According to our experience there are a few main reasons why applications for a Schengen visa are not approved by a consulate.
Let us guide you through them.
Reason One: Misunderstanding what a Schengen visa is. There is no such thing as "the Schengen visa" for all countries. You can not just apply for "the Schengen visa". It is really important to understand how it works. There are 25 countries which are under the Schengen agreement; a visa issued by any of these countries is called a Schengen visa. For example, if you have a visa granted by the French consulate, it is a French Schengen visa. If your visa was issued by the German consulate, you have a German Schengen visa. There is a rule regarding applying for your visa at a particular consulate: you MUST apply for a Schengen visa at the consulate of the country that is going to be your main destination. Quite a few applicants fail to define their main destination correctly and they end up with the application turned down.
Reason Two: Confusion about visa duration and its validity. Many applicants think they can get a Schengen visa for one or two years and spend a whole year or two in a Schengen country but this is not how it works. You CAN get a visa for one year, but only when you meet certain conditions and requirements. For instance, if you are submitting your visa application for a visa for Spain, and you are not a spouse of an EU / EEA national, you most probably will be granted a single entry visa valid for one trip for the first time. As for duration of stay, please refer to your visa to see how many days you may spend in the Schengen area. A multiple entry visa allows several stays on the territory of one or several Schengen States, provided that the total length of the visits does not exceed 90 days in any half-year from the date of first entry. Tourist, Business and Transit visas are all short stay visas which allow the bearer to stay in the Schengen countries up to 90 days in any half-year maximum. If you own a property in Europe and your plan is to spend more than 90 days there, the visa you must apply for is a long term visa.
Reason three: Processing time issue. If you think that the consulate will issue a visa for you on the same day, you are mistaken. With Schengen visas at the moment it takes minimum 3 working days to have a visa application processed. In this aspect much depends on the nationality. For those holding passports of developing countries the process may take longer – between three to four weeks from the day your application has been accepted.
Reason Four: Applying at a wrong facility . After you have defined your main destination, you need to book an appointment at the consulate / application centre of that country. But be careful and book an appointment at the facility serving YOUR area. For example, if you live closer to Manchester than London, you may not apply for a Spanish Schengen visa in London, you have to submit your application in Manchester. Study embassies' web sites to find out what areas they service and where you should lodge your application.
Reason Five: Submitting old or wrong application forms. Make sure that you fill out the correct and up-to-date visa application form. The forms can be found on embassies' official web sites.