Granted, you always can re-file your application but it can be lengthy and you can make the same mistakes again. On the other hand, challenging the French Authorities by demanding that they submit the reasons why your request was dismissed can be helpful. It is not rare that at this point they prefer to release a visa rather than entering the legal fray. The gap between the number of visas granted and the number of visa applications is widening. This illustrates the fact that arguing is more and more a step that must be anticipated.
If a visa application is unsuccessful, the applicant will have the opportunity to appeal several times. The preparation of these appeals will be facilitated if the consular authority has replied to the visa application and if it has communicated the reasons for its refusal, which is not always the case in practice.
If the remedies exercised do not allow the visa to be issued, the foreigner will have no choice but to file a new visa application. Visa refusals remain frequent, all the more so for short-stay visa applications and disparities exist between French consular representations abroad.
Challenging a visa dismissal is a two-step procédure.
Faced with visa refusal, the appeal procedures are as follows.
From the express or implied refusal of visa, the person concerned may contest this refusal within two months, either by exerting an appeal or by appealing to the Appeals Committee against decisions to refuse a visa. entry into France. This remedy is said to be “administrative”.
It is compulsory to lodge an appeal before this Commission in order to be able to bring the case before the competent administrative judge which is the administrative court of Nantes. This remedy is said to be “contentious”.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS
You may either make an appeal to the French consular authorities or an appeal to the Appeals Committee against decisions to refuse a visa to enter France. An appeal against the Visa Refusal Appeal Board is compulsory in order to be able to subsequently lodge an appeal with the Administrative Court.
Graceful Appeal to the Consulate
The appeal must be made within two months either from the notification of the visa refusal decision. If no visa refusal was sent, the appeal must be made within two months from the acknowledgment of receipt of the visa application. A letter should be sent to the consular service with which the visa application was lodged, preferably by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to keep the proof of the sending of the appeal.
In this letter, the applicant must explain in detail the reasons for which he made his visa application, the documents which he attached to it and any supporting documents which may sustain his argument.
He must also attach either a copy of the letter rejecting the visa application, or a copy of the application or any other documentary evidence attesting to the filing of the application if it is an implicit refusal.
In the event of rejection of the graceful appeal, the interested party has no other solution than to seize the Appeal Commission against the decisions of refusal of visa, before being able to exert a contentious appeal.
Petition to the Appeals Committee
This appeal to the Commission must be brought within two months either from the notification of the visa refusal decision, or from the acknowledgment of receipt of the visa application if the consular authorities have not given any answer.
If no acknowledgment of receipt mentioning the deadlines and the means of appeal has been delivered, the appeal to the Commission may be filed at any time, even beyond the two-month deadline.
If the person concerned does not appeal to the Commission or does not enter it within the time limit, he loses all possibility of challenging the decision to refuse a visa before the Administrative Judge.
THE JUDICIAL REMEDY BEFORE THE ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE
The appeal for cancellation allows requesting the cancellation of a visa refusal, or even the injunction to issue the visa if it has been illegally refused.
In urgent cases, the President may be asked to suspend the refusal decision.
If the appeal to the Appeal Commission is rejected, the interested party may file a contentious appeal before the Nantes Administrative Court provided that the appeal to the Appeal Commission against visa refusals has been filed in both months following the visa refusal.
The contentious appeal must be filed within two months of the notification of the Commission’s rejection decision or the decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of the Interior, but it can also be filed within two months after referral to the Commission if the latter has not rendered a decision.
The judge’s control over visa refusal decisions is necessarily limited: he nevertheless agrees to annul them when the administration has committed a “manifest error of assessment”.
The arguments invoked by the applicant are as follows.
It must be shown that the reasons given for coming to France are correct and that the request was in no way motivated by a desire to divert the object of the visa issued or to make illegal use of it.
It is possible to invoke the violation of a fundamental right guaranteed by an international Convention (for example, article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: »Everyone has the right to respect of his private and family life… ”).
It is possible to request, pending the judgment of the Nantes administrative court on the cancellation of the visa refusal, the suspension of the contested decision. For this, there must be serious doubt about the legality of the contested decision and that the decision must be justified by urgency. The administrative judge will rule within 48 hours.