Indians were among the top five nationalities with the most rejected Schengen visa applications in 2023. Out of the 151,752 visa requests filed by Indian nationals, a substantial number were denied. This led to an estimated loss of EUR 12.1 million in visa application fees for Indian applicants, highlighting the financial burden on those attempting to travel to Schengen countries.

In 2023, Schengen states rejected a total of 1.6 million visa applications, resulting in EUR 130 million in generated funds, according to SchengenNews. Among the affected nationalities, Indian applicants faced significant financial losses due to high visa rejection rates.

Other nationalities facing high rejection rates included Turks, Algerians, Moroccans, and Chinese. Turkish nationals experienced the highest monetary loss, with EUR 13.5 million spent on rejected visa applications. Algerians followed closely, losing EUR 13.3 million, while Moroccans lost EUR 10.9 million, and Chinese applicants faced losses of EUR 4.8 million despite having one of the highest approval rates.

BLS International opens new visa application centre in Mumbai

Located at Nariman Point, the new centre spans 5,200 square feet and is designed to process approximately 1,000 visa applications per day. While there is a particular focus on visa applications for Spain, the centre will also handle visa services for Slovakia, Egypt, Gambia, Morocco, and South Korea, catering to both short-term and long-term travel needs.

The rejection rate represents the proportion of visas denied relative to the total number of applications. Although the absolute number of rejections for Indians was high, the list of nationalities with the highest rejection rates was dominated by African and Asian countries. Comoros had the highest rejection rate at 57.7 per cent , followed by Pakistan (48.2 per cent ), Guinea-Bissau (47.9 per cent ), Ghana (46.7 per cent ), and Mali (46.4 per cent ).For Indian applicants, the high rejection rates and associated financial losses underscore the challenges faced in securing Schengen visas. Many applicants are left with the frustration of “wasted money” as they bear the cost of application fees without obtaining the desired visa approval.

Schengen Visas became costlier starting June

Starting June 11, 2024, Schengen visa fees increased from EUR 80 to EUR 90 for adult applicants and from EUR 40 to EUR 45 for children aged six to twelve. Countries not cooperating with the readmission of their irregularly staying citizens in the EU may see visa fees rise to EUR 135 or even EUR 180. This fee hike follows a EURpean Commission decision aimed at addressing inflation and civil servants’ salary adjustments, reflecting the first increase since February 2020.

Indian Travelers to EURpe

Indian nationals have shown a growing interest in EURpean travel, with a 43 per cent increase in Schengen visa applications in 2023 compared to 2022. India ranked third in visa applications, with 966,687 filings.

The EURpean Commission has introduced a new visa “cascade” regime for Indian nationals, easing access to multi-entry visas with extended validity. Indian nationals residing in India can now obtain a two-year multi-entry visa after lawfully using two visas within the previous three years. This can be followed by a five-year visa, allowing short stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

The increased fees and evolving visa policies present both challenges and opportunities for Indian travelers. While the financial burden has grown, the new multi-entry visa regime could simplify travel plans for frequent visitors, potentially encouraging more Indians to explore EURpean destinations.

  • Published On Jun 26, 2024 at 03:16 PM IST

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