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Migration and Home Affairs
News article3 June 2022Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

Visa statistics: Schengen States issue 2.4 million visas for short stays in 2021

Launch of the Visa Information System (VIS)

Figures published by the European Commission show that the consulates of the EU countries and Schengen Associated Countries received around 3 million applications for short-stay visas in 2021. This is the same number as in 2020 but considerably lower than in 2019 - 17 million. The global travel restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 continued to drastically depress the demand for Schengen visas worldwide. As a result, the level of visa operations stayed low in 2021: 2.4 million visa issued (2.5 million visa issued in 2020).

The ranking of largest source countries remained almost unchanged, but at very low levels. Numbers of visa applications of the top five applicant countries:

  1. Russia: 654 000 in 2020; 536 241 in 2021
  2. China: 207 000 in 2020; 27 458 in 2021 (almost a 90% decrease)
  3. Turkey: 229 000 in 2020; 271 997 in 2021 
  4. India: 168 000 in 2020; 130 000 in 2021
  5. Morocco: 180 000 in 2020; 157 000 in 2021

The average percentage of visa applications that were refused edged up slightly in 2021 in certain countries, with some variation: 0.3 % (2020) vs. 1.1 % (2021)  in Belarus, 1.2% (2020) vs. 10.8 % (2021) in Botswana and 2.6% (2020) vs. 3.2 % (2021) in Russia.

Worldwide, 13.4% of all visa applications were refused, the same percentage as in 2020. 1.7 million or 71 % of the 2.4 million visas issued in 2021 allow for multiple entries into the Schengen area, a share that despite the overall decline in the numbers of applications remained stable compared to the share in previous years.

In addition to the 2.4 million visas issued abroad, in 2021 the Schengen States also issued 69 401 uniform visas directly at the external borders.

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Publication date
3 June 2022
Author
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs