How to Write a Letter of Appeal for Refused Visa Applications

For many Filipinos, the dream of working abroad or traveling to foreign lands is often intertwined with the pursuit of better opportunities and the chance to support loved ones back home. However, navigating the complex visa application process can sometimes lead to setbacks, with refusals casting a shadow over these aspirations.

In this guide, we dive into the art of crafting a compelling letter of appeal for refused visa applications. This includes understanding the reasons behind refusals and knowing how to effectively communicate. Ultimately, the goal is to convert a refusal into an approval.

writing letter of appeal to refused visa applications

Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

All About Visa Appeal Letters

This article is based on a YouTube video by an OFW vlogger named Rain. The video covers the importance of an appeal letter, understanding why your visa was denied, the structure, tone, and language of an appeal letter, and so much more. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:

An appeal letter for visa refusals is also known as a remonstrance letter. One of the worst experiences during a visa application is receiving a refusal letter. However, the vlogger has highlighted the following steps or ideas you need to consider to know how to proceed.

Identify the Refusal Reasons

  • Refusal reasons stated in the received letter can vary from specific to general, depending on the country of application.
  • Appeal deadlines vary from country to country, ranging from 10 days to 3 months.

Gather Supporting Documents

  • Gather your supporting documents. These documents will vary depending on the reasons for refusal. Attach them to your appeal letter.
  • Ensure your supporting documents address the specific reasons stated in the refusal letter to strengthen your appeal.

General Guidelines for Writing the Letter

  • Write your letter. Check the language requirement; it could be in English or the national language. For example:
    • Spain requires the appeal letter to be in Spanish.
    • Switzerland accepts letters in German, French, or Italian.
  • Ensure your letter includes complete identification details:
    • Full name
    • Address
    • Contact information (phone number and email address)
    • Passport number
    • Date of birth
    • Application details (application reference number and date of refusal)

Identify the Refusal Reason

  • Identify the refusal reason(s) as stated in the letter. If you have a detailed refusal letter, such as from Denmark, Sweden, or Norway, point out any mistakes found in the letter.
  • If you have a general refusal letter, review each reason with either bulleted responses or paragraphs.


  • Ensure the letter is dated on the day of submission.
  • Include the address of the recipient.
  • Specify the subject as “Appeal against the Schengen visa refusal,” followed by the full name of the applicant, passport number, and application/reference number.
  • Use the salutation “Dear Sir or Madam.” If you know the specific person who will be receiving the letter, indicate their full name.

First Paragraph

  • In the first paragraph, introduce yourself as the applicant and explain the purpose of the letter:
    • Start with your full name, nationality, passport number, and residential address.
    • State that you are writing to appeal the refusal decision for a single-entry Schengen visa, mentioning the application or reference number.
    • If applicable, mention your intention to visit multiple countries in the Schengen area and provide the entry and exit dates, specifying the total number of days.

Indicate When You Received the Refusal Letter

  • State the date you received the refusal letter. For example, if you received it on July 15:
    • Mention that you are appealing against the decision or decisions outlined in the refusal letter.
    • Indicate the specific refusal decision you are appealing against. For example, if the refusal letter lists multiple grounds, choose the relevant one. Use bullets to highlight the decision. For instance:
      • Justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not provided.

Identify the Refusal

  • In the next paragraph, identify the specific reason for refusal, such as “refusal reason number 10” if it corresponds to that in the received document.
  • For example, if the refusal reason is stated as “The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable,” you would address it in your appeal letter by:
    • Stating the main purpose of your trip, such as tourism.
    • Assuring the authorities that you will be shouldering your own travel expenses and can support yourself during the duration of your stay.

Justify Your Reasons (If You are a Tourist)

  • Specify the reasons justifying your status as a tourist:
    • During the duration of my stay, I will be accommodated at either the hotel address (if known) or the address of my sponsor, if applicable.
    • Indicate the specific cities you plan to visit if your trip is purely for tourism purposes.
    • Attach a copy of the itinerary for your proposed travel, reiterating your entry and exit dates and the duration of your stay. Include the number of days you are requesting for your visa.
    • Provide copies of booked accommodations and transportation reservations, such as train or flight tickets, if available.

State Another Reason

  • State another reason for your return to your home country:
    • If employed, provide details about your current job, including your position, company name, address, and contact number. Mention your monthly salary and attach a copy of your company’s approved leave of absence, if applicable.
    • If attending an event, such as a concert, provide proof of reservation or purchase, such as flight tickets. Attach a copy of the reservation for paid flight tickets to the event location.
    • Consider other reasons for your return, such as property ownership, family commitments, or any additional circumstances unique to your situation.
    • If you own properties, provide details about them and their significance to your ties to your home country. Include a paragraph about each property, if applicable.
    • If married or have children, write a paragraph about your family life, including details about your family members, their occupations, and whether they will be accompanying you.

Convince Them that You have Proof

  • Emphasize future travel plans to avoid jeopardizing them. Assure no overstay with strong ties in your home country (work, family, assets).
  • Include documented evidence of ties (employment records, property ownership, family info) to support your appeal.
  • Show you’ve provided all necessary evidence for your travel purpose (tourism, accommodations, flights, tours).

Closing Sentence or Paragraph

  • Closing Sentence: “I trust everything is in order and hope you will overturn the refusal decision, granting me the desired visa type. Sincerely,”
  • Submission Process:
    • Appeals can be submitted via email, in person, or by post, depending on the embassy’s requirements.
    • For countries like Switzerland, appeals must be in the national language (German, French, or Italian) and sent to the State Secretariat for Migration.
    • Consider using a lawyer’s services for assistance, noting the process may take 8 to 12 weeks.
  • Additional Resources:
    • An Excel or Google sheet provides information on deadlines, submission locations, language requirements, processing times, and fees for Schengen countries.
    • Note specific instructions for certain countries (e.g., Belgium) may be included in the refusal letter. Liechtenstein follows the same procedure as Switzerland.

In the journey of obtaining a visa, facing a refusal can feel like a daunting setback. However, armed with knowledge, persistence, and the right approach, it’s possible to turn a refusal into an approval. This guide has provided comprehensive insights into the art of crafting a compelling letter of appeal for refused visa applications, tailored specifically for the needs of Filipino applicants.