France with most EU short-stay visa applications in 2018

The country, however, is also one of the four Schengen members with the highest rejection rates

Based on Schengen Visa statistics published by the European Commission’s department for Migration and Home Affairs last week, France received 4,010,604 visa applications in 2018, 1,030,034 of which were multiple-entry short-stay visas, an increase of 8.8% compared to the number of people who applied for a Schengen visa in 2017.

The number put France, one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, in first place on the list of top 5 Schengen countries that received the most visa applications. However, the country is also one of the four Schengen members with the highest rejection rates, having denied 15.7% of the applications it received last year. It also has a very low share of MEVs compared to other countries, granting only 30.8% of visas with multiple entry validity.

Germany. which places second with 2,056,296 applications received, had a lower denial rate of 9.1%. However, its share of MEVs is as high as 84.6%. It also has the highest rate of Limited Territorial Validity visas issued (30,822) in 2018, followed by Switzerland.

After France and Germany, Schengen visas to Italy, Spain and Greece were the most sought after in 2018. While Italy received as many as 1,844,140 visa applications, Spain received 1,701,379 applications, and Greece was listed fifth with only 855,285 applications.

Overall, the Schengen countries issued 14.2 million visas for short stays in 2018 out of more than 16 million total applications received by consulates all around the world, mostly from Russians, Chinese and Turkish. Of those, 1.5 million visa applications were rejected, 16% more than in 2017.

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