The European Commission has published the data on the visas issued by Schengen area members for the third-country nationals in 2019. The total number of short-stay visas reached almost 15 mln, the citizens’ application number amounted to 17 mln.

Geostrategy analysts have assessed the European Commission’s report. According to triennial review, the number of people who wish to obtain a Schengen visa in the world, still grows, albeit quite slowly. The number of visa applications in 2019 almost 6% increased compared to 2018.

At the same time, the biggest number of applications for Schengen visas (more than 4 million) was received from Russia. This number is almost 12% more than in 2018 and is the biggest over in the past five years. Ironically, Russians tell everyone about the “hated European Union,” and at the same time prefer to visit it.

Even the numerous Chinese have made about 3 mln visa applications, which is almost 5% more than in 2018, but less than in Russia by almost a million.

The next country in the ranking is India, that issued more than 1 mln visa applications, which is almost 6% more than in 2018 (this number of applications from Indian citizens is fixed for the first time). Thus India ends the list of states whose citizens have applied for Schengen visas more than a million times.

Visa-free travel has opened new opportunities for Ukraine

Ukraine is far behind the list of countries whose citizens applied for Schengen visas in 2019, which is hardly surprising. The cause of such low interest is the visa-free regime with the European Union, which, besides private travels opens the possibility of short-term employment for seasonal workers.

In particular, the total number of applications from Ukrainians for Schengen visas amounted to 197,697, from which 185,957 visas were issued, including 33,757 multiple ones.

The European Commission information also allows to make conclusions about the results of processing visa applications from Ukrainian residents by different Schengen area member states:

  1. The Consular Section of the Bulgarian Embassy in Kyiv received 3,640 applications, 3,618 short-term visas were issued, 22 applications were denied. In Odesa 534 applications were processed, 529 visas were issued, 5 ones were denied.
  2. The Consular Section of the Croatian Embassy in Kyiv received 95 applications, 82 short-stay visas were issued, and 13 citizens were refused.
  3. The Consular Section of the Embassy of Cyprus in Kyiv received 666 applications, 654 short-term visas were issued, and 12 citizens got the refusal. In Mariupol – 6 appeals were processed, 6 visas were issued, in Odesa – 13 appeals were processed, 13 visas were issued.
  4. The Consular Section of the Romanian Embassy in Kyiv received 126 applications, 104 short-stay visas were issued, and 22 citizens were rejected. In Chernivtsi – 361 appeals were processed, 353 visas were issued, 8 citizens were denied. In Odesa – 79 appeals were processed, 78 visas were issued, 1 citizen was rejected, in Solotvino – 121 appeals were processed, 212 visas were issued.

What countries got the biggest number of applications

The number of visa applications in 2019:

Consuls of France received 3,980,989 applications, Germany – 2,171,309, Italy – 2,053,521, Spain – 1,912,500.

The lowest number of visa applications was in Luxembourg – 11,723 and Iceland – 18,183. And the biggest number of multiple Schengen was issued by Germany – 1,664,448 visas, the smallest, correspondingly, by Iceland –  just 1,585.

In turn, Poland received 454,026 applications, issued 437,420 visas, of which 334,418 were multiple-entry ones. Belgium received 248,021 applications, issued 190,222 visas, of which 96,796 were multiple-entry visas.

During 2019, the number of Schengen visas applications increased:

Turkish citizens have applied for more than 900,000 visas, that shows a sharp increase after a three-years interest drop in Schengen.

In turn, a sharp increase in applications was recorded from the Guinea-Bissau citizens – 12,000 (+46%), Cambodia – 15,000 (+ 36%), Nepal – 13,000 (+ 25%) and Bangladesh – 27,000 (+ 22%).

Besides, a moderate increase in visa applications was received from Morocco – 700,000, Saudi Arabia – 390,000, Tunisia – 250,000 and Indonesia – 230,000.

In 2019, the decline in interest in Schengen by Algerians was quite noticeable – 670,000 (6.3% less from the previous year), Belarus – 650,000 (5.2% less), Iran – 230,000(18% less), Iraq – 58,000 (11.2% less), Kuwait – 160,000 (6.6% less).

During 2019, the number of visa denials for the third-country nationals continued to grow insignificantly, in particular, the Schengen countries consuls rejected 9.9% of visa applications, which is 0.3% more than in 2018. The difference in the number of failures is quite noticeable:

  • the number of refusals for citizens of Belarus, Russia, Botswana and Indonesia was only 2.5%;
  • the number of refusals for citizens of Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal – up to 40%.

Natalia Tolub

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