I still cringe whenever I get random flashbacks of me crying in front of the consul and pleading to have my visa application reevaluated. I regret doing that emotional appeal, but it was necessary for me to know why I was not granted a tourist visa.

I had every document in the requirement list. It even took me a month to gather all the necessary paperwork since I had to resolve the issue with my TIN number (so that I could provide a proper ITR form), schedule an appointment to renew my passport and make sure my savings account had enough money to show that I was capable of funding my trip. But despite my efforts, I was still refused a visa. Here’s what the consul told me:

I had zero experience in overseas travel.

This gave them an impression that I was young, inexperienced and capable of making a lot of rookie travel mistakes. This alone was already a major red flag for them. Also, I was deemed too “young” to travel even though I was already 20 years old when I filed my visa application.

I was planning to travel alone.

They were concerned that I might end up like Kim from the movie, Taken. You know, the girl who was abducted in Paris and got auctioned off as a sex slave. It was a fact not up for debate. I hate to say it, but they were right. Women are more likely to get harassed and abused by people in this day and age especially when they’re traveling alone and I can attest to that. I personally have experienced it when I visited Hong Kong years ago. As much as I hate to say it, that is the uncomfortable truth.

I had no knowledge of the language.

Were they really expecting me to know Turkish? To be honest, I think they did (at least conversational) since majority of the people in Turkey do not speak English. But I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I think the consul just wanted to emphasize the dangers of solo travel that I might get scammed by the locals there.

My True Purpose of Travel to Turkey

When I mentioned that I was going to meet someone there, they thought that I was going to marry off and extend my stay in Turkey. I honestly had no intention to do that. I simply wanted to pay their country a visit. It didn’t help when I mentioned that person was going to pay for my travel expenses as well. So even though I had the right documents (notarized invitation letter and copy of the sponsor’s birth certificate) and had them shipped all the way from Turkey, it still didn’t help my case.

You will know right then and there if your application has been denied. They will still take your documents and process your papers normally, but they won’t ask for the visa application fee anymore. They will only return your passport the same day with a stamp like this one.

That didn’t stop me though because a year after that, I reapplied for a tourist visa.
They finally granted me one and was able to visit Turkey three times since then. 🙂

Do you have a visa horror story you’d like to share, too? I’d like to hear it!