EU Court of Justice Rules that Member States Must Justify Denied Schengen Visas

According to a ruling published by the European Court of Justice, the Court has reached a decision on Schengen Visa denials, stating that any Member State who has denied a Schengen Visa to an applicant based on objections raised by any other Member State must inform the applicant of the reason for their rejection and make known the Member State who had raised objections.

“In the first place, the Court holds that a Member State which has adopted a decision refusing a visa because of an objection raised by another Member State must indicate, in that decision, the identity of the latter Member State and the specific ground for refusal based on that objection, accompanied, where appropriate, by the essence of the reasons for that objection,” reads the court ruling.

In addition, the court ruling states that if an applicant is refused a Schengen Visa, the Member State who refused them will be required to provide information for contacting the specific authorities that will help the applicant to fix the problems with their original application, instead of the Member State acting as the sole legal authority.

“In the second place, the Court holds that the courts of a Member State which has adopted a decision refusing a visa because of an objection raised by another Member State cannot examine the substantive legality of that objection. That is why the Member State which has adopted the decision refusing a visa must also specify, in that decision, the authority which the applicant may contact in order to ascertain the remedies available to that end in the Member State which raised an objection,” the court ruling reads.

The EU Court of Justice’s decision is based on court findings that Schengen Visa applications were mishandled and refused for two individuals, leaving them without path for recourse or information as to why their applications were refused.

An Egyptian national living in Egypt and a Syrian national living in Saudi Arabia were denied Schengen Visas when trying to enter The Netherlands to visit family, after Hungary and Germany raised objections to them being granted visas.

The grounds for their refusal was that “the persons concerned had been considered to be a threat to public order, internal security, public health, or the international relations of one of the Member States.”

After their visas were denied, they were not given information of which Member States had objected to their entry, or the specific reasons of why they had been considered to be such a threat.

The applicants formally filed complaints with the Minister, which were rejected. They subsequently took their complaints to the District Court, The Hague, The Netherlands, which brought it to the European Union Court of Justice for a final ruling.

It is unclear at this time if the two applicants were granted Schengen Visas or if they had received their Schengen Visas in time to visit their families in The Netherlands.

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