Sushant, a 28 year old, is a travel enthusiast and a trekker. He has been travelling in India from the age of 23. Travelling to places and unraveling hidden exotic locations, he has explored most of the states in India.
Laying footprints domestically, he was set to fly for his first international trip. Planning an 18 day Europe trip to France, Italy, Czech & Hungary, this 28 year old, self-employed solo-traveler applied for a Visa at the French Consulate, in Mumbai. Sushant fulfilled all the visa requirements of the embassy, but what an ordeal!!! Sushant's visa was rejected.
The previous blog on 'What comes first? Visa Confirmation OR Flight Booking' talks about how visa rejection is not considered as a probable outcome by travelers. In Sushant's case, this neglected probability became a reality. “Youhave not provided proof of sufficient means of subsistence” was the reason cited by the consulate for the rejection.
'Insufficient subsistence' meaning an 'insufficient bank balance' is one of the common reasons for visa rejection. The visa officer starts reviewing the visa application with the presumption, that the traveler is likely to settle in the destination territory and never return to their home country. The onus to negate this assumption lies on the traveler. Traveler's bank statement is one of the most crucial document to strengthen this defense. A person's 'strong and stable bank statement' gives visa officer an assurance of the person returning to their home country, thus increasing chances of visa approval.
What implies 'a strong and stable bank statement'? It is a recent bank statement with healthy bank balance and an uniform cash flow pattern. Bank balance requirement can be specific or unspecific. Schengen, Australia and UK have no defined specifications. Thus, a bank balance equal to twice the tour cost is considered as a sufficient bank balance. Few countries define stringent and specific bank balance criteria as listed below:
China: INR 1,50,000 per person
Malaysia: INR 40,000 per person
Turkey: INR 1,00,000 per person
South Africa: INR 35,000 per person
Sushant had a closing balance of INR 20,000. In order to maintain a healthy bank balance, he deposited INR 2,00,000 in his account and submitted the bank statement to the embassy. Owing to the sudden cash deposit and unclear explanation of source of funds, Sushant's visa was rejected.
StampMyVisa advises how Sushant could have avoided this visa rejection:
Sushant's visa rejection signifies how bank balance and Visa are related. "While an insufficient bank balance can force travelers to drop their travel plan, a well planned bank balance increases traveler's chances of obtaining a Visa" says StampMyVisa.