Key facts of the case:
On 14 June 2010 Mrs. E. applied to the Austrian embassy in Manila for a Schengen visa valid for 3 months for a visit to Austria. Together with the application form she submitted confirmations for her return flight, for travel medical insurance, the assignment-of-duties statement signed by the Austrian national who had invited her, certificates of her income and deposits, a confirmation of her leave signed by her employer, a birth certificate of her son aged four, a marriage certificate and a letter signed by her husband confirming that he agreed to the journey and that his wife would return to him. The Embassy on 21 June 2010 refused the visa using the standard form set out in Annex VI of the Visa Code. As ground for the refusal the Embassy noted – by ticking the text segments in the standard form – that the applicant’s intention to leave the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained. The applicant complained to the Supreme Administrative Court. She claimed that all the requirements for a visa had been fulfilled and argued that her visa application was dispatched using a standard form and that she had not been heard by the Embassy.
As long as the Visa Code does not expressly depart from them, there can be no doubt that the minimal requirements of proceedings under the rule of law also apply to proceedings under the Visa Code (cf. especially the duty under recital 7 of the preamble of the Visa Code to ensure that the procedures follow good administrative practices and the reference to the ECHR and the Charter in recital 29).