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Six Easy Steps to Visa Rejection

By Mario Hannah


Summary: Immigration laws are extremely inflexible and must be followed to a tee. Authorities can use any excuse to turn down a visa, often with no appeals process. Mario Hannah explains.

Visa Issues - Six Easy Steps to Visa Rejection


When it comes to applying for a visa, there is no margin for error. The slightest mistake could lead to visa rejection, and even minor infractions can result in lengthy bans from a country.

Immigration laws are extremely inflexible and must be followed to a tee. Authorities can use any excuse to turn down a visa, often with no appeals process.  

So just how easy is it to be rejected by a country? The following are some of the most common, simplest reasons for a rejected visa.  

Just one mistake

Misspelled a word? Ticked the wrong box? Bad luck. Visa rejected. Even a miniscule, insignificant mistake can result in a rejection. Very rarely will you be given the opportunity to correct your error. More often than not, your application will be turned down, forcing you to start the entire application process again.   

A slip of the tongue

Many visa applications will involve a face-to-face interview. The applicant is asked tough questions as the interviewer studies their every word, looking for any signs of doubt. The process is designed to scare fraudsters into admitting a lie, but many genuine applicants will fall down at this hurdle. All it takes is one slip of the tongue to put doubt into your interviewer’s mind.    

Miscalculated funds

Most visa applications require the applicant to show they have enough money to support themselves when they arrive. When you factor in exchange rates, calculating funds can become very tricky. A visa will be refused even if the applicant is one dime short of the threshold.    

Missing documents

Forgot to include a simple bank statement in your application? Bad luck. Visa refused. Immigration authorities don’t waste time. Often they will not give you a chance to correct your mistake and send in the correct documentation. Your visa will be refused and you will be forced to re-apply and pay your application fees again.    

Fraudulent documents

This seems obvious, but countless visas are rejected every year due to fraudulent documents. Maybe you didn’t know they were fake. It doesn’t matter. Fraud is taken extremely seriously, and it is highly likely that the visa applicant will be banned for life.    

The last hurdle

So you have received your visa and you are travelling to your new country. You step off the plane and approach an immigration officer at the gate. You show your visa. Then the questioning begins. The officer will ask all the tough questions, studying your every word and facial expression for signs of a lie. If the officer has any reason to doubt you – any reason at all – he has the power to put you back on a plane and send you home. Is it fair? Of course not. But those are the rules.     

The wrong visa

 Immigration laws are complex and confusing. Some countries have over 100 different categories of visa, each with slightly different rules and eligibility criteria. One of the most difficult parts of a visa application is sifting through the countless different categories of visa to find the right one for you. Choose the wrong one and you will have wasted your time and money making an application.  

About the Author

AS Global VisasGlobal Visas is the world's leading immigration consultancy, with offices in countries across the globe. Our immigration experts can assist with relocation to any destination, and our experts are on standby at all times to provide a FREE visa assessment. Visit us at

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Comments about this Article

Oct 3, 2011 22:55

Took two hours, including 40 minutes going to the bank to pay the fee - a walk in the park - but then, I had EVERYTING needed and in perfect order. He even gave me three cups of coffee and apologized for the delay 'cause the boss who had to sign was occupied. I suppose I have to be quite honest about it. The guy in immigrations had a grandmother from my home country and he spoke a few words in my native language. Probably wouldn't risk telling granma' "I threw one of your countrymen out today!", getting an ear or an arm torn off immediately afterwards. I have had two similar experiences a few years back, getting a BIG smile, handshake and on one occasion the visa stamps in a split second from one newfound "brother", on the second occasion an (almost) countryman did his very best to have his boss ignore the fine for a tourist visa overstay of a few days, but "it's in the computer, so ...".

Oct 3, 2011 23:04

Hi It might be difficult but not to that extent told in the article. To me It went rather easy. Before turning in the application have the officer in charge look it through to see if everything is properly filled in. Regarding the ammount in your account to proove u can support urself. It hasnt to be money to support you forever I moved to the Philippines only 10 000 pphino pesos in my account. My oppinion is that the article is scaring away many foreigners from applying at all. Also, if you are married to a pphina it hasnt to be that expensive either. If you are prepared to visit all the authorities by yourself, about 10 000 P. But NOT recomended. Anyway the cost for my permanent visa was about 40 000 P and i didnt have to lift a finger, and didnt have to go anywhere. Only signing documents handed to me, now and then. Welcome to the Philippines

Aug 25, 2014 18:02

I am an American living in the Philippines and applying for my wife's passport right now. she is going to Cebu this week to attend the CFO seminar which is a requirement. after her passport I do not know what type of visa would be good to get. I hear going to America to visit is very hard. We live in the Visayas, and Manila is a long and costly trip to take so I don't want her to be rejected

May 1, 2015 11:23

My wife is from the Philippines. We needed a transit visa to change planes in Los Angeles on our way to Ecuador. Most countries, just issue you a transit visa at the airport you are passing though. The US makes you go though the whole visa process including the interview at the embassy in Manila. Between filing fee of $168 and air transport, and hotels, we spent about $1000. She had all the documents she was supposed to bring and was prepared for the questions she should have been asked. She was denied for reasons that she was never asked about. She was told she could not appeal (a lie) but could apply again. She was given a paper that said she was denied because she had no family ties that would give her a reason to return to the Philippines. She was never asked about family ties. She owns home in a community with 100 close relatives. She was questioned as though she was planning to live in the US. She only wanted to be in a US airport for one hour. Because of this we had to fly across Asia, Africa, and Europe to Amsterdam, Where they handed her a plastic transit visa as she got off the plane. Then from Amsterdam to Quito Ecuador. A total of 37 hours and $3600 just because she was not allowed to spend one hour in a US airport. She has a clean criminal record clearance. When we got to Ecuador they handed us a 90 day visa, $5.00 no problems. We have found out that 80% of the Philippine's who apply for a transit visa in Manila are arbitrarily turned down, after spending days and much money to go though their ridiculous process.

First Published: Sep 26, 2011

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