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Turkish Airlines round-trip tickets and Booking.com reservation are not credible, says Hungary’s Consulate in Istanbul

Visa Immigration

Every year in July, I like to travel abroad to celebrate my birthday. This year, it won’t be different until I got my first rejection two days before the flight. As a travel writer for over 20 years in the industry, I have been rejected for the first time and not welcomed by a country.

Since 2003, I haven’t visited Budapest, Hungary so I planned to visit the city again and would like to see the differences. As I do every year, I filled the visa application form, prepared all supporting travel documents including flight and hotel bookings, official financial documents and documents from my government, travel health insurance, passport and copies of my previous visas, etc. and applied for a touristic Schengen Visa from Hungary. With the direction of the authorized visa service center, I purchased me and my wife’s flight tickets later the day since I have informed that my visa will be rejected if my flight reservation details change during the visa application. The lady at the visa center also noted that my passport will be given back to me just a few days before my flight. For those reasons, in order not to change my flight reservation that has a short ticketing time, I purchased the Turkish Airlines flight tickets to Budapest and emailed the purchased tickets' information to the consulate’s email addresses that are supplied by the visa center.

Two days to flight, I got my passport with no visa. According to the reason for the rejection, the reason for travel and supplied travel documents are not credible to prove my envisaged trip.

Required Documents for Touristic Visa

Original passport, completely filled application form, two newly taken biometric photographs (taken same day of the application), travel health insurance ( purchased at the visa service center), financial documents ( taken the day of the registration from the nearest bank; which are officially signed), and other required documents from the Turkish government; digitally signed. Turkish Airlines flight reservation (purchased flight tickets later sent by email), a Booking.com hotel reservation confirmation letter, 60 euros visa fee. These were the documents supplied to Hungary’s Consulate in Istanbul for a short-term multi-entry touristic visa. These documents are also the standard documents that travelers supply while applying for a Schengen visa. If the consulate asks more documents, you get a phone call and asked to supply which I got and supplied once in the past. I used the same documents last year and got my Schengen visa from Greece’s Consulate in Istanbul.

From those documents, only Turkish Airlines flight tickets and Booking.com hotel reservation are not officially signed that might be considered as not credible.

Today travelers either print their own flight tickets and hotel reservations or keep them digitally on the web or in their mobile phones.

In my last passport which I am using for the last 9 years, I have a total of 5 Schengen visas including 3-years visa from Germany, and several 6-months visas from Italy and Greece.

Right to appeal

I have informed with a document that I have the right to appeal within 8 days of the rejection. You have to pay an additional 30 euros for the appeal. After talking on the phone with a gentleman at Hungary’s Consulate in Istanbul, he tried to convince me that I would be rejected again so I better don’t appeal. First I insisted on appeal but then I asked myself; “You wanted to visit Budapest for your birthday celebration, since no time to travel on your planned dates; do you still want to go? The answer is NO! I don’t want to go anymore to Budapest; at least not for some time. I already paid penalty for the cancellation of flight tickets. I don’t want to lose more money.

How long does it usually take to receive a Schengen visa?

I usually received my Schengen visas in 7 – 10 days in the past. For this time, I have waited over 20 days. Every Schengen country has a different time period for issuing a visa. For Hungary, later I have informed that even you apply 2 months before your trip, your passport will be ‘most likely’ hold at the consulate until the last minute. That gives you no other option than to pay for all your travel arrangements. And if your visa is rejected as it happened to me, you will not only lose money for visa, service center fees, and health insurance fees but you may pay penalty to transportation and accommodation providers.

Turkish citizens paid 52.7 million euro for Schengen Visa in 2018.





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