The number of Schengen visa applications filed at the Schengen consulates and visa centres located in India has increased by 415 per cent in 2022, reaching a number of 671,928, compared to 2021, when only 130,427 Schengen visa applications were filed in this country.
Newly released data on Schengen Visa Statistics for last year show that while the number of applications remains way lower than pre-pandemic, the increase has been quite huge.
In 2022, India is listed as the third largest source of Schengen visa applications for the Member States, just behind Turkiye with 778,409 applications received, and the Russian Federation with 687,239 applications, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In the year before, on the other hand, India was listed in the seventh position, behind Russia, Turkiye, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Algeria.
And while the number of applications has increased, the rejection rate has dropped, from 23.3 per cent in 2021 to 18.3 per cent last year. Yet, the same remains quite high compared to the rate of 2019, when only 10.8 per cent of visa applications filed in India were rejected by the Member States.
According to Besart Bajrami, founder of SchengenVisaInfo.com, the drop in rejected applications is good news, though it remains high compared to 2019 and the years before.
“There has been an increase in the rejection rate of visa applications worldwide, and of course, this increase has been mirrored in India as well. While the rate remains higher than in 2020 and the years prior to the pandemic, it is still lower than in 2021. If the drop becomes a yearly trend, then we will be able to see the rejection rate back to around ten per cent,” he predicts.
The rejection rate in the last ten years in India and the world has been as follows:
- 2013 – 6.16 per cent in India and 4.7 per cent in the world
- 2014 – 6.4 per cent in India and 5.1 per cent in the world
- 2015 – 6.5 per cent in India and 6.2 per cent in the world
- 2016 – 8.2 per cent in India and 6.9 per cent in the world
- 2017 – 8.5 per cent in India and 8.2 per cent in the world
- 2018 – 9.3 per cent in India and 9.6 per cent in the world
- 2019 – 10.8 per cent in India and 9.9 per cent in the world
- 2020 – 16.9 per cent in India and 13.6 per cent in the world
- 2021 – 23.3 per cent in India and 13.4 per cent in the world
- 2022 – 18.3 per cent in India and 17.9 per cent in the world
Further commenting on the data, Bajrami expresses his doubts that India will be able to keep its third position in the next years, predicting that it will rather drop to the fifth or sixth position.
“With the reopening of borders in China, a steady increase in the number of applicants from the other countries, including here Turkiye, India will have it hard to keep the second position. Yet, the number of applications filed in this country and worldwide, will, without a doubt, increase,” Bajrami says.
Data show that in 2022 Schengen visa embassies located worldwide have received a total of over 7.5 million short-term visa applications, which despite being quite an increase compared to the two previous years, is still 55 per cent lower than the number of applications recorded in 2019.
The procedures to get a Schengen visa include making an appointment with the consulate or visa centre of the destination country and collecting a list of documents. Recently, travellers have been more and more frustrated with the number of required documents which they have called “non-sense” and “unnecessary”.