France is the most sought-after destination for Indian travellers among Schengen states, but also has the largest number of visa rejections, according to Schengen Visa Statistics 2022.
The five most popular Schengen destinations for Indians include France which saw 1.38 lakh visa applications in 2022, followed by Switzerland at 1.06 lakh applications, Spain at 80,098, Germany at 76,352 and Netherlands at 52,616.
But France’s rejection rate of 20.12% also means that it saw the largest number of visas rejected at 27,681. Spain was at the second spot in this category with 18.5% or 14,852 visas denied. Though Switzerland’s rate of rejection was as low as 13.2%, but because the volume of applications received was high it amounted to a total of 13,984 visas being denied.
Among these top five countries, Germany has the lowest rate of rejection of 11.3% among all Schengen states, resulting in 8,615 visas being turned down.
Other countries with the lowest rate of rejection were Iceland (5.5%), Hungary (12.1%), Belgium (12.2) and Norway (14.5%). However, the absolute number of applications were much lower for some of these countries with Iceland receiving only 1,861 applications and Belgium 4,824. Hungary received 9,046 applications and Norway 18,016.
Schengen countries with the worst rate of rejection were Estonia (56% of 1,986 applications), Malta (45% of 1,220 applications), Lithuania (41.4% of 987 applications), Greece (34.7% of 27,457 applications) and Czech Republic (34.1% of 5,396 applications)
According to Rajeev Kale, president & country head, holidays, MICE, visa at Thomas Cook (India) Limited, said factors that travellers need to keep in mind to ensure their visa request is approved include ensuring that a passport is not damaged or expiring within six months. They must also produce an updated proof of financial status in India that is endorsed by the necessary authorities.