Applying for a German Visa
Under § 71(2) German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz) it is the embassies and consulates of Germany which are responsible for issuing German visas. These embassies and consulates are located in the applicant’s home country. When making the application, the applicant must make sure that they submit the right documents including the application form for the appropriate visa. Our law firm’s Immigration Law Information Center provides all the guidance needed when it comes to the correct visas. In making your application you should conduct research in advance to make sure that you have fulfilled all the requirements.
If you need further guidance and assistance throughout your application, consider contacting our immigration law specialists directly. Our lawyers have helped clients from all over the world in their German visa applications.
Reasons for Rejection of German Visa Application
A German visa application can be rejected for a number of reasons. Knowing the most common reasons for the rejection of German visa applications is the best way to avoid making the same mistakes in your case.
Lack of Clarity regarding Willingness to Return
For short-term visas such as the Schengen Visa and the Business Visa, lack of clarity as regards whether the applicant intends to return afterwards is the primary reason for rejecting the application. These types of visas are short-term in nature and thus the applicant should not look for them in the expectation of remaining in Germany after their expiry. It is possible to extend a Schengen Visa into a long-term residence permit as can be seen in our article “Converting Schengen Visa to Residence Permit in Germany“, however, these circumstances are the exception rather than the rule.
Overstaying a Schengen Visa in Germany can also lead to criminal and administrative sanctions under German law. Our article “Overstaying a Schengen Visa in Germany: The Legal Consequences” outlines the risks involved in such a move, as well as the legal options available to those in that situation.
In order to avoid suspicion of unwillingness to return to your home country, it is important to demonstrate in your application that your home country remains your intended place of residence. This can be demonstrated by showing:
- family ties and relationships in your home country,
- employment / professional activity in your home country,
- evidence of property ownership.
It may be seen as unfair but the reality is that if you do have a job in your home country, if you do not have family there and you have no clear ties to your country of origin, your application for a German visa has a greater chance of rejection.
Improper, False or Missing Documentation
When applying for your German visa it is crucial to have your documentation in order. The documents you will be required to submit will depend on which visa you are applying for, but it is vital to read carefully and make sure that all the appropriate documents are submitted. For short-term Schengen Visas this will likely include the completed application form, photos for identification purposes, your itinerary in Germany / the Schengen Zone, proof of employment and financial statements. Equally important is to ensure that your visa application form is filled in correctly and that your signature is in the appropriate sections. Finally, check your passport! Your passport needs to be in date and valid for the duration of your time in Germany.
Supplying false documentation or trying to get into Germany with a fake identity will lead to the rejection of your visa application and possible further legal action.
Purpose of Visit: Appropriate Visa
When applying for a German visa, make sure to apply for the appropriate visa for your purpose. Differing visas will require documentation appropriate to their purpose. There is no point in submitting documents for a tourist visa when you are applying for a Business Visa. Similarly, your purpose must be deemed “credible”. Therefore, your application and documents submitted should attest to your purpose. If you have applied for a Business Visa on the grounds of conducting business for a company you do not work for, then your application will likely be rejected. However, this can be relatively easy to demonstrate. The main point here is to be careful with the documents you submit and that your application form matches the visa you have applied for.
What are your Options: Rejection of German Visa Application
The rejection of a German visa application can be a frustrating experience as often there is little indication as to why the application failed. When reason is given as to the rejection, it is often vague and non-specific. It is also the case that you may not have been given information as to the legal remedies you can seek in the event of visa application rejection. This vagueness is allowed for under § 77(2) German Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz).
The legal options open to you depend on the nature of the visa applied for. In the case of a short-term visa a “remonstration” is allowed for, whereas longer term residence permits or visas applicants can bring about both a remonstration and legal action at the Administrative Court in Berlin. § 83 German Residence Act does not allow for short-term visa disputes to be brought to appeal in courts. As a legal appeal can be brought after a remonstration, it is advisable to try the remonstration route first before applying to bring the case before the Administrative Court.
“Remonstration” means to complain about something. In legal terms a remonstration is an application made to the German embassy in order to reassess the situation once again. The remonstration must be filed with the consulate or embassy where the application was rejected. It is often the case that the visa application has been rejected because certain elements of the application may have been missing or were deemed suspicious. Through the remonstration process the applicant can resolve the issues that led to the rejection.
The remonstration process involves submitting, in writing, your opinion of why the decision made by the Embassy was incorrect and request for the examination of the rejected visa application. At the embassy it is advisable to seek the reason for why your application was rejected in the first place. Knowing the reason for the rejection of your German visa application means that you can better prepare your remonstration.
After submitting the remonstration, the applicant will either receive the visa sought after or a remonstration notification will be issued explaining the reasons for rejecting the remonstration. The process of receiving an answer to your remonstration can take several weeks, however if there is no answer or decision made after three months it may be possible to take legal action for failing to act.
Should a remonstration be rejected it may be possible to submit a legal appeal to the Administrative Court in Berlin.
Legal Appeal to the Administrative Court
The step of making an appeal to the Administrative Court in Berlin is not one which should be taken lightly. Upon notification of the rejection of the remonstration, the applicant has one month to submit their intention to make a legal appeal. Although legal action provides the applicant with another chance to overcome the rejection of their German visa application it is a decision worth considering. Legal action can be lengthy and costly. In such a process, the court will also make a final decision on the matter.
Dealing with the Administrative Court is an action which requires serious planning and preparation. The court will carefully analyse the evidence you place before them and will have certain rules regarding what evidence can be used and how they can be used. Prior to taking this step it is advisable to consult with our immigration lawyers. Our immigration law specialists have experience and knowledge in this field of law and will provide the guidance needed as regards your case. If it appears that taking legal action at the Administrative Court is the best solution in your case, then our lawyers will represent you in the case. They will examine the reasoning given for the original rejection and work with you to achieve success. Contact our lawyers today if you require specialised legal advice.
Legal Advice from Immigration Law Specialists
If you have experienced the rejection of your German visa application, then it is advisable to respond quickly to the issue. By finding out the reason for the rejection you can prepare the remonstration and seek to get the decision overturned. However, visa applications can be complex and difficult, especially when the applicant is not experienced in them. Consulting with an immigration attorney may be the solution to your problem! The immigration specialists at Schlun & Elseven can guide you through the process and greatly increase the likelihood of success in your application.
At Schlun & Elseven Lawyers we are a full-service law firm based in Aachen, Düsseldorf and Cologne. Further conference room facilities are provided for in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt. We support clients from around the world in their dealings with German law. Our lawyers provide specialist guidance in the field of immigration law and have helped many of our clients in successful visa and residence permit applications. We provide clear advice in English as well as German. Contact our lawyers today to find out more about how we can help your visa application. Contact us today by using our contact form or through phone /email. Our immigration lawyers look forward to working with you.