Some people always wonder why their visa application gets rejected by an embassy or consulate, the simple reason is that the application was not satisfactory.

However many people get frustrated and disappointed because most times the visa applicant may not understand the reasons for visa denial or rejection.

If your visa application gets rejected, you may be provided with reasons for visa denial or rejection. The reasons for visa denial or rejection are usually stated in the country’s immigration act and other immigration laws.

Some of the reasons for visa denial can be corrected or avoided by the visa applicant under certain conditions.

In some cases the reasons for visa denial are permanent. The above statement implies that each time you apply for a visa, you will be found ineligible unless a waiver of that ineligibility is authorised by the relevant internal security institution.

This article will explore the common reasons why your visa application gets rejected.

Common Reasons for Visa Denial or Refusal

A visa application gets rejected if the application process is faulty or incomplete, however following a successful visa application, visa denial or refusal may result due to any of the following reasons:

How to Avoid Visa Denial or Refusal

To avoid recurrent visa application rejection or visa denial the applicant should avoid the following:

1. Incomplete/incorrect filling of the application form

An incomplete Application form, which is a product of not filling your visa application form completely and correctly may lead to rejection.

Every question has a purpose and is important. If a question does not apply to you it is better to write “not applicable” than to leave the column empty.

Ensure you get the correct information for the visa application and provide all the required information because incomplete information will ultimately lead to visa denial.

2. Submission of falsified/expired documents

A Visa application might be rejected if the information is complete but is falsified, expired or inaccurate. Submission of falsified/expired documents should be avoided because it can also affect the outcome of other future visa applications.

3. Criminal records

An individual with a past or current criminal record will likely be denied a visa by an embassy on security grounds, because such an individual may be considered a threat to the security of that nation.

Criminal records are better avoided because once you are flagged for a crime reversing that status may not be possible unless you apply for a waiver which is subject to authorisation by the relevant internal security institution.

4. Failure to justify the reason for visa application

Incomplete disclosure of the reason for visiting a country may lead to visa denial, your purpose for vising should be genuine and well stated.

Your itinerary should be correct and conform with the purpose of your visit, your professional qualification should also conform with your purpose of visit otherwise you run a risk of visa denial.

5. Damaged international passport

A damaged or expired passport may lead to visa denial, you must ensure that your passport is kept in good condition with the pages intact, also the validity period should conform with the requirements of the country you are visiting.

6. Failure to provide evidence of accommodation arrangement

Some countries will require you to provide evidence of your accommodation arrangements, booked flight tickets, invitation letter or offer of appointment letter before your visa is approved.

Thus it is important you ascertain if these documents are needed, and submit them to reduce the risk of rejecting your application.

7. Insufficient funds in your bank account

Your application for a visa will likely be rejected if you do not provide evidence of sufficient funds in your account.

If you are visiting a country for a holiday or a program you will also need to provide evidence of sponsorship for the program or event. Failure to provide evidence of a sponsor may lead to visa application rejection.

8. Unacceptable birth or marriage certificate

If an individual is married he or she must provide a valid and authenticated marriage certificate that agrees with other documents submitted to the embassy.

Similarly, if a couple is travelling with a child, they must provide authenticated birth certificates and any other required documents. Single parents must also have documents to verify sole legal custody of the child.

9. Previous travel history

Previous travel history can also affect an individual visa application if there was a violation of the country’s regulations or failure to comply with the purpose of your previous visits. In this situation, your visa application may be rejected.

10. Unlawful presence in a country

An unlawful presence in a country might lead to the rejection of subsequent visa applications depending on the existing laws.

Unlawful presence includes entering a country illegally without appropriate documents and authorisation, it also includes staying in the country after the expiration of your visa.

11. Non-Immigration visa application

Applicants applying for non-immigrant visa categories need to provide strong evidence that there will return to their home country after the expiration of the approved period of stay.

This will include evidence of the following; profitable employment, property in the home country, marriage, and children (for whom the visa applicant is the legal tutor).

12. Health-related-issues

A visa application can be rejected on health grounds under the following health circumstance:

  • A visa applicant is determined to have a communicable disease of public health significance.
  • A visa applicant is determined to have a physical, mental or behavioural disorder that may pose a recurrent threat to the property, safety or welfare of self or others.
  • A visa applicant is found to abuse or is addicted to a drug of abuse

If the health condition is not recurrent the individual may reapply for a visa, after receiving the appropriate treatment and being declared cured.

13. Information mismatch

If the information on your visa application form does not agree with the information on your travel documents, then your visa may be rejected.

An example will include differences in name or address between your visa application form and your international passport.

14. Applying for the wrong visa category

Applying for the wrong visa category will also lead to visa application rejection, so ensure you apply for the correct visa category.

15. Recurrent visa denial or refusal

Does visa refusal affect future visa applications? An individual with a history of recurrent visa denial or refusal may find it difficult to secure a visa to any country.

If my visa is rejected can I apply again? It is pertinent to check visa denial reasons and correct the reasons for the visa refusal before reapplying for a visa.

How to Appeal Visa Denial or Refusal

What will you do if your visa is rejected? If your visa application is rejected, you need to review the reasons for the rejection and reapply. However, If you feel your visa application was refused wrongly then you can appeal the visa denial via the following steps:

  1. Study the visa denial notice and the reasons for visa denial.
  2. Get additional documents and information to support your appeal.
  3. Write and submit an appeal letter to the relevant authority explaining clearly why your visa application should be considered.
  4. Wait for the outcome of the visa appeal process. It is pertinent you thoroughly review the reasons for visa denial or rejection before appealing to avoid waste of time and resources.


The best way to ensure approval of a visa application is by knowing and avoiding common reasons for visa denial or rejection.

Reasons for visa denial or rejection can be temporal or permanent. Temporary reasons can be easily sorted out, while the permanent causes of visa refusal, will be very difficult to sort out.

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