Schengen visa insanity profanity

I am so depressed right now it’s not funny.

I got rejected in my application for  a Schengen visa to go travelling in Europe. This is the third time I have been rejected.

I know what you are thinking, my god you must be an unorganised miscreant to get rejected 3 times. How hard can it be? You are probably right, but each time, the madness and bizzareness of the situation blew my brains with the irrationality of it all.

First you must know that to get a Schengen in the UK you must phone the appropriate country’s hotline to get an appointment, usually months later. This hotline charges you one pound per minute. You pay minimum £12 for each call. They purposely drag the call out as long as possible by saying things along the line of:

just to recap, if you are phoning for a visa, you have got the right number. If you are not phoning for a visa, you have got the wrong number. If you are sure you are phoning for a visa, press one. Don’t forget, this is the number for the German consulate visa appointments.

etc. until you are screaming.

Next, I am one of those rare South Africans who does not live in London, and so has to travel long distances at obscure times to get there for the 9 am appointment. It costs me about 60 squids to take the train at that time. So this time I was feeling poor and took the bus. Which means starting the day at 3am.

Next, at the German embassy, after waiting hours, I get my interview.

Visa fraulein: I see you were rejected twice by the French consulate. Why?

Me: The first time my appointment letter was a month and a half old instead of 1 month old. I was dismissed. I pointed out that it did not say on the list of visa requirements that the letter was to be a month old, it just said that it was to be recent. I was told that it says it in the FAQ section of the website. [What the fuck? So I meticulously check the visa requirements, have no question regarding them, move on and this? What if you don’t read the FAQ section because you don’t have a freaking question?! Put that info where it should be! I smell a rat, cos you have to pay for your French visa before you get the interview, it honestly seems like they need to deny x amount of people]. So I had to cancel all tickets, blah blah, which they make you book in advance. Lots of money lost.

The second time the lady said that I needed to prove my relationship with my partner. NOTHING was mentioned of this in my first interview. I am on my partner’s work permit in the UK. I proved my relationship to the UK authorities in a process which required much time, much money, and a huge file full of documents. My visa was approved. Are you telling me that I have to go through this process again with you, when the only reason I can stay in this country in the first place is cos I have proved it? You are telling me you don’t trust the UK authorities? Denied. [When I got my Greek Schengen, I told them all this and they looked at me as if I was insane. “no we do not require proof of that, it is irrelevant.” I love you, Greeks. The Portuguese were also perfectly straight forward and sane].

Me: So anyhoo, that’s it. 

Frau: you are not married to your partner?

Me: no we are unmarried partners, common law whatevers.

Frau: we do not accept that.

Me: what why how? Sorry but before I ask why, could you please explain to me how my marriage to my South African partner is in any way relevant to me taking a vacation? He is not European, I am not trying to get a visa on the back of him  being European. Can only married people come to your country? You should probably add that to your visa requirement list.
Ok, so why do you not accept us being common law thingies, it is legal and the fucking British authorities have acknowledged it twice [I am starting to love the Brits for their pragmatic sensible attitude to all this].

Frau: what sex is your partner?

Me: Male. [What the fuck? Sorry but is this “not acceptable” business because you think I am gay?! Is it even legal to ask this kind of thing? Are homosexuals not allowed to come to your country too?]

Frau: Give me your employment details.

Me: I am not currently employed. [I assume that under no circumstances can an unemployed person travel to your country. Please add that to your list on the website too so I don’t need to waste my time. I left my last job and could not apply for another because we were applying for our UK visas. During that time I had an operation, couldn’t move, that kind of thing. I had always planned to go travelling after recovering, and not to apply for a job til I got back cos I don’t want to start a new job to say, “um, can I go for a months’ backpacking now?” Not a good start. This was my plan. I see this kind of thing is unnacceptable to Europeans].

Frau: Show me your bank statements. [I hand them over]. These are not your bank statements, these are your partner’s.

Me: I assure you they are mine. Look, there is my name. [the woman did not believe they were mine cos I had so much money. I mean for fuck’s sake. I saved every penny I could like a fucking hamster while I was WORKING over the last two years. I am not some kind of stay at home kept woman. I saved specifically for travelling throughout Europe when I left my job].

Frau: lots more complaints, about the fact that I wanted a multi entry visa, but I had proof of all my trips. Surely that is what is required for a multi entry? Yes, normally but not in your case.

Me: WHAT?

Basically the woman hated me and told me to leave. I actually cried. I have spent in the region of a grand on booking these trips which I have actually been looking forward to so much; the whole purpose of this year was to see Europe as I have never seen it before. Money dissipating into the ether. I have to cancel it all and wave goodbye to my hard earned dough. I have fucking German ancestry, and now I am never gonna see that aspect of my history.

I don’t get it. I just want to spend my money in your countries, then come home. I don’t drink much, don’t smoke or do drugs. I was rejected when I was earning whackloads of money and when I was unemployed. Please tell me, how am I such a failure?

I feel so inferior, like I just do not meet the basic requirement for humanity that is allowed to travel. Am I so malfuntional that I am not acceptable to these countries? 

Now if I want any holiday at all, I am gonna have to go to Clacton-on-Sea or bloody Blackpool or something. 

That is it for me. Those French rejection stamps will haunt me each time I try. I give up on Europe. I have to, I can’t go through this insane money wastage and mind-fucking again. Backpacking in Europe has been assassinated. You have to list all advance-planned accommodation for every night of your stay, no free random roaming about. Gone are the days of young people travelling without bloody SatNavs tracing their every move. 

Right now, Schengen visa people, I hate you so very, very much.

[Apologies for the length of this post; it is for personal therapy purposes].
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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. GLX
    Sep 01, 2008 @ 02:06:00

    well, we may be miles apart in geographical locations, but feeling is very mutual. I got rejected twice while applying for a Schengen Visa for Spain. The first time they gave me a reason that did not show enough proofs for my sustainability, when infact I had submitted a 4 star hotel reservation confirmation, my bank account details, which had ample money in it , and also the bank account details of my host. So I had to reschedule the tickets, extend my platinum insurance coverage and reapply. This time I also submitted proofs of carrying 5000 euros in traveler’s cheques for my sustainability, and you know what, this time they did not even bother to call me for an interview. They just rejected and returned the passport back. Like I have worked all these years to pay these assholes my hard earned money. So I have already lost a lot of money and still wondering what they need.

    Reply

  2. po
    Sep 01, 2008 @ 03:16:00

    Hey GLX I sympathise with you totally. Quite frankly the whole Schengen visa system makes me think very nasty and rude words. The fact that they make you book everything in advance, including bloody travel insurance, and then turn you down on a whim is some kind of sick joke. Surely if you could afford to pay for transport to get to the appointment, pay the fee, pay to book everything, then you can afford to go on a freaking holiday?

    Reply

  3. GLX
    Sep 04, 2008 @ 20:00:00

    Yes, absolutely. And I submitted traveler’s cheques proof of 5,000 euros, that’s huge I think. God knows how much they wanted me to show.k, just because I am confused, what’s your next step? Are you going to re-apply and if yes, how soon?

    Reply

  4. po
    Sep 04, 2008 @ 20:15:00

    No I am not going to reapply. I have lost too much money and it is so far away for me to get to the appointment, and if you book a new appointment it can take months before you get one. I have decided to find work instead, and maybe try again next year. For me it was a holiday though, as it was for your work it is worth you trying again. But I dont know what you can do? Did you have bank statements? they usually want everything to be less than one month old when you go so make so you have new documents for everything.

    Reply

  5. GLX
    Sep 05, 2008 @ 01:22:00

    Well, I not only submitted my own bank statement, but also that my hosts from Spain, even their social security payment receipts and all.Well, the problem in reapplying again is money. I have already spent half of the 5000 euros, and it’s difficult to save that much amount again. So, in a way, let’s say, we on the same boat :-)

    Reply

  6. po
    Sep 05, 2008 @ 01:49:00

    Arghh! These crazy Europeans! What do they want from us! To be Presidents of our countries or something?I can’t really imagine why they didn’t give you a visa! Such a terrible waste of money. The worst part is it makes me feel quite depressed, like I am not good enough for them or something.

    Reply

  7. GLX
    Sep 13, 2008 @ 19:44:00

    Not that po, we are good enough, it’s just that they aren’t good enough for us. Their loss, because if we had gone, we’d have contributed to their economy by paying, however big or small.

    Reply

  8. Desiree
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 01:28:54

    welcome to crappy burecracy!I have been through entire process and I am frankly tired,I told my boyfriend,we should just get married so I can apply for a spousal visa.You have to be EU to travel easily .I hate that !

    Reply

  9. Shannon
    May 08, 2010 @ 16:58:23

    Or American. My parents are off gallivanting through France, Italy and Spain with nary a thought to visas. We may be loathed for our neighborhood bully tendencies throughout the world, but we are beloved for our US passports and American dollars. Also, I think they are a little afraid that if they do not allow Americans to travel freely, we will come occupy their countries. As peacekeepers, obviously.

    Reply

  10. Shannon
    May 08, 2010 @ 16:59:12

    Also, I am obviously trying to avoid writing a final paper so am reading your archives.

    Reply

  11. Rohan
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 06:30:54

    Seriously guys, this is very painful. Plus they have outsourced it to VFS which makes it more difficult. Here’s my bit..

    I am 26 years old, Single, Salaried professional from Bangalore, India. Last year in August I applied for a Short Stay Schengen visa for Netherlands to meet my friend. As I intend to stay at her place, I provided all necessary documents like Town Hall Invitation, Guarantee letter, her father’s bank statements & Passport copies etc. Also from my side all docs like Employment letter, Salary Slips, IT papers, Travel Insurance, Confirmed tickets, Cover Letter, Bank Statements and everything. I attempted this on my own. Later on I was called for Personal interview and asked to bring an itinerary of the journey (I gave the one which I received from Airlines, please correct me if I was wrong) In interview I was asked about the relationship between me and my friend. and it went well.

    Soon I got a rejection via mail stating the common reason: “Justification for the purpose and condition of the intended stay was not provided.”
    Here I assumed that this might be because of mention of that friend of mine. Embassy might have thought that I am trying to immigrate there. VFS Guys (@#@#) gave me the brilliant (!) idea of reapplying right away as it could work in my case. And I did so. This time provided them the hotel confirmation and waited for my luck. I got rejected again for the reason “your intention to leave the territory of the mem er state bfore the expiry of the visa could no be ascertained.” I was devastated. I checked with a lawyer and upon confirming the accuracy of documents, I decided to appeal. Four weeks later I got a letter by them stating that their competent team had taken the right decision.

    Apologies for the long write up. I want to know if I could get a tourist visa now. Should I try applying for other countries like Belgium? Purpose of my stay is to explore places and meet up with friends. I have a highly rewarding job and have been working for 4 years.

    Reply

  12. Po
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 10:53:59

    Eh my friend, I have no advice for you except perhaps trying another country, but that is risky because they will know about your recent rejections.

    This stuff is like hell. Good luck to you.

    Reply

  13. nutty
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 21:01:00

    just bring this up when Annency France or Muncih ios bidding for 2018 olympics.

    complain about visa, and they will lose olympic bid

    Reply

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