How can a visa refusal affect my future travel plans?
I was lucky to have all my visa applications approved by the embassies and I have a good understanding about how to convince you are a legit traveller and intend to leave the country.
My question is, what bad could happen if a visa application was rejected?
Do they seal the passport as my application was rejected? I understand each embassy has their own records, but they mark it in the passport?
Are there any known automatic rejections if I was rejected a visa for another country? All my applications to country B get rejected because my application to country A visa was rejected?
Just a helpful nitpick... Visas are REFUSED. 'Rejected' applications are generally not processed at all and returned to the applicant. I know there's a tag issue here on SO, but government sites are generally consistent, and search results can have better quality with the correct term. Google on 'Schengen visa refusal' and check the official correspondence.
It can differ from country to country, and also depends on what visa you're applying for, and going into every country would be a book in itself, so I'll try and provide a general answer.
In general, countries that share information could share visa rejections. So travelling to country B, you may be flagged and asked questions about it.
Often, you have to sign a form indicating whether or not you were ever rejected for a visa to ANYWHERE, on any passport, current or present. The result of that may affect your application. For example, the US states that you'll most likely get a visa application denied if you've previously had a rejection.
I've had stamps for 'visa cancelled without prejudice' but that's different to being denied, it was simply to reissue a new visa. Again, they put a stamp in the passport.
As for a stamp in the passport for denials, yes, they will sometimes put a 'visa denied' stamp in your passport.
Thanks for this! The links are also helpful (and somewhat terrifying I'd say). I think I can also presume the positive side: the more stamps, particularly from countries with strict visa policies I have, the passport should have more "rep" and likely to be approved ;)
Well, sometimes ;) Some countries will note where you've been and hold it against you (eg if you have an Israel stamp). The joys of travel ;)
Ah yes. I actually read a lot about the workarounds to this. Having a lot of stamps from Islamic countries can have negative effects to US visas I also read.
To nitpick a bit on first link — ESTA isn't visa, what article is saying is that previous denial likely makes it impossible to travel _without_ visa (which is what ESTA / visa waiver program does). But for sure previous denials aren't helping with applying for US visa again. :(