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Schengen Visa Applications Dropped by 83% in 2021 due to COVID Pandemic


Deniz Askinová


June 24, 2022


06:17 PM

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The number of Schengen visa applications filed at the embassies, consulates, and visa centres of the Schengen Member States worldwide by third-country nationals in need of a visa to enter these countries has dropped by 83% compared to 2019, before COVID.

The drop is even deeper than the difference in the number of applications filed in the first years of the pandemic, 2019 and 2020, when 82.7% fewer applications were registered.

What are the reasons for this drop in visa applications?

According to Besart Bajrami, the founder of, the reason behind the number of visa applications remaining low is that even in 2021, the majority of Schengen countries have refused to reopen borders for most of the third-country nationals. These restrictions have discouraged travellers, especially tourists.

Data also show that with the decrease in the number of applications, the global refusal rate has also dropped from 13.6% to 13.4%.

In the contrary, the number of multiple-entry visas (MEVs), which permit their holder to enter the Schengen Area more than once within the period of validity, has increased from 61.6% to 71.7%.

Russians Account for Almost 1/5 of Schengen Visa Applications Filed in 2021

For another year in a row, Russia remains the top source for Schengen visa applications, with 18.3% of the total number of applications filed in 2021, received and processed by the Schengen Area consulates.

But now, due to the closure of many Schengen Area embassies and consulates in Russia, as well as a ban on Russian aircraft over the EU airspace, the number of Russians applying for Schengen visas may further decrease.

Other top countries for Schengen Visa Applications in 2021 were the following: France, Spain, Greece, Italy.

Over Half of Schengen Visa Applications Filed in Syria Have Been Rejected in 2021

Syria, another country involved in a long-term war conflict, has become one of the countries with the highest Schengen visa rejection rates - 50.7% of Syrian applications were rejected in 2021.

Are you looking for possible destinations for immigration within the Schengen area?

If you're interested in visiting the Schengen area for living and working, we've prepared a number of articles that will help you along the way, such as how to obtain a work visa in France as well as how to find a job there. For another popular destination within the Schengen area, read on to find out how to start a business in Italy.

Relocation 4 You has more than 20 years of experience in the immigration and relocation field, true experts who help companies and employees smoothly overcome the hassle of the Czech bureaucracy.

Contact Deniz for support in your immigration process to Czech Republic or matters related to acquiring a Schengen visa.

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