreign ministry of Germany and in two days they replied to me that they transfer my request to the embassy which in another two days they replied "they haven't replied on my previous appeal for two months"!! and said we got positive answer from the German authorities regarding your appeal and you can come to embassy and pick up your visa just bring with you new medical insurance. so I went to embassy and got my visa finally!

    Thank you so much for your help. just wanna add that you might help others to write appeal in official formular way, it help your case very much which is in my case I found it after made a hard Google search!

    Best Wishes

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    Replies
    1. Hello Dulla!

      If you could please help me with the appeal. just wanted to ask how did you appeal? like did you just wrote a formal letter to the authorities?

      Thanks!

      Delete
  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I suggest you contact the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs. There's a link in one of the replies to the comments above. They are usually quite responsive.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi, Gregory. I just want to ask about appealing? I applied a tourist visa to Poland here in the Netherlands embassy, Manila which is they represent the country where I will go to. But I got refused due the reason that the documents I submitted shows that I'm lack of sufficient financial resources and my intention to leave the territory of state before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained. My husband is a Polish and he's also my sponsor. Can you give me an idea what I should do? Thank you. Hope to hear an answer from you.

    ReplyDelete
  66. You have no special rights under the Directive 2004/38 if you are visiting your husband's home country. You have to apply under the Polish domestic rules, which is outside the scope of this blog. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi !! Gregory

    My self nabeel from india had applied for a schengen visa to visit my brother who lives in latvia . And he sents me the official invitation from latvin immigration and in that invitation i am suppose to apply my schengen visa through french consulate as there is no latvian consulate or diplomatic mission are there where i legally resides

    So i applied through french consulate and after a week my visa got denied and a stamping on my passport and a letter states the reason of my denial


    3. Proof of finacial resources for the duration of the trip/transit to a third country where your admission is guaranteed has nit been given and you are not in a position to legally obtain the necessary funds

    Justifiaction provided regarding purpose and conditions of your trip are not relaible



    Can you help me to guide

    How to appeal

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi !! Gregory

    My self nabeel from india had applied for a schengen visa to visit my brother who lives in latvia . And he sents me the official invitation from latvin immigration and in that invitation i am suppose to apply my schengen visa through french consulate as there is no latvian consulate or diplomatic mission are there where i legally resides

    So i applied through french consulate and after a week my visa got denied and a stamping on my passport and a letter states the reason of my denial


    3. Proof of finacial resources for the duration of the trip/transit to a third country where your admission is guaranteed has nit been given and you are not in a position to legally obtain the necessary funds

    Justifiaction provided regarding purpose and conditions of your trip are not relaible



    Can you help me to guide

    How to appeal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I can't guide you on an appeal. That's beyond the scope of this blog and asking too much.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  69. Hello Mr. Gregory! Hope you are doing well!

    first of all I was glad to see a forum discussing a very important matter with a very little exposure.

    My case is not much different from all the other affected people here. And as I can see many of them have been successful after following your suggestions. therefore I also decided to discuss my situation with you of a recent (unfair) student visa refusal.

    I applied for a Spanish student visa in november of 2015, submitting each and every required document (all fulfilling and according the visa requirements. After a month I went to pick up my passport and was surprised to see a refusal letter (all in spanish) However i managed to get it translated and found out that I had been refused for no apparent reason and have been given a chance to appeal directly(1 month time) or through the madrid court of justice (2 months time).

    the thing is that how am I supposed to appeal directl when I dont know on what to appeal for? as I have not been given any reason for the refusal! the next option is the court thing.

    I wanted to ask that would I be successful if I apply through a spanish lawyer for my case and how ill the process go on? time period and any other formality? Also can I directly communicate this unfair refusal to the Spanish Ministry of foreign Affairs? or what would be the most appropriate method to tackle such situation?

    And for your information I have visited spain before on a tourist visa of 90 days with good record and i returned back to my country in 30 days.

    Everything about this refusal is of my scope and thinking and I am really stressed of all this, I have already missed classes. sorry for taking much of your time.

    your help and support would be greatly appreciated! thank you!

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  70. You could try contacting the consulate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The consulate is required by law to give you a reason. But, if you have read my blog, you will note that the reasons are so vague as to be useless. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Both the Institute and I Myself have tried contacting the embassy directly via calls and email but the not respond. should I write a letter to the embassy? or should I try contacting the ministry of foreign affairs of spain directly?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My suggestion is clear: "...and the ministry". You are wasting precious time by hesitating.

      Delete
    2. My suggestion is clear: "...and the ministry". You are wasting precious time by hesitating.

      Delete
  72. I m a 33 year old Indian lady based in Dubai - UAE. I have been living here for the past 18 years.
    I have been diagnosed with a medical condition that can only be treated in Germany through a series of surgeries over a period of 1 year.
    I had applied for a visa on medical grounds in Nov, 2014 with a letter from the clinic in Germany as well.
    The visa got refused and that ugly stamp was forced on my passport without any clarity on why they rejected it. All I found on the letter was 'proof of payment not submitted.'
    Now, honestly, do they expect me to pay 30,000 EUROS even before getting a visa?

    Anyway, I waited and could only get an appointment for Feb 23, 2016 for surgery, after some rude emails from my Dr who did not seem to understand why I am being refused when all his patients come and go easily.
    Anyway, I applied for a TOURIST VISA - on the Dr's instruction -this time and did not disclose anything related to the medical condition or anything of the sort. Just mentioned I wanted to tour Germany with my Father who is also my sponsor. We submitted a joint application. We get the passports in a week with the Embassy granting him a 90 day multiple entry but rejecting my application despite both of us having the same bookings.
    My father has travelled to EU before, so could be that worked for him. But even then, the ugly reason for them to state on the refusal letter was:
    WE HAVE VERY STRONG DOUBTS ON YOUR WILLINGNESS TO RETURN. IMMIGRATION RISK.

    Now, I was VERY upset as I have already waited over 2 years for this surgery, which now, cannot happen.

    I do not work (as my mother suffers from Cancer and I had to quit my corporate career and freelance to I have time to look after her) and am on my father's sponsorship.

    What do I do now?

    I am at my wit's end. There is no other country that offers this medical procedure outside the EU.
    Do I just watch myself get sicker because of these retards at the Embassy who would just reject me anyway just because?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Dear Wit's End, Contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly. Explain that you were not given an opportunity to explain your case before being refused a visa and that suspicion (STRONG DOUBTS, IMMIGRATION RISK), per se, is neither rational nor fair. You were not called for an interview. That is your strongest case. (If you've read my blog, you'll also appreciate that refusing you an opportunity to be heard is a violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. But I wouldn't argue that with a bureaucrat.) You will get a reply. I suggest you keep trying until you find a sympathetic bureaucrat. If need be, call someone senior on skype. If all else fails, contact a lawyer in Germany or an NGO. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi everyone
    Visa delays for family member of EU/EEA citizen exercising his free movement rights under the Directives 2004/38/EC.
    I have applied for my wife and son (my son is now a british passport holder) schengen visa for Spain to exercise my treaty rights in accordance with the pursuant to the EU/EEA Directive 2004/38/E Free Movement in may 2015 at Spain embassy Pakistan. But after 7 weeks it was unlawfully refused. On advice from SOLVIT We appealed against the decision and were successful. Embassy admitted it was their mistake and they have withdrawn their original decision and asked us to submit the passports and sworn Spanish translations of all the documents. Which we submitted again on end of oct 2015. They also said via email that decision will be in 21 working days.
    But it’s been almost 4 months and we haven’t heard nothing and despite sending them emails every two weeks there is no response at all. I have contacted Solvit and they are not responding as well. I don’t know what to do......
    I have submitted following documents some of the documents were submitted as VFS wont processthe application.
    Applicants for non-Eu spouse and son
    1- filled application forms and passports for both applicants
    2- cover letter explaining about exercising my treaty rights
    3- marriage certificate ( original and translated in English and attested by ministry of foreign affair of Pakistan)
    4- birth certificate
    5- Nadra identity card copy
    6- Family registration certificate (Naadra)
    Additional supporting documents
    1- travel itinerary
    2- hotel booking
    3- travel and medical insurance
    4- evidence of dependency (house deeds, id cards copy, utility bill, bank statements from Pakistan and united kingdom banks showing transfers of money regularly
    Evidence of EU/EEa national working and residing in Spain
    1- certified copy of British passport and Nadra id card copy
    2- N.I.E
    3- Social security registration or Residence certificate
    4- Self employed registration and business details (autonomo)
    5- Updated registrar certificate from local town, or electoral register

    ReplyDelete
  75. Under the directive there are only three requirements one needs to show:
    i. That there is an EU citizen (passport of son)
    ii. That there is a relationship with the EU citizen (birth certificate)
    iii. That the family members plan to travel with or in order to meet the EU citizen.

    All of the other submissions (hotel booking, medical insurance, social security, business registration, etc, etc, is irrelevant).

    Spanish translations should not be necessary as English is a treaty language and any treaty language is valid.

    If the embassy is not following the directive, you should contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain, directly.

    However, note that there is a new decision in the pipeline which, if decided, could restrict the treaty right. Who knows? Maybe the embassy is procrastinating in anticipation of this decision. I doubt it. More likely they don't know what they're doing.

    Read the article here:

    https://eumovement.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/cutting-off-free-movement-air-of-eu-citizens-living-abroad/#comments

    gb

    ReplyDelete
  76. Hello Mr. Gregory,

    My schengen visa (visit visa) has also been refused from the Swiss Embassy of Bangladesh stating two reasons:

    1. A false/ counterfeit document has been presented.
    2. Leaving schengen area cannot be ascertained.

    I got devastated seeing the first reason. I should clarify you my position to you. In my previous passports, my parents made mistake by giving wrong birth date. I had traveled schengen areas, Malaysia and India with that passport. During renewal of my passport, I amended the birth date in accordance with my national identity card as well as, my Birth Certificate. During submission of my visa application I've given them all the documents along with my new passport and my older one. I also gave them by Birth Certificate and copy of my national identity card also even though it was not required. However, on the date of passport delivery they gave me a document stating the reasons of refusal and told me I have 30 days to appeal. My host in Switzerland said that, she will appeal on my behalf. But I do not know what to submit further to strengthen my ground. Would you please help me by providing your valuable suggestion?

    With Best Regards,
    Imtiaze

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing obvious except a statement explaining why discrepancies are not fraudulent. You'd have to show error by way of accident, rather than intention.

      Delete
    2. Nothing obvious except a statement explaining why discrepancies are not fraudulent. You'd have to show error by way of accident, rather than intention.

      Delete
  77. Hello Gregory,

    I got a visa refused to switzerland and the appeal was not successful as well. The reason they gave makes no sense in my case. I want to pursue this in Swiss court. Do you know any english speaking lawyer in Switzerland who take up my case. Your support will be highly appreciated. Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you'll have to ask Mr Google. I suggest you look for legal aid and ngos that might be able to help. Remember that you will be time barred within a couple of months so waste no time. Good luck.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  78. Hello Gregory,
    Thanks for writing this blog, my cohabitation visa got rejected in Belgium because they said my Belgian partner don't have enough income. I am non-EU, and I have more income than what they need. But they said they only count my Belgian girlfriend. We are going for appeal, but my girlfriend has health issue, she can't work full time, there is no way she can have enough income as they said on the document(1400euro per month) , I'm here to support an European, not come here with fake marriage, any tips / advices to write the appeal letter?

    Thanks so much.
    My email is t329@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really don't know about this kind of case. Sounds like you are being treated as a dependent. I suggest, before appealing, you consult someone in Belgium who knows the law: an ngo or a lawyer. Otherwise, no point appealing.

      Maybe you can set up some sort of trust for the period of the visa which would provide the necessary income.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  79. Indeed, the refusal of visa without the reason is like taking an exam without knowing which numbers you answered correctly or vice versa. They have made it clear in the refusal letter that they are not bound to give the reason/s leading to the said decision. If an applicant wishes to reapply then, knowing that an appeal is also 50/50, how would he know the missing requirements? Again, he just failed an exam but the teacher wouldnt tell him where he made the mistake.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Indeed, the whole process makes mockery of the claim in the Visa Code that applicants' rights are 'respected' according to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. No EU citizen would tolerate such abuse.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hello,
    I am PhD student from Algeria. I applied for hungarian visa after being accepted to present in a scientific meeting in Budapest. The day of my interview I have been told that my acceptance letter was not looking official since I guess it didn't have any seal. After two weeks I was shocked knowing I got a refusal without even being asked to provide another document. I was more shocked when the conference organizer told m that a representative from the embassy asked them about my participationd and they confirmed it. Actually I don't care about visiting Hungary however I feel sad about being rejected and not being able to participate in that meeting which was important for my career. Also worried about having a refusal history that may affect my next application.One more thing is that they provided me a rejection letter in hungarian I don't know what were the reasons since they checked two.I am very furious and don't want to appeal to get this visa but complaint about the unfairness of the reaseons and getting a refusal history. What do you advice me to do?

    ReplyDelete
  82. If you just want to complain, write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Hungary, Péter Szijjártó. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your response. A hungarian friend translated the refusal reasons.They mentioned that my visit purpose is questionable (although they confirmed my particioation with the organizer) and when visa expires they are not sure I would go back!!! Why would they think I am a potentual immigrant and throw away my PhD education to live illegally in Europe??

      Delete
    3. They don't have to 'think'. That is the problem. They process dozens of visas every day without any sanction for negligence. By rights, you should be called for an interview if there is a suspicion that you might not return. However, there is no easy way to enforce your rights under the Visa Code or the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which the Visa Code claims to observe.

      Delete
  83. Hi greg thank you for this eye opener blog.

    Just one question. My fiance and I filed an appeal to nantes which is the last option because i did not received any reply from the embassy regarding my appeal. Do you have idea how long it will take to know the decision of the judge? Because the general consulate just replied and my lawyer give us information that same sex marriage cant be celebrate in the Philippines so we are waiting for the decision of the judge this is my concern how long it will take to know the decision of the judge. Because we met the liberty something .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's two months from the date of the receipt of the appeal. You should have received a letter with the date of receipt. If you get no reply, your appeal is deemed to have failed. It's an administrative appeal. There is no judge.

      Delete
  84. Hi Gregory,

    I am planning to visit France in the first week of August. The problem is that I have had my Schengen visa rejected twice already - once in January 2015 and another time in March 2015. They gave me the same two reasons for rejection both the times -
    1. You do not have enough means of subsistence.
    2. Your exit from the Schengen state could not be ascertained.

    Whereas the truth is that I had no intention of being an illegal immigrant. For a 10-day trip, the first time I had shown around €2636 as savings, while the next time it was somewhere close to €9229. I still don't understand where it all went wrong. I applied for the visa alone, both the times i.e. I was the only one travelling to France.

    I want to go to France to meet my girlfriend, who's currently studying there. I think the biggest mistake I did was that I didn't mention this in the cover letter that I sent to the French Consulate.

    Now, I have a US (F-1) visa as I am going there to pursue my Master's degree starting August 21 this year. Would that support my case while applying for the Schengen visa this time?

    Your reply will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Regards,
    Ashish Shetty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ashish,

      Unfortunately you are dealing with a system that has no transparency, despite the grandiose claim of the Visa Code that it respects the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. Clearly, if they had doubts as to your probable exit from the EU, and if they respected the principles of fairness of the Charter, they would have called you for an interview. They don't and there is nothing you can do about it.

      Not stating in your cover letter that you were planning to visit your girlfriend is irrelevant. The purpose of your travel was not in question. Sending an appeal is largely a waste of time. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs are unhelpful.

      If you want to risk another throw of the dice you could apply again and show that your exit from the Schengen zone can be ascertained by your impending departure to the US on 21st August. That won't solve the means of subsistence issue. But if you make a new application I would suggest that you do so acknowledging that your previous application was refused for two reasons and that you are supplying new evidence in support of those reasons.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  85. Hello Gregory,
    Last year my Schengen visa was rejected twice by the Spain embassy,. Nonetheless, I applied for a Schengen visa (as a tourist) to France and all requisite documents were forwarded including my current UK and USA visas‎, but it was refused again. Rejection reason is 'The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of intended stay is not reliable.'

    I have never appealed a denied visa‎ before. However, to stop this unpleasant trend and void this worrisome status from my profile with them, it has become imperative to engage them as there are no guarantees that subsequent applications will be granted. Do you think engaging a reputable immigration lawyer will help? I have drafted an appeal letter but want to take it a step further by going through a lawyer. Their reason is vague and annoying as I proved beyond reasonable doubts that I have business and family ties in Nigeria.

    I usually travel once or twice a year on vacation as a tourist and my application was for this purpose.

    Any word of advice?

    Regards

    Akinkunmi John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you weren't given an opportunity to demonstrate in an interview that your purpose and conditions of intended stay were reliable then I would urge you to engage an immigration lawyer to contest the decision on the basis of Article 41 of the Charter, as I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog. But note that your time will be limited. Don't waste time.

      Delete
  86. Thank you so much for this useful article,

    I am Syrian with Armenian origins I applied with my Armenian passport 2 weeks ago and got refused yesterday and been thinking since yesterday about the appeal. One of my friends applied to Germany and it was refused and when she appealed they granted her the visa.
    So do you thibk I should apply again and start the process from the beginning or should I appeal ?
    My course was supposed to start in August now that it got rejected I have to pospone it for a full month and try again. What do u think ? I really don't know I feel like it's a human right to go anywhere I want and this visa things are frustrating me. U start doubting your self like what went wrong and why ?
    Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a human right to be treated fairly, which means being given an opportunity to be heard and clear reasons for being refused, not just being told which category you fall into. I'm not sure which path to take. If time is of the essence, why not do both?

      Delete
  87. hi sir
    do i need any appointment in embassy to appeal

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hello Gregory,

    I feel really glad to get your such supportive blog.

    Here is a circumstance,
    I'm a Bangladeshi student. Recently I applied for a Student visa to Belgium for the session of September, 2016 and submitted all required documents as they wanted, but 3 days earlier I got refusal and they gave me an annoying reason about my financial capability though I appeared a big amount of money than their requirement and attached enough supportive documents.

    They mentioned on the notification that the applicant has to appeal within 30 days.
    I don't know how to appeal for a denied visa to Belgium. On the other hand, I don't have much time, the university will begin classes from 19th September. I need your help badly. Would you please tell me how should I appeal against this result.

    Any word of advice?

    Thanking,
    Toyon Siddique

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, TS, I cannot offer any concrete suggestions. I am not familiar with the Belgian appeal process. If you read my blog, which refers to the French procedure, you will see that I do not have much faith in the appeal process. I suggest you contact a local visa handling agent to find out how your application was deficient. Probably better to resubmit rather than waste time appealing.

      I appreciate your frustration. Many a sincere traveller has been thwarted by the insincere regime set up by the Schengen authorities in the name of progressive administration. Good luck. I wish I could be more helpful.

      Delete
  89. Hello Gregory

    I am also one of the victim of French Embassy in Cambodia, I got a refusal by saying
    “Your intention to leave the territory of the Member State before the expire of the date could not be ascertained”.

    Actually, I was applying for a tourist Visa to France by having my bf's sister who had resident and family at there and she is France nationality to invite to stay there for 2 week.
    In the application, I attached with invitation letter, income tax of the person invited, my bank statement, itinerary, insurance, company letter, company permission form, birth certificate. and I got interview, interviewer only ask about my relationship with my bf, and my salary in here, how many countries I have been visited before, and 3 days later I got refusal with chop reject on my passport since the first day I interview.

    I'm so disappointed, I told my bf and his family, and I found out may be they not trust, my bank not have much money, and also may be because of my bf , now he is living and work in USA, so he let his sister to handle it, and not state him in the application form, also he just flight to Germany to work, and then visit his family in France and I am the one to insist to visit them at the same time, and we plan to engage during that time, not just me and him but the whole family so upset because of rejection from embassy.

    Now we all start to do appeal letter, by having my bf telling the reason why, he's not attach in the file, his sister also write a letter, while I also request my company letter to attach it too, to against with their reason of refusal. and we do hope they will consider to give me the visa. we sent it by last Saturday and I got the answer that from his sister that if they not reply within 2 weeks, it meant that our appeal also reject.

    And I feel so hopeless now after I read some people story in here and I found out that the answer won't get within 2 weeks but 2 months, it is too long to accept it, and look like appeal is not really work, until they made it so seriously by going to the court and hire the lawyer to against that. and my plan of going there is so soon by 6th Sep, and we cannot wait for re-apply in the next 3 months since my bf won't be in France anymore.

    What we suppose to do now, just keep waiting, or do another thing to push it faster?

    Please give me some idea.

    Thanks,
    Phalla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you read my blog, you will not waste time with an appeal. Since you had an interview your right to be heard, under the charter, was respected. However, the lack of detail in the reason for refusal is not helpful. It leaves you guessing. I suggest you consult a visa expert in your area on the probable reason for your refusal and reapply.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  90. Hi gregory.
    I my student visa for spain is denied. Now I have appointment for appeal after 1 day. But problem is, reason of rejection is not mentioned in my refusal letter, So now can you please tell me what should I write in my appeal letter.?

    ReplyDelete
  91. Parosh,
    There is no point guessing. When you go to the appointment you should ask them, make sure you get clear answers and address them to their satisfaction. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  93. 2) The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions intended stay was not reliable. How stupid observation is given by the embassy of france...is there any need to appeal on such bulls shit question mark? Just received a refusal letter and they mentioned it...while my all documents are quite satisfactory and my travel history is good even...France is a world no1 tourism destination and people called it tourist heaven, what else the good reason we can have to go there while 84 million people visiting there for what ??

    ReplyDelete
  94. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Am Swedish and my husband is Nigerian. We applied at the German consulate and included marriage certificate registered in Sweden, Flight ticket and hotel which has been paid, my passport copy and proof of previous travels to over ten countries together. To my surprise they refused his visa and we were out of 6200 Euros spent on the vacation. I contacted SOLVIT and they are not of help and I've contacted a bunch of people working at the EU commission. Still waiting for response. The German embassy denied having receiving his appeal letter. I contacted a few German lawyers and they seem not to know the right step to take. I also contacted the German ministry of foregin affairs who in turn contacted the consulate in Lagos. One thing though, the Ministry of foreign affairs fell short of blaming the visa officer so I called them myself and told them I've made an official complaint with the EU commission and they should be expecting to be taken to court. If anyone knows how I can get a good lawyer who can escalate things for me please contact me. The ones I'm talking to seems not to have a slight idea of what I want.

    ReplyDelete
  96. If the lawyers haven't got a clue, you should drop them and find one who does. It should not be difficult to google 'Schengen visa lawyer'. I suggest you do that because your comment is vague and confused. You need help with the issues. I suggest also that you read my blog thoroughly. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No idea about Ukraine, sorry. It's not a Schengen country. Good luck.

      Delete
  98. Yes I couldnt agree more..we applied for tourist schengen visa and got refused even after providing them with all the relevant documents .Plus we had Confirmed flight tickets which were nonrefundable .We lost so much money.They say file for a appeal but I dont understand the basis of filing for a appeal how do I know what they need.Also we have full time jobs.In india the embassy is only in delhi and filling for an appeal would require so much time and us spending money for flights again.Whats the point!

    ReplyDelete
  99. In your case, an appeal would be a waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  100. My mother a public teacher and my mother in law a public teacher also tried to apply for shengen visa but they refused it.. now we are trying to appealit but all the comments i read its like 1% chances to grant our appeal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. Better to get some expert advice and apply again. Good luck.

      Delete
  101. Gregory Barton, you're such a patient man, replying to all those comments and referring them to your blog. I don't know what the majority of people posting here are further expecting from you. By now they should have gotten a clue.
    First of all, those countries don't want them in their countries. Dealing with the current immigration crisis which by now everyone knows is more than a hand full!

    On another note though, it would be interesting if someone could also do a write up about the USA appeal process. All of these so called visa procedures are bogus. If you get a visa it's a miracle.

    ReplyDelete
  102. My husband did apply for France visa but got rejected saying he is a threat to the public..
    We are devastated.. we planned to go to Disney land for the Easter holidays with our kids. I have uk travel document and my kids are british. My husband holds a Indian passport.

    But why this refusal saying about public threat. My husband have visa issued from homeoffice and he don't have any criminal offence.

    I dont know what to do..

    ReplyDelete
  103. I recently applied for French Schengen visa and got refused. I have been in France last year for 20 days. Now, my fiance and I are planning to go back this year to meet his siblings who are working in Denmark and also plans to meet me in their hometown (France).
    I applied my first visa in Saudi Arabia where I was employed as a nurse, my second visa application is here in the Philippines. I am currently unemployed due to I'm processing my registration as a nurse in Australia. I have submitted my contract with the immigration agency from Australia and the email conversations from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agent stating about my application.
    I do not understand why they will deny me a visa for the fact that I have sufficient funds and I'm currently processing my application to work in Australia. My fiance is also not going to stay in France for he has a job in Saudi and he is on rotational leave only. We also submitted proof on this.
    My future mother in law is so disappointed that she wrote an email to the NANTES. Complaining the decisions about my visa application.
    By the way, I was given an attestation de acuile by her. I'm am supposed to stay at their house during the 15 days.

    I'm not sure whether I should try again or send an appeal, for what I read its a waste. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impossible to comment on without knowing all the facts. The problem with the current visa processing regime is that they reject your application without asking quesitons or giving good reasons. As I have said in the blog, they do not give reasons for refusing a visa. They merely indicate which category the reason would fall into. In the old days, about ten or more years ago, a member of the consulate would call up and tell you what was lacking. "Please bring me a bank book showing X euros worth of local currency in your girlfriend's bank account". They tried to help. Now they have been given the power to deal with documents only. There is zero transparency.

      In your case, you are correct that the appeal to Nantes is a waste of time. Worse than a waste of time, it will give you false hopes. The best case scenario would be to find some local visa consultant who knows the vagaries of the local consulate and resubmit the application.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  104. Hi Gregory,
    I really appreciate your effort in maintaining this blog and discussing various issues on Schengen visa process.
    I had applied for Greece visa for attending an academic conference in Rhodes (Greece) and got the refusal in the early month of May 2017. To be specific I am a grad student pursuing my Masters in India in a reputed Institute and my Institute provides me a financial grant to attend the conference. I have submitted all the required documents (Student IDcard,PanCard,Official invitation from the conference committee,Bonafide certificate,NOC(No objection certificate) and financial grant sanction letter provided by the institute,Bank statement,all my confirmed travel tickets with travel insurance,accommodation details) during the visa application process. After my conference I had a plan of visiting Zurich as a tourist in my return journey, and I have showed all my travel tickets and accommodation details pertaining to visiting Zurich too. I was expected to get a call for interview from the Greece embassy (Delhi) within 2 weeks from the time I have submitted my application, but then I was not called for the interview and few days later I got a refusal letter from the embassy with the following reasons:(1)The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable. 2)Your intention to leave the territory of the Member states before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained.
    To the background of this, I had a refusal from Spain embassy the last year (May2016) wherein the purpose of travel was to attend the academic conference. The reason for refusal being “The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable”. Based on this I thought that my Greece visa refusal was due to my previous Spain visa refusal.
    Since I had decent amount of time for my travel, I thought I would re-apply instead of an appeal. So, I went ahead with applying for the second time by making the application stronger with few additional documents (Support letter from the conference chairperson mentioning the genuineness and importance of my participation in the conference,Support letter from my parents confirming about my return after the travel and extra financial support from them apart from my Institute financial grant,Bank statement of my Father). This time I had cancelled the plan of visiting Zurich and it was just alone attending the conference in Rhodes (Greece). This time I was called for an interview and I was asked all the generic questions (where are you traveling to in Greece? who is your sponsor?) and also the interviewer asked me the reason for Spain visa reject which I had the last year. I had answered him telling “I believe my documents were not complete and I had very short of time to re-apply for the visa before my travel date”. In spite of all this, unfortunately I got the refusal again for the second time with exactly the same reasons as it was in my first refusal. Finally I couldn’t make it up for the conference and I have to cancel my travel.
    Since, I have already lost the opportunity to travel now, all that I can think of is to appeal for the refusal and request for removal of refusal from the Schengen visa Information system (VIS) based on the genuineness of my case.

    My concerns:
    1) Is it worth to appeal for the refusal in my case?
    2) As mentioned in the refusal letter, I can appeal before the administrative court with the help of lawyer or before a Greek authority. I am not clear with what is meant by “Greek authority”. Does it mean Ministry of Foreign affairs?
    3) Is it recommended to appeal before “administrative court” or “Greek authority”?
    I would greatly appreciate your response in my case and looking forward for the reply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shravan,
      I'm sorry to hear of your plight. It would be of no comfort, of course, to know that you are not alone. Unfortunately, the system is not transparent and there are no internal checks on the process. The fact that you were called for an interview removes the objection in my blog, which is, that one should be given the opportunity to present one's case before a refusal is determined. You had that opportunity.

      As to your questions:

      Is it worth appealing? I would say, 'no'. You would have to engage a lawyer in Greece. That would be expensive and, without knowing why your application was refused, just another spin of the dice.

      A 'Greek authority' probably refers to some administrative body or other. You could try contacting some sort of legal aid agency in Greece. But my guess is that they would be swamped with asylum appeals. I would imagine that any assistance you received would take years to process.

      In these cases, it is probably best to consult a visa consultancy in your home country. They are often exorbitant, but they know the practice.

      Good luck

      Delete
  105. Good day Sir!
    I applied for a visit visa to Italy from my country in Nigeria and my application was refused for reason that "the information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable ".
    I do not understand why I was refused a tourist visa when I provided virtually all the requirements needed for a tourist visa...hence why I think I should appeal.
    Also I submitted my visa application on the 3rd of July. The embassy put a rejection stamp dated 4th of June. What is the implication of this? What are my chances if I get my lawyer based in Italy to send a legal notice on my behalf to the embassy to review my case? Thank you in anticipation of your response

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  106. Sloppy work in putting the date on your refusal demonstrates the level of care they took in reviewing your application. 'Take the money and run'. There is no oversight. Appealing is uncertain. There is no concrete reason to appeal from. Read my article again and then decide. Do you really want to spend money and wait for a result which is impossible to predict? If you do, good luck to you.

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  107. @Gregory Barton, Hello Sir.. Good day.
    I am an engineer and quite interested in visiting new places. I applied for a tourist visa for Madrid, Spain in New Delhi, India on 25th July, 2017. I've attached everything which they have mentioned in checklist (NOC from employer, Salary Slips, Bank statements, Education certificates, hotel accommodations, air tickets etc). Enclosed every possible document. Embassy put a rejection stamp on 1st Aug with a reason: "your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained".

    However, being under the impression that return tickets and approved leaves are enough proofs that I'll be right back after the vacations embassy still raised this objection based on their perceptions.

    Anyhow, As my flight was no 17th Aug, I still had the time to re-apply for the fresh-visa and I've described everything in cover letter against this objection and requested them to grant me Visa. I re-applied on 7th Aug and yesterday (17th Aug) I received my passport with 2 objections "your intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained" and "justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided".

    Now the question is, nothing was changed in fresh application, they why did they raise another concern that: "justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided" which they could have raised in first application itself. (Does it mean they are blindly examining?)

    P.S.. I'm an engineer and working with highly reputed company in India. I'm earning very good (Salary slips are the proofs) that I cannot earn this much in EU by becoming ilegal immigrant. So it's quite obvious that I'll be right back after the vacations.. their objection doesn't make any sense.

    Sir Gregory, I need your suggestions in this situation, what should I do? Should I proceed with appeal? Is there anything I can do? Awaiting your response..

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  108. Is an appeal worthwhile? Please read my blog post and you will know my answer.

    Does it mean they are blindly examining? Quite likely. They have dozens of applicants and absolutely no supervision. They can do what they like. Are you likely to leave your high paid job and become a dish washer in Spain? Of course not.

    My advice is to find a country in the Schengen area that will treat your application sincerely: Greece or Hungary, for example. Make sure you intend to go to one of those countries as your main destination, not just as a port of entry. But they are worth visiting. I have just come back from two wonderful weeks in Greece.

    Good luck.

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  109. Hello good day .
    I am a Nigerian and I applied for a French Student visa on the 29th of June I submitted all necessary documents my father who is my sponsor submitted everything required .
    I have a cousin living in France and he was supposed to offer my accommodation for a short while after which I would find a student accommodation for myself . I emailed the embassy on the 25th of July asking for update on the status of my application and i received a reply the next day , the embassy requested for the bank statements of my cousin & his wife in France and documents describing the sort of apartment they live in i did so the next day . My cousin lives in a two bedroom apartment with his 1 year old daughter & his wife after 2 weeks i received a refusal letter stating "the information regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not complete & or reliable .
    I contacted my school immediately i was denied and I they sent me a certificate of late arrival because I told them I had plans to reapply . The original resumption date of my school is 11th of September but they gave me an extension till the 2nd of october I have rented an apartment for 3 months and I plan to reapply do you think I have a better chance this time & do you have any suggestions on documents you think I should sumbit

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  110. I suggest you engage a professional, experienced, visa consultant in your country to guide you through the mysteries of applying for the visa. Anything else would be guessing, given the lack of transparency of the process.

    Good luck.

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  111. Yes thank you for your response . The only visa consultant who could understand the situation of the whole process would be campus France & he advised I reapply providing I change the situation of my accommodation

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  112. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  113. can u send me the email add to submit my appeal for france schengen visa

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  114. I am owner of 03 schools and one college in my country Pakistan. I with my friend who is also owner of another college applied for Tourist Visa to Italy on 19 October 2017 and was informed by embassy to visit them for Interview on 01 November 2017. During interview they were asking about what places in Rome we are interested to visit?. To be truthful, we did not answer right and simply said we have no idea because our admin officer is responsible to plan for us.
    We have travelling history of Dubai, southafrica, saudia, Mauritius, Thailand, and Malaysia from December 2016 (As we started travelling around the world just now).
    Now, I and my friend got a call from visa Center to collect our passport on Monday 13 November 2017. Let's see what happens?
    To be frankly, when we get rejections like recently got refusal for newzealand visa, we laugh on their refusal and the foolish reasons for refusal. What I have read in this blog is funny and sad too because I don't know what these visa officers thinks about us that we have some craze for their country and we will leave our wife children business and will stay their. My suggestion to all is that when ever embassy don't respect you and give you foolish reasons for refusal so never apply again. My second suggestion that atleast write a letter and send it to their Ministry of foreign affair so that they atleast know the injustice going on. Please cc one copy to embassy as well. This is not for visa but atleast they must know that how they are hurting people's.
    Gregory Barton I would like to hear from you on my suggestion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, certainly. Ordinary people need to get in contact with high officials both in the member country and in Brussels at the EU headquarters. The who's who of the EU is easy to find: http://europa.eu/whoiswho/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=idea.quick_search
      Write, for example, to the head of the directorate for home affairs for visas,

      Mr MEJBORN Bent
      Head of Unit

      Rue de la Loi 175 / Wetstraat 175
      1048 Bruxelles/Brussel
      Belgique*
      Tel: +32 2281-6722
      Internet: http://www.consilium.europa.eu*

      Tell him that there is no transparency and accountability in the visa application process. Tell him that bona fide travelers from the third world are refused a visa on the basis of a mere suspicion. They are made to feel like second class citizens of the world in violation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Tell them that the real problem is one of policing people who overstay and that blithely refusing visas in order to remedy the policing deficiency is unjust. Inform them, politely, of their hypocrisy. Otherwise they will go home at night, pat themselves on their shoulder and tell themselves what a wonderful job they are doing, when in fact, they are taking your money and not providing a fair service.

      Delete
  115. Visa refused for Justification for purpose and conditions of intended stay was not provided. I am Shocked :)

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  116. I applied for Australia visa let's see :) I am frequent traveller and love to travel. Let's see what they do?

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  117. http://www.onlineservices.pk/visa-refusal-appeal-letter/

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