Hey TPTers Welcome to another episode of Vins and Yosh! Yes, and in this episode we’re gonna take a break from giving you tips about
specific destinations. And this time, we’re gonna talk about something that
has been one of the most requested topics by our readers and followers. So, yeah. So that is… Visa denial, guys! So what are the most common reasons why our Visa applications get denied. So before we begin, just a disclaimer that we do not work for any embassy or travel agency We do not have a travel agency.
-Yes. Before we begin, please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking the subscribe button and hitting the bell icon for instant notification for our future uploads. So everything that we’re going to
share with you are based on personal experience or experiences of people around us like our friends,our family members, and the members of our support
group. We have a facebook support group where we share information. If you’re not a member yet, you can join. The name of the group is ‘The Poor Travelers: Support Group’ Yes. And also, we have friends who are working in travel agencies, we have partners. We’ve been blogging for 10 years, so along the way, we have made friends with travel agents and even people who are in the
embassy that gives us insight. So based on everything that we know, and based on what we receive. Because every day we get hundreds of messages from the readers of our blog. And many of them are about visa applications. And some of them share their experiences like “I got denied…” and then we ask what’s the reason, why they got denied. So these are what we noticed as the most common reasons why they get denied. This is very anecdotal. It’s not based on any study. The most common questions that we receive in our support group…not just in our support group also on our fanpage, email, and blog comments.
-email We’ll try to address what are the reasons why our Visa applications get denied. If your case is very complicated, we still recommend consulting a professional travel agent, because they have more experiences. Yeah, so let’s begin! Let’s begin, guys. Number 7! Weak travel history Meaning, you haven’t been…or you have only visited a few countries. There are a lot of people who apply for hard to reach countries like Canada or US or Schengen, Europe, but they don’t have any past international trip. Yeah, their passport has no stamps from nearby countries like Taiwan or Malaysia Singapore, Hong Kong
-Singapore, South East Asian countries. It’s just on number 7 because it’s not a deal breaker. We also know people who doesn’t have a travel history, it’s their first time to apply for a Visa, but they got a Schengen [Visa], so there’s a chance to get approved. So it doesn’t mean that because you don’t have a travel history, you don’t have a chance to get approved. It’s still possible. That’s why it’s only on number 7. But it’s a big thing if you have [travel history] What we can recommend, if your goal in life is to go to Europe or US or Canada as tourist, Go first to…
-Go to the nearby countries first, like those we mentioned earlier. Southeast Asian countries. Malaysia,
Singapore, Taiwan, those countries. Just build your portfolio. Your portfolio are the stamps on your passport. Visa application is like applying for a job. Then the stamps in your passport, your previous visas is your resume
-Your work experiences. So think of it like you’re applying for a job. Number 6! Unjustified Visa type So there are many types of Visa So there’s tourist visa, business visa, work visa So as travel bloggers, we focus more on tourist or travel for leisure. Tourist, tourism. Sometimes there are embassies that mix up the tourist and visit. Like what? Like Schengen. That’s how Schengen is, right?
-Yes. There are also some [embassies] where it’s separated, like Japan. The application process is different if you’ll visit someone there or if you’re a tourist. It’s different. Like for example, the requirements are different…it’s categorized in Japan. Like for tourist, visit a relative, visit a friend or if your trip is sponsored. Things like that. Basically, if you’re traveling for business, don’t apply for a tourist visa. And if you’re travelling, if it’s separated, if you’re traveling to visit someone, apply for…in the case of Japan, apply for a visit visa instead of a tourist visa. And another way of categorizing visas is by the length of stay. There are visas for 15 days, there are some for 90 days. Just make sure that you’re applying for the appropriate visa type or length of stay. Because we’ve been getting inquiries like one of our readers, he sent us a message because they were asking for advice. They said they were denied for a Korean Visa. But when I asked her, she’s unemployed, she doesn’t have much documents to show, And yet, she applied for a 90-day visa. Let’s not be too ambitious when applying for a Visa. Let’s start on the more realistic options. Especially if, for example, you don’t have much money in the bank then you’ll apply for 90 days… 90 days, maybe if you can’t… If the requirements you’re submitting can’t justify… for example, financial documents— your length of stay in the country you’re applying for, maybe don’t…let’s not push our luck. Right, guys? Let’s not apply “if it’s meant to be, it will be” here, right?
-Right. Because the case could be, you could have gotten a 15-day visa if you applied for just 15 days. But because you applied for 90 days, you got denied. Or it could be…because there are other instances where you applied for a single-entry, but they saw that your requirements are good, they will give you multiple [entry] instead. It happens, guys. It could also be single vs. double vs. multiple entry. So there are like… If it’s your first time in one country, most of the time, it’s better to apply for a single-entry first. Let’s not apply for a multiple entry right away. Unless it’s justified. Like for example, you’re applying for a Schengen Visa for the first time, and your itinerary requires you to exit then enter, then exit, and then enter again in the Schengen area, then it will justify why you need a multiple entry visa. But if not, if your itinerary calls for a single entry-visa, then apply for a single-entry visa. For example, it’s your first time to apply for a Japan visa, then you applied for a multiple entry right away, that’s possible, there are some cases like that and they got approved. But if you want more chances of approval, go for the single-entry first. Number 5! Inconsistent information You know, when you’re applying for a visa, they ask for a lot of information. So you have to fill out the application form, you need to submit a ton of
requirements, and then sometimes, there’s an interview. So you have to make sure that all the information you wrote in the application form supported by that the documents that you’re submitting and also, when…if there’s an interview, that what you say is consistent. All the requirements you submitted, whatever is indicated in the papers that you submitted, when you’re asked by the interviewer, make sure that the details in your requirements is consistent with your answers, guys. If you forget, you can’t just make a guess, no. You should be ready. According to our friend who’s a head of Visa Operations in a travel agency, and she used to work for a Schengen Embassy also, Visa Officers are trained to spot lies. So that’s why we always say, be truthful, be honest. Because if you’re telling the truth, it’s easy to be consistent. Because however you twist it, however the Visa Officer twists the questions, you only have one answer. Because that’s the truth. But if you’re lying, they’re smarter than you think. They can…they know. They know the body language. They have interviewed tons of people, they know if you’re lying, what’s the real reason of your visit. If you wrote in the application form that your stay is only for five days, when you submit your itinerary, your flight reservations, it should be for five days as well. And if there’s an interview, it should be clear that it’s just for five days. Because sometimes there are cases like that. They would say, “yes, just five days, but…I might extend” Oh no!
-Please, don’t do that. You’ll get denied.
-Yeah. Stick to your plan. The other day, we received an email from one of our followers and they were asking, it goes like, “I want to apply for a Schengen Visa, but I don’t have plans yet, but I want to apply already” “But I haven’t set a date yet, I don’t know yet how many days or how long I’ll stay there, but I want to apply already because I’m about to leave.” Something like that. I said, “That can’t be.” You should know when you will enter and when you will exit the area. You can’t say you’re not sure yet, because they ask that. Even in the application form, that’s already asked. The two of us, when we’re applying for Visas, especially for Schengen countries, we really research one by one, and we read the itineraries we prepared over and over again. And we check the requirements that we will submit, because for sure, even if it goes through VIA or VFS for example, your requirements will be checked. So just make sure that you’re consistent, that you know the documents you submitted, and your itinerary, So you know…they don’t have to return it to you and say, “Hey, this is lacking” or “You said your stay will be for this number of days, but in your itinerary it says this is the number of days… number of days or countries that you will visit but you didn’t indicate it.” Something like that. So make sure…just review it like you’re reviewing for a quiz tomorrow. Remember the things you placed there. Especially if you’re a group and only one of you did the itinerary, you should brief everyone. Especially if there’s an interview.
-Yes, that’s true. If there’s no interview, it’s fine, but if there’s an interview, because sometimes there’s an interview. And even if the embassy doesn’t normally do interviews, they can still call you in if they want more information. They can still contact you for an interview. Number 4! Questionable financial records One of the main requirements that we have to provide when we’re applying for a Visa is our financial records. Financial records meaning…that. Bank certificate, bank statements,
-Bank Certificate. Or sometimes even…credit card statements
-Credit card Your statement of account for the past six months, they ask for that. They ask for that to see if you’re capable or if you can support your travel to their country. Another question that we always receive is “How much should be the show money?” Like how much should be in your bank account for your Visa to get approved. So there’s really no…there’s no definite answer to that. Because most embassies, they don’t explicitly say how much should be in your bank account. For us, our rule of thumb is…because usually, if you’re applying for a Visa, for Schengen, Canada, the developed countries, flight reservations and hotel reservations are included in their requirements. So what we do is we add the cost of flights that we will submit, plus the cost of hotels that we will submit, and allowance per day. That allowance, it varies. So for example, in France, they need around a hundred Euros per day. There are other countries that need 60 Euros per day. There are others that need 50 Dollars per day. It depends. So for us, our rule of thumb is we should have 10 thousand Pesos per day. That’s just us. It’s a personal rule. Just so we’re safe, because the highest cost required per day I saw was France. I think it’s around 100 to 120 Euros per day. I also use that sometimes, that when you’re applying, you should have 120 Euros per day. But it doesn’t mean that the total amount of that should just be the exact amount in your bank account. Because you have to convince them to see that when you return, you can still afford to live.
-You still have money. When we say questionable financial records…a lot of people, they fake their bank documents. And faking doesn’t just mean it’s photoshopped or they have it made in Recto, not like that. They fake it by having money deposited in their bank account. Like they would loan money and deposit it to their bank account. So it looks like their account has a lot of money, and then they will submit it. But the thing is, most embassies require the statement of account for 6 months. So they could see. So when we say questionable financial records, it could be like “why is there a one time big time deposit here?” It doesn’t look natural. You know that it’s just deposited there for the purpose of Visa application. And they don’t like that. Because in a way it’s like you’re making a fool out of them. So there. Just to show that you have a lot of money in your account… What will appear in your bank certificate is that you have a huge amount, but when they check your bank statement for that account, they will see that there’s a one time big time deposit there. Like from a small amount, suddenly you became a millionaire. The things that enter…the activities, the transactions, they will look into it. And somehow, it should be consistent with what you’re declaring. For example, your salary. What if your actual salary is 30 thousand per month, for example. So it would reflect on your bank account. That you receive 30 thousand a month. If for example, there’s suddenly a one time big time [deposit]. It’s not convincing to the embassy. And in your bank statement, you could see the average…what do they call it? Average daily balance.
-Yes, that. ADB
-Average daily balance So from there, they could already see and think that “It’s inconsistent. Why is it like this?” Aside from ADB, the maturity of the account. From there, they would know when the account was opened. Because there are people who opens [a bank account] just for the sake of Visa application. Those who open an account because they will be applying. We receive a lot of things like that. Like they will be applying next month, so they opened a bank account today. So our tip is this: If you’re planning to apply for a Visa next year, open an account as early as now. Or if you already started working, open an account already and slowly put money in it. Visa application is really a long process. You should really prepare for it. Yes, let’s face the reality that we have to apply for a Visa and those are their requirements. Number 3! Fake documents Here we go. There are also people who fake other requirements. Like, whether fake birth certificate or fake Visa of another country. For example, recently, the Korean Embassy made an announcement. Because in the Korean Embassy, if you have been to OECD countries, if you already have a Visa from any OECD country, the processing of the Visa is faster and there are requirements…you don’t have to submit the financial documents. Japan is included in the OECD [countries], but recently, they started not accepting the Japan Visa. Because there are a lot of people who fake Japan Visa. Like they haven’t really been to Japan or applied for a Visa, but they have a sticker of the Japan Visa. So the embassy caught that, and now they don’t accept it anymore. And everybody got compromised. Everyone applying for a Korean Visa got compromised. So of course, if your multiple entry Visa is legit… or the Visa that Japan gave you, it lost its value because of what happened. So even those who are truthful in applying for a Visa got involved. So guys, we are pleading, don’t fake your documents. . You are only making it harder for those who really want to visit other countries. Basically, these fake documents are really a deal breaker for embassies. If you submitted a fake document, They won’t…most probably, they won’t process [your Visa] at all. You’ll get denied right away. Because if you’re willing to lie starting from the application, what more can you do once you’re there, when you actually get there, right? Number 2! Weak ties to sponsor Many applicants think that just because they know someone, or they’re invited by someone in the country that they are visiting, they have a bigger chance of getting approved. Well, in reality…no.
-No. Actually, having a sponsor can work against you most of the time. So of course, there are certain exemptions. For example, Japan is a little lenient if there’s an inviter or sponsor, or if there’s a guarantor who lives in Japan. So that’s an exception. But in many countries, if you know someone abroad, there’s a bigger chance that you will be denied. That’s why they always ask, because it adds another layer to your application. It becomes more complicated because they have to also scrutinize your relationship with your sponsor. We have friends who have better travel history that us. As in they’ve been to more countries, they have more Visa stamps, but when they applied for a Visa and they declared they will visit a friend, denied! Most of the time, it does harm. If we will tally the members of our support group or the people we know who get denied, a lot of them, like most of them, has a sponsor.
-Yes. So why does it become a liability that you have a sponsor? Because if you know someone in the country that you are visiting, there’s a bigger chance that you will over stay, because you have more reasons to not return. So that’s the…I think that’s the reason
behind it They also have to look at how reliable your relationship with the person who’s inviting you is. Most embassies require a proof of relationship if you’re invited by someone, right? So if it’s your relative, a close relative, it’s easy to prove it. A birth certificate or a marriage certificate will do. But it gets super complicated if the inviting party is a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or something like that. Most especially if you haven’t met that person. Because we get a lot of messages that their situation is they know someone there, and they are being invited, but they haven’t met them in person. Like they’ve only been chatting online. And we know that LDR is just as valid a relationship as any other relationship, but that’s not how Embassies see it. So for them, no matter how long you’ve been chatting, talking or pen-pal…is there still pen-pal? pen-pals, something like that. If you haven’t met each other, They would have a hard time believing that that person is willing to risk whatever his status is there, for you. It’s hard to believe that. And number 2 is, it’s also hard to prove a relationship if you haven’t met each other. Yes, you can submit phone bills, you can submit…no if you haven’t seen each other.
-Pictures. No, pictures of your chat, like screenshots of your chat. But remember, that’s also easy to fake. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who will asses [your application]. The problem is if it’s easy to fake the document, like for example, chat history, things like that, it’s hard to believe it’s true, right? So there guys, our advice is if you can manage… if you’re financially capable to apply for a Visa, if you’re confident with your requirements, especially with your financial records, just apply on your own. Don’t get a sponsor.
-Don’t get a sponsor. So just do it, apply on your own. But when you apply, make sure that your requirements are authentic, guys. Okay? Please, please. So here it goes.
-Here it goes…number 1, number 1. Number 1! Insufficient proof of rootedness So what is this rootedness they refer to? So rootedness is basically how good your life is in the Philippines. That it’s good, it’s stable enough that you won’t leave it, you won’t exchange it for another country. Basically that you have a very good reason to return to the Philippines. Because remember, these Visa application processes are in place to protect the national interest of that country. And one of the concerns, especially for us Filipinos because… we actually have a colloquial term for it, TNT, Tago Nang Tago. Because most of the time, we over stay. A lot of us over stays and then will work there, will reside there and won’t return. So that’s what Embassies avoid. So you have to convince them that you will not overstay. That you will return. So how do they make sure of that? So they will ask you for a lot of documents to prove that you are deeply rooted here in the Philippines. That you have a stable job, so they need your…
-COE, ITR Yes, and then you have properties, here in the Philippines like…
-Land titles, or maybe OR CR of a car Even the deed of sale.
-Deed of sale of that property or that lot. So even finances are a part of it. That’s why they ask for… Bank certificates and bank statements. And sometimes even proof of investments, things like that, they ask for it too. So all these things, they work together to prove that you have a very good reason to return to the Philippines. Especially the job part. If you’re unemployed, and you’re applying for a Visa, there’s really a big chance that you will be denied. It’s important that you have a job here and your employers know that you have a trip. That’s why sometimes they also ask for a proof of leave of absence. So that the most…that’s where Visa Officers usually zero in. I think. It’s just a theory. But based on my experience guys, during my first time to apply for a Schengen Visa, Yosh already received his Visa, and mine hasn’t arrived yet, I wondered, and then someone called. Someone from the embassy called. They’re asking for…number 1, additional documents of proof of your rootedness in the Philippines, like land titles or deed of sale of properties, and if I have an ITR. Because that time guys, I wasn’t able to submit an ITR. My employer wasn’t able to give my ITR. So luckily, the following day, after they called, my employer emailed me the ITR I asked for. So there, thankfully they called for the additional requirements and I got approved after a week. So he was lucky they even called him to ask for it. Because sometimes, it will just be denied right away. So that’s it! Those are the seven common reasons why Visa applications are denied. At least based on the people around us. But before we end this, we want to share that sometimes, even if you completed the requirements, no matter how good the requirements you submit are, sometimes, it’s still denied. It would still depend on the embassy. Yes, and there are a lot like that. We have friends that… they have a good travel history, the’ve been to a lot of places, they have a lot of Visas, and they have a lot of money, they have a stable job, they have properties, but still get denied. They’re still denied. And we don’t know what went wrong, what happened. As in they won’t give concrete reasons why it’s denied. It’s just denied, your passport doesn’t have a stamp. Sometimes you won’t know, we also don’t get it, sometimes… It has become our joke that maybe it depends on the mood of the person who assess, of the Visa Officer. Most of the time, if you apply through a travel agency and then you got denied, sometimes we get messages where they blame the travel agency. Most of the time it’s not the fault of the travel agency.
-It’s not their fault. Most of the time they also don’t…at the end of the day, it’s the embassy who will decide. And sometimes, no matter what the travel agency does, it still gets denied. Because…and they also don’t know why. Sometimes, it’s just how it is. Travel agencies, guys, what they do is they just help you with the requirements. On the applications, if it’s correct, how it’s done. But they don’t give the decisions, if it will be approved or what. The embassy still has the final say on that. So don’t blame them. Guys, if you like this video, please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking the subscribe button and hitting the bell icon for instant
notification for our future uploads. If you have more topics that you want us to
discuss just sound off in the comments section below. And we’ll try it to create a video about that. So if you need more information about visa application denials, we have a full article about this where we explained a lot more. Just
check out the link in the description. So that’s it TPTers! This has been another episode of Vins & Yosh! And see you again next time. May the #goals be with you!