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18 Aug 2018

How to Write an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Refusal

How to Write an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa RefusalFiling a Schengen visa application is never a guarantee that you will get the visa. You may have spent days trying to collect the required documents, fulfilling the application form, writing the required letters and so on. However, sometimes, for a reason or another your application gets rejected, despite of the fact you may be very sure that you did everything right.

A visa rejection is never a reason for desperation. You can always try to apply once more, correcting the mistakes that you did in your first application or improving your situation. Moreover, if you think that your first application was correct, and the decision on its refusal was a mistake, you can always appeal the rejection.

Article 32(3) of the Visa Code of the Schengen Agreement clearly states that those who have been refused a visa shall have the right to appeal.

How to Appeal a Schengen Visa Denial

Appealing a decision on your visa application is not an simple thing to do. First of all, you must be very sure that the decision was incorrect, and that there was no reason for rejection.  Secondly, you shall appeal the conduct against the Member State that has taken the final decision on your application.

You shall appeal by writing an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Refusal. Writing this kind letter is a whole process itself. You must give very strong reasons why you believe your application was incorrectly rejected, and why the decision must be taken back. Following in this article, find further explanations on what an appeal letter is as well as how to write one, and where to submit it.

What Is an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Refusal?

An Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa rejection is written by the visa applicant to dispute a visa rejection. The letter shall be written on valid grounds, which point out why the rejection is incorrect. Basis of fact or law must be identified, and in some cases, the appealer is permitted to submit additional evidence in order to prove the incorrectness of the refusal.

Each embassy has their appointed time within which the rejected applicant can submit the appeal letter. If your visa application has been turned down, you are highly recommended to write and hand in the appeal letter, if you are planning to do so.

How to Write an Appeal Letter for Schengen Visa Rejection

Writing an appeal letter is not an easy task. Even if you base it in very strong grounds, you still need to know how to structure it, to whom to direct it, and what else to write. You are not suggested to write a 2-page long letter. Take into account that the embassy receives other appeal letters aside of yours, and those who have to deal with them, do not have the time or the energy to read about your bragging why they were unfair.

At the same time, a one-paragraph letter is not enough. Writing that they were wrong when rejecting you visa, is not an appeal. As soon as you do not give any reasons why you believe the denial of your application should be reversed, your appeal letter will not be considered valid.

In this step-by-step guideline you will find all the information you need to know on how to write an appeal letter for a Schengen Visa rejection.

What Should an Appeal Letter Contain?

There are some details that an appeal letter must contain, in order for it to be legit, as following:

Personal Details – the letter must contain details about the person writing it, as their name and surname, date and place of birth, passport number, as well as their current address. You are strongly advised to put your email address and phone number in the letter as well.

The date when your application was rejected – take care to mention at the very beginning when you received the rejection letter on your application.

The reason why behind your visa refusal – mention clearly, as stated in the rejection letter you received, the reason why you were not granted with the visa.

Why you believe the rejection was incorrect – explain why you think your application was wrongly rejected, and why they should approve it. List the reasons, if more than one, why you believe the decision on the denial of your application must be overturned. This is the most important part of the letter so pay attention to it!

Your signature – after you write your letter, print it and sign it at the end. Letters submitted without signature will be turned down.

Sample of a Schengen Visa Denial Appeal Letter

As every other document, an appeal letter has a structure that shall be followed. The structure of an appeal letter is not fixed, indeed. Still, if you have never written an appeal letter before, you are highly advised to follow the structure of the sample given below.


Embassy Address:

To whom it may concern,

Paragraph 1:

In the first paragraph, you should introduce yourself, your name, home address, date and place of birth and passport number. Tell the reason why you are writing this letter. Indicate when you applied for a Schengen visa, and where, as well as under what purpose you wish to visit the Schengen zone. 

Paragraph 2:

State when you received the rejection letter for your visa application, and the reasons on which the denial was based, if any. Assert the reason(s) why you believe that your application was denied incorrectly. 

Paragraph 3:

Elaborate these reasons. Try to argument them in a convincing way. You can use references, so you prove your assertion is not wrong. Write why they should approve your Schengen visa focusing on the reasons given behind the rejection. Remember that your application depends on how strong are the grounds you base your appeal, and how convincing you sound. 

End the appeal with the date of your planned trip to create a sense of urgency especially if you really do not have much time left to wait.


Hand signature

Your full name

Your email

Your phone number

Supporting Documents

The supporting documents you will need to attach to your appeal letter really depend on the reason why your application was rejected. Since everybody has different reasons on their visa rejection letter, the documents you will have to submit, vary on that. Below find a list of the most frequent reasons for visa denials, and the supporting documents you will have to submit in that case.

Unclear purpose of visit

If you were rejected because the embassy concluded the purpose of your trip to the Schengen Area was unclear, submit documents that will make it clearer for them, which you have not submitted during your application. These documents could be:

  • Travel itinerary – in case you have already submitted such a document, try to submit a clearer and more detailed itinerary.
  • Letter of invitation – by a friend, an institution or organization etc., in which they clearly explain why they wish you to go over
  • Cover letter – in which you explain further what you will be doing, and why – in the Schengen Zone

Not demonstrating proof of funds

Schengen embassies often reject visa application because they think the candidate does not have enough money to support themselves during their stay in their territory. In case you are rejected for this reason, submit:

  • current bank statements – adding extra money, if you can, since the former amount of money may have seemed as not enough to the embassy
  • letter of support – by another person who claims that they will support you financially during your stay in Schengen, accompanied by their current bank account statement

Insufficient travel insurance coverage

If this is the case, purchase travel insurance from another company, or just update your current and submit a document that proves that, alongside with your appeal letter.

Suspicion you may not return to your home country

This is the most frequent reason why visas get denied. If you got this as the reason for your visa application refusal, try to submit at least one of the following, if possible:

  • Employment contract – if you submitted that during you application, obtain a letter by your employer in which they claim you are obliged to return to work, upon the end of your planned trip
  • Student enrollment – in case you did not submit it previously
  • Documents that show you have property, i.e. business, house etc.
  • Certificates that prove you have family members in your home country, i.e. marriage certificate, child birth certificate etc.

Where to Submit an Appeal Letter

In general, you will have the opportunity to submit your appeal letter at the embassy of the Schengen country you wish to visit, or the embassy / consulate to which that particular country has outsourced visa submission and processing.

On the other hand, the visa appeal deciding body depends on the country that has rejected the visa. I.e. in Germany, the Administrative Court in Berlin is responsible for deciding on your visa refusal appeal. In Italy is responsible the Administrative Regional Tribunal, in Norway, the Directorate of immigration, in France, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs etc.

Schengen Visa Appeal Processing

Once you submit your appeal letter, alongside with the supporting documents, the right appeal processing body of that country will look at your letter. A higher-ranked officer responsible for dealing with Schengen visa appeals will take a decision on whether the decision on the rejection of your visa application should be reversed or not.

Waiting times for an appeal letter depend on the embassy of the country you have applied at. Some of them do not notify you on the decision taken on your application in case your appeal is also refused.

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