10 common reasons for a visa refusal
Is there anything worse than hearing back about your visa application and seeing “Your visa application was rejected”? What is a reason for a visa reject? Applying for a visa can be a long and tiring process. You collect countless documents, you make trip after trip to the embassy, and then once you submit your application, there's the long and anxious wait to hear about the outcome of your visa application. Spending countless hours and effort trying to get a visa and then seeing it get rejected is a disturbing sight. Whatever the visa rejection reasons may be, it not only crashes your hopes of travelling to your destination but also affects your future travel plans.
While rejecting a visa application, in most cases, the embassy/consulate provides a reason for the rejection. This helps you to rectify your application and apply again. Naturally, there can be different reasons why they didn’t think your application was good enough, but there are patterns that help to find out the most common reasons. Well, what can be done to avoid this? This is precisely why we have compiled a list of some of the most common reasons for visa refusal so that you can be careful while applying for your visa.
1. Not Following the Visa Guidelines
When it comes to the visa application, rules are not meant to be broken. Do your research in preparing for the visa process. Data on the visa process is widely available on the internet. The immigration departments of different nations have drafted the rules and guidelines. Government sites are also reliable resources that contain information to assist you every step of the way. In fact, most visa applications are rejected because people fail to follow these guidelines.
One of the main points in any guideline is the timing to make a visa application. Missions of different countries have different processing times that vary according to a number of factors. As a result, the embassies require that you submit the application with sufficient time left for them to process the application in time for your expected date of travel. Submitting a late application with less than the embassy recommended processing time left until the travel date will often lead to your visa getting rejected. In a lot of cases, the embassy will also have strict rules on the number of days before your travel date, after which you cannot apply.
2. Wrong Visa Category
Many times people select the wrong visa category and later get refused due to this. It's important to research the type of visa you are applying for, as depending on that, the eligibility and requirements may differ. Double-check that you are indeed applying for the proper visa, make certain that you can fulfil the requirements and meet the conditions for that particular visa. Don`t make pre-assumptions on your eligibility for a certain visa just because you fit the criteria for another visa.
Visas are issued for a particular purpose of visit. For example, a business visa is issued for attending business meetings, conferences, etc. For the business visa, you will have to ensure that the invitation letter from the company in the destination country explains your purpose of the visit clearly. Failing to provide documents or information that explain your purpose of the visit will lead to visa rejection.
3. Providing Incorrect or Insufficient Information
Having unverifiable or inaccurate information can lead to visa denials or prolonged processing. Completing all forms accurately and being fully prepared with all requirements, correct documentation, and forms of verification can help expedite the visa process.
It is really important that you provide all the documents required for your application. Different visa categories require several supporting documents, so it is important to make sure your application is specific to you and that nothing is missed out. People often fail to submit their supporting documents (for example, bank statements, relationship documents, etc.) You should provide all sufficient documents to support your visa application and your purpose of travel. So at the time of your application, pay utmost attention to what documents you include for your visa application.
4. Mistakes in Documents
Another reason for visa refusal is that the submitted documents are not in the proper format as required by the embassy. Below are some points to consider:
• Documents in a Wrong Language
In the majority of cases, your personal documents will be issued in the local language. However, submitting such documents directly is useless as the visa authorities will not be able to verify them. Ensure that you provide all your documents with translation into the required language.
• Mistakes in the Application Form
A single mistake in the application form can lead to a refusal. Always fill in the form correctly and double-check all the information mentioned. Make sure you are consistent when providing information in your personal statements.
• Incomplete Application Form
An application form with blank columns can also get your application rejected. Every column in the application form is an important question. Even if a question is not applicable to you, you will be advised by the form to write ‘N/A’ or something appropriate. Providing wrong information on the application form are also grounds for visa rejection. As a result, check your application form before submitting it.
• Information Mismatch
A very common occurrence when people fill the visa forms is any information mentioned on the application form doesn't match with travel documents. Ensure that your details are the same both on the application form and in the passport, along with other supporting documents.
5. Fake Documents
Providing fake and forged documents will lead to an automatic visa rejection. Once you have made an application, the visa authorities will perform a thorough check to ensure your document’s validity. If it is found that the document is fake, they will reject the application and possibly ban you from applying again for a specific time period. Any chance of future applications will run a very high risk of refusal due to a history of providing false and misleading information. It is also against the law to provide false legal documents. If you did not submit any false documents, yet the visa officers claim you did, you can appeal.
6. Failure to Meet Financial Requirements
Another commonly spread reason for visa refusal is a failure to meet the financial requirements: either showing too low or too high amounts of money on the bank balance. When you apply for a visa, you are expected to submit proof that you have the necessary funds to cover your stay as well as your return. This is to ensure that you do not have a tough time in the country and that you do not become a liability for the country.
Very often, the applicants submit their bank account statements as proof of their financial situation, where these bank statements reflect huge deposits. Applicants usually fail to explain the source of these deposits in their cover letter and often get refused. If you can't prove you have enough financial resources or their source, the visa officers will reject your visa application.
7. Insufficient Ties with the Home Country
For most visa types, you will have to prove that you have ties in your home country that will ensure your need to return to your home country once you have completed your permitted stay in the visiting country. When you apply for a visa, you have to submit documents that prove that after your visa expires, you are going to leave the country and return home. If the embassy or consular staff think you may overstay your visa, they will refuse to grant it to you. The visa officers need to ensure that you are visiting for genuine purposes, for example, not planning to arrive on a tourist visa and stay indefinitely.
When applying for a visa, there must be evidence to support your claims. Evidence of incentive to return home can include employment, family ties and personal assets. A travel itinerary can also be helpful to show your exact plan for the visit. A good travel itinerary should be detailed and state all the places you plan to visit. It can also be accompanied by flight tickets and hotel bookings for the same route.
8. Visa Interview
The visa interview plays a significant role in determining the outcome of your visa application. Ensure that you are well prepared for the interview to be able to answer any of the questions without any hesitation. Below are a few aspects which you should consider while preparing for a visa interview.
• Overall behaviour at the interview
Being too assertive on all aspects of the visa process or expressing extreme confidence in visa approval during the interview can make you come off as presumptuous and arrogant.
Contrary, answering the questions hesitatingly or being too nervous will make the interviewer conclude that you have hidden intentions behind your visit.
• Be respectful to the interviewer
Start with an attitude of respect, even if the interview may seem tedious or tiresome. You can do this by expressing humbleness and courtesy toward the interviewer and submitting to the authority they represent. Also, having a messy appearance may appear to show a lack of seriousness in the process.
• Ineffective communication
Sometimes the language barrier, various accents, or unfamiliar lingo may leave you confused. Don't hesitate to ask the interviewer for an interpreter or to repeat, explain, or slow down. Effective communication can help avoid potentially significant misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
• Giving too much information
As you can expect, you will be asked many questions. Your responses should be well-thought-out, but keep them concise and simple. You don't need to divulge irrelevant details that don't pertain directly to the inquiry, nor should you voluntarily give up information that isn't requested. This can actually lead to more questions or raise red flags and suspicions that would have otherwise not arisen.
9. Poor Travel History
Another reason for the rejection of a visa can be a poor travel history. Travel history is a track record of your past visits to the outside of your home country, basically all your international visits abroad. A strong travel history is a key requirement in most visa applications. It assures the visa officers that you are a genuine traveller and that you’ve consistently followed immigration policies locally and abroad. Travel history is not always a required condition for obtaining a visa, but having a good travel history increases your chance of visa approval, especially for such developed countries as the USA, Canada, or the UK.
10. Non-Disclosure of Previous Issues
Sometimes visa applicants have previous immigration or legal issues that they decide not to disclose, such as bans or certain criminal convictions already spent - especially if a long time has passed. However, the embassies miss nothing and question everything; they will also take into consideration your past visa history when processing your application.
Many countries have a common information-sharing system for security and border management. It allows the visa authorities or immigration officers at border cross points to circulate alerts about people. If you have an alert on that system, you will have difficult times getting a visa.
Your application may be rejected if you have been denied a visa into other countries previously, or if you have a history of having overstayed in a country, or if you have performed activities that are not allowed under a particular visa category in the past, etc. In these cases, you may face a ban and, any new visa you apply for might be refused. Meeting the conditions of your visa is very important, especially if you plan to visit that country again in the future.
What can you do if your visa is denied?
There can be many causes of why your visa is denied. The ones mentioned above are the most common reasons that visa authorities provide, but this isn't an exhaustive list.
If you think that the reason for rejection is valid (it was your own mistake), all you can do is re-apply and hope for the best. However, if you don’t think that the reasons that the embassy or consulate provided are valid, then you can try to appeal the decision.
As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”- the same applies to a visa application as well. To avoid facing a visa rejection, the least you can do is to make sure that you do not make the above-mentioned mistakes and follow all the rules. However, the best option would be to use the services of a professional visa agency for your application. Approaching us for help guarantees you a success rate. You can always contact us for further queries and clarifications or book your consultation appointment.
Nargiz was born in Russia where she grew up until the age of 12 before moving to Baku, Azerbaijan. At different life stages she lived in Turkey and Serbia. As of 2020, she has been to 38 cities in 11 countries. AIESEC Azerbaijan Alumna. She is fond of participating at youth projects and making friends with people from all around the world. Her biggest dream is to visit all the continents and as many countries as possible. Following her passion to travel, she joined the team of a “Trawell Group” company.