Schengen Countries With the Most Visa Rejections in 2023

Schengen Countries With the Most Visa Rejections in 2023

In a devastating blow to hopeful travellers, Schengen countries denied over 1.6 million visa applications in 2023, accounting for a staggering 15.8 percent of all requests.

According to data from the EU Commission, France led the pack in visa rejections, turning down 436,893 applications. This equates to 16.6 percent of all visa requests France received, a testament to the country's rigorous screening process.

It's not uncommon for France to top the list of visa rejections annually, largely due to the sheer volume of applications it receives.

Following France, Spain denied 251,000 applications, Germany rejected 208,000, Italy turned away 133,000, and the Netherlands refused 114,000. Together, these five countries accounted for 1.1 million visa denials, representing 70 percent of all rejected visas for the year.

Other countries with high rejection rates included Greece and Switzerland, with 91,000 and 64,000 rejections respectively. Sweden and Belgium emerged as the eighth and ninth countries with the most turned-down applications, while Portugal held its tenth position with 33,000 rejections.

Compared to 2022, the top four countries with the highest number of received applications—France, Spain, Germany, and Italy—remained the same in terms of rejecting the most visas. However, the Netherlands overtook Greece's fifth position in the top five.

Switzerland maintained their seventh while Belgium and Sweden replaced Finland and Austria in the top ten list.

These data underscore the significant obstacle that travellers confront in entering the Schengen area, with rejection percentages reflecting each country's rigorous visa policies.

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