HomeInternational organizationsEUTurkey became the record holder for the number of Schengen visa applications

Turkey became the record holder for the number of Schengen visa applications

Turkey overtook Russia in the number of Schengen visa applications to become Europe’s largest source of applications in 2022. While more than 700,000 applications were received from citizens of the Republic of Turkey, Russia entered the top three in the number of refusals to enter EU countries.

The total number of Schengen applications submitted last year amounted to more than 7.5 million. This is 55% less than in the comparable year 2019, but still significantly higher than in the previous two years combined.

Even though Turkey took first place in the table, the number of citizens who applied for visas decreased by 14% compared to 2019. According to Besart Bayrami, the founder of the portal, the main factors contributing to the fact that Turkey has become the largest source of Schengen visa applications are the reduction in the flow of applications from the Russian Federation against the background of sanctions and not the number of Turks who want to enter the countries of the Schengen Agreement. All the more so, as the republic’s hopes for a close agreement on a visa-free regime with EU member states remain weak. However, last year Turks were most interested in Germany, Greece, and France.

The top 5 applicant countries for Schengen according to the results of last year:

Turkey – 778,409 applications

Russia – 687,239 applications

India – 671,928 applications

Morocco – 423,201 applications

Algeria – 392,053 applications

The expert also suggested that in the 2023 season, Russia will fall even lower in the table. As for another contender for the top spot in issuing Schengen visas — China — next year it may displace Turkey and take its place. “Although the interest of Chinese tourists in visiting Europe is not yet the same as before the pandemic, in 2023 the number of Chinese tourists will increase, and there is a chance that the country will soon be at the top of the list,” Bajrami explained. And so far, according to the report, tourists from the Middle East took only 22nd place in terms of the number of Schengen applications.

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