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October 24, 2023

Nationals of China, Türkiye & Russia Lead Visa Applications to

Despite a steep decrease in the number of visa applications from Chinese nationals in 2021, this nationality has logged the most applications for a Schengen visa at German consulates for the period between 2018 and 2022.

Schengen Statistics reveals that the total number of applications filed by Chinese nationals during this period is 927,604 – a 5.06 per cent difference compared to applications submitted by Turks, who hold the second position with 882,903 applications, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The highest number of visa applications filed by Chinese nationals was recorded in 2018 – 437,462, while in the following years, these numbers decreased to hit one of the lowest points in 2021 when only 4,973 applications were filed.

The trend of visa applications filed by Chinese can be closely linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the first drop was recorded in 2019, when the virus made its first appearance, with application rates decreasing by 1.29 per cent and then by a whopping 90.6 per cent in the following year, as application rates fell from 431,817 to 40,435.

However, despite the tough period that visa applicants from China had during COVID-19, this nationality remains the leading nationality for the period between 2018 and 2022.

Turkish nationals are the second-largest visa applicants for this period, who, unlike the Chinese, had a quick rebound following the pandemic times.

More specifically, Turkish nationals became the main applicants for a German visa in 2022, submitting a total of 223,699 applications, around 126,549 in Istanbul, 32,174 in Izmir and another 64,976 in the capital of Ankara.

While in 2020, applications from Turkish nationals fell from 253,014 to 75,280, those continued to increase in the following year (93,587) to almost reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022 (223,699).

Data by Schengen Statistics point out that the effect of COVID-19 was severe, especially for some nationalities like China, who were unable to travel to Germany, and anywhere in the world for that matter, due to COVID-19 restrictions that were in place during this period.

On the other hand, nationals of Turkiye, who were more open to Europe compared to Chinese, became the top applicants for 2020 and 2021.

Russians, who are the third-largest applicant country, follow closely with only 705,208 applications, 20.1 per cent less than Turks. However, this nationality was also quite impacted by changes that happened in the five-year period, as the number of applications dropped significantly between 2019 (298,870) and 2020 (62,839).

Application rates by Russians dropped even more in 2021, to merely 26,962, when COVID-19 restrictions were still intact around Europe, Germany included. However, these numbers improved in 2022 to 48,895.

Due to the military invasion of Ukraine, Russia was heavily sanctioned by European countries, which included closing the majority of diplomatic representations.

On the other hand, Indians were the fourth nationality with the most visa applications to German consulates in this five-year period, filing 463,800 applications distributed in five consulates.

The majority of applications filed by Indian nationals were made in 2019 – 298,870, which decreased to 30,793 in 2020 and 76,352 in 2022.

While Chinese, Turks, Russians and Indians were the main top applicants in this five-year period, some honourable mentions were Egyptians and Saudi Arabs, as well as Thais, who had some of the highest application rates compared to other nationalities.