After my boyfriend visited me for the second time in Ghana and returned to his country , we decided that I apply for a Schengen visa so I could visit him and his family in Germany. The Schengen visa is a visa for short stay up to ninety days in the Schengen area ( consists of 26 European countries). It includes tourist visas, Airport transit visas, Private or Family Visit visas , Business Visas , Sports visas, Medical visas and so on. Basically any visit that des not exceed 90 days falls under this category.
As part of the requirements for my application, my boyfriend sent me a signed invitation letter and a copy of his passport. I then organised the rest of the documents including my passport , passport pictures, Birth certificate, filled visa application form, reserve return plane ticket, bank statement and a leave letter from my work place. The only document I left out was my university certificate which I thought was irrelevant but upon reflection afterwards, I probably should have added that.
I applied for an appointment online as required by the German embassy. They gave me a date and I travelled from Tamale to Accra two days before the appointment date. On the day of the visa interview, I woke up early, got ready and took a taxi to the embassy. The German embassy in Ghana to me, is a bit hidden, so not many people know where it is. It is therefore important to get a Taxi driver who knows where it is in order not to be late for your appointment.
When I got there, I waited in line for my turn outside as we were all earlier than our interview times. There were different nationalities also waiting including Liberians. I could tell from their accent and also based on the fact that Liberians and Sierra Leonians are required to apply in person in Ghana since their respective embassies do not have consular sections. This further compounds the issue of having to wait in line.
As I sat there waiting for my turn , I realised I hadn’t made copies of some of my documents so I got up and asked around the neighbourhood for a photocopying shop. I found one, quickly made the copies and went back to wait. When they called me in, I waited again in a queue in a rectangular room. There were some people being interviewed in the 3 booths in the room and others still waiting ahead of me. I was so anxious and scared. The feeling you get when you are about to go for a job interview.
After about 15 to 30 minutes, it was my turn . The representative was a woman with short hair and for some reason, I felt intimidated. I guess it was because of her demeanour. She asked me a few questions about why I wanted to visit Germany and my job . I answered as frankly as possible and it was over in about 8 minutes. I was then told to come a week later for the reply. I was somewhat relieved that it was over but still anxious as whether I would get it or not.
During the waiting period, I travelled from Accra to Kumasi to visit my aunt and cousins. I could barely sleep the entire time. I Just kept thinking about the interview and what it meant. Will they grant me?
On the 6th day, I returned to Accra so I wouldn’t be late for the appointment. The following day, when I got to the German Embassy and as I was about to go for the decision, I saw one of the ladies who also had an interview the day I did. She had already gotten hers and it was a refusal. She was so disappointed and angry and was outside the embassy complaining to whomever would listen, that she didn’t understand why she was refused. Seeing that she was denied the visa and that she had her interview the same day as me, made me even more scared.
I went to the receptionist, a man in a small room by the entrance and gave my name and identity card. He went ahead and gave me a brown envelope (just like one of those used to give bribes). This contained the decision. I was afraid to open it at first, I guess I was trying to hold on to the little hope that I still had for as long as possible but after some seconds, I gathered courage and opened it. They had refused me the visa. It was a letter with a list of reasons and two of those reasons were crossed as grounds for refusal. They claimed the information given for justification of visit was unreliable and also that I didn’t give enough proof that I would return to Ghana before the expiration of the visa.
I was so crushed but I didn’t want the people around to know so I acted ok and left. On my way, I immediately wrote to my boyfriend about the decision and he was probably even more disappointed than I was. He was also furious and wanted to challenge the decision. At this point, I was emotionally drained and exhausted and I did not want to go through that process again. For the time being, he decided to come visit for the 3rd time.
To be continued…
Are you thinking of applying or have you already applied and been refused a Schengen visa? You can share your experience in the comments section. Also, if you have any questions regarding the application process or appeal process, you can write it in the comments section or send me an email. I will be glad to hear from you. Thank you!