Filipinos applying for Schengen visas surged by 43% in last five years â data
In this photo from the Bureau of Immigration Facebook page, an Immigration officer inspects a traveler's passport.
Bureau of Immigration FB Page

Filipinos applying for Schengen visas surged by 43% in last five years — data

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - October 29, 2020 - 10:11am

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine passport holders applying for a Schengen visa has spiked by 43% since 2015, according to data from a visa information site.

A Schengen visa lets passport holders travel to 26 Schengen Area Member States with the majority of them in the European Union.

The visa covers Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Data published by SchengenVisaInfo.com showed that from 132,611 visa applications from the Philippines filed in 2015, this went up in 2019 to 189,541.

Applications had been rising yearly with the highest year on year increase recorded in 2017. A total of 146,517 Schengen visa applications were filed in 2016, which jumped to 170,605 applications in 2017, meaning Schengen embassies received 24,178 more applications.

More Filipinos applied the following year with 175,703 visa applications recorded.

Global movement restrictions due to the pandemic have halted most travel in 2020.

Rejection rates rise as well

While visa applications balloon yearly, SchengenVisaInfo.com found that rejection rates likewise grew annually.

From 51.9% in 2015, rejections went up to 55.6% in 2016. It further increased in 2017 and 2018 with 60.6% and 62.8% rejection rates, respectively.

The highest rejection rate surge stood at 66.3% last year.

Aside from these, data showed Multiple Entry Visas (MEV) to the Schengen Area increased from 64,364 in 2015 to 114,077 in 2019, a 77.2-percent growth.

An MEV visa lets its holder to enter the Schengen Area more than once, in contrast to single-entry visas which can be used only one time within their period of validity.

According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, only 14 Schengen countries received and processed Schengen visas in the Philippines in 2019. Some of these countries represent the remaining Schengen states that do not have an embassy or consulate in the country.

These countries and the number of visa applications they received are as follows:

  • Austria - 4,757
  • Belgium - 6,884
  • Czech Republic - 3,632
  • Denmark - 7,248
  • Finland - 831
  • France - 35,068
  • Germany - 20,657
  • Greece - 5,814
  • Hungary - 993
  • Italy - 24,170
  • Netherlands - 47,156
  • Norway - 4,335
  • Spain - 20,497
  • Switzerland - 7,499

In the same year, almost 17 million Schengen visa applications were filed at the Schengen embassies, consulates and visa processing centers located overseas, marking the highest number of applications filed.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visa applications for 2020 is seen to drop as all Schengen countries have stopped receiving applications for Schengen visas for non-essential purposes.

Filipinos that qualify to enter Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, can submit their applications at the VFS Global visa application centers located in Cebu.

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