Mistakes that may prevent you from getting a Schengen visa. Which countries do not accept five-year passports

Ошибки, из-за которых могут не дать шенгенскую визу. Какие страны не принимают пятилетние паспорта

In 2023, every tenth Russian applicant was denied access to obtaining a Schengen visa. Based on their practice, tour operators named the most common mistakes of applicants, which may be the reason for not issuing Schengen. We also learned from experts which countries do not accept five-year passports for consideration.

The procedure for obtaining a Schengen visa includes several stages, including pre–registration, collection of numerous documents, in most cases, the delivery of biometrics, payment of consular and service fees. Depending on the country, Schengen registration in Moscow may take from 3 to 5 weeks from the date of delivery of biometrics.

But it also happens that after all the efforts, the applicant does not receive a visa, which threatens to disrupt the trip, lose paid air tickets and hotel, not to mention visa fees.

Together with the tour operators Russian Express, BSI Group, Space Travel, PAC Group and TEZ TOUR have compiled a list of the most common mistakes that can cause refusal of a Schengen visa.

Errors are most often associated with the provision of documents. As told in the press service of the Russian Express tour operator, first of all, this is unreliable information about the planned trip provided by the applicant. For example, a person applies unconfirmed hotel reservations, expired flight bookings.

According to the observations of TEZ TOUR specialists, a Schengen visa may be refused due to the indication of deliberately false information in the questionnaire, including an incorrect phone number or email to contact the applicant.

By the way, consulates often call applicants, and if a person did not answer this call (the caller’s number is usually unfamiliar, or simply did not have time to pick up the phone), there are risks that the visa officer will consider the phone number indicated in the questionnaire to be unreliable.

Also among the potential reasons for refusal are unreliable information from the place of work, including the lack of a correct employer’s phone number in the relevant certificate, insufficient financial guarantees.

As experts emphasize, financial guarantees must be presented on the letterheads of the organization to which they belong (addresses, phone numbers, email, even if it is a bank statement).

“Not everyone is watching this, and an employee of the visa application center may mark “there is not enough data” and so on when accepting documents. It is better to provide for all the moments,” one of the companies notes.


The visa “history” also affects the decision to issue a Schengen visa: if the applicant has previously used the Schengen incorrectly, for example, has not visited the country that issued the visa at all, then the next time he applies, he may be refused a Schengen visa.

According to the Russian Express, unpaid fines for offenses in the EU may also be the reason for the refusal of a visa.

The BSI Group also draws attention to one of the forced mistakes associated with a long wait for a visa. For example, a hotel is booked for specific dates, if the visa does not come out by this time, then the unpaid reservation from the hotel “flies off”. At the same time, the documents that were submitted for a visa are still being checked at the consulate.

“If the documents are under consideration at the consulate, the visa staff can call the hotel and ask about the availability of a reservation. The hotel logically says there is no such reservation. Of course, the hotel will not say that the reservation was made earlier, and then “flew off”. Such cases are not frequent, but they still happen, so you need to take into account longer visa processing times and submit documents in advance to ensure that you receive a Schengen visa before your trip,” the BSI Group notes.


As Space Travel recalled, the main pool of “Schengen” countries that are currently applying for visas is France (more often than others it issues multivises), Italy and Spain.

“A serious problem now is the shortage of slots for submitting documents, since quotas for accepting and issuing visas are currently limited. The situation is further complicated by the active use of bots for recording, as well as recordings using an accelerated scheme. This is a paid story that can “reach” up to 700 euros,” Space Travel said.

In addition, consulates have again become more likely to issue single-entry visas for the duration of the trip, although just a couple of months ago there was a trend for multiple-entry visas for a long period. Visa experts believe that this is due to the high holiday season, and the situation may turn in the opposite direction by autumn.


  • Once again about Schengen. Which countries do not accept Russian insurance and require a foreign bank account
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  • What to do if you were not given Schengen, and how to protect yourself from such cases

As Space Travel emphasizes, obtaining a Schengen visa through a tour operator remains a more reliable option, since at the moment, even before submitting documents to the visa center, visa specialists can identify flaws in the documents or correct the application. In addition, many tour operators have accreditation at visa centers, which gives advantages when submitting documents.


The tour operators also answered the following relevant question. If a visa is refused, is it worth contacting the consulate of this country again, or is it better to consider another diplomatic mission?

According to experts, it is better not to change the country, but to re-submit a set of documents, adding additional materials to it. 

“If a visa has already been refused, it makes sense to take into account the comments on the set of documents, take into account the reason for the refusal – and, if possible, submit the set of documents again to the same consulate. Information about the refusal of a visa is contained in the information system of the Schengen area, and when submitting documents to the consulate of another country, the application period may be extended,” the press service of the Russian Express tour operator commented.


According to tour operators, at the moment, almost all countries of the Schengen area accept both five-year old foreign passports and ten-year biometric passports from citizens of the Russian Federation for visa processing. The exceptions are Denmark, and from July 3, 2024, and the Czech Republic, which allow Russians to enter only with biometric passports. However, these countries do not issue visas for tourist trips to our compatriots. 

As explained in the BSI Group, if a multishengen is placed in an old-style Russian passport, then it may contain a note that this visa is suitable for visiting all countries except Denmark, and now, respectively, the Czech Republic.

In 2023, almost 449 thousand Schengen visas were issued to Russian citizens, including 221 thousand multiple-entry visas (49.2%).According to EU visa statistics, last year one in ten Russian applicants was refused a Schengen visa (more than 54 thousand refusals). The failure rate (10.6%) remained close to the level of 2022 (10.2%).

Elena Myagkova

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