Question by Nelly U: What are the chances of getting my Schengen Visa Application denied?
Hi! I’m planning to go to Europe with my family early May of next year. My travel agent tells me that I can’t file an application until 3 months before my date of my departure for Europe, however Qatar Airways is offering a great discount on their flights to Vienna on my intended travel dates.
Is it wise to purchase the tickets? I am a Philippine Passport holder, but we have an existing US Visa (multiple entry, 10-year visa and been to the States a couple of times) and a Chinese Visa. We’ve also been to several countries in Asia (ie China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand) Also, I’ll be going on a Mediterranean Cruise, but I’ll be taking a side trip in Austria before the cruise and Paris after the cruise. Not to brag but I’m fairly well-off, even in Western standards, and I have the means to support my travels. I can provide all the necessary requirements but I’m still afraid that I’d be denied with my visa and that my airfare won’t be refunded since it’s on a promo fare. Also, is it possible that not everyone in my family does personal appearance for the visa application? My son passed the Bar Examinations and is now a lawyer and I’d like to surprise him with the European tour, and if he’d have to appear before the embassy then it would really blow up the surprise. I’m just telling that we’re just visiting to the States and not Europe.
So should I purchase the tickets? What are the chances of me getting denied on my visa application? Can I apply at the Spanish Consulate and not the Embassy? Can the consulate issue visa or should I go to the Embassy? Do we really need personal appearance?
Answer by GerdP
Your travel agent is right; you can’t apply for a Schengen visa earlier than three months to the proposed travel date. It is much easier to get a Schengen visa then a visa for the United States. The Schengen visa is issued based on the itinerary provided and it will only authorize the stay during the time you apply for it plus for 15 days. The visa officer only must assess the risk of illegal immigration for this trip whereas a US immigration officer must make an immigration risk assessment for the next ten years. You should not have problems to get the visa if you are able to show strong economical and social ties to the Philippines which compel you to return home after your visit. In general personal appearance is required for adult visa applicants since they must sign their applications in person before a Consular officer (required for certain countries); also the Visa Information System (VIS) is applied more and more which requires the fingerprints of all applicants from an age of 12 years to be taken. Spanish Embassies do not issue visa if a Consulate General is assigned. If Spain is your main destination (i.e. you spend most of your time in Spain) you need to apply for the visa at the Spanish Consulate General in Manila.
If your cruise itinerary reveals that most time of stay is spend in Italian ports you need to get the visa from the Consular Section of the Italian Embassy in Manila.
If France is your main destination it will be the Consular Section of the French Embassy to address your application to.
If no main destination can be determined since your stay is equally distributed between the countries it will be the first country you plan to visit where you will need to get the visa from.
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