what motivates us
Open Schengen Project (OSP) demand for the Schengen Member State embassies to conduct fair, proportionate, transparent and participatory Schengen Visa processes.
Furthermore, OSP denounce the Schengen Visa Code – which forms the legal basis for all visa procedures – as a scientifically unfounded, vage and elitist profiling tool.
We hold that neither income, nor assets nor family ties are a reliable indicator for determining whether a traveler will return to their home country upon the expiry of their visa. Consequently, admission decisions should predominantly be made based on whether travelers have complied with regulations on previous journeys. Travelers who do not have a record should generally be given the benefit of the doubt unless grave circumstances such as an existing criminal record can substantiate that the interests of the general public should supersede that of the individual.
OSP also reject in the strongest terms that stakeholders in Germany as well as the rest of the Schengen area are entirely shut out of the visa admission process, and that their valid needs and opinions are being ignored. Visa rejections disrupt not just the lives of the visa applicants themselves, but also those of family members, partners, friends, colleagues, employers, business partners and other associates residing within the EU.
The damage done by visa rejections, meanwhile, is disproportionate in comparison to its supposed benefits. While the injury to travelers and their peers is always immediately real and immense, the envisioned benefit (upholding of public order and prevention of supposed “illegal migration”) to the general public is always limited and moreover highly virtual, because the intentions of a traveler can never be safely ascertained.
Subject to the virtually unlimited freedom of evaluation that is granted to the Schengen member countries’ embassies through the Visa Code, decisions on visa applications today are taken almost entirely arbitrarily and without oversight. The member state embassies can even largely evade the control of national administrative courts, meaning that a single visa officer can hold more power over the fate of an applicant than a legally versed judge.
It is high time for the EU and the Schengen member states to acknowledge the hostility, lawlessness and lack of humanity brought about by their current visa scheme and to replace it with an alternative that is born from respect, proportionality and transparency instead of migration hysteria, xenophobia and neo-liberalism.
what we expect
At the minimum, every Schengen visa applicant should have the right to ..
.. know the specific reasons for their denial, either upon rejection or (at the latest) upon their request.
.. not become the subject of arbitrary decision-making and prejudice (aka, “profiling”).
.. a full and careful investigation into all documentation that was provided by them.
.. be actively engaged by the embassy regarding options to supplement their application with further evidence before being denied.
.. receive full and unbiased information about their rights and privileges in their native language or English.