Posted on February 21, 2019

During 2017, Schengen embassies in Qatar collected a number of 84,187 visa applications, which equated to 1% of the total applications worldwide, says SchengenVisaInfo.com. But while Schengen visa applications are on a slow rise, visa denials scored a larger increase.

Schengen countries continue to attract an enormous number of visitors from all around the world as according to official recordings in 2017 more than 16 million people applied for a Schengen uniform visa. Of the total applications recorded worldwide in 2017, Qatar citizens accounted for 1% of them. Based on the official Schengen visa statistics published by the EU Commission, exactly 84,187 applications were collected in Qatar during 2017. Compared to a year ago when this figure was at 83,483 a slight increase is noted.

However, while the application is on a slow rise, statistics reveal that visa denials are increasing at a much faster rate. In 2017, 11 Schengen embassies in Qatar rejected in total 7,106 Schengen uniform visa applications. In contrast, during 2016 this number stood at 4,467 visa denials. In percentage terms, this means that Schengen uniform visa denials increased largely by 59%. France remains at the top list of the Schengen countries whose embassies receive most visa applications and denies the most at the same time.

According to this statistical report, in 2017 the French embassy in Doha collected a total of 31,813 uniform visa applications. In turn, the embassy issued 27,922 uniform visa, with more than half (54.7%) of them being Multiple Entry Visas while it rejected 3,763 of them or 11.8% in percentage terms. During the previous year, there was a whole different picture in this embassy. Statistics covering that year show that 30,814 citizens of Qatar submitted an application at the French embassy out of which 28,298 took a positive response while 2,118 of them or 6.9% of the total applications were rejected.

Germany and Switzerland also received a relatively high number of visa applications during 2017 in Qatar. The German embassy in Doha reported for 21,553 visa applications and 20,250 visa grants while the Switzerland embassy collected 8,551 visa applications and approved 8,175 of them.

The table below displays Schengen visa statistics for the busiest Schengen embassies in Qatar during 2017

Schengen Embassy

Uniform Visas Applied For

Uniform Visas Issued

The share of MEV visas

Denied Visas

France

31,813

27,922

54.7%

3,763

Germany

21,553

20,250

80.8%

976

Switzerland

8,551

8,175

89.6%

311

Italy

6,288

5,854

68.2%

426

Spain

5,209

4,374

41.0%

397

The puzzling of such increase in the number of Schengen visa denials in Qatar is complex, but it is hard to think of it separated from the immigration crisis in the EU. In fact, a recent report of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) stated that the number of people who are using the visa-free regime to seek asylum in Schengen is on the rise.

This report will encourage Schengen countries to stay firm in their efforts to increase the control of their borders in the future. Their policies are also including a more stringent visa application process in their embassies located in different parts of the world.

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