According to the European Commission, almost 17 million applications for a short-stay visa (Schengen Visa C) were submitted across the Schengen area in 2019. Most of the Schengen visas were applied for in France, Germany and Italy. What is the easiest way to get a Schengen visa?
So what is the easiest way to get a Schengen visa? The rejection rate varies from country to country, which is why it can be easier to get a Schengen visa in one Schengen country than in another. Do you live in Turkey, China or Russia and are wondering where it is easiest to apply for a Schengen visa? Below is an introduction you to the countries where, according to statistics, it is easier to issue a Schengen visa.
- Visa statistics of the EU: overview of the countries
- The top 3 countries for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
- The best countries in Central Europe for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
- The best countries in Northern Europe for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
- The best country in southern Europe for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
- Frequently asked questions
Visa statistics of the EU: overview of the countries
According to the European Commission, 9.9 percent of all visa applications worldwide were rejected in 2019. The lowest rejection rate was for visa applications from Belarus, Botswana, Indonesia and Russia. In contrast, an average of more than 40 percent of applications from Algeria, the Comoros, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal were rejected.
The five third countries which most Schengen visa applications provide :
The 5 Schengen countries that receive the most Schengen visa applications :
- France: around 4 million applications in 2019, rejection rate: 9.8%
- Germany: around 2.2 million applications in 2019, rejection rate: 16%
- Italy: around 2 million applications in 2019, rejection rate: 7.7%
- Spain: around 1.9 million applications in 2019, rejection rate: 10%
- Finland: around 896,000 applications in 2019, rejection rate: 1.9%
The 5 Schengen countries that are the easiest to issue Schengen visas :
- Iceland: only 1.2% of the applications were rejected
- Lithuania: only 1.3% of the applications were rejected
- Estonia: only 1.4% of the applications were rejected
- Finland: only 1.9% of the applications were rejected
- Latvia: only 2.4% of applications were rejected
Portugal was the most selective Schengen country among all Schengen countries with a rejection rate of 20.3%; followed by Malta with 19.6% and Belgium with 18.8%.
The top 3 countries for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
TIP: Even if the Schengen visa allows you to travel to all 26 Schengen countries for 90 days (within 180 days), you must spend most of your trip in the country in which you applied!
According to statistics, Lithuania has been the best place to get a Schengen visa for years. Since the statistics began, the Baltic state has approved around 98 percent or more of all Schengen visa applications.
In addition, compared to popular countries such as Germany or France, Lithuania has to process fewer inquiries. This has the additional advantage that there is a shorter waiting time. In the popular Schengen countries, it may happen that you have to wait longer for an appointment at the consulate or embassy or that the approval of your application is delayed.
2. Estonia and Latvia
In addition to Lithuania, there are other Baltic states such as Estonia and Latvia. Schengen visas are also granted quickly and easily in these Schengen countries.
Iceland receives only a few visa applications per year and, like Lithuania, has a high approval rate. The island state also attracts with a simple processing of Schengen visas. However, if you want to travel from Iceland to other countries during your trip in the Schengen area, you must bear in mind that you will have to take a flight of several hours to get to mainland Europe.
The best countries in Central Europe for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
If you want to travel from the eastern countries to Central Europe, Poland is a good place to go for Schengen visa applications. In 2019, Poland issued a Schengen visa in 96.3 percent, which means that only 3.7 percent of all applications were rejected.
Also, Austria with 5.2 percent rejections and the Czech Republic with 5.3 percent were mostly open for Schengen visa applications. If Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic are compared with each other, Austria has 323,000 applications, just under half of the applications in the Czech Republic (739,000). Here, too, it is expected that appointments will be easier and processing times will be shorter.
The best countries in Northern Europe for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
Looking to the north, consider Finland for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa. 98.1 percent of the applications were approved in Finland in 2019. Finland has had a low rejection rate in recent years and is just as generous as Lithuania. However, Finland is much more popular than its Baltic neighbor. Finland processed almost 900,000 Schengen visa applications in 2019. When making appointments at the embassy or consulate, you may therefore have to expect a bit of waiting time.
When it comes to which country receives the fewest Schengen visa applications, Iceland comes out on top. But Iceland is also at the forefront when it comes to the rejection rate. Only 1.2% of the applications were denied in 2019. If you live in China, Russia and Turkey, you can fall back on an Icelandic diplomatic mission in your countries. In South America and Africa, Iceland works with partner countries, which in most cases extends the waiting times for a processing appointment.
The best country in southern Europe for the easiest way to get a Schengen visa
If you want to spend the majority of your trip in the Schengen area in southern Europe, you should contact Greece . With a rejection rate of 4.5 percent, the Schengen country has the lowest of all southern European countries in the Schengen area. That is why Greece is the easiest country to get a Schengen visa. However, Greece receives many applications per year (2019: around 880,000). You should therefore expect certain waiting times for a personal appointment to apply for a visa.
Frequently asked questions
Where do I apply for a Schengen visa?
If you only want to visit one Schengen country, you need to apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of that country. If you want to visit multiple Schengen countries, you need to apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country that is your main destination.
Can I enter another country with the Schengen visa?
With a Schengen visa C, you can travel to all Schengen countries as long as your visa is valid and provided that you do not stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days within a period of 180 days. The Schengen visa application must be made in the country where you will spend most of your stay.
How expensive is a visa to Germany?
The visa fee for a Schengen visa is 80 euros and 40 euros for children aged 6 to 12. A national D-Visa for Germany (stays longer than 90 days) costs 75 euros for adults and 37.50 euros for minors.